The Best Recipe for Simple, Delicious Homemade Pizza Dough
This homemade pizza dough recipe makes fresh-from-the-oven homemade pizza a deliciously easy possibility any night of the week.
There's nothing like homemade pizza
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.
As grateful as I am for the luxury of pizza delivered to my door, there's nothing like homemade pizza.
I even think that because we order pizza more often than we make it from scratch, homemade pizza feels like more of a 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. It's the uncommon things that feel special.
And, the best thing about it is that...
Homemade pizza dough is really super easy
Homemade pizza dough is one of the simplest 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 prepared in the morning and allowed to proof all day in the refrigerator, making homemade pizza a delicious weeknight dinner option. Simply, make the 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.
Why you should also make some homemade marinara sauce.
Homemade Marinara Sauce sauce only takes about 15 minutes of hands on time and can be portioned out and frozen for easy use in all sorts of different meals, like Meatballs and Marinara, Indian Shrimp and Rice, Classic Cheesy Lasagna, and of course - Homemade Pizza.
Most importantly - the sauce is crazy good and will make your house smell like an Italian Grandmother moved in and started cooking for you. It's incredibly rich and thick, and packed with flavor that’s both complex and comforting. While a nice long simmer is highly recommended, making this homemade marinara sauce is super simple and 100% worth it.
Usually, I make the sauce on a night that I plan to serve it with pasta and meatballs or Italian sausage, and then use the leftover sauce for pizza later in the week. (I think the sauce gets even better when allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a day or two.) If there's any leftover meatballs or sausage, I'll toss those onto the pizza as well.
If there's any sauce left over after pizza night, I'll portion it out and toss it in the freezer. Homemade marinara freezes well as long as you have it in a zip top bag or other airtight container, and is a fantastic thing to have on hand.
Tips for making perfect Homemade Pizza:
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.
#1. How to Shape 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.
#2: Brush the Crust with flavored oil
Regardless of what pizza toppings I plan to use, 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.
#3. Pizza is a delicious way to use up leftovers
Homemade pizza is also an excellent way to use up leftover veggies, chicken, ham, sausage, bacon, salad greens... or anything else that sounds good to you. When you think about it, pizza is just a big open faced sandwich that can be topped anyway you wish.
#4. Bake Pizza at high heat on a baking stone or baking steel
Bake pizza in a very hot oven - 475 to 500 degrees - and on a pizza stone if you have one. I've had my baking stone for at least 20 years and use it all the time. A Baking Steel is also a good option.
Baking stones and baking steels produce deliciously crisp crust, but if you don't have either one, not to worry. You can still get delicious 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.
#5. How to transfer homemade pizza to the oven
Getting a pizza all layered up and ready to bake is one thing, getting it into the oven is quite another. I've found that the easiest way to accomplish the process of getting a pizza onto a hot baking stone or baking steel without spilling toppings all over the inside of the oven is by using a pizza peel and an oversized flat metal spatula.
Flour the pizza peel liberally (you can also use cornmeal) and then build the pizza right on the peel. Use the spatula to ensure that the pizza isn't sticking to the peel and slide the pizza directly onto a hot baking stone or steel that's been preheating in the oven.
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Pizza Dough is a Building Block Recipe
Building block recipes are tried-and-true recipes that I consider foundational to great home baking. They are the kind of recipes I come back to over and over again, sometimes baking them as is, but often using them as a jumping off point to create something new. > Scroll through all Building Block recipes.
- 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cups water, at room temperature
- 3 ½ cups 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.)
- 1 tbsp 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 to 1 ½ 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.
The dough is now ready to use for any kind of pizza. For tips on baking homemade pizza, see the information in the post above this recipe.
- This recipe makes four 12-inch pizzas. If that's too much, you can easily cut the recipe in half. The dough can also be frozen. Divide it into balls and place them into seperate zip-top bags, leaving a bit of room for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- The dough can be prepared in the morning and allowed to proof all day in the refrigerator, making homemade pizza a simple 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.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 4 ounces of dough (approximately 1 slice)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 438mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
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