Pizza is a popular dish for our family. One day I realized, I have a ton of ways to make pizza, and all of them are delicious. Since my family loves these pizzas so much, I decided to give you a step by step guide on how we make these pizzas, along with all the variations.
Step 1 – Pizza Crust
Depending on my ambition, I will use several different types of crusts. Because of personal preferences, we never use the “just add water” dough in a package. Sometimes we use packaged crust (although after an incident with molded crust, this isn’t used that much anymore), and sometimes we make our own dough.
More often than not, though, we use taco shells. Why? Because they make a perfect thin crust, a large pizza when spread out, and cook perfectly with the rest of the pizza. We lay them out like so:
2. Pizza Sauce
Again, what type of sauce we use depends on our ambition. If I’ve snagged a bottle/can of pizza sauce, I’ll use it. We’ve also used spaghetti sauce on occassion too, since it gives it a very unique flavor. Lately, we’ve been using our own special “recipe”; a can of Italian diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste. If you want it not so chunky, just mash up the tomatoes with a meat masher or something similar. It should look like this:
This is where it starts getting tricky, because everyone’s tastes are different. In the past, we’ve used the following combinations:
– 1/2 lb Italian sausage, 1/2 lb hamburger, and pepperoni
– 1 lb hamburger and pepperoni
– Pepperoni and mushrooms
– “Everything” pizza: 1/2 lb Italian sausage, 1/2 hamburger, package of pepperoni, mild pepper rings, sliced olives, jar of sliced mushrooms.
– “Thin crust Italian” pizza: 1/2 lb sausage, pepperoni, roasted red bell peppers, and Italian seasoning
The other night, we made a simple hamburger and pepperoni pizza. Do remember to use cooked meat, because when you cook the pizza, your main goal is only to melt the cheese.
Hamburger goes on after the pepperoni:
We’ve used all kinds of different combinations of cheeses on our pizzas, just to play around with the flavor. By far the best is the Mozzarella or Pizza blend cheese. We use 2 regular sized bags.
You can also use yellow and white cheese blends, but I suggest only using one bag on the lower layers of your pizza. Using only white cheese on the top makes it easier to tell when the pizza is done.
5. Cooking Times & Temps
This is where it gets extremely difficult to give you a straight answer, since it’s going to depend on how many toppings you have on your pizza, and how large it is. For the pizza we made the other night, the toppings were spread out over just two layers. In the past, we have made “mountain pizzas” with 3 or 4 layers of lots of toppings. Thick pizzas with lots of toppings should be baked at 325-375* for 20 minutes or more, while thin pizzas with less toppings should be at 400-450* for 10 minutes or more.
Our finished pizza from the other night was cooked at 425* for 15 minutes.
You can see we like our pizza “well done” to the point it’s almost burnt. You may want to cut back on the time just a bit, and check it every 5 minutes or so until it’s done to your liking.
That’s it! The only thing left is to eat and enjoy!