Pizza is truly a heavenly delight. Just ask Ree Drummond, who confesses, “I have such an extensive list of favorite pizzas that it stretches from the front door all the way to our north pasture.” Pizza holds a special place in Ree’s heart and home. In fact, she and Ladd took their love for it to the next level by opening their very own pizzeria, P-Town, in downtown Pawhuska.
At P-Town, one bite of their pizza will reveal Ree’s unwavering commitment to perfecting the art and science of a magnificent crust. It’s no surprise that achieving the ideal house pizza dough was no easy task; it took a remarkable 70 attempts to get it just right! Ree personally immersed herself in every aspect of the process, even going as far as creating the secret sauce. As a helpful hint, she divulges, “We enhance it with Calabrian chili paste!”
For those unable to journey to Pawhuska and savor Ree’s delectable pies, fear not. The Pioneer Woman team has crafted foolproof homemade dough and sauce recipes that guarantee success. They’ve also concocted an array of exciting variations, including grilled pizzas, sheet-pan pizzas, French bread pizza, and countless others. With their collection of recipes, tips, and tricks, you may find yourself forever liberated from the need to dial for pizza delivery.
Ingredients for the Perfect Classic Cheese Pizza
- Pizza dough: Whether you choose to make your own from scratch or purchase pre-made dough, you’ll need enough for one pizza.
- Pizza sauce: Look for a high-quality pizza sauce or marinara sauce. You can also make your own by combining crushed tomatoes, garlic, herbs (such as basil and oregano), salt, and pepper.
- Mozzarella cheese: Opt for fresh mozzarella or shredded mozzarella cheese. Make sure you have enough to cover the pizza generously.
- Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is ideal for drizzling over the pizza before baking. It adds flavor and helps achieve a crispy crust.
- Salt and pepper: These basic seasonings will enhance the overall taste of your pizza.
- Optional toppings: If desired, you can add additional toppings such as sliced tomatoes, basil leaves, oregano, or grated Parmesan cheese to customize your classic cheese pizza.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Classic Cheese Pizza
Here is a step-by-step guide to making a classic cheese pizza:
- Preheat your oven: Set your oven to the recommended temperature for pizza baking, typically around 450-500°F (230-260°C).
- Prepare the pizza dough: If you’re using store-bought dough, follow the instructions on the packaging. If making your own dough, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and water in a bowl. Mix until a dough forms, then knead it on a floured surface until smooth. Let the dough rise for about an hour until it doubles in size.
- Roll out the dough: On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into your desired thickness and shape. You can make it round, rectangular, or any shape you prefer. Aim for a thickness that is even throughout.
- Transfer the dough to a baking sheet or pizza stone: If using a baking sheet, lightly grease it or line it with parchment paper. If using a pizza stone, preheat the stone in the oven for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the rolled-out dough onto the hot stone.
- Spread the sauce: Using a spoon or ladle, evenly spread the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges for the crust.
- Add the cheese: Generously sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the sauce, ensuring it covers the pizza evenly. You can add more cheese if desired.
- Season and drizzle: Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the cheese, and drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the entire pizza for added flavor.
- Bake the pizza: Place the pizza in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted and slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven: Carefully take the pizza out of the oven using oven mitts or a pizza peel. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.
- Slice and serve: Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to slice the pizza into desired portions. Serve it hot and enjoy your delicious classic cheese pizza!
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