Inexpensive, delicious, and easy to make, homemade pizza is a fantastic weeknight meal or a Sunday afternoon cooking project. What makes it even better than the slice from around the corner is that you can experiment with your favorite toppings, incorporate healthy additions (if you wish), and also have a little fun in the process.
The possibilities are endless: roasted squash with a béchamel sauce, broccolini with garlic and Parmesan, a four cheese pizza, and, of course, more classic toppings like pepperoni, sausage, or mushroom. Though it looks simple, the process can be intimidating for home cooks. Who hasn’t experienced misshapen dough, a burnt crust, and numerous other snags when making pizza? Plus, the idea of working with yeast can scare even the most adventurous cook.
My first homemade pizza experience was a little disastrous — I overworked the dough and it ended up being more like deep-dish pizza than the thin crust I was going for. But my pizzas have been a success ever since I attended the Pizza a Casa Pizza School in Lower Manhattan. Not only was it educational, but it may have been one of the more fun cooking classes I’ve taken.
I left the school with my red Pizza a Casa apron covered in flour, carrying two boxes of pizza and a huge grin on my face. With owner Mark Bello’s easy instructions, foolproof dough recipe, and clever tips, I successfully made three pizzas, one of which was a dessert pie composed of nutella and bananas (so good). And the best part? We made all of the pizzas in a typical, home oven. Nothing fancy or high powered about it.
So home cooks, fear not, because after reading this article you will be well equipped to make crispy and tasty pies at home, even if you don’t have a 900 degree oven. From learning how to easily stretch and shape dough to finding the right ratio of sauce to cheese, Mark Bello explains all.