How to Make Artisinal Pizza

Reader Contribution by Monica Sharrock
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Artisanal pizza with homemade dough, from-scratch marinara, and colorful garden veggies. Does it get any better? My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This popular comfort food was on the menu when my sister and I got together for a little cooking party over the holidays. We made a simple pepperoni pizza for the kids and spiced it up with bell pepper and red onion for the grown-ups. It was so delicious and comforting—the perfect thing to warm up a cold evening. Read on, and learn how to craft your own artisanal pizza.

Homemade Dough Recipe

3 1/2 -4 cups flour (plus more for rolling)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 packet yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp., plus 2 tsp. olive oil
Dash of finely chopped dried/fresh herbs/seasonings—garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley are great

Add yeast and sugar to ¾ cup very warm (not hot) water. Allow it to sit five minutes. It will bubble to let you know it is working.

Add half of the flour, the yeast mixture, salt, and 2 tbsp. olive oil to the bowl of a stand mixer. This can also be worked by hand, with a bit of muscle.

Using the bread dough hook attachment, work the ingredients, gradually adding in the remaining flour and desired herbs/seasonings. If you have a bowl guard, I recommend using it at this point. Some of the flour may splatter out of the bowl otherwise.

Once all ingredients have been worked, you should have a nice little ball of dough. If it is sticky to the touch, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface, kneading until you have a smooth, round ball of dough.

Grease a large bowl with the final 2 tsp. olive oil, add dough ball, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and place in a warm area until the dough doubles in size. This should take about an hour.

Finally, turn dough out on a lightly floured workspace and divide it into two equal pieces. Cover each with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest twelve minutes.

Marinara Sauce

Butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cups wine (red or white is fine)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 can tomato paste

Heat butter or olive oil. Add onions and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes

Add wine to the onions and garlic. Cook until bubbly and reduced by half.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and sugar. Add some salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 min.

Add parmesan cheese, and stir until melted throughout the sauce. Add parsley, and stir.

NOTE: This makes more than enough for the pizza requirements. I save excess by placing in freezer-safe containers, leaving ½ inch of headspace. I also often add extra to spaghetti or lasagna the following night. Use tomato products stored from your summer garden when possible.

Basic Homemade Pizza

Pizza dough
Three tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups of mozzarella cheese per pizza
1/2-1 cup marinara per pizza
Desired toppings: bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, spinach, pepperoni, etc.
Dash of salt

In a small saucepan, melt a few tablespoons of butter. Add minced garlic and a touch of salt.

Using a rolling pin, roll one ball of dough into a rectangular shape. Place on a cooking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray or greased with olive oil/butter.

Spread the marinara sauce onto the crust, leaving about an inch of crust showing on all sides.

Using a pastry brush, spread the butter mixture onto the exposed crust.

Sprinkle the cheese onto the marinara.

Layer on your favorite toppings.

Place in oven for 8-12 minutes, or until done.

Repeat steps 2-7 for the second pizza.

This pizza is truly amazing. Make it for your friends or family this weekend, and they will surely ask you to make it a regular occurrence. I encourage you to be creative with this recipe and experiment with seasonal flavors. Use what you have on hand! Pizza is so versatile. Being winter, you might try adding a bit of kale, shredded carrot/purple cabbage, and red onion. Grab a nice glass of wine, invite a few friends over, and enjoy this delicious artisanal pizza. I can’t wait to hear what you think.