Here’s what happens when you marry the man of your dreams…with a mother who cooks like an Italian chef.
First, you try, try, try again. Every meal you make is silently compared to the mother-in-law’s, and you know you likely will never win.
Until you make something that mother-in-law doesn’t specialize in. Then, you’re golden.
But then you are somehow in competition with your brother-in-law who lives in a foreign country across the ocean. Because he specializes in that meal, too.
Now you better up your game. 🙂
I married an Argentine with thick Italian blood running through his veins. His mom doesn’t have Italian blood, but she sure learned to cook like one! Everything she makes is delicious, and I try to watch her and take notes as she cooks, but my food never turns out just like hers. It’s a dilemma I’ll never understand.
Fortunately, she doesn’t really specialize in making homemade pizza. That is where I feel like I have won the cooking award in this family. But then there’s my brother-in-law in Spain who apparently cooks a mean pizza himself, so when we meet it’ll be a dual to remember!
My First Attempt at Pizza
The first time I made homemade pizza was 4 months into our marriage (over 7 years ago). I thought I followed the recipe, but it came out all doughy in the middle. Now that I look back, though, I think it had a lot to do with the pan I was using to cook on and the temperature of the oven (which was probably off by 25 degrees).
My husband praised that pizza…profusely. It sort of shocked me, but I thought “Wow, if he likes this he’ll like it even more if I can get it right.”
Thus started my quest to get my pizza dough to perfection.
Over the next few years, I tested several different pizza dough recipes, but none of them even came close to the one I’m about to share with you today.
This pizza dough requires two very special ingredients for Italians: oregano and garlic. A winning combination, and such a wonderful taste in homemade pizza.
Besides the taste, the main reason I love this pizza dough so much is because it’s a cinch to make. Rising time is a total of 50 minutes, and cooking time is less than 15 minutes. If you have a stand mixer, you should be able to get homemade pizza within 1 hour and 14 minutes. That’s a relatively short wait, mind you.
Makes 2 pizzas that feed 4-6 people each
4 cups flour
3 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. oregano
1-2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (anywhere between 90F and 110F should be fine)
Add all the ingredients, in order, to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the hook attachment until all the ingredients come together to form a ball. If it is too sticky, add a small amount of flour. If it is too dry and the ingredients are not coming together, add a little more water.
Continue to knead with the hook attachment for 2-3 more minutes.
Put a little oil in the bottom of the bowl and take the ball of pizza dough and turn it over in the oil so all sides are coated in oil. Put a towel over the bowl and let the dough rise for 30 minutes (or more if your house is on the cool side) until the dough has doubled in size.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface, punch down your dough, and put the dough onto the floured surface. Split the ball into two halves and set aside one half. Work with one ball of dough by first flattening it with the palms of your hands. Add flour as needed if it sticks to the table. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into the shape that you would like. You can do a circle if you have a pizza stone or a pizza pan. Since we use a baking sheet, I roll it into a weird shaped rectangle, and reshape it once I put it on the pan.
Lightly oil a heavy baking sheet. Put the dough onto the baking sheet, then cover with a towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.
In the meantime, get your pizza sauce and toppings ready to go. I *HIGHLY* recommend you check out my top 3 pizza sauces before proceeding. They will change your world forever. 😉
Put it into the preheated oven and set the timer for 13-15 minutes. I always go with 14 minutes, but that’s because I know my oven cooks it just right in that amount of time.
While that pizza is in the oven, roll out the other pizza dough half and let it rise for 20 minutes. Continue as you did with the first half.
Flour – $0.40
instant yeast – $0.07
Salt – $0.04
baking powder – $0.06
Oregano – $0.83
Garlic – $0.12
olive oil – $0.17
Total cost – $1.69 for two or $0.85 for one (if you halve the recipe)
After you add all the toppings, pizza sauce, and cheese, one pizza should cost you less than $5 and it will taste a lot better than ordering pizza or heating up a frozen one!
We almost always have leftovers of this pizza, and the only way we will eat it is if we reheat it in the oven. The microwave makes the dough taste strange and soggy. I just preheat the oven to 250-300F, put some pizza slices on a baking sheet, and toss it in the oven for 10 minutes.
Oh, and this pizza wouldn’t be complete without the opinions of my trusted advisors.
They are responsible for taste-testing and giving the thumbs up.
This Garlic & Oregano Pizza Dough is truly fool-proof. Why? Because it uses instant yeast, which is much easier to work with than active dry yeast, in my opinion. You don’t have to know a thing about yeast to make this (except for the fact that the water should be warm, but not HOT). Also, most homemade pizza would taste 1000% better if you had a pizza stone to work with. But using a baking sheet with this dough has always yielded wonderful results for me.
So what are you waiting for? Go get started making this dough for pizza tonight!
Garlic & Oregano Pizza Dough
Slightly adapted from Relative Taste
- 4 cups flour
- 3 tsp. instant yeast
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. oregano
- 1-2 Tbsp. minced garlic 4-8 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups warm water 90-110F
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the hook attachment until the ingredients come together to form a ball. If it is too sticky, add a small amount of flour. If it is too dry, add a bit more water.
Continue to knead with the hook attachment for 2-3 more minutes.
Put a teaspoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of the bowl and roll the ball of pizza dough in it, coating all sides. Place the ball of dough in the bottom of the bowl, and cover it with a light towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface, punch down your dough, and put the dough onto the floured surface. Split the dough into two halves and set aside one. Work with the first half by gently flattening it with the palms of your hands. Add flour as needed if it sticks to the table. Use a rolling pin to create a round dough, or whatever shape you’d like.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Lightly oil a heavy baking sheet. Place the rolled out dough onto the baking sheet. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise another 20 minutes.
While it is rising, prepare your toppings, including sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives, sausage, peppers, etc.
Once the dough has had its second rise, place all the toppings on it.
Put into the preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes.
While the first pizza is in the oven, start working with the second pizza dough half so it’s ready to get in the oven soon after the first comes out.
If you have leftovers, the best way to reheat them (IMHO) is in the oven. Preheat the oven 250-300F, place some slices on a baking sheet, and toss in the oven for 10 minutes.