Homemade Pizza

Tossing homemade pizza dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

This is my very first Daring Baker’s Challenge. I had a good laugh when I found out that we’d be baking homemade pizza from Peter Reinhart’s book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. As you might imagine, I bake every day from my own book, but it has been many years since I’ve made pizza or bread from a traditional recipe. I must admit it was great fun! It took a lot longer than I have become accustomed to, but it was a joy to knead the dough, satisfying to see it rising on my counter and, as you can see, I actually spun it over my head. The dough is very similar in taste to the olive oil dough (page 134) in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I ended up making them side by side. I’ll leave it up to you to do the same and tell me what you think! 😉

I made a southwestern shrimp pizza using some of the Hatch’s Chillies my friend Jen roasted and gave to me, along with grilled corn and goat cheese. I also made a purple potato and bacon pizza with onions I sautéed in the bacon fat. I called Jen as they were coming out of the oven and we had a fabulous lunch!

The one thing I did differently from our book with my olive oil dough, was let it sit on the counter as I preheated the oven, about 40 minutes. I let Reinhart’s sit for the full 2 hours that he asks for. In the end they both had a lovely crisp, airy crust, which I love!

When making pizza it is important to have these basic things:

Baking Stone

Oven Thermometer

Pizza Peel

Preheat the oven to 550° or as hot as your oven will go with a pizza stone on the bottom rack. Having it on the bottom will allow the bottom crust to get nice and crisp without burning your toppings.

Homemade Pizza Toppings | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

The Purple Potato, Bacon, Mozzerella, Rosemary and onions sauteed in Bacon Fat Pizza!

The potatoes I had roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper for dinner the night before and were leftovers.

Homemade pizza recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Toss or roll out your dough so that it is nice and thin, about 1/8-inch or thinner. Put on your toppings and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with course salt.

Homemade pizza recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese hot and bubbly.

Homemade pizza recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

For the Shrimp, Grilled Corn and Goat Cheese Pizza, I peeled the shrimp, cut them in half lengthwise, tossed them with the chopped up chillies (you determine how HOT you like it!) and salt and pepper.

Homemade pizza recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I leave the shrimp raw, because it is cut in half it will bake perfectly and not be tough.

Homemade pizza recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and shrimp is pink! Enjoy!

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54 thoughts to “Homemade Pizza”

  1. LOVE that photo. Show off! And congrats on your first “challenge.” Both of your pizzas have amazing ingredients on them — grilled corn always gets my attention and with roasted chilies? Nice. The potatoes are beautiful! What a great idea.
    I’m smiling about the opportunity to do some side by side testing of yours and Peter’s doughs. Since I’ve tried your olive oil dough, I can say that it is very good, and quite a bit less involved, so highly recommend it. Mmmm….

  2. Yay to your first DB challenge! Love that shot of you tossing the dough – I certainly didn’t have a big smile on my face when I was attempting it! 😀

  3. I love that photo of you tossing the pizza dough. You’re a culinary wizard! And now I know what to put on my Christmas wish list: Baking Stone, Oven Thermometer, and Pizza Peel. Thanks!

  4. Your pizzas look great, and as always, the photos are also fabulous. The toppings you used sound really good-I love purple potatoes. I’ll have to try your recipe for the pizza dough and let you know how it turns out.

  5. Love that picture of you tossing the pizza, looks like you were having so much fun!And the pizza looks nice and round. And oh your toppings sound incredible!

  6. wow, your pizzas are so nice, I love the potato/bacon one. There’s a bar in my town that serves something similar, w/ sour cream. What a splurge!!
    Your pictures are great, too.

  7. You toss photo is my favourite one yet. You look like you’re really enjoying yourself. I love your pizza toppings. The purple potato one is inspired! Great job!

  8. Oh!! I’m so jealous, I wish I could toss like you!! I think I got my dough to leave my hands for about 1/2 second!! Your pizzas look great! Welcome to daring bakers! =P

  9. Cheers on your first challenge…it looks phenomenal. And btw…I use your cookbook quite often as well. So often in fact that I recently had to make croutons from an entire loaf because I have so much bread coming out of the oven. 🙂

  10. I just love your blog!

    I’m going to try out the goat cheese and shrimp topping.. looks scrumptious

    p.s. how do u manage to make your pizza dough fly without ending up looking like a human calzone?

  11. I love the purple potatoes in there! That first one definitely looks like a winner…and there’s nothing better than onions cooked in bacon fat!

  12. Your pizzas look fabulous!!! Welcome to the Daring Bakers – I’m really looking forward to seeing your interpretations of the recipes every month.

    My first cookbook is coming out next fall — any advice? 🙂

  13. That looks so great Zoe! And ironically I’d been planning on pulling the olive oil dough out of my freezer for dinner tomorrow night.

    Your post gives me a chance to ask 2 questions that have burbled in the back of my brain:

    1)Oven thermometer- despite your book’s good advice, I’ve been limping along without one. I did some research on what one to get, but I couldn’t find an unqualified good recommendation. So I was really pleased to see your link to the Taylor Oven Guide – is that what you use? Do you have any problem with the numbers wiping off if you clean it? That’s the biggest complaint about it that gave me pause.

    2)How do you get pizza dough to stretch out? I love the olive oil dough from your book, but always have trouble getting the dough to stretch – it springs back. Any thoughts?

    Keep on giving us such good cooking advice!

  14. Hi Kristen,

    Great questions! So glad you are using the olive oil dough.

    The oven thermometer I use is a Taylor but not this exact one. They use this one at the school I teach in and I love it. It hangs from the rack and stays out of the way. Mine is the round type that either hangs too low or falls off and through the rack where it can’t be read, useless!

    I’ve had problems with candy thermometers and washing the numbers off, but not oven thermometers. I rarely have to wash mine.

    2, If your dough is not stretching out and is just springing back at you it is because the gluten is all excited. The gluten gets more excited the more you try to work with it, if you just let it rest for 5-10 minutes on the counter it will relax ans let you stretch it out. As I mentioned in this post, I let the dough ball sit on the counter as the oven was preheating and it was nice and soft and pliable when I was ready to toss it.

    I hope this helps! Let me know.

    Thanks, Zoë

  15. the photo is priceless, and the pizza looks incredible! Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw. Happy Halloween!

  16. Zoe, Thank you for one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. I made your gluten free pizza and it was better than some wheat versions I’ve made or eaten. The recipe makes a large batch.. hopefully it’s o.k. that froze the unused dough. Have you had success with that? Thanks again.

    1. Hi Debra, I think the recipe you’re referring to is the one in the cast iron pan? If so, that is a King Arthur Baking recipe and you can find it by clicking here.

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