Pizza is an easy favorite in many houses. Learn how to make this homemade pizza recipe at home that everyone will love and is more bang for your buck than a store bought.
We absolutely love pizza. It’s so easy to serve and meal that everyone enjoys. But store bought pizza can not only get expensive, but quite honestly is also disappointing. Lack luster toppings leave you un-satisfied and looking for more. And the truth is, pizza is such a customizable meal that you can make to suite your family’s tastes and preferences in the comfort of your own home. Obviously it takes longer than throwing a pizza in the oven, but homemade pizza at home really doesn’t take that long to make. And you’re sure to be satisfied with seeing your beautiful creation come out of the oven all golden.
Homemade Pizza Dough
Quite honestly, if you can make a good pizza dough, you can make a good pizza. The dough is the base from which you build, just like a basement on a house. The sauce and toppings are what bring the flavor. The crust is how you deliver that flavor.
I’ve found that a good pizza dough that is extremely easy to stretch with your hands to form the perfect crust. I think the problem with so many pizza doughs is that they are too dense. This results in a dough that doesn’t stretch well, a pizza that is oddly shaped, and a finished crust that is too thick and doesn’t spring up in the oven. So here’s the deal – don’t use your bread maker.
I know, bread makers can do the work for you. But they just don’t form great dough. I have a bread maker, but quite honestly I’m thinking about selling it. I love using my Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer. It is so easy to use the dough hook to form good dough and it gives you more control over what you’re doing and when in the process you’re adding ingredients. Does it take a bit more time than adding all you’re ingredients to a machine? Yes. Is the product so much better? Yes, by far.
How to Make the Pizza Dough
To make this homemade pizza dough, I start with warm water and sugar in my mixer bowl. You don’t want the water to be too warm. I don’t use a thermometer (that seems too technical to be honest), but instead dip my finger in the water. I want the water to be about baby bathwater temp. You don’t want to scald, but it should be pleasant to the touch.
Now, this is where my technique is different than a lot of recipes. Most recipes involve putting the yeast directly into the water to proof or so that it evenly distributes through the dough. I actually don’t like to do this as I feel that if my water is slightly warm, I might accidentally kill some of the yeast I’m adding. Instead, I add a quarter of my total flour I’m going to add to the dough. This will create a watery pancake batter mixture.
Then, I go ahead and stop my mixer and sprinkle my yeast over the entire surface of mixture. I run my mixer on low for a few seconds until the yeast is combined. Then I add the rest of my ingredients, salt and oil using the same technique. Finally, I continue to add the rest of my flour until I reach a dough texture that pulls away from the bowl and forms a soft and slightly sticky dough.
The total kneading time for the dough once the dough has formed a ball is about five minutes on the second lowest speed setting. If during the kneading process you notice that the dough is sticking to the side or bottom of the bowl, go ahead and sprinkle in just a little bit of flour until it forms a nice ball again.
From here, all it takes is a 30 minute rise, or until double in size. Then you can move forward with shaping the dough.
Shaping Homemade Pizza Dough
Shaping the pizza dough takes a bit of a technique. I love working with this soft dough because it just stretches so well and almost makes the task easier.
Some people get out their rolling pin and just roll the dough out. This is fine, but I find that it doesn’t really stretch the dough. Instead it compresses any air that you had in the dough from the rise process. It essentially makes the dough denser. And what I’ve found is that the key to making a great fluffy crust is gently stretching the dough by hand. Yes, go full Italian cartoon character on me.
To stretch, I take the dough ball in my hand and slowly start to stretch it into a circle. I start in the center of the dough ball and working my way out.
Once I have a decent amount of room in the center of the circle, I use my knuckles to start in the center and gently stretch outwards. You do have to be careful that you don’t get your center dough too thin. You shouldn’t reach a point where it’s almost see through. Once I reach the desired thickness in the center, I start to gently pull at the outer edges until I reach the desired diameter.
This whole process results in a dough edge that isn’t flat and will help keep your toppings on your pizza.
The Perfect Crust Finalé
To finisher this crust perfectly, you have to bake it at the right temp. It’s crucial in getting a firm bottom to hold the pizza together while also letting it be fluffy and soft instead of hard and dense.
I’ve found that baking this crust at 400˚F results in a golden and perfect crust. The time varies by oven so honestly, I’m not a huge fan of giving a set time. The rough amount of time it takes is about 20 minutes, but I highly recommend watching it closely. If your pizza gets golden brown sooner than that, feel free to pull it from your oven.
Homemade Pizza Toppings
The amount of pizza toppings and flavors seems almost endless. The beauty of homemade pizza in your home is that you can make add whatever toppings you want. You could make a chicken Alfredo pizza, chicken bacon ranch, all meat, Hawaiian, cheeseburger, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and the list goes on.
Our favorite toppings include a red tomato sauce, browned hamburger or sausage, bacon, onions, and different seasonings along with mozzarella cheese.
For our red tomato sauce, I like to use just regular tomato sauce. Now, that might sound plain and unappealing. Many recipes also mix in flavors such as oregano, basil, garlic, salt, etc. I still use these, but I just don’t mix them prior to putting the sauce on.
I use my homemade tomato sauce, which is a bit more liquid like than store bought. After I spread it evenly on my crust, I sprinkle on the spices. I’ll evenly sprinkle about a tablespoon of oregano and basil. Then I’ll sprinkle on about 1 teaspoon each of salt and garlic powder. I think this really helps add to the flavor by layering the spices rather than blending them.
From there, I add my toppings making sure to add mozzarella last. Throw it in the oven and let it bake! One final thing to remember – when you take the pizza out of the oven, let it cool for 3-5 minutes before you slice into it. This will help give you crisper cuts and slices of pizza that don’t just fall apart on you!
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to make a delicious homemade pizza at home while having a little fun with it at the same time. And the beauty of it is, the more you make it, the more you start to customize it to your family’s preferences and decide what your favorite toppings are.
A super easy homemade pizza recipe that could be mistaken for restaurant quality. A soft and easy to work with dough that leads to a beautiful crust.
- 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 lb hamburger or sausage
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 - 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 - 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 onion
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Any other toppings you wish to include
- In a stand mixer, combine water and sugar. Add 1/2 cup flour, mix. Add yeast, mix. Add oil and salt, mix. Add remaining flour and knead 5 minutes with dough hook. The finished dough should be tacky but in a ball form - not sticking to the walls of the bowl. If it's not forming a ball. Add small amounts of flour little bits at a time while mixing until it forms a ball.
- Rise dough for 30 minutes or until double. While rising, brown hamburger or sausage.
- Stretch dough using your hands without compressing it. You want to keep air in the dough on the edges. Place on a pizza pan.
- Add tomato sauce to dough evenly. Sprinkle on the sauce the garlic salt, basil, oregano, and salt.
- Add diced onion, browned hamburger or sausage, any other toppings you wish. Add mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 400˚F or 15-20 minutes or until cheese is brown and outer edge of crust is golden.
- Cool for 5 minutes, enjoy!
Any toppings can be used on this pizza. Feel free to mix it up to your preferences.
Dough is best made in double batch. Once 30 minute rise is complete, slit dough. Dough for unused crust can be placed in zip-lock baggies and placed in the fridge or freezer for later use. To use, take out of fridge or freezer a couple hours prior to use. Dough should be warm prior to stretching.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 1271mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 17g