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4 Secrets to Making Out-of-This-World Pizza from Scratch

4 Secrets to Making Out-of-This-World Pizza from Scratch

Who doesn’t love a hot pizza right out of the oven, made with wholesome, fresh ingredients? It’s one of my favorite meals in any season—definitely the perfect comfort food. And, to enjoy pizza, you can skip the grease and expense of ordering pizza from a take-out joint. Here are a few secrets to making delicious pizza right at home.

1. Start with Savory Sauce

Use garden-fresh (or farmers-market-fresh) ingredients during the heart of summer to make a big batch of pizza sauce, and then freeze it. If you know you want pizza, simply thaw a container of yummy sauce, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s one recipe for homemade sauce: Mix 12 to 14 pounds of cored and skinned fresh or home-canned tomatoes together with 1 pound (2 cups) of chopped celery, 3 cups of chopped onions, 3 chopped green peppers, 1 or 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, and either one-quarter cup of Italian seasoning or 2 tablespoons of oregano, 1 tablespoon of basil, and 1 tablespoon of thyme. (If you like, you can also add 1 to 1½ cups of finely diced summer squash. It won’t change the taste, but the squash will extend the sauce and make it thicken more quickly.) Simmer all of these ingredients together over a low heat for two to three hours, or until the mixture has cooked into a thick, savory richness. Then cool the sauce, pour it into 1-pint BPA-free freezing cartons (it should fill about eight of them), and freeze. For more tips like this one, see How to Make All-Natural Pizza from Scratch.

2. Get to Know Your Dough

Homemade pizza dough is delicious, and it’s easier to prepare than you might think. The authors of the best-selling book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day also have basic, quick recipes for pizza crusts. Find one at The Secret to Incredibly Easy Homemade Pizza.

3. Warm Up to Homemade Cheese

Store-bought mozzarella (look for organic cheese and/or one from a local dairy you trust) will work fine on your pizza—but freshly made mozzarella will bump it into the “out of this world” category. It might surprise you to know that, from start to finish, mozzarella cheese takes no more than 30 minutes to prepare. Learn to make this mild, versatile cheese by following the instructions in Easy Cheesy (find a variation of the recipe in Quick Mozzarella).

4. Top-of-the-Line Toppings

To accompany your top-notch homemade sauce, dough and cheese, choose toppings that are fresh and in-season. For instance, in spring or fall, think garlic and finely chopped spinach. In summer, go for tomato and pepper chunks with fresh basil. And then comes the most important part: Enjoy!

Photo from Fotolia

Related: Homemade Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese and Thyme, Pizzas on the Grill: 4 Recipes and 5 Easy Pizza Recipes

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.

60 comments

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9:09PM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

Thanks for the sauce recipe - I can see how it would lend itself to many variations.

6:38AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

I'm getting hungry...pizza is one of the best and most versatile food ever invented...it works for Carnivores,Vegetarians and Vegans too!!!! Thanks for these fab tips.

4:31AM PST on Jan 7, 2013

Yummy thanks.

7:22AM PST on Jan 6, 2013

look good, lot of work.

2:52AM PST on Jan 6, 2013

Thanks.

2:22PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

ty

3:19PM PST on Dec 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

6:07AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Thanks for these great tips.

8:16AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

hvala

8:01AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

thank you for posting, have a wonderful day!

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