Yesterday I made homemade pizza using Whole Foods' fresh pizza dough. It was my third time using their product.
Sure, it wasn't from scratch, but until I get the hang of making my own pizza dough or learn how to make my own mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce (it looks really easy), this is pretty dang close.
Plus, it's way healthier for you than most frozen pizzas, which are full of artificial preservatives and over-processed ingredients.
This is no joke.
The next time you go to the grocery store, flip over the box of your favorite frozen brand and read the loooong ingredients list.
And making pizza from fresh dough doesn't take much effort.
You bring the dough home, let it warm and rise again, form the pizza, bake the crust, add the toppings, season it, then cook.
The little extra work is totally worth it. It yields a fresh, flavorful pizza with a chewy crust that's not greasy. Just make sure to season it properly and use quality toppings.
And if you can, use a pizza stone!
It ensures that you have an evenly cooked, crispy bottom crust. Seriously, a pizza stone makes homemade pizza taste damn close to a restaurant quality wood-fired pizza!
You can get an affordable, well-rated pizza stone here.
Homemade Pepperoni Pizza with Whole Foods Pizza Dough
Learn how to make a stellar homemade pizza using Whole Foods' Fresh Pizza Dough, plus a few other quality ingredients like 101 Cookbooks' Magic Sauce. This is far healthier than frozen store brand pizzas that are preservative laden and chock full of artificial ingredients. It's sure to taste better than delivery!
Adapted from The Foodinista's Whole Foods Pizza Dough
Serves: 2-4 (depending on your appetite and if you serve it with other foods)
1 lb of Whole Foods pizza dough (find it in the refrigerated section next to the hot foods or ask at the pizza counter)
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided (to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl and stretching surface)
--I recommend this brand since it passed the EVOO Test--
1/8-1/4 cup of Magic Sauce (optional)
6-8 ounces of organic tomato sauce
8 ounces of whole milk mozzarella, freshly grated
2 ounces of uncured, nitrate-free, humanely raised pork pepperoni
2-3 tablespoons of fresh Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated--don't use the green can)
Granulated garlic, sea salt, Italian seasoning blend & crushed red pepper, to taste
(I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic or Utah sourced salt)
pizza stone or cast-iron pizza pan
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About 60-90 minutes ahead of time, take the dough out of the fridge. Microwave a mug of water for two minutes. While that's heating, oil a large bowl with 1/2 a tablespoon the olive oil. Open the bag, pull out the dough and plop it in the bowl. Pour another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in your hands, pick up the dough and rub it all over the surface. If there are any air pockets, push the dough until they pop. Once it's thoroughly oiled, place it back in the bowl and cover with a dish towel.
Remove the mug from the microwave and immediately stick the towel-covered bowl into the microwave and close the door. Set a timer for at least 60 minutes (I prefer 90) and leave the dough be. Don't open the microwave until the timer goes off. This warm, moist environment will help the dough heat back up to room temperature and rise. Alternately, if your kitchen is warm enough, you can leave the dough out on the counter or near the stove (still covered) until it doubles. This usually takes too long for me, so I like the microwave method. It's more reliable.
If you don't have any Magic Sauce on hand, now would be a good time to make it. The longer it sets, the more flavorful it becomes. About 30 minutes before you want to cook the pizza, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and stick a pizza stone inside to warm up. You don't want to stick a cold pizza stone directly into a very hot oven, so make sure you do this. If you don't own a pizza stone, you can skip this step. When the dough has risen enough, increase the oven's temperature to 475 degrees. Pull out all the seasonings and shred the cheeses. Remove the dough from the microwave. Cut off a piece of foil, set it on the counter top and rub it with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Take the dough out of the bowl, plop it on the oiled foil and work it into a circular shape that's evenly thin in the middle and thicker around the edges. (This is tougher than it sounds--mine always end up looking like an oval.)
Using oven mitts or a towel, carefully remove the pizza stone from the oven and transfer the foil and pizza to the stone. Place back in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. Doing this ensures that the center part of the pizza crust cooks through and doesn't get soggy. Remove from the oven (you can leave the foil or remove it now) and pour the magic sauce all over the pizza, making sure to put plenty on the crust. Then, spread the tomato sauce across the middle. Top with mozzarella cheese. Season the cheese with garlic, sea salt, Italian seasoning blend and crushed red pepper, to taste and add on the pepperonis. Season the top with more seasonings if desired and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese across the pepperonis. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted properly.
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Question for Discussion: What are your favorite toppings for pizza?
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