Baking: Simple Pizza

Homemade Pizza

To mark the start of the Beijing Olympics and my brother's week-long stay at home, I finally crossed something off of my to-do list and made some pizza. I have long wanted to make homemade pizza since I saw that brick-oven pizzerias in the city, such as The Wedge, used simple-looking crusts for their yummy pies. I don't have a brick oven in my house nor a baking stone, so my crust didn't have a nice, smoky tinge to it. However, the pizza still tasted great and was an awesome treat to munch on while watching the Opening Ceremonies. The crust was a wonderful "platter" for my toppings: chicken breast tenders lightly sauteed with garlic and sweet onions, grape tomatoes, baby spinach leaves, swiss cheese, and tomato sauce. The best part was that the recipe was super easy to put together and the ingredients were things commonly found in my pantry. It would be criminal if you didn't attempt this pizza at least once in our life.

Homemade Pizza Crust (via Smitten Kitchen)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • cornmeal
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the yeast, in a medium-to-large bowl. Add the olive oil and water, and stir by hand until the mixture starts to form a rounded ball. An extra tablespoon or two of water might need to be added to achieve this effect. Dump the contents of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface; knead the dough until it comes together into a ball. Place the ball into a large bowl lightly greased with oil or sprayed with oil, turning the dough to cover with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise undisturbed for a couple of hours, until it's doubled in size.

Dump the risen dough back onto a lightly floured surface, and gently work it into a ball shape. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the back of a baking sheet or a pizza stone with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to about 550 degrees F. Roll out the dough to fit whichever baking apparatus is being used. Place dough onto baking sheet and cover with toppings, making sure not to go crazy with the amount of toppings. Bake for 10 minutes until the crust is slightly brown (if you like crispy).


  1. Steph said...

    Cecilia, your pizza looks so delcious, espeically with the whole grape tomatoes! I love your choice of toppings.  

  2. Megan said...

    Wow! Very impressive - and congrats on learning something new! I only just learned how to make pizza this year. And it's not as hard as I thought!  

  3. ofifteen said...

    wow, that really looks delicious as well as gorgeous.

    'designing your life'  

  4. Cecilia said...

    Thank you! I was really excited when I saw the result of my first attempt at pizza baking in the oven. It's definitely not as hard as it looks, and the recipe turns out some awesome crust.