This homemade pizza is simple yet so delicious. Uses heirloom tomato slices in lieu of sauce, along with fresh mozzarella and basil. A gluten-free and spelt crust is also included in the recipe!
We have family movie nights regularly throughout the week. It’s a great way to put down our devices, snuggle up on the couch together, and hangout as a family. We all really look forward to it and nothing makes it feel more like a legitimate movie night than having pizza and popcorn to snack on.
The other day was my son’s birthday and he specifically requested family movie night with pizza. We usually make homemade pizza, because it’s truly the best, but this time I wanted to make something extra special for our movie night.
Even though this pizza is incredibly simple (it only has a few ingredients, aside from the pizza dough) the flavor is amazing. In fact, my hubby said it was his new favorite pizza! Since it only has a few ingredients, it’s important to use the best quality ingredients. Use good tasting tomatoes, fresh cheese, etc. If you have trouble finding heirloom tomatoes, just use your favorite slicing tomato. Enjoy!
- 1 pizza crust, recipe below or store-bought
- 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced (or regular tomatoes will also work. I also added a handful of sliced colorful cherry tomatoes)
- 8-16 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn into pieces (can also use vegan cheese)
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- 2½-3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (For these photos I used half White Whole Wheat Flour and half all-purpose. Can also use Spelt Flour, but a little more may be needed)
- 1 package Rapid Rise Yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
- 1-2 tablespoons Honey or organic sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup very warm water (120-130ºF)
- For the crust, I use Rapid Rise yeast to cut the rising time down. If you are using regular active dry yeast, you'll have to let it rise a bit longer.
- Place 1 cup of flour, rapid rise yeast, oil, honey, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add your warm water and begin mixing with an electric mixer or wooden spoon.
- Beat until the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Begin adding additional flour ½ cup at a time until it forms a soft dough.
- Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes or until dough is soft and smooth. Be careful not to add too much flour or the crust will be hard (If using spelt flour you may need more flour as it's not as absorbent as all-purpose.) Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. If using active dry yeast, let rise about 40-60 minutes.
- *Tip: If your kitchen is cool, you can turn on your oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes and then turn off. Oven should be warm but not too hot to touch. Place bowl inside of the warm oven to rise. Alternatively, you can place a pan of boiling water in the bottom of your oven (turned off) and close the oven door. The steam and moisture will also be a good environment for the dough to rise.
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Thinly slice tomatoes and place onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Pat dry to remove excess moisture, otherwise the pizza can become watery while baking.
- Place dough onto a large piece of parchment paper or lightly greased pizza pan/baking sheet and gently stretch it out to about 12-14 inches, but be careful not to overwork the dough. The size will determine how thick or thin the crust is—smaller pizza for thicker crust, spread it out larger for thinner crust. If you get a hole in the crust when stretching it out, just pinch the dough back together.
- (Optional: For thick, fluffy crust, you can cover the dough on the pan and let rise again for 15-30 minutes)
- Top with alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella. I didn't use sauce, but if you want to add some, I have an easy pizza sauce recipe here. Sprinkle the top with salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil (optional).
- Place into the preheated oven on an upper rack (mine is about 6-8 inches from the top of the oven.) Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly toasted and crust has browned. (If little water pockets have developed due to the tomatoes, just pat dry with paper towels.)
- Top with fresh basil and serve. Cuts into about 8-10 slices.