Something about homemade pizza satisfies a different craving than from a pizzeria (or Costco, who doesn’t love Costco pizza!). This recipe is so adaptable to what you like, so feel free to really make this your own. This recipe can be made into a half day project if you are looking for one, or it can be simplified into an easy weeknight dinner.
I like to use The King Arthur Baking Company recipe for sourdough pizza crust, but you can use whatever recipe you like, or get pizza dough pre-made at the grocery store, Trader Joe’s has a great one! I like using my sourdough starter for pizza crust, because it feels more forgiving than bread, which I still struggle with (don’t we all have better bread aspirations?)
Once your dough (homemade or pre-bought) is ready to go, oil a sheet pan and put your dough in the pan, pushing it slowly to the edges. If you need to let it relax for a few minutes, that can help if it is feeling stiff or stubborn. When your dough fills the pan nicely, let it rest for a few minutes just to help the yeast and gluten get happy.
I like to use bottled tomato sauce for this, but I have a strong aversion to chunks, so I make sure to throw my Rao’s in a blender first! Use whatever flavor makes you happy, marinara, vodka, or arrabbiata all work really well! Spread a medium thin layer of sauce over your dough, using a large spoon or a small ladle.
Toppings are so variable, but I like to make sure to use a mix of different textured items. I like to put items in the first layer that don’t need much cooking or crisping, and items that I really want to get oozy and crispy near the top. For example, I start by putting sliced garlic right on the sauce, because I don’t want it to burn, then I’ll do cooked ham, thinly sliced cremini mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, spinach, thinly sliced Serrano, jalapeño, or Anaheim pepper, and whatever else I have in the fridge! Homemade pizza is such a good opportunity to use up little bits of things you’ve got hanging around in the kitchen.
Now the important part here is to cook it following the directions on whatever dough you use, and add your cheese half way through cooking! Because pizza needs to be at such a high temperature in the oven, your cheese will likely burn before you get a nice fluffy chewy crust. So pull it out with about 7 minutes left of your cook time, and add your cheese! I do fresh mozzarella, but you can use what you like! Once it is all done and I have crispy edges and my cheese has little brown bubble bits on it (I like things with a little color on them) pull your pizza out and top with any fresh herbs that you have, basil, chives, or oregano are my favorites, and also a little freshly grated Parmesan doesn’t hurt!
Let it cool for a minute, slide it using tongs onto your work surface or cutting board, and cut it into any shape you like. My fiancee and I tend to like different things on our pizza, so this recipe is perfect and totally big enough to be able to customize different halves or quadrants depending on what you and your family like. Usually in our house one side is meat/cheese and one side (my side) is a little more veg heavy- no judgement here!
Here’s a list of other fun toppings that you can mix and match:
marinated artichoke hearts
shredded chicken (rotisserie? Yum!)
shaved brussels sprouts
thinly sliced potatoes (purple potatoes give a fun color!)
ricotta, fontina, gruyere, asiago- the sky’s the limit with cheese options!
sun dried tomatoes
roasted red peppers
arugula (I love to very very lightly dress arugula with evoo and salt and put a big handful on pizza as an after cooking topping, it adds a bright, fresh flavor and texture!)
Go nuts, it’s your pizza! You want pineapple, American cheese, or Caesar salad dressing? Nobody can stop you, live your life!
Sheet Pan Pizza
A framework for homemade pizza!
- Pizza dough
- Sauce of your choice (tomato, pesto, béchamel… whatever you like)
- Toppings of your choice (if you’re stuck, pick one meat, one veg, and some pine nuts, done!)
- Cheese of your choice (don’t be afraid to use more than one!)
- After cooking toppings of your choice (more cheese, fresh herbs, more sauce, whatever you want!)
- Oil a half sheet pan, and slowly push your dough into the sides and corners until it is an even thickness
- Put your sauce and toppings of choice on, but hold off on the cheese for a sec!
- Follow the cooking directions for whatever dough you are using, and when you have 7 ish minutes left of cooking time, add your cheese
- When the pizza is done, pull it out and top with whatever additional toppings you like!
- Let it cool for a minute or two, and then slide the whole pizza onto a cutting board using tongs.
- Slice and Enjoy!