In writing our cookbook Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It!, we discovered that making pies from scratch is far more fun than dialing for delivery. Here, we share easy recipes, simple techniques, and a bunch of tips and tricks to help you cook up some quality family time in the kitchen and a delicious meal everyone will devour.
Every great pizza starts with a yummy crust. These recipes are two of our foolproof favorites. You can streamline your pizza night by preparing the dough ahead of time or by using the dough's rising time (about an hour) to prep your pizza toppings and make a salad or side dish.
Olive Oil Crust
This recipe yields a crispy, traditional crust like the one you get at your local pizzeria.
Whole Wheat Crust
Including whole wheat flour in this dough means it has a higher protein content and twice as much fiber as the olive oil recipe above. The result is a slightly chewier, heartier crust.
To use either dough:
First, prepare your surface. A pizza stone yields the crispiest crust, but baking sheets also work well. If you're using a stone, warm it in the oven for 30 minutes at the temperature given in your recipe. Lightly flour your pizza peel (which you'll use to place the dough on the hot stone) before putting the dough on it. If you're using a baking sheet, lightly flour it first. Use a quarter of the dough for a personal-size pizza, half for a 12-inch pie. Dimple and stretch the dough to the desired shape. Don't spread the dough all the way to the rim of the baking sheet or the crust won't be crunchy.
Basic burrito ingredients—salsa, refried beans in lieu of tomato sauce—give this pie its crowd-pleasing appeal. Adding the avocado and cilantro after the pizza has baked keeps their flavors at their freshest.
Pot Pie Pizza
It's easy to turn a classic comfort dish into a kid- and parent-pleasing pie. Here, we replaced the tomato base with a simple herb sauce. Veggies are the star of our recipe but add cooked, cubed chicken if you like.
Peking Chicken Pizza
This Asian-inspired pie features a slightly sweet base of hoisin sauce. Layering the chicken between cheese keeps it moist during baking.