09 Aug The Best Homemade Pizza Hack & Recipe Ideas
One of our favourite go-to recipes is homemade pizza! It’s super easy to make, and way yummier than most delivery options! We’ve been making these for years so I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade that I’ll be sharing with you. Another great thing about homemade pizzas is that you can put whatever you want on them. It doesn’t matter if you like a classic tomato sauce and cheese, or if you want something fancier (like my prawn, butternut squash and pesto pizza below). You can make your pizza however you like!
The pizza you see here is a caramelized onion pizza. It’s by far our favourite! Doesn’t matter what other pizzas we’re making, we always make a caramelized onion one! We love making our pizzas together, it’s a fun way to spend time with one another. If you have a larger family, even better! Get everyone working on a different aspect (dough rolling, cheese grating, vegetable cutting) and make it a family affair! It makes your final homemade pizza that much more delicious when you’ve all worked together to create it! So keep reading to learn my number one pizza-making hack, the recipe steps to make your own pizza, and a few flavour combo ideas!
The All-Time Best Homemade Pizza Hack
This hack makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE. I promise. It makes homemade pizza an absolute breeze to prep and make. Here’s the hack – Buy the pizza dough pre-made!! We get ours at Whole Foods, and I just saw it the other day at Loblaws. At Whole Foods, you can even ask them to roll it out for you (thanks for that tip Erin!). I usually just buy the dough balls as-is, since Guido enjoys rolling the dough out at home and making a huge mess with flour everywhere while he channels his Italian genes! 😜 If you want to do the same, it’s really easy! Just flour a surface (i.e. your countertop), and start rolling out your dough, sprinkling flour as needed. Roll out your dough to your desired size, and voila!
The pizza making process itself is pretty straightforward – a bit of baking, add your toppings, some more baking, and you’re done! All in, all it usually takes us maybe 30-45 minutes (give or take) to make our pizzas. That’ll depend on how many you’re making, how quickly you can prep your toppings, etc., but it’s not a long process. Here are the steps to make your homemade pizza:
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone, be sure to put the pizza stone in while the oven is still cold, and let it heat up with the oven, otherwise you’ll risk cracking it.
2. Roll out your pizza dough to your desired size, and poke holes all around it with a fork.
3. Once your oven (and pizza stone) are hot, put the rolled pizza dough on the stone or standard baking sheet, and back in the oven. Keep an eye on it as sometimes an air bubble will form and you just have to poke it with a knife/fork to release the air. At about the 5-10 minute mark or when the pizza dough is light golden-brown, take it out of the oven and flip your dough over.
4. Spread your tomato sauce around the top of the pizza (which used to be the underside before you flipped your dough), and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. I use a regular organic tomato pasta sauce from Costco, but any tomato sauce will do!
5. Sprinkle all your grated cheese on top, and put the pizza into the oven for another minute or so until the cheese starts to melt.
6. Put your toppings on top of the melted cheese, and put the pizza back into the oven on broil for a few last short minutes to finish it off. You want to get that lightly-browned, delicious, bubbly cheese effect going!
7. In these last few steps, don’t go very far from your kitchen. You want to keep an eye on your pizza as it will overcook and/or burn quickly if you leave it too long. Every oven varies, so that’s why the times are estimates. I’ll usually just tidy up while the pizza is in its various baking stages, as it’s a bit of back and forth. But you’ll get the hang of it!
8. Take your pizza out, cut it into slices, and serve your hungry crowd! Enjoy!
Recipe Ideas & Flavour Combos
Like I mentioned, we’ve made many, many pizzas over the years! We’ve made them for parties (though I don’t recommend this as it’s a lot of kitchen work, which goes against my easy party-planning tips), for family dinners, but mostly on regular weeknights. One of our constants for any pizza is mozzarella cheese, and a generous sprinkling of oregano. These are just ideas, so have fun with them! You can put almost anything on your pizzas, so get creative!
Caramelized Onion – This is our go to pizza! It’s a no-fail, super easy, and always delicious pizza! We use about four medium-size onions for one pizza. To caramelize your onions, cut the onions in half and then slice them thinly. On medium heat, cook them on the stove. Don’t let them brown/sear right away. You want to slowly cook the onions over low to medium heat to caramelize them. I usually have them on the stove for about 20-ish minutes, while I’m rolling the dough and baking my pizza.
Tomatoes, Basil, Black Olives – Another classic and regular pizza in our repertoire! Slice your tomatoes, chop up your basil, cut up your olives in halves or quarters. Sprinkle everything over a tomato sauce and mozzarella base, and finish off with that generous sprinkling of oregano all over the pizza!
Spinach/Kale and Sundried Tomatoes – I recently tried this for the first time and it was really good! It’s a great and simple veggie pizza. I’ll sometimes add thinly sliced red peppers as well for a nice crunch.
Butternut Squash, Prawns, Pine Nuts, Pesto, and Goat Cheese – My mother-in-law first introduced me to this pizza, and my mind was blown! It’s a fancier pizza, and absolutely delicious! First, thinly slice your butternut squash rounds (you want them super thin!), and lay them on a baking sheet to roast/bake. You’ll want to also pre-cook your prawns – sauté them in a pan with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Once your dough is cooked, spread your pesto over it, and then add the toppings. Squash rounds go first, then the prawns, goat cheese and pine nuts. Once all your toppings are on, broil for a minute or so. Be prepared to wow your guests!
So there you go! I hope you have fun making your pizza! While it’s not the “healthiest” meal, you can actually get whole wheat pizza dough at both Whole Foods and Loblaws. We usually have pizzas as a treat, so we go for the classic white dough! If it’s just two of you, one pizza is plenty. But if you make two pizzas, you’ll have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day! And if you’re looking for a delicious dessert to follow your pizzas, how about an Oreo caramel chocolate swirl cheesecake? 😉
You really can’t go wrong with pizza, and it’s such a fun dinner to cook together with family and friends! Get out all the toppings and everyone can add what they like! Do you have a favourite kind of pizza? Have you tried a great flavour combo? I’m always looking for suggestions!
Enjoy your homemade pizza!