Grandma Pizza

Homemade Pizza

The finished product features about 8 slices.

The finished product features about 8 slices.

I like to make homemade pizza, but let’s face it: the process of prepping individual pizzas is very labor-intensive, and can be a challenge on a school night. So imagine my interest when I saw the recipe for Grandma Pizza pop up in an email from America’s Test Kitchen.

The homemade dough proofs on the baking sheet, meaning that there’s less wrestling than when I try to slide individual pizzas in on the pizza stone. Excellent!

Now, I had the genius idea that I would be able to best maintain the super-hot brick oven quality of my oven if I inserted a cast iron skillet to use as a heat sink. And it worked great. Except…

What does this mean???

What does this mean???

You see, our oven is nearing 20 years old, and has always been finicky. This time, the oven held its temperature so well that it thought that it was in self-cleaning mode and locked, giving me an error message that I’d never seen. Naturally, I panicked. What did I do first? Cut the power to the oven. Nope, it still stayed locked and ran its cooling fan when I restored power. I was convinced that it was going to remain locked for hours as my oven took it upon itself to char our meal.

I turned off the baking, but its fan still whined behind locked doors. And then, with mere seconds left on the timer… it unlocked itself. Evidently the temperature cooled to the point where it was safe to set my pizza free, perfectly cooked. Now I think it’s time to shop for a new oven.



  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
  • 1 1/2 cups (8.25 ounces) bread flour
  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Allow the dough to rise, then stretch to fit.

Allow the dough to rise, then stretch to fit.


Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Coat the foil with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Combine water, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, until bubbly.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add flour and mix at low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to your greased baking sheet and turn to coat. Gently stretch the dough until it’s roughly the size of a sheet of paper, 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes.

(time passes)

Uncover your dough and stretch it to the corners of the pan. It will snap back a bit and that’s ok; it doesn’t need to perfectly align with the corners. Cover the dough again and allow to rise until slightly puffed, about 45 minutes more.

Golden brown underneath.

Golden brown underneath.


Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. Uncover your dough.

Drain the canned tomatoes to eliminate excess moisture. Sprinkle the dough with the parmesan cheese, then cover with mozzarella. The cheese doesn’t have to cover every square inch of dough; it will melt and expand.

Dot the top of the cheese with the seasoned tomatoes. Add a bit of dried basil and oregano, as desired.

Bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 3-5 minutes before cutting.

It can be a weeknight meal if you work from home, but the proofing stages require several hours of preparation.

It can be a weeknight meal if you work from home, but the proofing stages require several hours of preparation.


A big hit with everyone! I served it as a side dish with spaghetti squash.

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One Response

  1. Jim P says:

    Pizza dough can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Make it in your usual way, portion it in balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to a week or so, or freeze for at least several weeks. Take it out of the freezer before work, and you can have homemade pizza in under 30 minutes when you get home.

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