I developed the recipe and method over time (a year) using a notebook to keep track of steps and ingredients, modifying it based upon results and polling. I have made pizza almost every Saturday night for many years, for my family and about 50%+ of the time we have guests. Making homemade pizza allows you to spend time with your family / company and not spend all your time in the kitchen, cleanup is a breeze. I do it to give my wife a night off from cooking (she is a top notch baker and cook).
I now have it down to a science. This Instructable should take most of the experimentation out of it, except for minor tweaks for your stove and pans. Once you have it down it is easy, while you cannot please everyone; nearly everyone likes pizza, let alone good pizza.
2 10x15 (a little bigger or smaller your choice) Heavy guage steel baking pans with ¾ inch rim. Mine are jelly roll pans
2 Extendable Wire racks capable of supporting the above pans
Roasting pan (without rack used only to support heating pad due to height of my baking racks)
Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
1 tsp Kosher Salt
(1 teaspoon table salt = 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt I prefer kosher)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
¼ tsp Oregano
1/8 tsp Marjoram
1 tsp Parmesan Cheese (for fresh grated ½ tsp more)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 28oz can ground peeled tomatoes (high grade not too sweet, I use Pastine, do not use puree or whole)
2 1lb packages of pizza dough a little extra is fine (bakery fresh for best results)
8oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
3-4 hours (don’t be afraid) it only requires 1/2 hour of interaction, the rest is rise time, drink wine and look busy.
Heat: 375deg F
Cook Time: 45 - 55 min.
If you expect 3 pieces each you can serve 8 but don’t count on it. Serve a soup, salad or appetizers and you can serve 8 but the pizza will go.
Step 1: Background, Dough Selection and Baking Pan Selection
Having worked in pizza parlor (cook and prep cook) as a kid, I have first hand knowledge how to make pizza. The problem was how to make it without making 50 gallons of sauce, 50 lbs of dough and $5000 pizza/bread oven. Minor mistakes when making large quantities don’t show, mess up with two pounds of dough and everyone knows. Hence I urge you all to acquaint yourselves with the local Italian bakery or at least the fresh Italian bread dough from your market, dough is the hardest to make in small batches, unless you have the skills or a machine, go to the bakery or market.
Every recipe I have ever read or used has been incomplete, process steps are always left out and equipment is never mentioned. I approached the search for homemade pizza like a science experiment and have refined the ingredients and each step in the process. This may be tuned to my oven and baking material, yours may vary slightly (especially cooking times check the progress if you must but remember it will add baking time). It is presented here in voluminous detail so that there is no guesswork. Modify it as you wish for your oven / pans.
Baking Pan Selection:
2 Heavy (may even be commercial) gauge steel jelly roll pans (10in x 15in) mine are stamped Brick Oven, Chicago IL. I got them about 25 years ago. You can use cookie sheets with a ¾ inch edge, but they must be heavy gauge steel black is better; this is what makes it crispy on the bottom. Do not use non stick coated pans! Do not go cheap here most sheets are crap now days.