DElicious homemade pizza

Ingredients:

• 1 pound pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
• 1/2 to 1 cup sauce: tomato sauce, white sauce, or other spread
• 2 to 3 cups other toppings: sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, cooked sausage, cooked bacon, diced peppers, leftover veggies, or any other favorite toppings
• 1 to 2 cups (8 to 16 ounces) cheese, shredded or sliced: mozzarella, Monterey Jack, provolone, fontina, or any other favorite.
• Cornmeal or flour (optional)

Equipment:

• Pizza stone or baking sheet
• Pizza peel or baking sheet
• Parchment paper (optional)

Preparation:

1. Heat the oven to 550°F or higher: The high heat will help make a crunchier and more flavorful crust. Let the oven heat for at least half an hour before baking your pizzas. If you have a baking stone, place it in the lower-middle of your oven.

2. Divide the dough in half: One pound of dough makes two 10-inch pizzas. Slice the dough in half and cover one half with an upside-down bowl or a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the first pizza.

3. Roll out the dough:

Method #1: Pizza Baked on Parchment: Tear off a large piece of parchment paper roughly 12 inches wide. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the parchment paper. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick or less. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes and then continue rolling.

Method #2: Pizza with Cornmeal or Flour and a Baking Stone: Sprinkle a handful of cornmeal or flour on a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the peel. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is 1/4- inch thick or less. Shake the peel or baking sheet frequently as you shape to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes and then continue rolling.

Method #3: Pizza Baked on a Baking Sheet: Brush a thin film of olive oil on a baking sheet. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the baking sheet. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick or less. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes and then continue rolling.

4. Top the pizza: Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of the pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Pile on all of your toppings.

5. Bake the pizza: Using a pizza peel or the back side of a baking sheet, slide your pizza (with the parchment or with the cornmeal) onto the baking stone. If you don’t have a baking stone, bake the pizza right on the baking sheet. Cook for 5 minutes, then rotate the pizza. Slide the parchment out from under the pizza, if used. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese looks toasty. 6. Slice and serve: Let the pizza cool slightly on a cooling rack, just until you’re able to handle it. Slice it into pieces and serve.