Homemade Pizza Recipe

Uncooked Pizza base with tomato sauce spread across it and vegetables beside it on a wooden table

Homemade Pizza Recipe

  1. Make your dough: Proof the yeast, mix the ingredients, let the dough rise, and then either freeze it for later preparation or continue the preparation process
  2. Preheat: Heat your pizza stone or pan and oven.
  3. Prepare the crust: Divide the dough into two balls, flatten the dough balls and stretch out into a round. Transfer to pizza peel or baking stone. 
  4. Add your sauce and toppings: spread with tomato sauce and sprinkle with toppings.
  5. Bake, slice and serve: Bake your pizza for 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden and the crust is browned at the bottom. Slice and serve while still hot. 

Cheesy slice being lifted from a freshly baked pizza on a wooden table

What You'll Learn

  1. A Brief History Of Pizza
  2. Different types of pizza with cook times
  3. How to make a good homemade pizza with our homemade pizza recipe
  4. What are good toppings for homemade pizza
  5. How do you make a crispy pizza crust?
  6. Baking your pizza
  7. Frequently asked questions about homemade pizza

1. A Brief History Of Pizza

Large Pizza with extra cheese and basil toppings

Pizza has a long and storied history, beginning with basic flatbreads being produced in ancient cultures and covered in various toppings. A widely accepted precursor of pizza was the focaccia, a Roman flatbread. Today’s pizza evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy in the 18th or early 19th century.

The first documented use of the word “pizza” was in Gaeta in A.D. 997, followed by other uses in Central and Southern Italy. Italians and emigrants from the region enjoyed this dish almost exclusively until World War II,  when allied troops stationed there began enjoying pizza along with other Italian foods. 

By the 1960s, it was popular enough to be featured in an episode of the animated cartoon Popeye. Pizza consumption has since exploded in the U.S with popular pizza chains such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut. 

2. Different Types Of Pizza (With Cook Times)


TYPE OF PIZZA

DESCRIPTION

COOK TIME

1. Neapolitan Pizza

The “original pizza,” this pie dates back to the 18th century in Naples, Italy. Both cheaper and easy to eat quickly, it was a favorite among poorer citizens for its ready availability and affordability. Thin and light, this type of pizza is usually eaten with a fork and knife. Typical toppings are fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, oregano, and olive oil. 

70-90 seconds in a wood-burning oven that’s heated from 800-1000°F, similar to how it was made many years ago. 

2. Chicago Pizza

Chicago pizza, also commonly referred to as deep-dish pizza, was invented by Ike Sewell in the early 1900s. It has a thick, pie-like crust with raised edges, with mozzarella lining the dough followed by meat, vegetables, and finally topped with a can of crushed tomatoes.  

30-35 minutes at 425°F

3. New York-Style Pizza

The traditional New York-style pizza has large, foldable slices capable of carrying a wide range of pizza toppings and a crispy outer crust. Some say its unique flavor is due to the minerals present in New York’s tap water supply. It usually features tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.



12-15 minutes at 500°F. (Purists will insist it must be a  coal or wood burning oven.) 

4. Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian pizza, also known as "sfincione," provides a thick cut of pizza with pillowy dough, a crunchy crust, and robust tomato sauce. This square-cut pizza is served with or without cheese, and often with the cheese underneath the sauce to prevent the pie from becoming soggy. Sicilian pizza was brought to America in the 19th century by Sicilian immigrants and became popular in the United States after the Second World War.
Sicilian pizzas are often topped with bits of tomato, onion, anchovies, and herbs.

15-20 min at 425°F

5. Greek Pizza

Greek pizza was created by Greek immigrants who were introduced to Italian pizza when they came to the US. Especially popular in New England, it has a thick and chewy pizza crust cooked in shallow, oiled pans, resulting in a nearly deep-fried bottom. It’s usually pretty sauce-heavy, and only topped with cheese, black olives, and red onion. 

12-15 min at 450°F

6. California Pizza

California pizza, also known as gourmet pizza, is famous for its unusual ingredients. It originated with Chef Ed LaDou’s experimental pizza recipes in the classic Italian restaurant, Prego during the 70s, which impressed Wolfgang Puck so much he was invited to become head chef at his restaurant. The 250 unique pizza recipes that originated there eventually formed the menu of the chain restaurant California Pizza Kitchen. 

Depends on pizza crust choice

7. Detroit Pizza

Detroit-style pizza was originally baked in a square automotive parts pan in the 1940’s. It features a thick, extra crispy crust, and is topped with pepperoni, followed by brick cheese which is spread to the very edges of the pan. It then has sauce spooned over the top of the pizza. Other toppings include mushrooms and olives.




10-15 min at 500-550°F

8. St. Louis Pizza

The St. Louis pizza features an extremely thin, cracker-like that is made without yeast. It is usually cut into three- or four-inch rectangles, known as "party" or "tavern" cut. Featuring Provel processed cheese, which is a gooey combination of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses, the St. Louis pizza sauce is a sweet reflection of  its Sicilian influence. Due to its heft, it can handle all manner of toppings.

8-10 min at 550°F




3. How To Make Homemade Pizza

Sicilian Style pizza in a baking tray on a wooden table

Today it is hard to go anywhere without finding a pizza joint, but it’s considerably easy (and delicious) to make at home. With just a few ingredients from your local supermarket, you can make your own homemade crust and top exactly as you like for pizza night. Homemade pizza dough requires just yeast, flour, olive oil, sugar, salt and water — plus a bit of rising and rest time.

While you wait for the pizza dough to be ready to bake, you can either make a homemade pizza sauce or spice store-bought as you like, chop up your toppings, or grate the cheese.

Whatever type of crust or toppings you choose, one thing is for sure: the effort of making homemade crust pays off in flavor. Here’s our simple homemade pizza dough recipe and baking instructions for a traditional, delicious pizza. Put on your apron and let’s get cooking. 

Total Prep time: 2 hours

Active Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups (490 g) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 3 3/4 cups (490 g) flour

Other Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Tomato sauce (smooth, or puréed)
  • Firm mozzarella cheese, grated


Pizza Dough Recipe

The following is a basic pizza dough with thin crust or medium crust. If you’d like to make specialty crusts for Neapolitan, New York, or Sicilian style pizza dough, check out our detailed blog on making pizza dough. 

  • Proof the yeast: The first step in a pizza dough recipe is always to “proof” the yeast. This means to check that the yeast is still “alive” and will make the pizza dough rise. To do so, add warm water to a large bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over the liquid. Let it stand for five minutes until the yeast is fully dissolved. 

If the yeast hasn’t yet dissolved completely after five minutes, try stirring a bit. The yeast should start “blooming” or foaming. This indicates that the yeast is still active and good to use. 

Note: This step is only necessary if you are using active years. Instant yeast doesn’t need to be proofed. Just move onto the next step of adding flour.

  • Combine ingredients: Add your flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil to your activated or instant yeast, and mix it on low speed for approximately one minute — preferably with a mixing paddle attachment on a stand mixer if available. Afterwards, switch out the mixing paddle with the dough hook attachment. 
  • Get kneading: Knead the pizza dough on low to medium speed for approximately 7-10 minutes until all the flour has been well-combined If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix the ingredients together and knead them by hand. The dough should just be slightly sticky to the touch. If it’s too wet, add in a little more flour until it reaches the desired consistency. 
  • Let rise: Coat the inside of a large bowl with a thin layer of olive oil. Place your pizza dough in the bowl and gently turn the bowl from side to side so that the dough gets covered in oil. 

Once your homemade pizza dough is sufficiently covered, you can decide how long you want the dough to ferment and rise. A 24-hour fermentation in the fridge will result in more complex flavors in the dough, while a quick one (1.5 hours in a warm place) will allow your pizza dough to rise sufficiently to work with.

For a medium rise, leave your dough at room temperature for 8 hours. All of these options will work, but generally speaking the longer you leave the pizza dough, the more delicious the end result will be. 

Whatever type of rise you choose, make sure to cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 

Freeze For Later

Once the homemade pizza dough has risen, you can either use it in the moment or freeze to use at a later time. Divide the dough into whatever size you like per pizza, and place on parchment paper or a lightly floured dish, uncovered, in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the freezer and store in individual freezer bags, removing as much air as you can from each one before closing them. Homemade pizza dough can be stored for up to 3 months. Once you’re ready to use it to make a pizza, thaw the pizza dough in a refrigerator for at least 5 to 6 hours, preferably overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for a half hour before moving on to the next steps. 

Form The Crust

1. Preheat pizza stone (or pan or baking sheet): Place your baking surface on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C) for at least 30 minutes, preferably for an hour.  

Pro Tip: If you don’t yet have a pizza stone (we highly recommend purchasing one), you can use a pizza pan or a thicker baking sheet. The most important thing is that the pan will not warp at high temperatures.

2. Divide the dough: Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl and separate the pizza dough into two balls). Dust your hands with flour and push the dough downwards until it deflates. 

3. Stretch the dough: Flatten your pizza dough balls into rounds, working one ball of dough at a time and flattening it with your hands on a lightly floured work surface. Start at the center and work your way out, using your fingertips to press the dough to ½ an inch thick. Continue turning and stretching the dough until it won’t stretch any further. 

Once you reach that point, let the pizza dough relax for five minutes or so before continuing to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter of 10-12 inches. Be sure to treat the dough gently — you want to avoid creating holes if possible. If a hole does appear, place the pizza dough on your floured surface and carefully push it back together until the hole is sealed for a perfect, even crust. 

Ready the pizza for the oven

Once the pizza crust is flat and ready, it’s time to transfer it from your pizza peel to your stone or baking sheet and add your pizza sauce and toppings.

4. What Toppings Go On A Pizza

Pizza covered with toppings of olives tomatoes and basil on a grey table next to a pizza cutter

Dalstrong Orbit Razor Pizza Wheel & Cutter

When it comes to choosing toppings, the sky is truly the limit. Decide whether you want to go with traditional toppings such as pepperoni or sausage, or want to try more out-of-the-box (and sometimes controversial) toppings such as asparagus or pineapple. Feel like trying something lighter? Opt for cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh buffalo mozzarella. Grab your paring knife and get creative.

5. How Do You Make A Crispy Pizza Crust?

  • Don’t overdo toppings: That being said, keep in mind that overly loading up your pizza will result in a soggy crust. To keep your pizza crust delicious and crisp, stick to just enough to cover your pizza. About ⅓ a cup of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese per pizza will suffice. 
  • Add olive oil: In addition, we recommend brushing the top of the dough with olive oil — this will help keep the crust from getting soggy from the toppings. Let rest for 10-15 minute after the application of the olive oil before adding the toppings. 
  • Use a pizza stone: More than anything else, a pizza stone is highly recommended for those who prefer a perfectly crispy pizza crust. Compared to a metal baking sheet, a pizza stone holds heat more evenly, with its porous surface drawing water out of the dough as it bakes.

6. Baking Your Pizza

Flames in the background as a pizza fresh out of the oven being cut with a pizza slicer

Dalstrong Orbit Razor Pizza Wheel & Cutter

Bake your pizza in the oven at 475°F (245°C) for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the pizza crust is browned and the cheese is golden. Near the end of the cooking time, you can sprinkle on a little more cheese if desired for an extra-cheesy pizza. When the pizza is finished, let cool for just a couple of minutes and then transfer to your pizza peel or cutting board. Slice with your pizza wheel cutter and serve! 

If you’ve made more than you have any chance of eating — no problem. Simply store your leftover pizza in the refrigerator and reheat it with the following methods

7. Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Pizza

What is the best flour for pizza dough?

You can use pretty much any kind of flour you like in a homemade pizza recipe, even substituting almond flour or rice flour for traditional flour in the case of cooking for those with gluten sensitivities. But all-purpose flour and bread flour work better than other varieties for pizza dough. Bread flour especially will enhance the stretch and rise of the dough. 

What type of sauce goes on pizza?
While we used a classic red pizza sauce in our recipe, a white sauce or spicy BBQ chicken pizza can also be a great thing to try. A quick internet search will reveal tons of different pizza recipes to experiment with. 

Which cheese do you put on pizza?
The best cheeses to use on pizza are those with low melting points and moisture content. These include mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar. Try using a mix of different cheeses in your recipe to amp up the flavor. 

When should you add toppings?

Heartier toppings, such as pepperoni or bell pepper can be added when the pizza is initially put in the oven. More fresh, delicate toppings like herbs should be added right before serving — the heat of the oven will cause them to wilt and lose their flavor. 

Check Out Dalstrong's Orbit Razor Pizza Wheel & Cutter

Written by Evelyn Duskey
Born in Ohio and based in Buenos Aires, Evelyn loves sharing her grandmother’s midwestern recipes with unsuspecting Argentines.