Homemade Pizza

We also made pizza the same day we made the pandan cupcakes. Since Alex doesn’t eat pizza, he was simply excited about making them. For Keith and me however, it felt like a long, torturous wait till the moment we could sink our teeth into those beautiful, mouth-watering pies. It didn’t help that Keith and I hadn’t had pizza for a while as we finally decided last winter to stop shelling out money for delivery pizza. They were beginning to feel like luxury items with the price the stores are charging anymore.Well, since I don’t have a favorite pizza (dough) recipe, I decided to try something new and finally settled on two different recipes – one from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) and the other from King Arthur Flour (KAF). Between these two, I definitely prefer the ATK recipe more for its texture and flavor. “Pepperoni Pan Pizza” was originally published (I’m fairly sure) in the Cook’s Country magazine and later in The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2007 cookbook, which I own. It is different from the usual pizza dough recipe in that it contains milk as one of its ingredients. The milk supposedly helps soften the dough, hence creating a soft and chewy interior while a good dose of olive oil in the pan helps crisp up the bottom and sides. The resulting pizza is similar to and easily rivals the Pizza Hut pan pizza, which happens to be one of my favorites (Keith thought these homemade ones tasted better than Pizza Hut’s).

ATK Pepperoni Pan Pizza - in addition to pepperoni, we made Ham and Pineapple Pizza too (we used canned pineapple tidbits, squeezed to remove excess juice)

In contrast, the KAF Pizza Crust (click here for the recipe) baked up light and crispy throughout. Of course, we did form the pizzas thinner – we made two 9″ x 13″ pizzas, about ¾” thick each. If I ever use this recipe again, I would make just one 9″ x 13″ for a thicker and chewier crust. Both the ATK and KAF doughs were easy to work with and I like the fact that I can bake the pizzas in cake/sheet pans and not on a baking stone, which I don’t have. The one thing I don’t like about the KAF recipe is that the crust has to be pre-baked before being topped, an extra step that the ATK recipe does not have. Check out the pictures below – I overbaked the first crust during the pre-baking and it came out fairly hard after the final baking. There is apparently a fine line between trying to get the crust brown around the edges but still pale on top (as per instruction) and having the whole thing turn lightly browned. So for the next one, I made sure I took it out the moment it looked set on top but not browned yet (not even on the edges). This time, the pizza turned out crisp (not hard) after the final baking.

Too hard
Just right

Between the two crusts, Keith and I find the ATK’s to be more flavorful. Not only that, the ATK recipe also includes what has got to be the simplest pizza sauce recipe I’ve ever come across to date and ohh…so delicious (I love it when that happens. BTW, I think this sauce tastes way better than Pizza Hut’s sauce, which I had just been tolerating simply because I like the pan crust. I guess it’s official, no more Pizza Hut pizza for me :)) as well as a really nifty trick of preventing the pepperoni from swimming in pools of grease on top of the cooked pizza – just microwave the pepperoni slices between layers of paper towels to remove the extra fat before using them. Overall, I admit that homemade pizza is certainly not as convenient as delivery pizza, but these ATK pan pizzas are definitely well-worth the time and effort. Take a look at these beauties…are you drooling yet?

ATK Pepperoni Pizza
ATK Ham and Pineapple Pizza
ATK pizza crust
KAF Ham and Pineapple Pizza

Below is the recipe for the America’s Test Kitchen pizza crust and sauce:

½ cup olive oil
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons skim milk, warmed to 110 degrees
2 teaspoon sugar
2⅓ cups (11⅔ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 envelope (about 2¼ teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
½ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper

For the full preparation method, check out Cook’s Country website (it has a 14-day free trial membership). Note: looks like the ATK recipe can also be found in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book (love this cookbook!) under the name “Deep-Dish Pepperoni Pizza.” The recipe looks to be basically the same as the “Pepperoni Pan Pizza” except for a couple of minor differences in the instructions. For example, it uses a food processor instead of a standing mixer to make the dough.

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One Reply to “Homemade Pizza”

  1. […] I used the same recipe and baked the pizza in the oven. I much prefer this whole wheat dough or the pan pizza dough for oven-baked […]

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