You can go all out homemade if you want to make your own crust. I'll give you a figurative gold star if you do. Or, you can be like me and buy dough from Trader Joe's or Publix. FYI: Trader Joe's is less than half the price of Publix - $1.09 vs. $2.29 in the Atlanta area, and while there is a little less in the package, it's still plenty for a medium sized pizza.
Premade Pizza Dough
A palmful of cornmeal
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoons Butter (depending on how much you like butter)
5-8 ounces Italian Blend Cheese (Mozzarella, Asiago, Provalone, White Cheddar, Romano)
1 Tablespoon Oregano - divided in half (reserve 1/2 tablespoon for after pizza is cooked)
1/2 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Basil
EVOO to prevent sticking
Sliced Red Tomatoes
Sliced Red Bell Peppers
Whole Leaf Basil
1/2 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
Black, Green or Kalamatta Olives
- Preheat oven to 415.
- Follow instructions on premade dough - typically you want it to sit at room temperature for 20-25 minutes.
- Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat and add garlic. Roast garlic until aromatic, being sure not to burn. Keep on very low heat until step 6.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on a round pizza stone (if it's the first few times you have used the pizza stone, rub butter on it and then sprinkle cornmeal.)
- On a separate (non-stick) work surface work out the dough with EVOO coated fingers into a circular shape (or flip in the air if you think you are a professional). Once stretched out, transfer to the prepped pizza stone, and roll up the edges of the dough to create a lip.
- Brush the entire surface with 1/2 of the garlic butter mixture and place in oven for 10 minutes on the second to lowest rack. Doing this prior to adding the cheese (or sauce if you are doing a more traditional pizza) aides in creating a crisp crust. If you have a super thick crust you may want to add another 5-7 minutes baking time to this step.
- Remove crust from oven and sprinkle desired amount of cheese evenly. Sprinkle herbs evenly and add any of the desired optional ingredients. (The KISS concept is a good thing to remember when adding on options. KISS = keep it simple, stupid).
- Brush the remaining garlic butter mixture on the edge of the pizza and drizzle atop cheese. Return to oven another 8-10 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Cool about 5 minutes before cutting and adding an additional 1/2 tablespoon of oregano.