Let’s make pizza!
Every Friday for years, Jeremy and I have done Friday night pizza night. Most nights we make our own pizza with homemade pizza dough. It is easy and delicious and there is something so satisfying about making your own pizza! It also means we never have to meal plan for Friday night.
I have a grain-free, gluten-free pizza dough on my site here.
In this post, we’re going to talk about our new favorite pizza dough, King Arthur’s Flour pizza dough. You can follow their directions and your pizza will be so delicious! We do things slightly different. Here is our method.
Making the Dough
On Friday night at about 4:00 pm, I make a double batch of the pizza dough using the paddle attachment with my KitchenAid Mixer. The dough consistency should be just a little sticky – not overly dry or so sticky that it is sticking aggressively to your hands or counter.
If your dough is too dry, add about 1 tablespoon of water and mix. Add more water as needed.
If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Add about 1 tablespoon and mix. Add more flour as needed.
After the dough comes together, I cut it in half. I take one half of the dough and put it in a baggie and place it directly in the freezer. This dough will be for next Friday night!
The other half of the dough is for our pizza tonight. I put the dough in an oiled bowl (the oil helps the pizza not stick to the bowl) and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap. I put the bowl in a warm, dry spot and let it rise for about 2 – 3 hours.
Baking the Pizza
After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 450°.
Remove the dough from the bowl and put it in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. You can use a cast iron skillet, a baking sheet, or a pizza stone.
Jeremy works the dough out with his hands to push it out to the edges of the cast iron skillet. Once the dough is evenly pressed around the skillet, he lets it sit for 15 minutes. The dough will pull back a bit in this time, so after 15 minutes Jeremy pushes the dough back out around the cast iron skillet.
We sprinkle a little bit of Fleur de Sel on the edges of the pizza dough. Fleur de Sel is finishing salt and is generally used after food is cooked to finish it, but we like the salt to cook into the crust.
Next, Jeremy pokes the dough several times. This helps prevent the dough from bubbling up while it cooks. We then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Once the dough comes out, Jeremy lifts the dough and adds about ½ tablespoon of olive oil. We do this because we like an extra crispy crust!
Now we add our toppings! Rao’s pizza sauce is our favorite pizza sauce! Then we add cheese, Tillamook Shredded Mozzarella is the most delcious and most melty cheese!
Now we add any toppings we like (I am very basic so I almost always spring for just cheese and pepperoni).
Once you add all the toppings you like, place back in the oven and cook until the cheese is melty and bubbly, about another 10 – 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven. We place the pizza immediately on a large cutting board and serve hot!
Frozen Pizza Dough
The next Thursday, I take my frozen pizza dough out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator so it can thaw. I keep it in its plastic baggie and just let it thaw.
The next day, Friday, I take the dough out of the refrigerator and remove it from the baggie and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rise. Prepare the pizza using the instructions above!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you let the second half of the dough you are going to freeze rise before placing it in the freezer?
Nope! I put it directly in the freezer right after the dough comes together.
Do you make your own pizza sauce?
Nope! And that is just my preference. But homemade pizza sauce is so easy to make and you can freeze it! Kendra from The Lazy Genius has a delicious homemade pizza sauce on her site.
My dough rose and something came up and we did not make pizza. What do I do with the dough?
This has happened to us! Good news; you can put the bowl with the risen dough straight into the refrigerator. It will be good for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. So, if you want to make it the next day, just remove it from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you make it. Let it rise again and then bake!
If you won’t be able to use the dough until the following week, just place the risen dough into a baggie or freezer safe container and put it in the freezer! Move it to the refrigerator the day before you make it to let it thaw. You will want to put it on the counter to rise again even though it has previously risen.
I made fresh pizza dough on Thursday night but want to wait to make it on Friday. What do I do with it?
As soon as your dough comes together, place it in an oiled bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator! The coldness of the refrigerator drastically reduces the dough from rising. The next day, a few hours before you want to eat the pizza, pull the bowl out, place in a dry warm place and let rise.
How do you make your BBQ Chicken Pizza?
We love making BBQ chicken pizza if we have leftover shredded chicken! For the sauce we use Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. This sauce alone is too spicy (even for Jeremy). So we mix ¼ cup of the TJ’s BBQ sauce with ¼ cup Rao’s pizza sauce!
Add the sauce to the dough, add the chicken and any other toppings (we do green bell peppers, red onions and slices of serrano pepper). Top with a mix of mozzarella and sharp cheddar. Serve with herb dressing!
I hope you try homemade pizza night! We look forward to it every week. There are also endless ways to make pizza dough (not just recipes but methods, like grilling!) and a magical amount of toppings! Here’s to finding your perfect Friday Night Pizza Night routine.
(If you would like to watch Jeremy and me make pizza, I have the video saved to Instagram here!)
Pizza Topping Ideas!
- Tomato sauce, spicy soppressata, chopped mushrooms (sautéed in butter and garlic), topped with mozzarella. After baking, drizzle with hot honey (honey with red pepper flakes).
- Ground beef (cooked with garlic and onion), pepperoni, and pepperoncini peppers.
- Pepperoni and pineapple (a salty, sweet combination similar to traditional Hawaiian pizza).
- Sausage and ricotta.
- Pepperoni, salami, broccoli, and banana peppers.
- Spicy Italian sausage, sweet Baby Ray’s sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, orange marmalade, onions, and bacon bits.
- Apricot jam, fontina cheese, and prosciutto.
- Prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese. After baking, top with arugula and drizzle with truffle oil.
- Italian sausage, crispy broccolini, deep sautéed onions.
- Tomato sauce, fresh garlic and spinach, Williams-Sonoma pizza seasoning, nutritional yeast, and turkey pepperoni.
- Ground beef, fry sauce and pizza sauce, red onion, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
- Caramelized onions, bacon, and black olives.
- Tomato sauce, mozzarella, chorizo, bleu cheese, jalapeños, buffalo wing sauce drizzle.
- Italian sausage, spicy pickled peppers, and fresh mozzarella. After baking, top with arugula dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese.
- Chorizo, elephant kale, and fresh mozzarella.
- Pepperoni, salami, sausage, pickled red onions, and banana peppers.
- Italian sausage, green peppers, and parmesan cheese.
- Buffalo sauce, mozzarella, buffalo cheese curds, black pepper bellavitano, bacon, and cilantro.
- Sausage, pepperoncini, green olive, and apple.
- Pesto for sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped curly kale, mozzarella, and goat cheese.
- Goat cheese, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives.
- Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and pine nuts.
- Homemade spicy pesto, broccoli, squash ribbons, red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, goat and mozzarella cheeses.
- Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and vegan cheese.
- Ricotta, spinach, roasted peppers, and kalamata olives.
- Spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and olives.
- Roasted broccoli, red peppers, artichokes, spinach, and ricotta cheese.
- Olive oil, mozzarella, parmesan cheese. Bake, then top with salad tossed in caesar dressing and parmesan shavings.
- Black olives and pineapple.
White or other Non-red Sauces
- Trader Joe’s blue cheese dip as a sauce. Trader Joe’s Quattro Formaggio cheese, sliced pears, and prosciutto.
- Alfredo sauce mixed with pesto. Grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms and arugula.
- Prosciutto, honey crisp apple, cheese. Olive oil and lots of garlic for the sauce.
- Alfredo sauce, chicken, and fresh grated garlic.
- Olive oil, taco meat, leeks, fresh mozzarella.
- Caramelized onions (use extra butter for the carmelized onions, then use the melted butter as the base for the pizza along with extra virgin olive oil), sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and mozzarella. Sprinkle with dried oregano.
- Sauce: mix honey with olive oil and fresh garlic. Smoked gouda, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, caramelized onions, bacon, green apples, dried sage.
- Trader Joe’s pepper jelly for the sauce. Mozzarella, goat cheese, and caramelized onions.
- Jalapeño cream cheese, mozzarella, and bacon.
- Canadian bacon, mushrooms, and sauerkraut.
- Sweet chili sauce, chicken, red onions, thinly sliced zucchini, chopped bell pepper, mozzarella. After baking, drizzle with sweet chili sauce and chopped fresh cilantro.
- Sweet potatoes, chicken, walnuts, smoked gouda, and parsley.
- ¼ cup Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce mixed with ¼ cup pizza sauce. Shredded pre-cooked chicken (perfect for leftover chicken), red onions, and sliced serrano peppers.
- Buffalo sauce, grilled buffalo chicken pieces, freshly grated low-moisture mozzarella, crispy bits of bacon. Add a ranch swirl after it comes out of the oven.
- BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, red onions, smoked gouda, Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy jalapeños, sprinkle with fresh cilantro after baking.
- Pesto, chicken, goat cheese, and caramelized onions in a balsamic reduction.
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on dough before adding the pizza sauce.
- Purchase pizza boxes from kitchen supply stores and deliver pizza to your neighbors.
- Ooni Pizza Oven is fantastic (so many people commented about this!).
- Sprinkle flaky sea salt or Fleur de Sel on your pizza crust before baking!