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Everyone has a favorite pizza spot — a place where you can grab a slice and drift off into heaven. Zesty tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and a charred crust combine to make the perfect pizza. While we all have a pizza place that we treasure, why not try making that same pizza at home? You may be a little skeptical, but trust us: You can make cheese pizza at home that will taste just as good as the pizzas from those fancy brick ovens — and maybe even better.
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1 ½ cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface
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Pour 1/2 cups warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until a sticky dough forms. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using.
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While you are making the pizza sauce, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Now that you’ve made the pizza dough from scratch, don’t settle for store-bought pizza sauce. Make the pizza sauce yourself in a few simple steps. All you’ll need is:
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
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To make the sauce, combine the puréed tomatoes with the tomato paste, minced garlic, and basil in a pot over medium-high heat until it warms through. Set aside.
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To make the ultimate cheese pizza, one cheese won’t cut it, so use two. We recommend a combination of mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
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Take your pizza dough out of the oiled bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll the pizza dough into a circle or a square, making sure to leave about an inch of thickness around each corner.
Top your pizza with your homemade pizza sauce and cheeses. Now it’s ready for the oven.
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Now that you’ve assembled your pizza, put it in the oven for about 13 to 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the dough is crisp.
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Top your ultimate cheese pizza with a few extra basil leaves, then serve.