The first step is to make your dough. You can also buy a premade ball of dough in the freezer section of your grocery store, but making it from scratch is easy and tastier.
Dough Ingredients (makes one large, thin-crust pizza):
2 cups white flour
3/4 cup warm water
1 packet dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil + extra for oiling the bowl
1/2 teaspoon salt
(Dough recipe adapted from How Sweet it Is)
Mix together water, yeast, olive oil, and honey. Put it aside and let it sit for 15 minutes. The yeast will start to expand and look foamy - that's what you're going for. Add in flour and salt and knead together. It's going to be really really sticky, just keep working it until it forms into a somewhat smooth ball. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow it to stand in a warm place for an hour or two.
Foamy yeast mixture
Letting the dough rise on the stove top (turned off, of course)
1 ball of dough1 tablespoon of pre-chopped garlic, plus liquid from the jar
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, approximately the size of a baseball
8 oz chopped baby portobello mushrooms
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once your dough has risen, punch it down (time to take out your frustrations). On a large, nonstick cookie sheet (mine is 12 x 17, but feel free to use a pizza stone or any other pizza cooking device you might have), place your dough and start spreading it out onto the pan. Take your time here...the dough is going to rip and you're going to think there's absolutely no way it's going to fit the entire area of the pan - just keep slowly coaxing it larger. It helps to get a teeny bit of oil on your hands to prevent sticking. Don't worry if the dough seems really thin/there are small tears in places - once it cooks, it will be fine.
Once you have the dough spread out, spoon the garlic out evenly over the crust. Try to avoid having any large chunks of garlic (unless you're under attack from vampires, in which case, good luck). Take the mozzarella cheese and break it into small pieces/sheets, placing it all over the crust. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and place those all over the pizza as well. Use more or less depending on your taste.
In a small skillet over high heat, place the chopped mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil. It's going to seem like a crazy amount of mushrooms, but they're going to cook down quickly. Let them cook until they release their liquid (this keeps the pizza from getting soggy) and shrink down. When done, carefully remove the mushrooms (being sure to leave the liquid in the pan) and spread out over the pizza.
Bake for 25 minutes or so until the bottom begins to brown slightly, checking frequently. Because the cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms will continue to release liquid while cooking, if the pizza starts to look watery while cooking, use a paper towel to soak up the extra liquid before putting the pizza back in the oven. Allow to stand for a few minutes before eating (unless you like a serious burn on the roof of your mouth) and enjoy!
Have you ever made homemade pizza before? What are your favorite toppings?