Whole Parenting Family

Pizza Fridays


We have a family tradition of homemade pizzas on Fridays. The dough is so easy to make in the mid-afternoon and the toppings take no time at all to prep. The recipe we go off is from Farmgirl Fare (Susan runs an AWESOME blog!) with a little variation based on my sister’s significant other’s kitchen genius.

Here’s photos from what we made this past week.

1) Dough.

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon yeast

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1 1/3 cup water, about 90 degrees

Blend the flour, salt, and yeast. Then add water.

2) Prepping.

Knead the dough for a few minutes and then place it in the a clean bowl, lightly oiled. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for two hours. Anytime between two and three hours is sufficient to let it rise. This recipe yields three medium sized pizzas, two large, and four small. I usually double the recipe if I’m cooking for another family as well.

3) Make your own tomato sauce in the meanwhile.

It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and then you leave it on the stove for an hour or two. Can add meatballs, but it’s really just amazing on its own. The secret to it? BUTTER!
Ingredients: 4 large cans whole peeled tomatoes; about ¼ pound hunk of parmesan or pecorino romano, salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, fresh basil
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a large stock pot on the stove. Prep the tomatoes by squeezing out the seeds over the sink, then plop them into this pot. Save the liquid from the can & add one cup of it to the pot. Let that bad boy simmer for 1- 1 ½ hours with the lid on, adding the reserved liquid if it gets too reduced.
Now add 1 cup freshly grated parm or romano cheese, and 1 tablespoon of butter (I do more, truth be told). Fold it all in, and then add freshly torn basil leaves, like 8 or so. Tah-dah!

4) Or make your own pesto sauce.

Basil leaves, as fresh as possible. We tripled the batch, but you really only need a cupful (pre-cutting or washing).

Pine nuts, or brazil nuts, or a nut that’s oily. 1/4 cup of these in their whole form.

Parmesan cheese. Save your tastebuds and don’t get the pre-grated as it’s just so much better if you grate it yourself just before use. 1/4 cup grated.

Garlic clove. The real deal is best, and not the Spice World pre-diced stuff in a jar, or dried/jarred garlic in any form. 1 clove.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use the best stuff you can as it really makes a difference on the flavor. About a cup.

Salt. A pinch. We use kosher salt or sea salt most often when cooking (flavor!).

Just five ingredients and a pinch of salt and you’re all set.

Prepare with the following:

Pounder: You will need something to pound everything to a paste with. I highly recommend a mortar & pestle. Otherwise you could use the end of a large cooking utensil that had a bulbous shape to emulate a pestle and just a bowl that can get banged up.

Heater: You will also need a toaster oven or conventional oven with a cookie sheet.

Tools: You’ll need a cheese grater, spatula, spoon, and measuring cups.


Garlic: Peel garlic clove and gently mash up with a knife. Place it into the mortar with a pinch of salt (helps break down the garlic and release its deliciousity).

Now pound away with pestle until it’s a beaten pulp.

Pine Nuts: toast them in the oven about 5-8 minutes until they’re a lovely brown. Watch out as they burn very quickly! Then add them to the garlic mix in the mortar.

Now mush! Keep going until the grains of the nuts are showing. Don’t give up early or your pesto will have hard spots.

Cheese. So you’ve grated it, now you add it to the pine nut mixture in the mortar. If you’re running out of room, move to a bigger bowl but still use the pestle. It really works to get them emulsified together, which is key to taste.

And you know the drill: mash it up.

Basil. At this point, remove everything from the mortar and put it into a separate bowl so as to make room for your basil. You will need to mash that up for a few minutes before adding it all together. Ensure your basil has been washed, dried (just not super wet), and coarsely chopped.

Now mash away. Everything comes together now.

Olive Oil. I add about a cup for the recipe as described above, but really just keep added and mixing until it looks and tastes right to you.

5) Back to the dough: shape and top.

Cut the dough into the number of pizzas you want. Shape the dough into pizza shape over your knuckles, using your thumbs to stretch it out. Flour is your friend. Lay it out on parchment paper, top with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then add your tomato or pesto sauce, and toppings of choice! Remember that the best cheese for pizza is a hard mozzarella grated, with a nice pecorino romano or parm freshly grated as well. Fresh pepperoni from the coop? YES! Yum.

6) Cook it!

A baking stone is a must so that you can simply slide the parchment paper with pizza on top onto it. It gives the crust such a nice finish and cooks it very evenly. Our oven is finished cooking in about 6 minutes at 500 degrees.

Bon Appetite! Pizza is so simple–you can totally do it too.


  1. Joseph on June 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

    HOlla! I tried your pizza out last night with the little lady. It was delicious. We opted for a mexican style, burger with taco seasoning, sour cream with hot sauce, chopped fried rice taco’s for crunch on top and assorted veggies. It was great, however I thought the crust was a little bland. I mostly your ingredients, (1 Tb Yeast, 1 Tb kosher salt, 1/3 olive oil, 4 cups flour, 1.5 cup water. It had good consistency and spread well, it just felt a little crumbly and lacked a good pizza feel, for lack of a better word. Any advice for a pizza novice?

    I went with a black bean spread for the sauce, so I think If I just do a lite olive oil, herb, tomato cheese, topping it may turn out better. Or traditional tomato sauce… we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

  2. Shena on June 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Yummy! I like the idea of having a certain meal you always cook on a certain day (and what’s better than pizza on Fridays).

    As the summer season starts (or at least, it is for those of us who don’t live so close to the North Pole…ahem) you may want to try GRILLING your pizza. Sounds tricky but isn’t – and it’s the tastiest pizza crust you’ll ever have.

    Here are some good instructions: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_grill_pizza/

    (I’ve never bothered wiping my grill down with olive oil, although I suppose that might add to the flavor. Whatever was on the grill last time seems to do the job in not making the dough stick to the pan. Is that gross?)

    • Novice Natural Mama on June 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

      I absolutely love this idea of grilling the pizza! We are going to try this tomorrow and see what happens. Will let you know!

      • Shena on June 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm


        • Novice Natural Mama on June 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm

          Sadly the weather has gotten in the way of grilling the last two Fridays. Woefully, I have nothing to report as of yet 🙁

  3. Novice Natural Mama on June 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

    This sounds delicious! A few factors can affect the dough: 1) filtered water, ensured at the right temp, 2) the type of yeast (fleishman’s is the best), and 3) the use of a bakestone (keeps moisture in crust). If it was dry & crumbly, I’d up the water, let it rise a bit longer, and maybe rub the bowl in which it rises in olive oil (and cover with a damp dish towel).

    You can also brush olive oil onto the crust’s edge when done topping it and then sprinkle a little kosher salt along the edge. Nummy!

    Let us know what happens with your dough experiment. And take comfort in the fact that I made terrible dough for about two years before this recipe fixed me.

  4. Farmgirl Susan on June 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Your pizzas look delish! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my crust recipe. 🙂

    • Novice Natural Mama on June 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

      It is splendid! And we’re hoping to bake some of your delicious whole wheat chocolate chip & raisin cookies soon, too!

  5. […] from Farmer Susan: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. (We also use her pizza dough recipe, as seen here.) My family gobbled them up. My mother has an excellent recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies, but even […]

  6. […] three cups of large delicious basil leaves on Friday, and planned on making pesto sauce for our Pizza Fridays tradition. Of course the day eluded my attempts to make the dough in time so instead we had pasta […]

  7. Farmgirl Fare: Focaccia! « Whole Parenting on September 23, 2011 at 10:23 am

    […] Susan recipes (and no, there’s nothing in it for me but the good good food they make!) on pizza and chocolate chip cookies, so here’s another one for her excellent focaccia. Her recipe is […]

  8. Joseph Olson on October 11, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Another great trial! Thanks for the great food recipes WholeParenting!!

  9. […] and we had homemade pizza for dinner. Because after all that flour and water in the bowls, on the counter top, and crusting […]

  10. […] Susan? Oh yeah, we love her pizza dough recipe, and focaccia bread. Take a peek at her Lemon Bars. I kinda burned the bottom part that you’re […]

  11. […] doll> keep going!” His little sweet gal pal V was over on Friday night for homemade pizza {Friday Night Pizzas!}. She brought her parents along for good measure. It was so fun! Especially to watch the two kiddos […]

  12. […] & a Hint of Orange. What? You don’t know about Farmgirl Susan? Hello! She invented our Pizza Friday‘s pizza dough. And my fav […]