The Home Grown Farm

The Home Grown Mom Blog

Dinner and a Movie, the Sequel

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This right here is what we’re going for. So good I had to take a picture before it was gone.

Two blog posts in one week!?!  It’s hard to contain the excitement, I know.

As promised, below you’ll find my go-to recipe for homemade pizza complete with my favorite tricks, gathered from various sources and incorporated into one ultimate recipe.

The basic dough recipe is very simple.  You can make it as late as an hour or so before dinner or as early as the morning of.  My personal preference is to start it mid-afternoonish.  I like to get the dough going no later than 3:00 or 4:00 if we’re planning to eat between 5:30 and 6:00.

Pizza Dough

2 1/4 cups flour (white or whole wheat or some combination)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. yeast

1 tsp. sugar

3/4 cup lukewarm water

3 Tbsp. olive oil (plus more for coating the bowl)


1.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix.

2.  Add the water and the olive oil and mix to combine.

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If you add the oil first, stir, then add the water you’ll end up with a slightly stiffer dough. Adding the water, then the oil, then stirring them both at the same time gives you a more pliable dough. The first will give you that cracker-like finish once cooked, the latter a more traditional crust.

3.  Once the dough is combined (with little to no flour on the side of the bowl), begin kneading by hand for 4-5 minutes.  NOTE:  You may need more flour or water to get the dough the right consistency.  Again, you’re looking for all of the flour to be incorporated without an overly moist dough.

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Not too sticky and nearly all the flour is mixed in. Perfect.

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This is my dough after 4 minutes of kneading by hand. It’s mostly smooth and not too tacky. It’ll stick to my hand slightly but comes clean when I pull it away.

4.  Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning once to coat the dough.  Cover with saran wrap and let it rise at least 1 hour or until you’re ready to cook.  If you’ve got more than 4 hours to let the dough rise and it starts to get really big, just punch it down, flip it over, and let it continue to rise till you’re ready to use it.  Repeat as necessary.  Pizza dough is very forgiving.

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Make sure to coat up the sides of the bowl so that the dough doesn’t stick as it rises.

5.  Before cooking the dough, be sure that it has risen at least till doubled.  At this point, if your spouse walks in and says “It’s Friday.  You don’t need to cook, let’s all go out to dinner!” you can divide the dough in half, shape into slightly flattened discs, place in greased Ziploc baggies and toss in the freezer.  When you decide to cook it, pull it out of the freezer and let it warm up in the bag till it’s room-temperature (2-4 hours).  Sans that scenario, continue with the steps below.

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This is dough that has risen, been punched down, and risen again, all ready to cook.

Sooooo easy.  Honestly, it’ll probably take you as long to read this post as it would to get the pizza dough together.

Now, before you cook the pizza you’ll want to gather the following items: a pizza stone, parchment paper, a pizza peel – that giant spatula-looking thing – or a cookie sheet/cutting board, a wire rack for cooling cookies/cakes, your favorite collection of Dean Martin music.

Step 1:  Put on a little Dino to get you in the right frame of mind.  If you are fortunate to have his version of “That’s Amore” start there and then let him croon away whilst you get cooking.

Oh, Dean...

Oh, Dean…

Step 2:  Place the pizza stone in the oven with the rack as close to the bottom of the oven as possible.  Set the oven to 500 and let the stone warm up for at least 15 minutes.  If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can certainly use a pizza pan or cookie sheet.  However a pizza stone might set you back all of $15 and it is well worth the expense.  I use mine all the time for cooking pizzas and pitas.  You can also find a kit which will include a pizza peel (wooden or metal) for around $25.

Step 3:  While the stone warms up, divide your dough in half and roll the dough out into a mostly circular shape.  There are lots of methods for doing this and I prefer a little of everything.  I roll it out to begin with then stretch it with my hands, then roll a little more till I get the size and shape I want.  I generally shape the dough directly on the parchment paper which is sitting on top of my pizza peel for easy transition into the oven.  I have tried so many methods for rolling out the pizza and getting it into the oven – flour, cornmeal, oil – and the parchment paper is THE BEST.  It’s easy, effective, and it completely minimizes the mess.

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The parchment mostly covers it up but my pizza peel is under there.

Step 4:  Once your dough is shaped, tuck the edges under for a thicker crust (if you like), drizzle some olive oil on top and spread across the dough.  This creates a barrier between the crust and the sauce and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

This has been shaped and the edges are tucked under.  Now we need to spread out that olive oil and add the sauce and toppings.

This has been shaped and the edges are tucked under. Now we need to spread out that olive oil and add the sauce and toppings.

Step 5:  Spread 3 tablespoons of your favorite sauce on top of the olive oil, add 3-4 ounces shredded mozzarella and the toppings of your choice.

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The picture is a little blurry but the pizza was oh so delicious.

Step 6:  Transfer the parchment paper with the pizza on top to your pizza stone and cook for 6-8 minutes.  Be sure to watch carefully until you get the feel for how quickly your oven cooks the pizza.

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Clearly, I tend to use one piece of parchment paper to bake multiple pizzas.

Step 7:  Remove from oven once the dough is golden brown and the cheese is fully melted.  I like to scoot the pizza off of the parchment paper and directly on to the cookie sheet to cool.  Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.  Repeat steps 3-7 for the second pizza.  This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re feeding a crowd.

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Resist the temptation to dig right in and let it rest for a few minutes so the toppings stay put when you slice the pizza.

In terms of sauce, I have yet to find a pizza sauce recipe that I just love.  Sometimes I’ll throw together a quick sauce with either tomato paste, tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes plus garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasonings; other times I use sauce from a jar.  Either way, you can put the leftover sauce in muffin cups (I’ve got the silicone ones and they work great) and place them in the freezer.  Once the sauce freezes, dump it into a freezer-safe baggie and pull out sauce as you need it.  I also use this method with my cheese.  I buy the giant block of mozzarella at Sam’s Club, shred it all, and then put it some individual baggies and toss in the freezer.  This makes for extra-easy prep the day of.

Some of our favorite topping combinations are:

Pepperoni (a classic)

Ham and Pineapple

Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Green Chile (that’s chile with an “e” for my fellow New Mexicans)

Ultimate Veggie – tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, spinach, Swiss chard, onions, jalapenos (especially the jalapenos from our homemade sweet-hot pickles)

Kansas City BBQ – grilled chicken breast (usually from leftovers, sliced into thin strips), purple onions, and BBQ sauce instead of the traditional pizza sauce

Add a little fresh parmesan, pop in a movie, and enjoy with your beverage of choice.  What a lovely way to kick off the summer!

Speaking of summer, those temperatures they are a risin’ so be sure to properly store your produce once you get home.  In order to get the most out of those verdant greens, let them sit in an ice bath for 10 minutes and then place in an airtight bag or container while still wet.  They’ll keep forever that way.  For other tips and tricks click here: The Home Grown Farm Tips and Tricks.

Now, take us out, Dean…

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”

Christy Rolf Signature






  1. Amy says:

    For a great thin crust and keeping your house cool in the Texas heat, grill the pizza. Roll the dough out thin and place on preheated grill, when that side is done (only takes a few min) take off gril put sauce and toppings on side that was touching the grill. Put back on grill to let bottom get crispy and cheese melt and enjoy! Additionally large toritlla’s can also be used for a super quick thin crust pizza.

    • Christy Rolf says:

      Great suggestions, Amy! You can also use biscuit dough if you want the thickness but don’t want to wait for the dough to rise.

  2. Candice says:

    Classic Christy recipe. Love your pizza! By the way, the veggie sloppy joes were a huge hit in my house! We gobbled them up while singing Adam Sandler’s ‘Sloppy Joe’ song;). The girls never even noticed the vegetables were mixed in!

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