If we’ve just met, you’ll quickly learn that my favorite food to make is pizza. If you’ve known me for a while, this comes as no surprise to you. Homemade pizza is part of my bloodline. My parents started their own homemade pizza night in college and this tradition continues in their home almost 40 years later. Friday was/is known as Caputo Pizza Night- Caputo is my maiden name. I’ve taken this tradition and continued it in the Serbinski home- Serbinski is my married name! Pizza night is music to my husband’s ears as pizza is his favorite food! It was truly love at first bite for us…. [sorry, I had to say it]. Even our babies love pizza— as evidenced by Joey’s pizza-themed first birthday party!
Pizza often gets a bad rap. Yes, pizza can be high in fat and calories. But as a registered dietitian and homemade pizza aficionado I can honestly say that homemade pizza can and should be a part of healthy diet. It’s all in how you make it and how often you eat it. Once a week is just enough for this pizza loving family. And you better believe I load on the veggies— even though I’m not opposed to a meat lover’s pizza every now and again.
So here it goes. Take a deep breath and feast your eyes on the Caputo Pizza family tradition!
Homemade Pizza: The Dough
Want my family’s secret dough recipe? Well let me let you in on this little secret. We don’t make our own dough! I know it’s easy. In fact my colleague Sally at Real Mom Nutrition explains just how easy it is! But when you find pizza dough you like using, it’s nice to know someone else did an extra step in the homemade pizza process for you. Why not take advantage? If you’re not up for making your own dough, I’ve gotten mine from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. If your grocery store serves ready-to-eat pizza you can usually ask the bakery for dough. You can also check your grocery stores freezer section for frozen dough. The key to using store bought dough? Make sure it’s at room temp before stretching!
Homemade Pizza: The Sauce
This is all homemade baby! Check out my family’s secret recipe here.
Homemade Pizza: The Toppings
This one I change up almost weekly. Here are some of my favorite combinations:
I like to put the meat under the cheese [except for prosciutto because I like it crispy] so the grease from the pepp doesn’t sit and puddle on the cheese! Puddle? I couldn’t think of a better word for it… If’a you eat’a pizza you know’a what I mean!
Homemade Pizza: The Pan
No fancy pan here… I use a Chicago Metallic jelly roll pan. Yep, not a pizza stone [my Mom uses the stone]. I use a good old metallic pan [dishwasher safe] and spread olive oil all over it before laying out the dough. If you’re using a pizza stone, I’d suggest putting a light layer of cornmeal on the stone before adding the dough.
Homemade Pizza: The Oven
Heat your oven as high as it will go [mine goes to 500]. Bake on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes. Then move the pizza to the top rack for 1-2 minutes so the top gets nice and brown.
It will likely take a few Friday nights to figure out what pan, oven temp, and toppings work best for your family. I’d suggest opening some wine, have your friends OR kids help pick out toppings, and give homemade pizza a whirl in your own kitchen. You might start a new tradition of your own!
Don’t miss out on any of my Pizza Night creations— you can find them on my Pizza Night Pinterest board!