It literally took me decades to figure out how to make a great pizza at home. Now I prefer my own to nearly any pizzeria.
You have to pick and choose your ingredients, there are so many options in a standard pie, flour, sauce, cheese, meats, veggies. I’m really picky about Italian sausage and pepperoni brands.
I started making crusts at home, it’s very easy, here’s the ingredients:
- 2 t yeast (jars work better for me than packets)
- 4 t sugar
- 1 T salt
- 4 C flour (the best is designated as “00” which is used in Italy. Find it at good food stores. King Arthur sells a version, too) but almost any white flour will do.
- 1 C + more, water water, warmer than your finger
- 1/2 C EVOO
Eight minutes in the Kitchenaid, a couple of rising periods, voila! But you know what? Here’s a shortcut. BUY THE DOUGH! Most big groceries and WalMart have it for sale now, around a buck.
For quite a while, (when I don’t make my own from garden tomatos) I was using Contadina, which comes in a squeeze bottle, very convenient, and no waste, because it keeps.
I’ve previously tried Cento, which was satisfactory, pure, simple ingredients and it’s not annoyingly sweet (just a personal preference). Pastorelli, a local Chicago brand, is outstanding. Also not “sweet” it’s a little thicker, heartier than most brands. I tried one from Italy, Mutti brand, that was very pure and very thick.
This week I was on to Dei Fratelli, made by the Herzel Family Farms in Northwest Ohio. They’ve been in the biz since the 1920s. Again, a thicker one, kinda of sweet. Upside of both Pastorelli and Dei Fratelli is they offer a smaller size, perfect for one large pie. (Mine are rectangular, the size of a large cookie sheet).
Do I have a favorite? Well, I like to support hometown companies, and all things being equal, I’ll go with Pastorelli every time.