Tag Archives: Pizza from Scratch

Homemade Pizza Part III – assembly

26 Dec

mozzarella & mushroomsOnce you have the dough and sauce ready, homemade pizza is a cinch. I often make both components well in advance and store them in the fridge for up to two days in advance, a trick that allows this dinner to come together relatively quickly.  The recipes for pizza dough and tomato sauce that I posted previously make two medium thin-crust pizzas, enough to serve two to four people. I would suggest using at least 8 oz of shredded mozzarella (e.g. one cheap grocery store block) per pizza if you want to make a pie with the cheese-to-sauce ratio shown above. More cheese, however, it always welcome, and I have topped that mozzarella base with goat cheese and fresh mozzarella slices with great results. Adding fresh basil just after the pizza comes out of the oven provides a great burst of traditional pizzeria-style flavor, and I highly recommend it. However, if you can’t find any fresh herbs, it’s hard to go wrong with the magical equation of bread + tomato sauce + cheese…

prosciutto & arugula


  • Two prepared portions of pizza dough (e.g. one batch of the dough recipe)
  • One batch of tomato sauce
  • 16 oz mozzarella cheese
  • Cornmeal (enough so the dough doesn’t stick to the counter)
  • Parchment paper
  • Fresh basil
  • Other toppings of your choice

olives & basil


1. Preheat your oven to its highest temperature, which is normally ≥500F. If you’re using a baking stone, make sure to preheat it in the oven so it can get hot gradually.

2. Take the dough out of the fridge, cover lightly with plastic wrap or with an overturned bowl, and allow to rise for 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the counter with cornmeal, then roll the dough out until it is quite thin, at least 12″ in diameter. If you prefer a thicker crust, make the necessary adjustments.

4. If you are using a pizza pan, transfer to the rolled-out dough to the pan at this stage. If you are using a baking stone, flip a 9×13 baking sheet over and cover with parchment paper. Transfer the flattened dough to this makeshift pizza peel.

5. Top the dough with tomato sauce, using the back of a large spoon to spread it out relatively evenly over the dough. Leave a 1/2″ to 1″ margin around the edges of the crust.

6. Sprinkle the sauce with the shredded mozzarella and whatever other toppings you choose. If you have fresh basil, tear it into chunks but wait to add it to the top of the pizza until it has just come out of the oven.

7. If you are using a pizza pan, bake in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes, until the cheese has browned slightly. If you are using a baking stone, open the oven and carefully slide both the parchment paper and piza onto the stone, baking for 7-10 minutes.

I always check my pizzas constantly as they cook, because cooking times vary depending on the temperature of the oven and what implement you’re cooking the pizza on. Better safe than sorry, as wasting an entire pizza would be a tragedy of near unspeakable magnitude.