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Makers Make Stuff - Make it Yourself at Home

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  • Brian Welch
  • January 06, 2020 02:59:00 PM
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A Little About Us

Makers Make Stuff endeavors to teach people how fun, easy and healthy it is to make stuff yourself. Don't be a slave to pre-packaged and chemically ridden products from the grocery store. It's a lot easier than you might think to make these things yourself and we guarantee you will have fun doing it.

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  • Stop buying all of your stuff pre-made and packaged in a box. It's easier than you might think to make some of your favorite foods. This blog is more than just a recipe site, we look at things you can make on your own that you would normally buy in a store already made for you.
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    How to Make Relish

    Relish is one of those things in the back of your fridge that never seems to go bad. You take it out every now and then for hot dog night, then, back it goes into the dark depths of the icebox.  If that just about sums up your relationship with relish, let me be the... Read More The post How to Make Relish appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Relish is one of those things in the back of your fridge that never seems to go bad. You take it out every now and then for hot dog night, then, back it goes into the dark depths of the icebox. 

    If that just about sums up your relationship with relish, let me be the one to inform you that relish can be used for more things than just hot dogs. Made with tangy, sweet pickled cucumbers, a good relish is the perfect flavor addition to so many great snacks and meals. 

    Amazing Uses for Relish

    When I think of relish, I think of summer days, barbecues, and family picnics. That seems to be the habitat that relish thrives in. However, there are some other not-so-well-known domains that it can be found in that you should definitely know about. 

    Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, and Egg Salad – Mix in a spoonful or two of relish and you’ll take bland picnic salads to the next level. This is a perfect balance of tang, sweetness (from the relish), and savoriness (from the salad). 

    Hamburgers – This one may be obvious, but trust me, the idea of putting it on a burger can easily slip someone’s mind. Just like with hot dogs, relish goes great with the savory flavors of a hamburger and ketchup. The tang from the relish will add a nice, light flavor to a heavy burger. 

    Sandwich Spread – At first thought, putting relish on a regular sandwich might seem strange, but when mixed in with other condiments, relish makes a great addition. Take some relish, mayo, tartar sauce, and mustard, mix them all together, and you have yourself a tasty sandwich spread. 

    Deviled Egg Filling – Deviled eggs have the tendency to be uninspired and a bit bland. Sneaking in some relish is a great way to give those deviled eggs a real devilish kick. 

    Meatloaf – One of the troubles with meatloaf is that it can dry out pretty easily when cooking. A simple way to prevent this is by putting a few spoonfuls into the mix before cooking. It’ll also add a new, interesting flavor to the dish. 

    Glazed Chicken or Pork – A sweet relish makes a fun glaze when cooking chicken or pork. It’s a healthier alternative to sugary glazes, and makes for a tasty meal. 

    Now that you know about some of the wonderful uses of relish, let’s get into the real meat and potatoes of this article — how do you make relish at home?

    Simple Relish Recipe

    When it comes to condiment making, relish is one of the more involved and time-consuming things to make. But, that only makes it all the more satisfying to accomplish. So, let’s talk about the recipe. 

    You Will Need…

    • 3 cups finely chopped cucumbers (unpeeled)
    • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • ¼ cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want your relish)
    • ¾ cup white vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
    • About 8 cups of ice-cold water

    Makes 4 cups of relish.

    Takes about 1.5 hours.

    Step 1 – Drain the cucumbers and onions. Add the cucumbers, onions, and salt to a colander or sieve placed inside a bowl. Through the process of osmosis, the salt will drain most of the liquid from the cucumbers and onions. Let this sit for about 1 hour. You should gradually see liquid forming in the bowl. 

    Step 2 – Wring out the excess liquid. Now that most of the liquid has been drained out, gently press the cucumbers and onions to let out any excess liquid.

    Step 3 – Make the syrup. In a pot on the stove, combine the vinegar, sugar, garlic, and mustard seeds. Let this boil until the sugar has dissolved. Continuously stir.

    Step 4 – Combine ingredients. Combine the drained cucumber and onions to the syrup in the pot and let this simmer for another 10 minutes. 

    Step 5 – Refrigerate. Take your containers and spoon the warm relish into them. You can refrigerate these for up to about a month. 

    All it takes to make this delicious, sweet condiment is some draining, boiling, and canning. Anyone can do it, as long as you have the patience to chop up those cucumbers and onions. You can use a food processor, just make sure you don’t puree anything. 

    Dill Relish

    If you don’t feel like having sweet relish, you can decide to omit all sweetness and make a straightforward, tangy dill relish instead. All you have to do to make this happen is to make a few changes to the recipe above. 

    First, get rid of the sugar. If you want a nonsweet relish, this is the best place to start. 

    Next, during step 3, add in 2 teaspoons of dill seeds, and 1½ teaspoons celery seeds. 

    Finally, right after step 4, mix in ½ a teaspoon of turmeric. 

     A Helpful Tip

    We recommend that if you aren’t into chopping, you look into purchasing a vegetable chopper appliance. Chopping can be a bore and a turn-off for potential cooks. Why avoid cooking delicious meals just because of the ingredient prep? 

    A good, heavy-duty vegetable chopper is a busy chef’s best friend. 

    The Mueller Ultra Heavy Duty Chopper 

    This Mueller model is one of the highest-rated choppers on amazon.com and that’s why we’re recommending it for you. While this chopper won’t make uniform cuts, it’s perfect for whipping eggs, dicing tomatoes for salsa, chopping onions without having to deal with burning eyes, and relish-making. 

    Conclusion

    Making relish can be a fulfilling, and delicious way to spend a weekend or summer’s day. The simple tang of relish is a great addition to so many meals, and best of all, it isn’t hard to make. 

    Plus, a nice jar of relish makes a great, thoughtful gift. Next time you invite family or friends over, let them go home with a pretty green jar of homemade relish. They’ll never forget it. 

    The post How to Make Relish appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Homemade Gin

    Gin is one of the more popular alcoholic beverages these days among all kinds of drinkers. Women and men, young and old find a use for gin and always have it stocked up in their liquor cabinets.  The reason gin is so widespread is because of its clean, fruity undertones, which make it perfect for... Read More The post How to Make Homemade Gin appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Gin is one of the more popular alcoholic beverages these days among all kinds of drinkers. Women and men, young and old find a use for gin and always have it stocked up in their liquor cabinets. 

    The reason gin is so widespread is because of its clean, fruity undertones, which make it perfect for mixing all kinds of cocktails. 

    Gin is just an all-around, great drink. So, how does one make gin in their own kitchen? Making gin at home may seem pointless since there are dozens of gin companies stocking up your nearby supermarket. However, gin-making is the perfect project for someone who wants to explore flavors and dip their toes into the world of alcohol. 

    Just like how gin has widespread appeal, gin-making can be done by anyone, since the process is so simple.

    The Best Ingredients for Gin-Making

    Gin-making is all about choosing your ingredients wisely. When making gin, you often don’t know which ingredients that you put in will shine through in the final product. That’s why you’ll want to experiment until you perfect your gin. 

    If you want to create your own, original homemade gin recipe, then read through the list below and choose up to 10 ingredients to include in your gin. 

    • Juniper berries (these are a must when making gin. Gin wouldn’t be gin without them!)

    Spices and Herbs:

    • Cinnamon
    • Liquorice
    • Coriander
    • Ginger
    • Basil
    • Rosemary
    • Vanilla
    • Star anise
    • Mint
    • Sage
    • Peppermint
    • Lavender

    Fruits and Vegetables:

    • Lime juice and lime peel 
    • Orange juice and orange peel
    • Lemon juice and lemon peel
    • Clementine juice and clementine peel
    • Grapefruit juice and grapefruit peel
    • Apple juice
    • Pear juice
    • Apricot juice
    • Blackberries
    • Blueberries
    • Cantaloupe
    • Cranberries
    • Celery
    • Carrots
    • Ginger

    Roots, Barks, and Seeds:

    • Angelica root
    • Cassia bark
    • Fennel seeds
    • Coriander seeds
    • Caraway seeds

    Those are just some of the many, many, many ingredients that can be used when making gin. You don’t have to limit yourself to these ingredients! If you have another ingredient in mind that you think would go great in a glass of gin, utilize it. 

    Gin Kits

    Buying a kit with pre-portioned ingredients makes the whole gin-making process a breeze. Good gin kits will even come with great gin cocktail recipes that are sure to impress. One of the better gin kits out there is the Do Your Gin gin-making kit. It comes with everything you need to make your own gin, and all the ingredients included are neatly packed in glass bottles. 

    Plus, if you need refills on ingredients, all you have to do is contact the company and they’ll send you more. It’s as easy as that. 

    Making gin from such a good quality kit like this will make you feel like a professional mixologist. That’s why this kit would make a great gift, too.

    Making Homemade Gin Without a Kit

    For this method of gin-making, if you want to go on the freer route, all you really need is a bottle of grain alcohol and the ingredients (see above list) of your choice. All you have to do is put your ingredients into the bottle of grain alcohol and let them infuse for a few days. 

    This may sound like ‘cheating’ since you’re not actually making the alcohol yourself. However, note that gin is literally just grain alcohol infused with juniper berries. That’s the definition of gin. Don’t believe me? Look it up. 

    If you want to follow a basic gin recipe, then follow the recipe below.

    You Will Need…

    • 1 liter of plain vodka or another grain alcohol of your choice (Should have about 40% ABV)
    • 2 ½ tablespoons juniper berries
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 2 cardamom pods
    • A small dash of cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 inches of the peel of one lemon
    • A sprig of fresh rosemary
    • A sprig of fresh lavender

    Step 1 – Infuse alcohol with juniper berries. Open your bottle of grain alcohol and pour in the 2 ½ tablespoons of juniper berries. To get a stronger juniper berry flavor, using a pestle and mortar, you can slightly crush the berries, just until they are cracked and their insides are visible. 

    Step 2 – Let your alcohol sit. Now, put your bottle into the fridge and wait for the juniper berries to infuse their flavor into the alcohol. Depending on how strong you want the juniper berry flavor to be, this can take about 12-48 hours. 12 hours should be good enough, though. 

    Step 3 – Add in the rest of your ingredients. Now that the juniper berries have infused into your alcohol, it can officially be called gin. Technically, you could just leave it at this and call it a day, but without any other ingredients, it will taste pretty bland. 

    So, go through your list and drop each of your ingredients into the bottle of alcohol and juniper berries. 

    Step 4 – Let it sit… again. When making most drinks, whether it be gin or homemade cola, waiting is all part of the game. So, put your bottle back into the fridge and wait another 2 days, or 48 hours. 

    Step 5 – Strain and taste! Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Take your gin out of the fridge and pour it into a pitcher through a strainer. You should notice that the ingredients have given your gin a slightly amber brown coloration. 

    Once you separate all the solids from the liquids, you’re ready to bottle your gin up and start drinking. It’s just that easy!

    How to Make Homemade Gin By Distilling

    Gin making is pretty simple when you don’t have to worry about the distillation process. If you’re a beginner, or if you don’t feel like spending the money to buy a gin distiller (most people don’t), then the above two methods are most desirable. 

    However, using a gin distiller can allow you to create a more sophisticated gin drink. As the gin distills, different ingredients will shine through, making it actually have a different flavor depending on the amount of time it is left to distill for. So, with a gin distiller, you can distill your gin until it reaches the flavor that you most enjoy.


    The Vanell Home Distiller works great and comes with everything you need for distilling your gin. It’s simple to use and isn’t that big, so you can store it in your pantry, closet, or garage without much problem.

    For this method of gin-making, you’ll need all the ingredients mentioned in the last recipe, including the 1 liter of grain alcohol. 

    Follow steps 1-4, but don’t move on to step 5. Instead, follow along with the following instructions. 

    Step 5 – Pour your gin into the distiller. Keeping your distiller on a rather low heat so you don’t scorch your gin, let the distiller do its job. While your gin distills, find a measuring cup and place it under the opening to collect the distilled gin. 

    Step 6 – Measure out your gin. The most enjoyable flavors of gin you’ll get by using a distiller will exist in the first 3-ish cups of gin that comes out. So, you’re going to want to keep this gin separate from the last cup of gin. If they mix, you may end up with a not-so-desirable gin flavor profile. 

    Just for fun, you can collect your gin about 1 cup at a time, putting each cup in a separate glass or jar. After the distilling is completely over, you can then taste each of your four cups of gin and see for yourself the range of flavor that your gin has.

    You can choose your favorite cup and get rid of the rest, or mix some together and toss some. It’s up to you. 

    No matter how you choose to make your homemade gin, it’s important to remember that all gin really is is grain alcohol infused with juniper berries. It’s nothing fancy, yet it’s beautiful, clean, and aromatic. 

    Gin is definitely something unique, and making it yourself is a fun way of getting into home brewing and distilling, both of which are becoming popular hobbies these days. 

    The post How to Make Homemade Gin appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    Making Pizza at Home: Ultimate Guide

    Pizza is one of the most popular take-out foods in the United States. Americans eat, on average, over 40 pizzas a year. Knowing how to make pizza at home has some very real benefits. In 2019, The California Milk advisory board gave away $25,000 in prizes for a pizza making contest using California cheeses. Contestants... Read More The post Making Pizza at Home: Ultimate Guide appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Pizza is one of the most popular take-out foods in the United States. Americans eat, on average, over 40 pizzas a year. Knowing how to make pizza at home has some very real benefits. In 2019, The California Milk advisory board gave away $25,000 in prizes for a pizza making contest using California cheeses. Contestants from all over the state tested their recipes against one another in several categories to compete for the best homemade pizza. Pizza making contests throughout the country pit contests against one another for ultimate pizza making challenges where creative slices lead to new flavors and even new business ventures.

    You might be the next pizza master! You know you’ve always dreamed of starting a food truck side gig!  

    If you don’t have a competitive or entrepreneurial spirit, knowing how to make some killer pizza is still pretty special.

    Psst, pizza is delicious and cheaper to make at home. 

    We’ve worked hard to write up a culinary series on making pizza at home and decided to wrap it all up for you in our Ultimate Guide to Making Pizza at Home.

    Why You Should Learn How to Make Pizza at Home: 

    Pizza is a divisive subject. Whether you’re on #teamthickcrust or #teamthincrust, NY-Style, or California Pizza Kitchen, we want you to have the basics down so you can craft your own personal pizza style at home.

    After all, what’s more American than relentlessly arguing over whose favorite pizza is better? Feed your family on the cheap and put your neighbor’s pizza game to shame by learning how to make your favorite slices with Maker’s Make Stuff.

    But first…a history lesson

    History of Pizza Making:

    The current world record for pizza eating is a staggering 40 1/2 slices of pizza in 10 minutes. Joey Chestnut, a competitive eater, holds that world record for pizza eating. Pizza has become a cultural icon around the world and particularly in the United States. Pizza has earned its spot in the food hall of fame after thousands of years of pleasing mankind with its cheesy, saucy flavors.

    Before the invention of fast-acting yeast, bread was flat. The people of ancient civilizations creatively topped their flatbreads with meats and cheeses and what we now know of as pizza was born.

    People have been arguing over whose pizza is better for thousands of years. 

    Romans first coined the term “pizza,” and the people of Italy kept pizza to themselves until World War II troops brought the ideas and recipes of pizza home to the US after the war. Before World War II, pizza was enjoyed in the United States by Italian Immigrants who spread throughout American Cities, bringing their beloved pizza to their mostly Italian neighborhoods.

    Pizza started as street food for the poor and, over time, has evolved into a culinary icon enjoyed throughout the world.

    The first Pizzaria opened in New York City in 1905, while Chicago Style deep dish pizza wasn’t invented until 1943 by two men who would later go on to open Pizzaria Uno.

    Some of the first pizza restaurants opened in the United States are still operating today run by the descendants of the original owners.

    From pizzerias to frozen pizzas, each day, 13% of the US population consumes pizza for at least one meal.

    Pizza has become so popular that one man, Dave Portnoy, makes over 7K dollars a month from his online pizza reviews.

    Aside from all the money there is to be made with pizza, learning how to make pizza at home can save you tons of money each year.

    Pizza Statistics:

    • We consume around 250,000 lbs of pepperoni each year.
    • Pizza restaurants globally buy over 4 billion dollars worth of cheese each year.
    • 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly.
    • Superbowl Sunday is one of the top pizza sales days in the United States.
    • We eat about 350 slices of pizza per second.
    • 61% of Americans prefer thin crust of thick crust or deep dish (Chicago Style is the WORST)
    • The most expensive pizza ever made cost $2,745.00. It had luxurious ingredient toppings such as smoked salmon, lobster, and edible gold.
    • A restaurant in New York City sells “Luxury Pizza” for $125.00 per slice. It has six different types of caviar for toppings.
    • We buy 3 billion pizzas a year in the United States.
    • The average slice of pizza has 271 calories. Adding veggies can increase the nutritional value. Women are more likely than men to add vegetables to pizza.

    Now that you know just how famous pizza truly is, let’s get to making pizza at home! 

    Types of Homemade Pizza:

    While there is only one genuinely delicious pizza (thin crust, duh!), I would be remiss if I didn’t include all kinds of pizza in this ultimate guide to making pizza at home.

    Chicago Style Pizza

    Let’s start with the least favorite. Invented in Chicago in 1943, deep-dish pizza is more of a pie and less of a pizza. Deep dish pizza is exactly as it sounds, deep. It’s ultra-thick crust pizza with layers of oozy gooey cheese, and tomatoes ON TOP of the cheese (excuse me, but no). Chicago deep-dish is almost impossible to eat by the slice, so plan on using a fork and knife to eat your pizza pie. I will give Chicago credit for its hot-dogs, but pizza, not so much. I feel comfortable saying this, knowing that 61% of Americans agree with me on this one.

    NY-Style Pizza

    The original and the favorite of pizza eaters is the NY-Style pizza. From its ancient roots, NY-Style pizza has a slow-proof crust that gives it the tangy sour flavor similar to that of ancient flatbreads. Firing NY pizza in a brick oven or high-temp cooking creates a charred and crispy crust and bubbly cheese. East Coast pizza is famous for its tart crust, tangy, sauce, and creative toppings.

    Thick Crust Pizza

    Thick crust pizza is going to be what you find at the average American Pizzaria. A fluffy and soft crust that’s baked all the way through is the signature of famous pizza joints such as Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, and Dominos. You will find standard toppings such as pepperoni and sausage or veggie lovers, but you’re less likely to find exciting and imaginative toppings such as clam pizza.

    Thin Crust Pizza

    You’ve asked, and they’ve answered. Americans prefer thin crust, and commercial pizzerias are offering a thin crust version of your favorite slices. The difference between thin crust pizza and traditional NY-Style pizza is the proofing time. Regular thin-crust proofs for 30-minutes to an hour and doesn’t have that signature sourdough flavor of NY style pizza.

    Stuffed Crust Pizza

    The late ’90s and early 2000s were a time of creativity and experimentation for the commercial pizza market. Here we started seeing thick pieces of salty mozzarella rolled up into the crust to melt during baking. Stuffed crust pizza is especially delicious if the crust is brushed with garlic butter before putting the pizza into the oven. String cheese is an excellent substitute if you want to try making stuffed crust pizza at home!

    How to Make Pizza At Home: 

    Whether you want to host a make-your-own-pizza night or want to learn how to bake fresh and delicious pizza for your family, we’ve got you covered. Choose your preferred style (no judgment here if you like deep-dish), and we will help you learn how to make the most creative and amazing slices of pizza.

    Gather Your Supplies: 

    Pizza night can come together perfectly with a few simple supplies. While we love our backyard pizza ovens, a regular ol’ oven or grill will be perfect for making delicious pizza at home.

    What you’ll need:

    • A Mixing bowl: preferably glass for yeasted doughs.
    • A covered container for proofing or rising your dough
    • 12″ pizza pan: Did you know that 14″ pizza is the most popular size for commercially bought pizza? We find 12″ the perfect size to make at home. Most ovens and grills can handle this size, and you don’t need any special supplies to pull a pizza this size out of the oven or off the grill. The pizza cooks directly on the grill or oven rack, but the pan is helpful for cutting after the pizza is baked.
    • A pizza cutter
    • A deep-dish pizza pan: for you Chicago-Style folks. You can’t bake a deep dish without a pizza pan.

    These are the basic supplies to make pizza night happen for your family. We’ve talked more in-depth about creative ways to have a pizza party at home and the supplies to make pizza night extra special for your friends and family.

    Check out that post here!

    Choosing Your Pizza Flavors

    From the crust to the toppings and everything in between, the beauty of pizza is its ability to be customized in thousands of different ways. From savory to sweet, pizza can be mixed and remixed, so your pizza night will never become boring.

    Making Pizza at home: Toppings

    The Crust:

    We prefer the tangy flavor of NY-Style pizza, but not everyone has the time or the planning capacity to wait 72 hours for your dough to proof in the fridge. You can still follow our NY-Style Pizza dough recipe and simply proof your dough as you usually do in a warm spot in your kitchen. If you have the time to wait for the 72-hour for your dough to slowly proof in the fridge, the flavor and texture of the crust are worth the wait.

    The Sauce:

    The sauce is where the flavor combinations start to get exciting. From our no-cook tomato sauce to hummus and Nutella, you can sauce your pizza with all kinds of exciting flavors.

    The Cheese:

    80% of pizzas are topping with mozzarella cheese. And while we adore mozzarella cheese, we strongly encourage you to think outside the bag a little and try different combinations of cheese on your homemade pizzas. Brie and goat cheese are two of our favorite cheeses to pile on top of homemade pizza!

    The Toppings:

    The toppings are where your pizza combinations expand exponentially. Some of our favorite categories of toppings include fruit, meats, veggies, and even some no-bake garnishes to sprinkle on your slices after they’ve finished baking!

    Check out our Guide to Pizza Toppings for our extensive lists of sauces, cheeses, and pizza toppings.

    Choose Your Baking Method for Homemade Pizza: 

    The trick to a crispy pizza with a crust that’s baked all the way through is firing your pizza at higher temps. Preheat your oven to 500-degrees or fire up your grill to high heat. Pizza crisps up perfectly and quickly in as little at 9 minutes.

    If you like extra heavy toppings or thicker crust, plan on as many as five-7 extra minutes in the oven to avoid a floppy slice. Nobody wants a floppy slice.

    We’ve made pizza in the house and on the grill, and a 500-degree oven will heat up your kitchen, but it’s worth it for the crispy, fully cooked crust.

    Don’t forget to check out our post feature our favorite back yard pizza ovens!

    If you have a smoker that can reach higher temps, smoked pizza is AMAZING. We Smoke Pizzas on our RecTec Electric Smoker.

    Make Pizza with Your Leftovers!

    In our humble opinion, one of the best things about making pizza at home is the freedom of choice and creativity you get with your pizza flavors and pizza toppings. Turn your household leftovers into an exciting pizza night, from BBQ chicken pizza to taco pizza there are not many leftovers that don’t taste great on pizza!

    Save your family money by not ordering out every week and create fun and delicious pizzas at home using our tips and tricks for the best-tasting pizza at home.

    Troubleshooting Homemade Pizza: 

    With any kind of baking or dough work, problems arise the first few times you try something. (I’ve been learning how to make sourdough bread for the better part of 8 years). Here are a few common issues that arise with making pizza and how to work around them.

    Dough Didn’t Rise:

    Maybe your yeast was old, or you didn’t add enough. Luckily for you, pizza is a FLAT food. Don’t even sweat it too much if your dough doesn’t rise too much during the proofing. You’re not looking for a significant rise as if you’re making bread. Some people don’t like many bubbles in their pizza crust. If your dough doesn’t rise enough, keep it. You’re making a flat pizza anyway. If your dough makes a round disk, you will be able to transform it into pizza, we promise.

    Dough Won’t Stretch:

    A Tight dough is a common problem and usually quickly resolved. Hand stretching pizza takes patience. If your pizza is bouncing back after you stretch it out, let it rest for a few minutes. After a few minutes, those glutens will relax a bit more and allow you to continue stretching your pizza.

    A few things to make sure you will have an easier time stretching your pizza: 

    • Make sure your dough comes to room temperature before you attempt pulling it by hand. Cold dough won’t have any give and will rip and break. 
    • Let it rest: If your dough is less and less stretchy as you make your pizza shape, take a break and go again in a few minutes. 
    • If your dough does rip, simply pinch the hole shut. You’re going to cover it with toppings anyway. 

    Here’s an excellent video on hand stretching pizza dough. This dough goes through the exact steps I’ve learned to use when hand stretching pizza dough.

    Floppy Slices:

    There is nothing more frustrating than ordering a pizza pie and picking up your slice and having all of the cheese and toppings slide off because the crust us underbaked.

    Nobody wants a floppy slice!

    Baking your pizza all the way through is the key to firm slices. Don’t be afraid to brown that cheese on top for the sake of a fully cooked crust. Before pulling your pizza out of the oven, check that bottom crust, it should be starting to brown and feel crunchy, not doughy.

    If you’re baking your pizzas in an oven, a preheated pizza stone is a great way to ensure you get a fully cooked, crispy crust.

    Best Way to Reheat Leftover Pizza:

    Pizza for breakfast, anyone?

    Don’t worry about having to get the oven going again if you’re interested in leftovers. One of the best ways to reheat cold pizza is to heat the slice right on a non-stick skillet. You get a crispy bottom and cheese that’s warmed all the way through.

    Directions:

    1. Place your pizza slice on a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat for 2-4 minutes or just until crispy. 
    2. Enjoy! 

    It’s that easy. You might even be able to get away with wiping out the pan with a dry paper towel to clean it.

    Freeze Some Dough for Next Time: 

    Our dough recipe makes six 12 inch pizzas. If you don’t plan on making that many pizzas, all you have to do is freeze your divided dough in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to make more pizza, defrost your pizza dough in the fridge and allow to come to room temperature on your counter before stretching out into pizza.

    Pizza dough freezes well. Double your recipe so that you have as many as 12 pizza doughs in your freezer and ready to use. Make sure to slow proof your dough in the fridge for 72-hours before you divide and freeze to get that tangy flavor in your crust.

    Making Pizza at Home is Easy!

    We hope that our work perfecting the best homemade pizza, helps you feel more confident in tackling this cultural food item. Creating customized pizzas at home will save you money and leave everyone in your family pleased with their custom pies.

    No more arguing over pizza toppings. Everyone gets to make their own!

    Check out Our Series on Making Pizza at Home! 

    The post Making Pizza at Home: Ultimate Guide appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    A Guide to Pizza Toppings

    One of the best things about making pizzas at home is customizing your sauces and pizza toppings. While most restaurants offer specialty pizzas these days, they can get expensive quickly and are usually not very customizable. Choosing pizza toppings when sharing pizzas with your family can inevitably lead to someone being disappointed. Instead of arguing... Read More The post A Guide to Pizza Toppings appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Arugula makes a delicious pizza topping!

    One of the best things about making pizzas at home is customizing your sauces and pizza toppings. While most restaurants offer specialty pizzas these days, they can get expensive quickly and are usually not very customizable. Choosing pizza toppings when sharing pizzas with your family can inevitably lead to someone being disappointed.

    Instead of arguing with one another, why not make pizzas at home?

    Then everyone gets to choose their sauces and pizza toppings. 

    In our pizza series, we’ve walked you through an easy no-cook pizza sauce and how to make delicious NY-Style Pizza dough at home. Now it’s time to talk about making specialty pizzas and creating customized pizza creations that you can’t get at a pizza restaurant.

    From white pizza to BBQ chicken pizza and every other option in between, the choices for pizza toppings are endless (um, dessert pizza, anyone?). Here, we’re going to suggest some choices for pizza sauces, pizza toppings, and pizza garnishes and let you take it from there to create customized 12″ pizzas.

    Now no one in your house has to argue over pizza toppings. Everyone can create customized pizzas! 

    Pizza Sauce: 

    When you build a pizza, you usually start with the sauce. While our no-cook pizza sauce is delicious and classic for pizza, using sauce alternatives can turn regular pizza into a culinary explosion of flavors and textures. 

    Alternatives to Tomato Sauce for Pizza Toppings: 

    • White sauce
    • Alfredo sauce
    • BBQ sauce
    • Ranch dressing
    • Pesto
    • Garlic oil
    • Buffalo sauce
    • Salsa
    • Hummus
    • Chimmichurri sauce
    • Balsamic Glaze
    • Curry sauce
    • Peanut sauce
    • Nutella
    • Lemon-garlic sauce
    • Sour cream

    Thinking outside the box when it comes to pizza sauce opens you up to many more flavor combinations. These sauces complement various toppings and cheeses, creating so many pizza topping combinations that you will never grow tired of pizza night.

    The Cheese: 

    Mozzarella cheese is a classic pizza cheese, and most of the time should be the primary cheese on your pizzas. Adding in other cheeses can create various flavors and textures of the melty, gooey, cheese that everyone loves on pizza. One of my favorite things to add to pizza is harissa goat cheese.

    If you’re a cheese lover, try some of your favorite unique cheeses the next time you make pizza at home!

    Pizza Cheeses: 

    • Shredded Mozzarella
    • Fresh Mozzarella
    • Goat Cheese
    • Feta Cheese
    • Ricotta Cheese
    • Parmesan Cheese
    • Gouda Cheese
    • Cheddar Cheese
    • Gruyere Cheese
    • Provolone Cheese
    • Colby Jack Cheese
    • Limburger Cheese (stinky pizza, anyone?)
    • Farmers Cheese
    • Swiss Cheese
    • Brie Cheese
    • Velveeta Cheese
    • Blue Cheese

    When making pizza, you usually start with mozzarella and add a sprinkle of your favorite cheeses, or you can go big and substitute out the mozzarella all together. Some surprisingly delicious cheeses on pizza include goat cheese, brie cheese, and Limburger cheese! So the next time you get a little handsy in the cheese department, plan a pizza night to use up all the cheese sitting in your fridge!

    Pizza Toppings: 

    Here is where your creative culinary wings can really spread. There are hundreds of pizza toppings, and the pizza combinations from there increase exponentially. Don’t be afraid to try non-traditional toppings!

    Vegetable Toppings:

    • Onion (any color, even caramelized onions) 
    • Garlic
    • Mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Arugula
    • Peppers (hot or sweet)
    • Broccoli
    • Shallots
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Beans
    • Corn
    • Capers
    • Olives
    • Tomatoes
    • Eggplant
    • Roasted Butternut Squash
    • Potatoes
    • Roasted Beets
    • Zucchini or Summer Squash
    • Chives
    • Avocado
    • Horseradish
    • Chickpeas

    Most of these veggie toppings don’t require pre-cooking before baking your pizza. A few of these should be pre-cooked such as butternut squash, eggplant, and some greens.

    Just remember, if you go heavy on veggie toppings, some of them may increase your pizza cooking time to make sure your crust cooks through.

    Fruit Toppings:

    Fruit can be a great pizza topping!
    • Dried figs
    • Apples (Apple and Brie Pizza, yum!)
    • Pineapple
    • Pears
    • Plantains
    • Peaches
    • Mango

    Fruit on pizza can be surprising. If you’re worried about not liking it, top just half your pizza with fruit instead of the whole pizza. Apples and sourcream make a delicious pizza, especially when paired with a bit of mozzarella and brie cheeses.

    Meat Toppings: 

    Meat lovers pizzas don’t have to be limited to pepperonis and sausage. There are so many meats that go great on pizza. If you have a lot of leftovers in the fridge, it might be time to have a pizza night!

    Meat Pizza Toppings: 

    • Pepperoni
    • Ham
    • Ground Beef
    • Sausage
    • Grilled Chicken
    • Bacon
    • Canadian bacon
    • Turkey
    • Roast Beef
    • Prosciutto
    • Salami
    • Smoked Salmon
    • Clams
    • Shrimp
    • Scallops
    • Pulled Pork
    • Jerk Chicken
    • Taco meat
    • Chorizo
    • Ground pork
    • Ground lamb
    • Steak
    • Meatballs
    • Anchovies 

    Pizza Garnishes:

    These are pizza toppings that go on your pizzas after they finish cooking. Garnishes like fresh herbs, or avocado taste amazing on pizza, but you may not want them baked onto your pizza.

    Garnishes: 

    • Fresh herbs
    • Dried Herbs
    • Avocado
    • Sour Cream
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Hot sauce
    • Pine nuts
    • Lemon zest
    • Lime zest
    • Arugula
    • Lettuce
    • Spices

    All these lists individually look pretty ordinary, but when you start mixing and matching your pizza toppings, your pizza night will get exciting.

    Try having a pizza night where everyone gathers in the kitchen to choose from different sauces and pizza toppings to create sharable pizzas with varying combinations of toppings! 

    Pizza nights are a great way to get rid of leftovers, try new flavors, or even sneak some veggies into your kids. 

    Here are a few of our favorite pizza accessories that will make family pizza night amazing! 

    What’s the funkiest pizza you’ve ever tried?

    The post A Guide to Pizza Toppings appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make NY-Style Pizza Dough

    Pizza is a favorite food in my household. While researching some statistics for this post, I stumbled upon numbers that some might find surprising. Given how much pizza my children eat, I am not surprised by US pizza consumption statistics. Americans eat and spend a lot of money on pizza. We are dedicating a blog... Read More The post How to Make NY-Style Pizza Dough appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Pizza is a favorite food in my household. While researching some statistics for this post, I stumbled upon numbers that some might find surprising. Given how much pizza my children eat, I am not surprised by US pizza consumption statistics. Americans eat and spend a lot of money on pizza. We are dedicating a blog series featuring pizza. We want to show you how to make homemade pizza from scratch, and given how much we spend on pizza, it might be a good idea to start making NY-Style pizza at home.

    Did you know that the average American eats 40 pizzas a year? 

    I can attest to that statistic. My family eats, orders, and makes pizza often. I have two picky eaters and sometimes on busy weeknights, popping a frozen pizza in the oven is how we get through homework and family time, without staying up way too late. When I was a stay-at-home parent, making nighly dinners was manageable. Now that my partner and I both work, pizza nights help our transition to a two-working parent household without sacrificing family time.

    Whether pizza is your favorite Friday night tradition, or one of the only things your kids will eat, making pizza at home can be fun and healthy. Making pizza at home is also inexpensive when compared to ordering out. The average of 12 in pizza is almost $14.00. My 6-year-old and 8-year-old together can finish off more than half of a 12 in pizza. As your family grows, pizza nights can get more expensive.

    Homemade Pizza sauces are an excellent way to sneak extra veggies into your kids’ eating patterns too!

    Why Make Pizza Dough at Home?

    Up until about six years ago, we primarily ordered out when eating pizza. We lived in New Haven County, Connecticut, and had access to some of the best pizza in the country. From Sally’s to Modern Pizza, and even a local, less famous pizza joint that landed in the top five in the United States. We didn’t need to buy frozen or make NY-Style pizza ourselves.

    While they call it New York Style Pizza, everyone should know the best pizza in the country comes from New Haven, CT.

    Then a job offer relocated us to Northwest Illinois, and our pizza fantasies were left a thousand miles to the east.

    While I tote my expertise in pizza judgment, I should first admit that I have still, in the six years living in Illinois, have not had a Chicago-Style pizza. We keep meaning to try Lou Malnati’s in Chicago, but the wait time for a pizza is HOURS.

    Thin crust, crispy, high temperature fired pizza is hard to beat, in my humble opinion. So when we moved, we had to learn to make pizza or suffer from mediocre pizza for the rest of our lives.

    Knowing how to make things from scratch is part of what qualifies me as a Makers Maker Stuff writer. We at Makers Make Stuff know how to make things. Sometimes our skills come from our passion, and sometimes (like in the case of pizza) our abilities come from necessity.

    So, let me share how to make delicious, NY-Style pizza at home, no matter where you live….even Illinois.

    NY-Style Pizza Dough Recipe: 

    NY-Style pizza dough sits in the fridge for 72 hours before it’s ready.

    It took me six years to bring this recipe to as close as I can to real tasting NY-style pizza. As I sit and type this, my recipe is on a crinkled and worn piece of paper with words, images, and cooking times scratched all over it. This recipe sits in a drawer of my office desk next to a similar piece of paper with my homemade soap recipe and other essential documents, like my kids’ social security cards.

    I recently shared my no-cook pizza sauce recipe with you which pairs perfectly with this pizza dough recipe. Follow along as I work on a pizza series to help you craft delicious pizza at home.

    Note: It takes THREE days for your NY style pizza crust to be ready for firing, baking, or grilling.

    I know…I’m sorry!

    The 72-hour proofing is what makes NY-Style pizza so delicious. The yeast creates a slightly sour flavor in the crust while it sits in the fridge for 72 hours, slowly eating away at the sugars in the dough. I always make enough to freeze some for easier pizza making. This recipe makes 6 12-inch pizzas.

    Ingredients: 

    • 5 1/2 cups of all-purpose or bread flour. I switch back and forth between all-purpose and bread flour. Bread flour creates a slightly more elastic dough that will stretch better for you, but it absorbs more water, so you may need to increase your water so that you don’t have a dry dough. I always recommend a wetter dough vs. a dry dough. 
    • 1 heaping teaspoon of Kosher salt. 
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar. 
    • 1-2 teaspoons of yeast. If you cant proof your dough for 72 hours, throw in a full 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. I find 1 1/2 teaspoons the right amount of yeast for a 72-hour proof. 
    • 2 1/4 cups of room temperature water. You may need an additional 1/4 cup of you are using bread flour. 
    • 2 tablespoons of high-quality olive oil. 

    Directions: 

    1. Activate your yeast: Combine the sugar and water in a measuring cup. Stir in your yeast and set aside while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. The yeast should start to foam and rise in your measuring cup, indicating that its active and ready. If your yeast doesn’t foam up, it means it old, or no longer active yeast. Some people skip this step, but I always activate my yeast. 
    2. Combine your dry ingredients: Mix your flour and salt in a large bowl. I usually make my pizza dough in a large plastic bowl with a lid so that I can transfer it right into the fridge for the 72-hour proof.
    3. Add in your wet ingredients: Add your olive oil, and yeast mixture to the flour. Stir to combine. I generally use a dough-whisk when making bread and other doughs. It makes stirring a lot easier on my wrists. 
    4. Hand knead your dough. You can do this right in your bowl or on the counter. For this step, you want to avoid adding any excess flour, which will dry out your pizza crust. Be patient with the process. The dough will stop sticking to your fingers as the gluten develops. It should take you 5-10 minutes to get a somewhat smooth ball of dough. Since your dough will be going through a long proofing process to develop the glutens, you don’t have to knead it to a completely smooth ball of dough. 
    5. Drizzle your dough ball with olive oil, cover, and refrigerate for 72-hours. Make sure your dough ball is covered with a light coating of olive oil to keep it from drying out in your container. I use a large container like this to allow room for the dough to rise and spread out while proofing. 

    Ready to Shape and Bake: 

    NY-Style Pizza dough should be translucent in the middle with a slightly thicker crust

    If I am planning on making pizza on a Saturday, I prep the dough on Wednesday. The 72-hour cold-proof will give you a delicious sour taste in your dough like traditional NY-Style pizza. If you are in a rush for same-day pizza, you can use the full amount of yeast and do a standard rise on your counter.

    Tips for stretching NY-Style Pizza Dough:

    • Take your dough out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Cold pizza dough won’t stretch. Let the dough warm up on your counter before you divide it for pizzas. 
    • Divide into six even pieces, shape them into a circle, and rest on your counter for 30 minutes. Be sure to cover them with plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out on your counter. 
    • When stretching your dough, allow it to rest for a couple of minutes during stretching. If you find your dough is shrinking back on you, stop and give it a minute and then resume stretching. I find a combination of hand pulling and using the pizza pan to push out and shape the dough to the pan easiest for the beginner pizza stretcher. 
    • Use lots of flour for the stretching process. I begin by dipping the entire dough ball in a bowl of flour.

    I find this video super helpful when learning how to hand stretch pizza dough.

    Remember, the shape of the pizza won’t impact your flavor! As long as you can get your pizza dough to roll out thin enough to bake up crispy, it doesn’t matter how it looks. Sometimes the most delicious pizza is the worst looking pizza.

    Topping and Baking Your NY-Style Pizza: 

    Once you’ve stretched your pizza dough out and placed it on a pan, you’re ready to top it and bake it. Using your favorite pizza sauce and toppings, create your pizza. You can go with classic cheese or pepperoni, or use whatever toppings you choose.

    Keep in mind, a pizza with lots of toppings will take a few minutes longer in the oven or on the grill.

    Baking your NY-Style pizza:

    A NY-Style pizza uses a wood-fired oven to create a delicious crispy pizza in minutes. You probably don’t have access to a wood-fired oven. My preferred method of baking pizzas is on the grill or smoker or outdoor pizza oven because I can get the temps super hot without heating my house. But a 500-degree oven will do. I can get my electric smoker up to 560 degrees, which is what I do to grill my NY style pizzas.

    Once you get your oven or grill as hot as it can, the pizzas cook up in 9 minutes. Pizzas with heavy toppings can take anywhere from 10-12 minutes.

    NY Style-Pizza has a crispy crusty, slightly browned or burnt cheese, and hopefully no floppy slices.

    This dough recipe can be made and then frozen after its proofed for 72-hours and divided. Freeze one crust in a freezer bag. When you are ready to use your frozen pizza dough, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then allow to rise and come to room temp on your counter all day. The coating of olive oil will help to keep it from sticking to your bag.

    Tips for NY-Style Pizza:

    • Long cold proofing for a flavorful crust (72-hours).
    • High temp cooking (as high as you can get your grill or oven to go).
    • Your favorite toppings and sauce combinations. 

    Remember, the shape isn’t as important as you learn how to hand-shape pizzas.

    What are your go-to pizza toppings? 

    The post How to Make NY-Style Pizza Dough appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

    It may seem like a waste of time and effort to be making your own mayonnaise at home. You can go to any food store and pick up a jar of it, so why make it yourself?  Well, the main reason that people choose to use homemade mayo is that the store-bought stuff can be... Read More The post How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    It may seem like a waste of time and effort to be making your own mayonnaise at home. You can go to any food store and pick up a jar of it, so why make it yourself? 

    Well, the main reason that people choose to use homemade mayo is that the store-bought stuff can be unhealthy. Making it at home with organic ingredients is a perfect way to be sure of what’s going into your body. 

    So is Mayonnaise Unhealthy?

    Eating mayo isn’t the same thing as eating junk food, but when eaten in large servings, it is known to lead to some health issues that should be avoided.

    Mayonnaise is full of saturated fats, which are thought to lead to a higher risk of heart disease. There are about 1.6 grams of saturated fats in one serving. That’s a pretty large number for just a bit of mayonnaise. 

    Besides that, mayonnaise is very high in calories. In fact, there are 94 calories in just 1 tablespoon of mayo. 

    Finally, most mayonnaise is made with soybean oil, and while soybean oil is mostly fine for home cooking, when eaten in high volumes, it can lead to obesity. 

    So, making mayo at home, with organic produce, low-calorie ingredients, and healthier oils has great health benefits. 

    Equipment Check

    To make healthy, homemade mayonnaise, you need a few things before you get started. Firstly, instead of using soybean oil, use either safflower, avocado, sweet almond, or light olive oil when making your own homemade mayonnaise.

    Another important ingredient to take note of is what type of eggs you use. I recommend using organic, pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs are less likely to give you salmonella, and since mayonnaise contains uncooked eggs, it’s safer to use pasteurized eggs than not.

    Finally, you need a stand or hand mixer, or food processor to help stiffen the mayo once the ingredients are combined. You can choose to hand whisk, but it’ll be arm-aching work.

    The Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor

    This food processor is just what you’ll need for making the perfect mayo consistency. The fact that the individual sections snap and lock in place is perfect for staying safe and preventing food from exploding everywhere (it has happened to the best of us). Plus, it’s not even that pricey.

    Any similar food processor or high power blender will do the trick as well. And again, if you’ want to hand whisk the mayo, be prepared for a sore arm.

    Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe

    Now, let’s get to the recipe! This mayonnaise is super easy to make, and doesn’t take long either.

    You Will Need…

    • 1 large room temperature egg
    • ¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard 
    • ¾ tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 1 cup oil of your choice
    • Salt to taste

    Step 1 – Combine ingredients. Whisk the egg until completely scrambled, then add in the mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar. Mix these together until everything is perfectly dispersed. 

    Step 2 – Add in the oil. Now, add in the oil ¼ cup at a time slowly, making sure to continuously mix the mayonnaise as you do this. Continue until the mayonnaise is thick (about 10 minutes). Now you can taste it and add in any seasoning you want. 

    Step 3 – Cover and store. Put the mayonnaise into a covered container or jar and store in the fridge. 

    (This recipe makes about 1 cup of mayo)

    Variations on Basic Mayo

    Some people like to add in extra ingredients to make mayonnaise variations. Experimenting and adding in extra ingredients to plain mayo is a fun way to make new spreads and toppings.

    To make aioli, just add in one finely minced garlic clove to the mixture before adding in the oil. 

    To make herb mayo, add in some parsley, dill, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme, or any other herbs you think would go well in the mix. 

    To make honey mustard mayo, add in a tablespoon of honey before the oil. 

    Homemade mayonnaise is not something you get to enjoy every day, so serving this up at a picnic or lunch is sure to surprise friends and family. 

    Make sure to check out our other homemade condiment recipes!

    The post How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


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