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How to Make Homemade Pizza from Scratch

Updated on July 20, 2018
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Homemade Tomato and Mushroom Pizza
Homemade Tomato and Mushroom Pizza

Pizza is a hugely popular foodstuff in countless countries around the world. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of people buy pizza ready to eat from fast food outlets, or premade from supermarkets that it merely requires heating up at home.

There is perhaps very often a perception that pizza is difficult to make from scratch, particularly when it comes to the dough for making the base. In actual fact, pizza dough, pizza sauce and pizza toppings are all fairly straightforward to prepare at home and this page is devoted to explaining the process in the simplest of terms.

The first step in making homemade pizza is to make the sauce, as it will require to be cooled before it is used upon the pizza. Note that this can be done a day, or even two, in advance and the sauce refrigerated until required.

Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe

Pizza sauce is tomato based and ideally should contain only the fewest of ingredients. If the pizza sauce is made to be too powerful in taste, it will overwhelm the flavours of the toppings and principal pizza ingredients. This is a quick and easy pizza sauce recipe, perfect for a wide variety of toppings. These quantities will provide sufficient sauce for two 12" pizzas.

Ingredients for Pizza Sauce

  • 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • Generous pinch of dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to Make Pizza Sauce

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Homemade pizza sauce ingredientsPreparing the homemade pizza sauce
Homemade pizza sauce ingredients
Homemade pizza sauce ingredients
Preparing the homemade pizza sauce
Preparing the homemade pizza sauce

Pour the tomatoes in to a large saucepan. Peel the garlic cloves and use a hand grater to grate them in to the tomatoes. Season with the basil, salt and pepper.

Put the pan on to a medium heat and stir well. Once the mix starts to simmer, reduce the heat to as low as possible and allow the tomatoes to simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes, stirring every five minutes or so, until a deliciously thick and luscious sauce is formed. Remove from the heat, taste for seasoning, cover and allow to cool completely.

It is possible to either blend the sauce or pass it through a fine sieve, to blitz or remove the tomato skins. Simply leaving it as it is, however, adds a little bit of extra bite and substance to the sauce.

The cooled sauce can either be used immediately, refrigerated for two to three days, or even put in the deep freeze if it is made in bulk.

Pizza Pans and Baking Stones

It is possible to make homemade pizza dough and cook it on an ordinary baking sheet. For best results, however, a purpose designed pizza pan or stone should be employed. They are not overly expensive and come in three main types. There is the conventional, non-stick metal pizza pan, the pan with the perforated base and the pizza baking stone, which is how pizzas were traditionally cooked.

Easy Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza dough recipes come in many different forms and are, unfortunately, often made to be unnecessarily complex in nature. This simple pizza dough recipe contains very few ingredients and is ready to use in little more than an hour. The quantity is designed to make a twelve inch diameter pizza.

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • 6 ounces plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dried yeast (check pack for specific activation instructions)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 fluid ounces lukewarm water (¼ US pint)

How to Make Pizza Dough

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Pizza dough ingredientsMake a well in the flour and saltHomemade pizza dough
Pizza dough ingredients
Pizza dough ingredients
Make a well in the flour and salt
Make a well in the flour and salt
Homemade pizza dough
Homemade pizza dough

Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large mixing bowl. (Note particularly the absence of sugar in this recipe - it is not necessary to either taste or texture.) Stir well to combine before making a small well in the centre of the bowl. Pour in the olive oil and the warm water and begin drawing the dry ingredients in from the sides with a wooden spoon. As the dough starts to form, set the wooden spoon aside and use your hands to finish the job of forming a ball of dough.

Lightly flour a clean and dry work-top area and your hands. Begin kneading the dough on the surface to fully activate the yeast. This should take five to seven minutes and full instructions are available in the video below this section.

When the dough is sufficiently kneaded, transfer it to a lightly oiled, clean bowl and cover with plastic film. Leave in a warm place for at least an hour to allow the dough to approximately double in size.

When the dough has risen, transfer it back to the again lightly floured surface and knead lightly to knock out the air. Roll carefully with a floured rolling pin before transferring to the cooking pan (lightly greased with olive oil) or stone. If using a pizza pan, gently stretch the dough outwards from the centre to reach the edges of the pan all the way around.

How to Top a Pizza and Cook it in the Oven

Pizza ready for the oven
Pizza ready for the oven

When attempting to learn any new procedure, whatever it may be, it is important to both short and long term success to get the basics right before attempting to become too adventurous or elaborate. In relation to pizza making, this means that your initial focus should be upon learning how to mix and knead the dough, spread it in your pizza pan and how long it is likely to take to cook in your domestic oven, all before becoming too focused on creating fanciful toppings. Start off, therefore, with toppings which are simple and inexpensive, while still being tasty. This pizza is topped with sliced tomato and mushroom, followed by cheddar and mozarella cheese.

Use a small ladle or large spoon to scoop the cooled tomato sauce in to the centre of the pizza dough. Spread it slowly outwards using a gentle, circular motion until it reaches to within half an inch of the edge, all the way around. Place the tomato and mushroom slices alternately on top in a circle.

The cheese for a pizza this size is 2oz cheddar and four small slices from a block of pizza mozzarella (equivalent also to approximately 2oz). Please use proper pizza mozzarella and not the soft balls of mozzarella which are sold in brine. The cheddar cheese is grated/shredded and the mozzarella is cut in small strips. Scatter both evenly over the top of the pizza.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tomato sauce is spread on the pizza baseTomato and mushroom are placed on top of the tomato sauceCheddar and mozzarella cheese are scattered on top of the pizza last of allPizza is removed from oven and allowed to rest for a few minutes
Tomato sauce is spread on the pizza base
Tomato sauce is spread on the pizza base
Tomato and mushroom are placed on top of the tomato sauce
Tomato and mushroom are placed on top of the tomato sauce
Cheddar and mozzarella cheese are scattered on top of the pizza last of all
Cheddar and mozzarella cheese are scattered on top of the pizza last of all
Pizza is removed from oven and allowed to rest for a few minutes
Pizza is removed from oven and allowed to rest for a few minutes

The pizza should be placed in to an oven preheated to 450F/230C for twelve to fifteen minutes. When the cheese has fully melted and the crust has risen and turned golden around the edges, the pizza is ready. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes to rest before using a plastic spatula to transfer it to a wooden chopping board for slicing.

The pizza slices should be plated, served and enjoyed immediately.

Important: You should never attempt to slice your pizza while it is still in the cooking pan. Metal implements of any description can damage its protective coating and affect its future performance.

How to Make Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Pizza dough can very effectively be made with whole wheat flour. This could either be where you prefer a healthier option pizza, or where you simply wish to try to serve something a little bit different. The ingredients and procedures are exactly the same as described above with the exception that whole wheat flour is substituted for plain. It is also, however, worth reducing the amount of salt from half a teaspoon to a generous pinch, at least on the first occasion you prepare this recipe, as whole wheat flour can have a stronger flavour and therefore not require the same level of seasoning. It is better to add salt to the cooked pizza where you feel it is still required.

The whole wheat flour pizza to the right is topped with spicy beef. You will require approximately a quarter pound of ground/minced beef per pizza. The beef should be browned in a dry pan before being seasoned with salt, pepper and a pinch of dried chilli flakes per portion. Add boiling water to almost but not quite cover the beef. SImmer for fifteen minutes, cover and allow to cool completely before using it to top the tomato sauce on the pizza before the cheese is added. Note that the beef should be added to the pizza with a slotted spoon to ensure that excessive water/stock is not included, which would seep in to and spoil the pizza dough.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Spicy beef spread on pizzaCheese tops spicy beefSpicy beef whole wheat pizza
Spicy beef spread on pizza
Spicy beef spread on pizza
Cheese tops spicy beef
Cheese tops spicy beef
Spicy beef whole wheat pizza
Spicy beef whole wheat pizza

Let Your Kids Build Their Own Pizza!

When making pizza at home for your family, there are a couple of principal obstacles which may be encountered. The first is that not everyone will like the same toppings and the second is that children may claim to prefer, "Real pizza," rather than that which they perceive to be a low grade substitute.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Slice the bell peppers and cut seeds and core from each slice, or core and then sliceMixed bell peppers and halved black olives are added to pizza
Slice the bell peppers and cut seeds and core from each slice, or core and then slice
Slice the bell peppers and cut seeds and core from each slice, or core and then slice
Mixed bell peppers and halved black olives are added to pizza
Mixed bell peppers and halved black olives are added to pizza

Everyone's domestic circumstances will vary, dependant upon time, oven space and even the number of pizza pans available but you may wish to consider offering your family a choice of pizza toppings. Getting kids involved in this way helps them to see that what they are to be eating is indeed the absolute, "Real," pizza. It also allows individual tastes to be considered. This option can even permit a number of different pizzas to be served simultaneously and perhaps everyone to have a taste of each other's artistic, culinary creations as part of a fun, family meal.

Mixed bell peppers and black olive pizza
Mixed bell peppers and black olive pizza

Has your preference changed? Which would you now rather have?

See results

Hopefully, this page has shown that making pizza at home is a fairly straightforward procedure and that homemade pizzas can be not only every bit as tasty as their fast food or store bought counterparts but considerably healthier in nature. Simply remember that it can take a couple of attempts to get particularly the dough making technique just right and you too can soon be enjoying all the benefits of homemade pizza with your family.

© 2011 Gordon Hamilton

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    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you couponswhiz and rumanasaiyed

      I hope you enjoy these ideas if you give them a try

    • rumanasaiyed profile image

      Rumana 

      4 years ago from Sharjah, UAE

      Thanks Gordon Hamilton for a great hub on Pizza's. I just love pizza and you have beautifully described the recipe for it.

      Voted up Interesting and shared!!

    • couponswhiz profile image

      couponswhiz 

      4 years ago

      Awesome! I just love pizza. I can eat it all day long.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you for reading, Lilleyth. I hope the information, techniques and recipes are of use to you. Enjoy your pizza! :)

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Thank you for writing this hub!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Glad it's of use to you, Wilson. Thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      wilson jay cortez sta. maria 

      6 years ago

      thank you for the information i understand

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      It's understandfable to be nervous when you're starting off in something, Sean, that you're not used to but I hope you bite the bullet and go for it. Cooking is a lot of fun in many ways and the only way to learn is through practice. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Sean 

      6 years ago

      I'm a little nervous to get out there and start making my own foods, but this information was useful, thanks for the tips!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, mpoche4 and thanks for the visit and comment. I have only recently tried pesto sauce but never as yet white sauce. It's on the "to try" list! :)

    • mpoche4 profile image

      Michal 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      yuummm!!! This looks way better than takeout!! Do you ever use a pesto or white sauce?

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks for visit and comment Rachel. I hope you enjoy your pizza!

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 

      6 years ago from California

      Awesome! Thanks for the how to and tips, I appreciate.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, samiaali. I always like to see pics when I am reading instructions so try to include them where and when I can. Glad you liked the page.

    • samiaali profile image

      samiaali 

      6 years ago

      Great hub Gordon Hamilton! I really like that you included pics showing all the steps! :)

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Trsmd. I have experimented with a number of types of different flours for pizza bases and my personal preference is plain/all purpose. Opinions will vary but this produces a pizza base the way I like it. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 

      7 years ago from India

      I would like to know if it would be better if one would use only bread flour or would it be best to use all purpose flour.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Joriechew. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I do like to experiment with different flours for making pizza dough - the results can be well worth it.

    • joriechew profile image

      joriechew 

      7 years ago

      Use strong flour which is high in protein content (for making bread) produces excellent results. Like what you had recommended, the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of wheat flour and reduces the salt is a good idea.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, fashion.

    • profile image

      fashion 

      7 years ago

      Great and informative hub.I love pizza.I shall try this recipe.Well done

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, Personal Trainer. Thank you very much for your visit and comment. I am delighted that you find the page to be of value. By all means feel free to print this article - I am sure, however, it would be easier on your time and your printer ink to send the link... :)

    • profile image

      Personal Trainer 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the great post, I will send a link to my personal training clients. Would it be okay if I printed out this article and hand it out to my clients? Cheers :D

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, Tera. Thank you very much. I'm glad you liked the Hub and I hope you enjoy the dough when you try it out.

    • Tera715 profile image

      Tera715 

      7 years ago from Panama City, Florida

      Awesome hub, really informative. Thanks for sharing! I have been looking for a great pizza dough recipe and I love that you included whole wheat dough as well. This would be perfect for my Garden pizza pocket recipe! https://hubpages.com/food/Garden-Vegetable-Pizza-P...

      Tera

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Lulu Sue. I hope that you enjoy your pizza.

    • LULU SUE1987 profile image

      LULU SUE1987 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the recipes. I love to try new ones.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks, Karen. Good luck with your pizza making and I hope that you enjoy the combinations you come up with.

    • profile image

      Karen 

      7 years ago

      Awesome! Can't believe it's so easy to make pizza! This is a must try - thanks!!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, Ashlea. Thanks for the visit and comment. I couldn't agree with you more. I just can't understand why so many pizza dough recipes are made to be overly complicated. It is totally unnecessary and that was in fact the main motivation behind the creation of this page. Hope you enjoy pizzas made this way.

    • profile image

      Ashlea B 

      7 years ago

      I'm saving this hub for these recipes. I feel like every pizza dough recipe I see require the dough to sit in the fridge for at least a day... but I don't think that far ahead. An hour I can do. I'll be trying this dough recipe and the sauce. Thanks!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Ruby.

      Les Trois Chenes, that's an interesting idea. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the visit and the info.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      7 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      A friend of mine uses pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce on his pizzas and they are out of this world.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      7 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      yum. Congrats on contest

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @ dablufox: Thank you very much. I wish you every success with your pizza making and hope you have some wonderfully inventive toppings dreamed up for incorporation! :)

      @ GetSmart: Thank you, GetSmart. I'm glad this recipe procedure appeals and hope you enjoy it.

    • GetSmart profile image

      GetSmart 

      7 years ago

      I have been searching for a good and easy pizza recipe. Thanks so much!

    • dablufox profile image

      dablufox 

      7 years ago from Australia

      The best food or recipe hub I have come across! Aaaawsome!

      I love pizza and love to try new gourmet pizza bars in the quest for the worlds best pizza. You hub has inspired me to now make the worlds best pizza right here in my very own kitchen.

      Congratulations on a top shelf hub, you have my vote!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Steph, and thanks. I think everyone who has ever made pizza has cheated in that way at some point! :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Amazing - really thorough hub with so many mouthwatering photographs. Its making me hungry too! I love homemade pizza, but sometimes "cheat" by using a pre-made shell. Great hub and voted up! Good luck in the contest

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks, Angelina. It certainly is pretty easy. Good luck with it and I hope you enjoy it.

    • profile image

      Angelina 

      7 years ago

      i will try this sure,it is quite easy method to make pizza at home. THANKS!!!!!!!!!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @ fdoleac: Thank you for your visit and your comment. You are absolutely right about the growing cost of pizza and this is but one of the many plus factors of making it at home. Re outdoor grilling of pizza, I'm afraid we don't very often get the weather here in Scotland for cooking outdoors, so I've never actually tried it. All I would strongly emphasise is to be careful which type of cooking pan you use. The pan I have used in the creation of this page, for example, would be totally inappropriate for grilling on a naked flame.

      @ Shirley: Hi and thanks for the visit and comment. I love experimenting with food and cooking as well and would be honoured if you were to try out this pizza method. Good luck with it and I hope you enjoy your pizzas.

    • Shirley Aguas profile image

      Shirley Aguas 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi there Gordon, I love to experiment on cooking and I hope you do not mind if I will try this one :-)

    • fdoleac profile image

      fdoleac 

      7 years ago from Hollis, New Hampshire

      Thank you for this informative post. Gourmet pizza at the restaurant is getting expensive. Any tips for pizza on the backyard grill?

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Viryabo. Good luck with it and I hope you enjoy it.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 

      7 years ago

      Congratulation Gordon, and thanks. Now i make my own pizza.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, Tamila. Thank you very much for your visit and comment. I'm glad you like the idea of pizza prepared in this fashion. I am delighted to hear of anyone advocating eating in a healthier fashion, for whatever reason, and wish you the greatest level of success with your talks.

    • Tamila Roberts profile image

      Tamila Roberts 

      7 years ago from Canada

      That's exactly like the pizza to make at home. You get to choose from natural ingredients. It's pretty easy to see that this is the best way to prepare pizza. If it's ok with you i'd like to talk about the beneficial effects of that type of food to help you grow taller.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      @ WannaB Writer: Yes, it certainly has been beyond my expectations. Thank you for the comment and hope you like the whole wheat pizza recipe. Remember to reduce the salt for whole wheat, though! :)

      @Jane: Thank you, Jane. I hope you do try this out and enjoy the pizzas as much as I have for a while now.

      @BlissfulWriter: Absolutely true. However varied the options in a fast food pizza parlour, they can not compete with the limitless possibilities at home. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 

      7 years ago

      The great thing about making your own pizza is that you can customize it any way you like.

    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 

      7 years ago from The Fatal Shore

      Another great looking hub Gordon...as well as useful. I'll definitely be bookmarking this one for future use.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Gordon, congrats on another big win. This will be a good month for you. You have simplified the pizza-making process by putting everything in one place. I guess I can through out all my pizza recipes books now. I haven't' found a good whole wheat pizza crust recipe yet, so I will for sure try yours. Voted up and useful and I'm bookmarking for future reference.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks very much again, Simone. It is a great honour and very much appreciated. Enjoy your pizza! :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh, I love the idea of the cheddar topping! And congrats! This Hub won the Day 19 Staff Pick prize in the So You Think You Can Write Online contest!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, ValveWrenches

      If you've made home made bread before, you will find the pizza dough really easy and straightforward.

      Hope you enjoy it.

    • ValveWrenches profile image

      ValveWrenches 

      7 years ago from Georgetown

      That looks good I'm gonna have to give it a try, I've made plenty of home made bread but I never did a pizza. I can't wait to try it.

      Cheers

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Simone. I hope you do try it and enjoy it and that you like the idea of cheddar as a topping.

      Thanks, Stephanie. I hope you like this easy recipe and agree that the best recipes need not be complicated in any way.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      Ohhh...I love homemade pizza, and your recipe looks great. I'm going to bookmark for future use — hopefully, the very near future!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Gordon Hamilton, you've done it again! This is such an excellent guide to making pizzas- but now I'm SO HUNGRY!!!! Can't wait to give your sauce recipe a go, and to make dough, too! Yay! I've also GOT to try cheddar as a topping... MMMM!!!

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