Many people say they want to cook, but surprisingly few actually start. Don’t be like them. Cooking is fun, cheaper than take-out, and very satisfying. Start today and start by making pizza from scratch. But why pizza?
First, nearly everyone loves pizza. It’s safe, its fun, its popular. Even if you screw it up a bit, people will still want to eat it—and even your most closed minded friend is fine with pizza.
Second, it is (almost) infinitely customizable. If you love meat, pile it on. If you’re vegetarian, don’t. If you love olives but your partner doesn’t, put it on half. Easy, simple, customizable, tasty, done.
Third, and most importantly, cooking pizza is actually easy, but it sort of takes a long time to make from scratch.
Why, you might ask, is this a good thing? Shouldn’t you ease into cooking with something that’s quick and easy instead of slow and easy?
Nope, and I’ll tell you why.
Making pizza from scratch is the best way to get into cooking because it teaches you discipline. Warm, tasty, delicious discipline.
Inability to cook is mostly a mental barrier. It’s not actually hard to do. You just need to take the time to do it. And pizza, when made from scratch, takes time. You need to mix the ingredients, then wait at least eight hours for the yeast to work on the dough. Then you’ve got to make the sauce, spread the dough, add toppings, etc.
In short, pizza primes you to take the long view.
Once you’ve made this Pizza, you will have completed a cooking project that ended, at a minimum, 10 hours after you started it. Even though most of that time you didn’t actually do anything, the simple fact that you saw it through will make doing 30 minute, or even 1 hour recipes seem like nothing. You’ll laugh in the face of inferior people who think spending 10 minutes making pasta is difficult. And the best part is, after you’re done laughing, you’ll have a delicious pizza to eat.
But the other key reason why you should start to cook by making pizza is that it is honestly pretty easy. You can’t screw up at this.
Many people think cooking is “hard” but it’s actually much easier than most “hard” things. You cannot sit down at a piano, with absolutely no practice, and play a song. You can’t suddenly start speaking Chinese with no practice (although it is amazing how quickly you can learn difficult languages). But, with absolutely no culinary experience, you can follow the detailed instructions of a recipe, pour out the flour, mix in the water, let it sit, grease the pan, add the toppings, bake the pizza, and finally, enjoy a genuinely tasty dish—all with absolutely zero cooking experience. Yep, making kickass pizza is so easy that even people with no experience (hi there!) can do a good job.
Pizza takes long enough that it will prepare you to put in the effort for genuinely difficult dishes, but it’s easy enough that you won’t fail making it—even if you have no experience. Making pizza from scratch is the best way to get into cooking because it teaches you discipline. Warm, tasty, delicious discipline.
And hey, how cool is it to be able to say “I made this from scratch.”
So, where do you start? When I started, my friend Greg recommend this recipe from Serious Eats, although this one is recommended by their team for beginners. Really, I think the difficulty is about the same.
Don’t be intimidated by the amount of time it takes to make–90% of that time the dough just sits around while you do, well, whatever you want. And when it’s all over, there’s nothing like sharing your work with a friend or loved one. Or, hey, you could eat it all yourself. We won’t judge 😉
Did you try it? Has making pizza totally changed your life? Let us know in the comments!