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Make Your Next Pizza Night Pizza-Perfect


You can make a pizza using premade pizza dough—or try making your own crust from scratch.


Makes one 12-inch pizza


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour*
  • * If you or your family avoid gluten, you can still use this recipe. Instead of 1½ cups of all-purpose flour, use 1½ cups of a gluten-free flour.
  1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl and stir in the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and olive oil. The mixture will be very dry and crumbly.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms. Use clean floured hands to shape the dough into a ball.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  5. Sprinkle some flour on a cutting board or clean countertop. Knead the dough a few times on the floured surface.
  6. Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan with butter and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Place the dough in the middle of the pan. Push, pull, and stretch until the dough fills the pan.
  7. Bake the crust in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 5 minutes.


  • Sauce: After you’ve prebaked the crust, use a spoon to spread sauce on top. For a 12-inch pizza, we used about ½ cup of sauce. Try a traditional tomato sauce, pesto, or Alfredo sauce (available at grocery stores)—or combine two together for a new flavor!
  • Cheese: Shredded mozzarella is a classic choice, but other types of cheese— like cheddar, provolone, or feta—can be used, too. Try 1 cup of shredded cheese for a 12-inch pizza.
  • Toppings: Finish off the pizza with your favorite toppings. Pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, basil, tomatoes, and broccoli all make for great pizza. Try a few combinations!


  • Once you’ve assembled the pizza, bake it in a preheated 400-degree oven for 15-17 minutes. The pizza is done when the cheese is melted and the edges of the crust are starting to turn brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Excerpted from American Girl Magazine, September/October 2017. ©American Girl Publishing 2017. All rights reserved.

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