06 April 2010

Kitchen adventures: Homemade pizza

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Today my friend asked me how my regular, weekend cooking went (not knowing what I made) and I hung my head to say, “it was a partial fail.”

She asked why, I told her and as a loving friend, she started laughing.

“Oh my gosh, I thought you were going to tell me you made boeuf bourguignon and it didn’t work. Pizza? Really? People are going to tease you”

Yes, I know people will.

Don’t worry, I’ll explain the FAIL.

I was very excited about making pizza with dough (not handmade dough or already cooked dough) but I had no idea where to start so I started scanning the interwebs and found a recipe at Maris’ blog In Good Taste.

And here’s how it turned out!


  • Prepared pizza dough (Available at Trader Joes and through your local pizzeria)
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese (shredded or cut into small cubes)
  • 2 cups uncooked spinach


  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees (you can go up to 500 degrees if you’re using a stone but my pan said 450 as the max temp)
  • Roll the pizza dough on a floured surface to shape it to fit your pizza pan (or stone)
  • Add the marinara sauce and spread evenly. You can add more than 3/4 cup but for a 13 inch pizza pan, this was more than enough, and it doesn’t soak the dough
  • Break up the ricotta cheese and sprinkle over the dough and sauce. Feel free to use a spoon to help it spread. Add the cheese on top (I placed it between the ricotta chunks)
  • Sautee the spinach on the stove for 5 minutes or until slightly wilted, add to the top of the pizza
  • Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is browned and cheese is bubbly

Verdict: Yum with a side of FAIL!

I have to admit, despite my issues, I was pleased with how this turned out. It didn’t taste as heavy or greasy as some delivery pizzas do. The marinara vs. tomato sauce added a nice flavor and the ricotta chunks were always nice to bite into as well :)

I can’t wait to try this again and work with the crust a bit more, adding Parmesan cheese, etc. to it. I found a recipe on another friend’s blog that sounds divine and is a mashup up pizza and another favorite food. More to come on that.

How I nearly FAILed:

Many pizza recipes will say to “preheat the pan” but you DON’T have to do that. By preheating the pan, I had to compile the pizza on wax paper with cornmeal underneath to keep it from sticking. The transfer of this to the pan was a complete cluster with the ingredients mixing together. I sounded crazy in my kitchen, screaming swear words and cursing myself for ruining the pizza. It mocks me every day, before I eat it.

This pizza won the battle, but I will win the war!

What is your favorite pizza?


  1. Bri says:

    One of my favorite pizza recipes came from here:

    No special instructions for getting it in the oven and it turns out really yummy. Buying the dough is probably faster, but the homemade dough is really easy and I sub whole wheat flour for half the flour which makes it healthier and still stretchy.

  2. blaez says:

    The spinach pizza from Tree Guys (western chitown suburbs) is my fave all time but if i want a nice sinful delight i get a garbage pizza from pizza hut or dominos. every meat (including chicken minus anchovies..no little fishies for me) plus mushrooms, bellpepper, onions and tomatoes. omigod its heaven!! we just had a garbage pizza tonight. delish!

  3. Your pizza looks good!

    my mother and I have attempted to make homemade pizza in the past and it’s always been a MAJOR fail so I stay away from homemade pizzas because they’re never the same.

  4. Lil' Woman says:

    I’ve never made a homemade pizza but I’m interested to :)

  5. I adore pizza and used to make it a lot … I’d make the dough in my bread maker. Now I just order out when I want it … I don’t know why I stopped making it.

  6. Daryl Callahan says:

    I agree with Jenn. As long as it tastes good and it certainly looks good-not to worry. With the proper tools and practice you will be a pro!

  7. katelin says:

    i’ve actually never made a pizza before, so props to you. if anything i’d buy the crust, haha. but hey at least you tried and man does it look tasty.

  8. steph anne says:

    I love making pizzas rather than order out. I usually buy the dough from the store and cook it for 5 minutes before adding spaghetti sauce, cheese, cooked sausage, & pineapple on top then put it in the oven for another 10 minutes. So delicious!

  9. Kate says:

    Maybe, if you’re planning to make pizza on a regular basis, you should consider buying a pizza stone. Then you won’t have to worry so much about a cluster. :)

    My favorite is sausage! Mmmm …

  10. Hmm, I have never used waxed or parchment paper or cornmeal and I have never had a problem with anything sticking. And I just use regular old baking sheets, not pre-heated. Your pizza looks great, though! I just had lunch and now I’m hungry again!

  11. Rebecca_C says:

    Okay…THIS is exactly why you keep my on speed-text. Next time, put the dough on the heated pan WITH THE WAX PAPER UNDERNEATH. No need to remove the paper. Frankly, this works better with Parchment Paper (b/c sometime the wax on wax paper can start to burn/melt in a hot oven which is icky) but this is how I do this whenever I make pizza. Skip the cornmeal, roll the pizza on parchment then use a cookie sheet or other tray/pan without sides to simply slide the pizza…parchment at all…right onto your pizza pan or stone in the oven. Ta Da!!!

  12. Erin says:

    You are BRAVE! I’ve only ever made pizza with a pre-cooked crust.

    My favorite pizza toppings are sausage, mushrooms, onion, and red pepper. Mmmmm.

  13. SarahBeth says:

    Mmmmmm… pizza. My absolute favorite is olives and pineapple!

  14. Kim says:

    Pizza is so either hit or miss for me. Seems to go either terrible or fantastic.

    One favorite of mine is actually one my friend makes. Pizza Dough, then uses just a pesto as the sauce and tops with quality prosciutto and sliced pears. I believe she uses 3 cheeses – mozzarella, parmesan, and one of the stinky crumbly type cheeses but it is absolutely amazing. I crave it all the time.

  15. Allyson says:

    I love making homemade pizza! I make my own crust and it takes very little extra time. It rises as you are cutting ingredients and making the pizza sauce. Oh I want some right now and it’s only 10:14am!

  16. Nora says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever made my own pizza dough before. I’m too afraid. I do like to make my own homemade Boboli pizza though with a white sauce and grilled chicken; it’s like fettucine alfredo without the pasta, but, er, dough instead :) I also LOVE pizza with black & green olives. So hard to find but soo deliciously amazing.

  17. You need to get a pizza peel that will make the transfer of the pizza to the oven way easier.

    They are $13 and if you make pizza more than once in a blue moon, so worth it. I have one like this: http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/23628-Pizza-Peel.aspx

  18. mandy says:

    Mmmm, homemade pizza. I used the dough recipe on Rebecca’s blog and it worked out incredibly well. I love just about anything on pizza. I have a pizza stone and love it (I also use parchment and just cook the pizza right on it.)

  19. jenn says:

    it still LOOKS great and that’s what matters. who cares if it’s a mess as long as it tastes & looks good. :)

  20. Stephanie says:

    Doesn’t seem too much of a fail if it at least TASTED good! But I can see the transfer of pizza from wax paper to pan being a big Charlie Foxtrot (Thats what we call a Cluster F at school!).

  21. Iva says:

    WOW!!! Jessica!! It looks great!! Fantastic job!!