The Best Tried-and-True, Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe.
This homemade pizza dough recipe makes fresh-from-the-oven homemade pizza a deliciously easy possibility any night of the week.
I’ll admit it. Most of the time, if you find pizza at our house, it’s been delivered. As huge a proponent as I am of food made from-scratch, there are always going to be those nights when everyone’s hungry, I don’t want to cook, and also don’t want to go out. In our town, there really aren’t any other delivery options other than pizza. So, on those nights, ordering pizza is what we do.
And, let me tell you, I really love the very idea of pizza delivery. The fact that I can simply pick up the phone, place an order, and have pizza delivered to my door, is a beautiful thing.
But, there’s nothing like homemade pizza
Actually, the fact that we order pizza more often than making it from scratch, makes homemade pizza even more of a treat. You know how that is… whatever is uncommon becomes the “treat”. If I made pizza every week for a year and then one day decided to order it, the delivery pizza would make the evening feel like Christmas.
So, even though homemade everything is the norm in this house (often to the dismay of my teenagers who just want me to buy a bag of chips already), homemade pizza is a treat. And, even better…
Homemade pizza dough is really super easy
In fact homemade pizza dough is one of the easiest, most convenient things you can make with flour, yeast, and water. Pizza dough mixes up quickly, doesn’t need much kneading time, and only requires about 1 hour to proof before it’s ready to use. After that, it’s just a matter of assembling and baking your pizzas.
The dough can also be mixed in the morning and allowed to proof all day in the refrigerator, making homemade pizza a pretty great weeknight dinner option. Mix the pizza dough in the morning, put it in a bowl, cover tightly, and place it in the refrigerator until that evening. About 30 minutes before you want to bake your pizzas, remove the dough from the refrigerator, allow it to come to room temperature, and you’re good to go.
Almost always, when we have homemade pizza in this house, it’s because I’ve recently made a pot of marinara sauce.
Last Monday I made a big pot of marinara in which I cooked some yummy meatballs. That night, of course, we stuffed ourselves with spaghetti and meatballs. We had the same meal on Tuesday, except I also put out a big salad… you know, for variety.
On Wednesday morning I made pizza dough, leaving it to proof in the refrigerator while I went about my day. In the evening, I scooped out some of the leftover marinara for pizza sauce (the sauce being all the better for having sat in the refrigerator for a couple of days), and chopped up a few of the leftover meatballs for one of the toppings. And voila! Pepperoni and meatball pizza with a killer homemade marinara sauce.
Because it’s the middle of the summer, and fresh tomatoes are just SO good right now, I also made a classic margarita pizza with arugula. Then, I made one without sauce, bruising the crust with olive oil, garlic, and herbs and topping it with fresh mozzarella. Because, you know…. bread and melted cheese.
Homemade pizza a great way to use up leftovers of all kinds.
Any kind of leftover pasta sauce, from a jar or from scratch, can make a great pizza sauce. Homemade pizza is also an excellent way to use up leftover veggies, chicken, ham, sausage, bacon, salad greens… Anything. Pizza is, basically, just a big open faced sandwich. Top it anyway you wish.
Homemade Pizza Recipe Notes
As this is only a recipe for homemade pizza dough, I thought I’d share a few tips about what works well in my kitchen when it comes to actually assembling and baking homemade pizzas. If any of YOU have tips, tricks or topping ideas from making pizza at home, please share them in the comments.
The “live” aspect of publishing recipes on a blog is one of my favorite things about having a food blog. Recipes published in a book are static. But, recipes published on a blog can always be added to, tweaked and refined. Several recipes on this blog have been altered because of ideas and suggestions from readers. So, please share!
Shaping the Pizza Dough
Don’t use a rolling pin to roll out your pizza crust. Instead, gently stretch and pat the dough into shape. If you’ve never done this before, I found this excellent tutorial about using your hands to stretch pizza dough.
I generally stretch and pat my pizza dough into shape on a lightly floured work surface, and then place it on a sheet of parchment that’s laid over a pizza peel before adding toppings. Having parchment under the dough makes it really easy to slide the pizza, parchment and all, in and out of the oven. If you don’t have a pizza peel, an open sided cookie sheet works well too.
Topping the Pizza
For extra flavor, no matter what toppings I’m adding, I usually brush flavored olive oil onto the crust before adding sauce and toppings: Add 5 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tsp dry Italian seasoning, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, and 1 tsp of salt to a small bowl and stir to combine.
Brush on the pizza dough before adding sauce and other toppings. This is especially good if you’re making a sauceless, cheese only pizza.
Baking the Pizza
Bake pizza in a very hot oven – 500 degrees – and on a pizza stone if you have one. I’ve had my pizza stone for at least 20 years and use it all the time. It produces deliciously crisp crust, but if you don’t have one, not to worry. You can still get good results by using an overturned and preheated rimmed baking sheet, set on the lowest oven rack. If you are using a baking stone, I’d suggest preheating the oven for at least 30 minutes before baking your pizzas.
Used in this recipe:
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- Homemade Potato Rolls – Makes Great Hamburger Buns!
- Savory Tart with Sausage Vegetables and Cheese
- Homemade Flour Tortillas
- Homemade Chorizo Empanadas with Avocado Cream
Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
- 2½ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cups water, at room temperature
- 3½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cake flour (OR - measure 2 cups all-purpose flour, then replace 4 tbsp. of the flour with cornstarch. Whisk thoroughly to combine.)
- 4 tsp salt
- Add the yeast, sugar and water to the bowl of a standing mixer. Whisk together and allow to sit until the yeast is beginning to look creamy.
- Add the all-purpose and cake flours to the liquid. Using the dough hook, mix the dough on low speed until it comes together. Slowly sprinkle in the salt. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and soft, about 8 minutes. It should clear the sides of the bowl but, stick slightly to the bottom. Add more water, 1 tsp at a time, if the dough appears to be too dry.
- Remove the dough to a bowl that's been lightly coated in olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl to coat it with oil. Cover tightly and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 - 1½ hours, or in the refrigerator for 6-9 hours.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 4 pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while working with one piece of dough at a time. *If your dough has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature before shaping and baking your pizzas, about 30 minutes.