1. - 8 ounces Master Recipe Pizza Dough

  2. - 3 ounces tomato or pizza sauce + a drizzle of olive oil (optional)

  3. - 3 ounces leftover grilled sirloin or Steak Bites, sliced thinly

  4. - 3 ounces leftover beef from Jazzed Up Packet Pot Roast, shredded finely

  5. - 1 ounce crisply cooked and crumbled bacon  (we also keep in freezer)

  6. - 1.5 ounces diced onion (we used a combo of red onion & scallions)

  7. -  3 ounces cheese, in small cubes  (we used fontina, asiago and mozzarella)

  8. - Parmesan cheese for garnishing


Place a rack in the lower third of your oven.  Placing a pizza or baking stone (or cast iron pizza pan) on the rack.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Have all your ingredients measured out and ready.

Take the measured amount of dough out of your bucket and with lightly floured hands, quickly form it into a ball by stretching the edges around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter-turn as you go and form the ball.  This should take 20 - 30 seconds.  The bottom of the ball will appear as a collection of loose ends, but it will flatten out.  Place the dough ball on a floured work surface.

To form the dough ball into a crust-like shape - flour your hands and/or the dough a bit more and begin pressing and patting the dough into a disk-like shape.  If the dough is really springing back on you, cover it with some plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 - 20 minutes.  I like to use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to as close to a 12 inch circle as possible.  While rolling the dough out, lift it up occasionally to be sure it isn’t sticking to your surface.  You can use a dough scraper to help release the dough so you are able to flour the surface underneath.

I’ve had good success using plain yellow cornmeal on my pizza peel to help it to not stick to the peel and to glide on to the pizza stone in the oven.  You could also use flour on your pizza peel if desired.  Transfer the rolled out pizza crust to the pizza peel.

Once the crust is on the peel, quickly begin topping the pizza.  The longer the dough sits on the peel, the more chance it will begin sticking.  This is why it’s important that your ingredients are measured out in advance.  It’s also important to measure the ingredients so that the pizza isn’t too heavy.  The more toppings (i.e., weight), the more chances the crust won’t properly cook in the middle and that it will also stick to the peel.

To dress our pizza - I start with a drizzle of olive oil around the edge of the crust, then I use a bristled pastry brush to spread the pizza sauce on the pizza (I think you get more control with the bristles versus the silicone ones).  Then the meats and the onions get layered on.  Finally the cheese(s).  A quick note about the cheeses - the reasons I use small cubes or torn chunks of cheese is because it keeps the cheese from burning at such a high temperature.  That way everything looks properly balanced! Oh, and I buy our cheese at the warehouse store, it’s significantly cheaper!   OK - then - Do a quick practice check to be sure your pizza glides along the peel and isn’t sticking anywhere before you place it into the oven.  If it is - use your dough scraper to release and place cornmeal underneath.

And then it’s time to place the pizza on the preheated baking stone.  How I get it off the peel is to open the oven door (obviously) - and place my peel (with the pizza on it) close to the back 1/3 of the baking stone.  And then with a quick firm pushing motion, jerk the peel forward and the back half of the pizza will slide off the peel and onto the stone ... and once the pizza has reached the stone, then gently pull the peel back towards you and the rest of the pizza will slide off and on to the stone.  And then while the pizza is in the oven - you can rinse off your pizza peel so it’s clean when you pull the pizza out from the oven.

The pizza only takes 5 - 8 minutes in the oven.  Just watch it so it’s cooked the way you like to enjoy your pizza.  I like a little more crisp char on my pizza, but Eric doesn’t - so we’ve figured out the best timing for us.

When the pizza is done, I grab the cleaned off pizza peel and open the oven door.  With long handled tongs (like grill tongs), grab the pizza and pull it off the baking stone and on to the pizza peel.  Allow the cheese(s) to set for a minute and then cut as desired.  We usually transfer ours to a large cutting board before slicing it up.  This is also when we give it a little fresh dusting of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese!  And time to eat! 

This is one fun and scrumptious way to economically repurpose your leftovers!  Try it with whatever combinations of meats you end up with this Holiday Weekend!  The more you practice making homemade pizza - seriously trust me that the more confident you’ll become!  And for more Pizza ideas - click HERE for the Pizza, Breadstick & Sandwich Recipe Index.

Happy Memorial Day!