Homemade Pizza Four Ways

Tired of turkey? Making pizza, dough and all, is a fun activity for the whole family to do together!

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Fresh pineapple, natural ham, spicy banana peppers, and homemade dough makes the best Hawaiian pizza ever

Gather the gang around for a group brainstorming session and see what pizza topping ideas you can come up with!

There’s something about making pizza dough from scratch. I still remember going on a field trip to a pizzeria in elementary school to watch the chef in action, twirling the dough above his head.

I was so inspired by that memory when I made this pizza that I tried to spin the dough above my head as though I were an experienced pizza-maker. From that experience I recommend you use a rolling pin.

The spicy capicola and Hawaiian pizzas were made on a separate occasion (we’ve been making a lot of pizza this past week) from the Italian sausage and prosciutto pizzas.

For the latter two pizzas my BFF and her new fiance (cue hysterical cheering) brought the dough and homemade pizza sauce, and I made the toppings (and provided the celebratory bubbly, the delicious Summerhill Cipes Vintage).

Before he brought over his fancy, made-from-scratch sauce I’d been impressed with myself for just making the dough. Maybe I will make my own pizza sauce the next time around.

The dough recipe I used comes from the fabulous Lesley Stowe Fine Foods Cookbook (I’ve also made her delicious Olive and Fig Tapenade as well as her amazing Black Bean Linguine with Prawns).

She recommends using a pizza stone so I went out and bought one. I have a habit of learning things the hard way and this experience was no different.

The instructions don’t tell you how to get your flimsy, raw pizza onto the very large and incredibly hot pizza stone that has been preheating in the oven. My BFFs brilliant foodie beau had the answer – I need to get myself a pizza peel to prepare the pizza on and then easily slide it onto the pizza stone.

In the meantime we’ve been preparing the pizzas on a heavily-floured flat baking sheet and then, this is a two person job, gently sliding them onto the pizza stone assisted by a spatula-wielding person on each side of the baking sheet, gently coaxing the pizza onto the stone.

Pizza Dough


Makes 2 large pizzas

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 pkg (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar.
  2. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in flour, oil and salt.
  4. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn out dough onto a floured board (or clean, floured countertop) and knead for several minutes, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. When the dough is smooth and shiny, transfer it to a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil.
  7. To prevent a skin from forming, brush the top of dough with additional olive oil.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
  9. Punch dough down and knead once more. If sticky, knead in a bit more flour.
  10. Preheat oven and pizza stone to 400F for about 15 minutes to get pizza stone nice and hot.
  11. Roll out one ball of pizza dough and cover with sauce and toppings (see four suggestions below)
  12. Slide pizza onto pizza stone and cook for about 15 minutes, or until bottom begins to brown.
  13. Brush the edges of finished pizza with olive oil once it comes out of the oven.
  14. Repeat with second ball of pizza dough.

Spicy Capicola and Mushroom Topping

This pizza topping is pictured above with the pizza dough


  • 1 small tin of prepared pizza sauce
  • 100 grams spicy capicola, chopped
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • large handful grated mozza cheese

Fiery Hawaiian Topping


  • 1 small tin prepared pizza sauce
  • 100 grams ham, chopped (look for natural, nitrite-free ham at your grocer)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced banana peppers
  • large handful grated mozza cheese

Italian Sausage, Sauteed Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Topping


  • 1/3 cup homemade sauce (I’m not sure of the recipe but I think he used pureed tomatoes, fresh rosemary and fresh garlic)
  • 100 grams spicy Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled 
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced and sauteed until brown in olive oil and butter
  • 1/2 onion, sliced and caramelized in olive oil and butter
  • large handful grated mozza cheese

Prosciutto, Arugula and Sundried Tomato Topping


  • 1/3 cup homemade sauce (I’m not sure of the recipe but I think he used pureed tomatoes, fresh rosemary and fresh garlic)
  • 100 grams prosciutto, chopped
  • large handful of arugula, chopped
  • 4 sundried tomatoes in oil, thinly sliced
  • large handful grated mozza cheese