Starting with the pizza sauce, you can buy sauce or make your own. Here is my good recipe for sauce, which makes enough for three big pizzas, and stores well in the refrigerator:
Two, fifteen-ounce cans of tomato sauce. 2, 6-ounce cans of tomato paste. One teaspoon of onion powder. 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. One half teaspoon of anise seed. 1/2 teaspoon of basil powder. Three tablespoons of sugar. 1 teaspoon of pizza seasoning (I like Frontier Pizza salt-free brand).
Combine these ingredients in a big bowl with a large fork for several minutes to blend the tomato paste with the sauce, and to distribute the seasonings. Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for several hours or more, to allow the flavors diffuse.
In addition to pizza sauce, you need a pizza crust. You can buy them or bake your own. My previous article has a recipe for a whole wheat crust that is fiber-rich. If you buy a pizza crust or shell, it probably does not require to be precooked. Home made dough should always be precooked.
If you have dough, preheat a pizza stone (baking stone) in the oven at 350 degrees. Take the dough out of the bowl, and place it on a plastic baking mat. Plastic mats work best on cutting boards made of wood.
If you have dough, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a circle, approximately eighteen inches wide, or to match the size of your pizza screen. When the rolling is done, place the pizza screen on the dough. Turn the plastic mat upside down, and carefully shift the dough onto the pizza screen. If any parts of the dough extends past the pizza screen, fold it back.
Then, put the pizza screen with the dough in the oven, to precook the dough for about 15 minutes. Then take it out, and put it on the cutting board, or another heat-proof surface. Then, turn the oven up to 450 to 480 degrees.
To assemble the pizza, spread the sauce on it. What cheeses should you use for your pizza? Almost always, two kinds of cheese works best. I use about 4 ounces of Monterey jack and 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese. If you use a second cheese, cut it into cubes. I put 1/2 inch cubes of Monterey jack on the pizza, especially an inch away from the edges, then mozzarella, then I put the toppings on.
What toppings will you use? Most toppings like peppers, mushrooms, and meats, should be microwaved or cooked first, to precook them most of the way, and most of the liquids drained first, which will help to avoid a soggy pizza. If the toppings are too hot, a big knife or cleaver may be used to hold them, and you can flick the toppings onto the pizza.
After all the toppings are on the pizza, bake it for about ten to twelve minutes, checking it at 8 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted, and only a little bit brown. When it is done, turn off the oven.
Then, take the pizza out, and put it on the cutting board. Using both an oven mitt and a big knife at the same time works well to take a heavy pizza from a hot oven. It is a good idea to cover the cutting board with paper towels first.
After the pizza is safely out of the oven, slide the pizza off the pizza screen, onto the cutting board. Sometimes you need to use a knife to run under the screen, to gently push away any stuck areas of the pizza from the screen. Put the screen back in the oven, to let it cool there.
This is the hard part – leave the pizza alone for at least half an hour. It will be a big pizza, and it will remain hot for a long time. Then, cut it with a cleaver or big knife and enjoy. Wrap leftovers in tin foil, but not if the slices are hot, because they will stick to the tin foil. The pizza will be very good.