If you’ve ever wondered how to make homemade pizza dough, this is the perfect fail-proof recipe. It yields delicious homemade pizza every time that you can customize with whatever sauce and toppings you choose. Use it for make-your-own pizza parties or for Friday night pizza with the family.
I love homemade pizza, but when I told my husband one weekend several years ago that I wanted to make it, he looked at me with his I’m-not-thrilled-about-this-idea-but-I-don’t-want-to-ruin-your-obvious-excitement look. Do you know the look I’m talking about? I was confused (I mean, pizza is awesome!), but as I talked to him, he explained that whenever he made homemade pizza growing up the center was always doughy and he would really rather just go out for pizza that was fully cooked. He agreed to trust me (he’s good that way), and I can triumphantly report that this pizza changed his mind (and possibly his life).
Seriously, though. If you’ve ever found yourself in my husband’s shoes, try this pizza! There are a few keys to success. First, you need to crank your oven up REALLY hot…500 degrees. Second, don’t try cooking this on a cookie sheet. Splurge on a pizza stone (if you can even call eight dollars a splurge) and preheat the stone in the oven for 20 minutes before baking. This helps the pizza cook evenly all the way through in just eight minutes. Wave buh-bye to doughy middles.
Since I first made this for my husband, he has requested it regularly (at least every other month), and we often make it when we invite friends over for dinner. It makes for a great low-key party because everyone can bring their favorite toppings and help choose flavor combinations (see the bottom of this post for my favorites).
Like any yeast dough, you have to plan ahead a little, but it’s a really simple, no-fuss dough that has never failed to turn out wonderful pizzas. Happy pizza making!
Best Homemade Pizza Dough
Note: As I said above, the key to delicious pizza is cooking it really hot and really fast (500 degrees for 8 minutes seems to be the sweet spot in my oven). You MUST cook it on a pizza stone that has been preheated in the oven. This helps the pizza cook evenly all the way through in the short period of time…no doughy middle!
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cold water
- In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir to completely dissolve. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture, 2 ½ cups flour, salt, olive oil and water. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a batter.
- Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour. Transfer batter to the floured surface. Knead in the remaining one cup of flour a little at a time, kneading for 8-10 minutes. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not sticky; add a little more flour if needed.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour.
- Sprinkle flour on work surface. Remove dough from bowl, and divide into four equal pieces. Knead again and form each piece into a tight, smooth ball. Place dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or on a floured surface…but I LOVE working with parchment). Cover with a tea towel and let them rise for another hour.
- When ready to bake, place baking stone in oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Gather the toppings of your choice and flatten your dough into an 8-10” circle. Feel free to channel your inner italian and toss it in the air to accomplish this, but don’t blame me if it ends up on the floor.
- Place the dough on a piece of parchment and cut the parchment so it is about an inch wider than the dough. Spread with your choice of sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
- To bake, slide pizza onto baking stone (keep it on the parchment). Close the oven door quickly to keep it as hot as possible. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- As soon as you take out one pizza, put the next one in. In my experience, this works out well, because by the time you’ve eaten pizza number one, pizza number two is about done and ready to pull out and slice for eating!
Source: My awesome sister, Robyn.
P.S. – If you need some ideas for great toppings, here are some of our favorites…
Our favorite flavor combinations:
Alfredo sauce + diced chicken (leftover grilled chicken works great) + bacon
BBQ sauce + chicken + bacon + olives
BBQ sauce + ham + pineapple
Marinara sauce + salami + olives
I regularly link up here.