To me, nothing beats the taste of homemade pizza. Made with fresh toppings, cheese, and dough from scratch, you just can’t go wrong. And with a food this popular, you must celebrate it with it’s very own national food holiday! That’s right… it’s National Pizza Day! And I have two delicious pizza recipes to share with you: a Traditional Margherita Pizza and a fresh Spring Veggie Pizza.
My Traditional Margherita Pizza – a true pizza classic!
My pizza dough is much fluffier and thicker than what you may be accustomed to, but everyone always loves it! It’s more of a Roman style pizza dough that’s thicker and loaded with olive oil– kind of like a thin focaccia. It is really sturdy and holds up the toppings really well. Plus, Roman style pizza is rectangular shaped, and since those are the only pans I have, then that’s what I went for!
Once you have the basic dough recipe down, you can add whatever toppings you like. For a Traditional Margherita Pizza, use some tomato sauce, mozzarella (fresh if available), and some basil. For my Spring Veggie Pizza, use thinly sliced zucchini, crimini mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella, and a sprinkle of chili flakes. Edible flower petals also evoke memories of spring and make the pizza look even more beautiful.
Thick and fluffy pizza dough really helps hold up all the ingredients on my Spring Veggie Pizza!
My Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
To Make the Pizza Dough:
In a large mixing bowl, add the water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until the mixture foams on top (this is the yeast blooming), about 10 minutes.
Add the flour, salt and 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the yeast mixture. Using your hands, mix the dough until it comes together. It should be soft and sticky, but not so much that it sticks all over your fingers.
Knead the dough in the bowl for 2-3 minutes until most of the flour is combined then transfer the dough into a large mixing bowl that has been oiled all over with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with saran wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes up to 2 hours.
Press the dough out onto an oiled baking sheet (use 1 tablespoon of oil per sheet) until it is about 1 centimeter thick. Cover the pans with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough sit for 15 minutes to let the dough rest. After 15 minutes, use your fingertips to press down the dough using your fingertips so that you create little “wells” all over the pizza dough.
Add any Toppings your Heart Desires!
Next, go ahead and add whatever toppings you want! Try out my toppings for the Traditional Margherita Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, chili flakes) or Spring Veggie Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, spinach, chili flakes and edible flowers)!
Bake the pizzas at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes in the center of the oven. Check the pizza after 20 minutes to ensure that the bottom crust is crisp and golden brown from the edges to the centre. If it is soft and still not at that golden brown stage, let the pizza cook for another 5-10 minutes. This cooking time really depends on how thick you make the dough and how much toppings you add, so the cooking time does vary from pizza to pizza.
Once the crust has become golden brown, remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool on the tray for 5 minutes so that the cheese begins to firm up. Use a pizza cutter or large knife to cut the pizza into slices and serve right away!
I hope that you enjoy National Pizza Day! Let me know what pizza is your favourite and if you will be celebrating today!