You might think there’s nothing easier than ordering pizza, but come Sunday, you’d be one of the 48 million Americans placing an order. Instead, make a pizza from scratch for your Super Bowl party. It’s not hard, we promise—seriously, even kids can do it. Here’s everything you need to know, from dough to sauce to crowd-pleasing toppings.
There are so many ways to make pizza dough: Neapolitan, New York-Style, Sicilian, sourdough, Grandma-style, deep-dish, neo-neopolitan… the list goes on and on. But if we’re making a pizza, we tend to stick with Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough, which follows this formula: mix together dry ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, and sometimes sugar), add water (maybe some oil), mix into a ball, then cover and let it rise. Lahey’s dough doesn’t require a mixer, but does take some planning ahead. Community member Amber Wilson has a faster version using a warm oven, which acts as a pseudo proofing box. Once the dough has doubled, you can tightly wrap it up and freeze for later, or flour a work surface and stretch the dough.
If you’re craving a classic, we’ve got a 3-ingredient super sauce right here. Just simmer canned tomatoes, butter, and onions (and a little salt) until it reaches your desired thickness (about 45 minutes). For white pizzas, slather on some ricotta (and take a page from Arizona pizza king Chris Bianco’s book). If you want some green, spread bright pesto onto your pie. Oh, and not into sauce? Go naked!
From cheeses to meats to vegetables (and maybe fruits, if you’re into that), there are countless ways to top a pizza. Use whatever you have on hand, but here are some of our favorite combinations for inspiration:
- Margarita: Tomato sauce + extra-virgin olive oil + fresh mozzarella + basil
- Neapolitana: San Marzano tomatoes + garlic + onion + basil + anchovy fillets + Buffalo mozzarella
- Clam pizza: Littleneck clams + Pecorino Romano cheese + fresh oregano + garlic + extra virgin olive oil
- Detroit-Style: Crushed tomatoes + pepperoni + brick cheese (make sure to put half the toppings under the cheese layer, half on top)
- Deep dish: Thick Tomato Sauce + fresh mozzarella + Parmesan
- Barbeque chicken: BBQ sauce + shredded chicken + red onions + Gouda + mozzarella + serrano chiles
Many restaurants achieve that ooey-gooey freckled pie with the blisteringly high heat of wood-burning oven. Chances are that you don’t have one of those, but don’t worry, there are workarounds.
To get that beautiful golden crust at home, preheat a thick, sturdy baking stone or steel in a 500°F oven (or even hotter, if you can) for at least an hour before baking your first pizza. Cook the pizza for a short amount of time (3 to 5 minutes), then switch to broil until the crust begins to blister and char, anywhere from 1 to 5 more minutes. If you become a pizza-making machine, consider investing in a baking steel, which gets hotter than stone. Alternatively, if you don’t want extra kitchen tools, use a cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet.
The Lil’ Something Extra
Once the pizza comes out of the oven, it’s time to add whatever fresh toppings your heart desires: arugula, hot honey, basil, balsamic vinegar, flavored salts, a fried egg. Oh, and definitely a drizzle of olive oil for some extra sheen. Go crazy! But also give it time to cool.
So, convinced? Share you favorite pies or fantastic flops in the comments below!