How To Make Homemade Pizza:Essential Tips and Precautions

Learn how to make homemade pizza with a simple, delicious recipe that rivals your favorite restaurant! This dough is a breeze to prepare and bakes into a golden delight.

Smother it in savory pizza sauce, sprinkle generously with mozzarella, and add your chosen toppings for an irresistible treat.

Don’t miss out on my exciting Pepperoni Supreme and Veggie Delight Pizza recipes coming up next!

Homemade pizza perfection

There’s something magical about a homemade pizza night! This fabulous pizza crust recipe is not only simple to make but also bakes into a gorgeous golden hue, offering a crust that’s crispy on the outside while remaining wonderfully soft and fluffy inside. (If you usually skip the crust, prepare for a change of heart!) 🍕

pizza 1

What’s also impressive about this crust is its robust structure, providing just the perfect thickness. Feel free to load up your toppings; this crust is up to the task!

Be sure to check out my expert advice, convenient make-ahead options, and inspiring topping ideas below!


How do you make it?

Refer to the recipe card at the end of this post for detailed ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

pizza 2

Begin by dissolving the yeast in a small bowl, mixing it with sugar and lukewarm water (105-115°F). Cover this with plastic wrap and leave it to activate for about 5 minutes.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine half the quantity of flour with salt and garlic powder, stirring well. Pour in the activated yeast mixture and oil, then gradually incorporate the remaining flour.

Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes, then move it to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until it’s increased by half its size, which takes about 30-60 minutes, or you can leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Gently punch down the dough and give it a quick knead about 5 times. Roll it out into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer onto a preheated, floured pizza pan (or stone).

Pierce the crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up during baking. Lightly brush the surface with olive oil, then evenly spread your chosen pizza sauce over it.

Sprinkle cheese over the sauce, and add your favorite toppings. Place in a preheated 450°F oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. Once done, take it out, slice, and enjoy your delicious creation!


Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour Comparison

For this recipe, you can opt for either bread flour or all-purpose flour. Bread flour contains more protein, leading to higher gluten levels, which gives the dough more elasticity and results in a slightly chewier crust.

It’s advisable to weigh your flour for accuracy, as both types generally have the same weight.

Gluten-Free Flour Alternative: You can also use a 1-to-1 baking flour for a gluten-free version of this recipe.


Optimal oven temperature for pizza

The secret to perfect pizza is an extremely hot oven. While professional restaurants often cook their pizzas at temperatures exceeding 850°F, such extreme heat isn’t practical for home cooking.

A 450°F oven temperature delivers excellent results. It’s crucial to allow the oven to preheat thoroughly. Even when it indicates it’s ready, an additional 20 minutes of preheating, if feasible, is recommended for the best outcome.


Homemade pizza topping options

  • Meat Choices: Pepperoni, Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, Bacon Strips, Sliced Ham, Buffalo Chicken, BBQ Chicken, Breaded Chicken Tenders, Grilled Chicken Strips, Pulled Pork, Capicola, Sliced Salami, Homemade Meatballs.
  • Vegetable Selections: Sliced Onions, Bell Peppers, Fresh Mushrooms, Tomato Wedges, Baby Spinach, Chopped Broccoli, Banana Peppers, Jalapeño Slices, Minced Garlic, Fresh Basil Leaves, Sliced Leeks.
  • Additional Toppings: Chopped Pineapple, Black and Green Olives, Shredded Mozzarella, Grated Parmesan, Crumbled Feta, Ricotta Cheese, Soft Goat Cheese, Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Marinara Sauce, Crumbled Blue Cheese, Ranch Dressing, BBQ Sauce.


Expert Advice for Perfect Pizza

  • Yeast Choice: This recipe is designed for Instant Yeast, but Active Dry yeast works just as well.
  • Rising Technique: For optimal rising, a warm environment (around 75-78°F) is ideal. On colder days, I warm a dish towel in the dryer and lay it over the plastic-wrapped dough to help it rise.
  • Rolling Pin Essentials: A sturdy, smooth rolling pin is key for evenly flattening dough, ensuring consistent thickness and texture in your pizza crust.
  • Salt Selection: Non-iodized salt is preferable for baking as table salt, which often contains iodine, can impart a bitter taste. Redmond Real Salt is my go-to for all baking and cooking. (Use code ‘COZY‘ for a discount!). However, table salt is fine if that’s what’s available.
  • Cheese Tips: Use whole milk, low moisture mozzarella (not the fresh variety). Shredding it yourself from a block ensures better melting. Brands like Dragone or Galbani are recommended.
  • High Altitude Adjustments: Baking at high altitudes often requires recipe modifications. Consult Bob’s Red Mill’s guide for necessary adjustments for this recipe.
  • Recipe Variations: For a quicker option, use 1 lb. of store-bought dough, or try my Naan Pizza recipe. For a low-carb alternative, consider my Zucchini Crust Pizza. For something different, explore my Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Hawaiian Pizza, Pizza Dip, or Pizza Pasta recipes!


Preserve your leftover pizza

Keep it in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze it for a maximum of 3 months.

For frozen pizza, ensure it’s fully thawed before reheating – either overnight in the refrigerator or using a microwave’s thaw/defrost setting.


Reheating Instructions

Set your cold pizza on a rimmed baking sheet and loosely cover it with foil, creating a tent-like shape to avoid contact with the pizza. This step helps retain moisture.

Position the sheet on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 275°F and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Though this method takes some time, it’s the most effective way to revive your pizza to its initial, delicious state.


Preparing in Advance

Follow the recipe to prepare your dough. Rather than rolling it out, form it into a ball and give it a light coating of nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the ball securely in plastic wrap, then place it in a Ziploc freezer bag.

It can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3-4 months.


How do you thaw frozen pizza dough?

Allow the frozen dough to thaw in the refrigerator for approximately 8 hours or overnight.

Before preparation, let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then proceed with your pizza recipe as planned.

pizza dough


Essential Tools for This Recipe

  • Cheese Grater: Opt for shredding your own whole milk, low moisture mozzarella from a block for superior melt and flavor.
  • Kitchen Scale: For precise baking, always weigh your flour. This ensures the expected outcome of your dishes.
  • Mixing Bowls: A set of three different sizes is ideal for the various stages of this recipe.
  • Wooden Spoon: Sturdy and reliable for thorough mixing.
  • Rolling Pin: My go-to tool for evenly rolling out the dough.
  • Pizza Stone: Promotes even cooking, not just for pizza but also bread, cookies, and calzones.
  • Pizza Cutter: Compact and efficient for slicing your pizza.
  • Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes Shakers: Adds that authentic restaurant touch to your pizza experience.

Summing up

Mastering how to make homemade pizza is a culinary delight. This guide provides you with all the essential information, from preparing the perfect dough and selecting the best flour to optimizing oven temperature for that golden crust.

Discover a variety of toppings to suit every taste, and learn expert tips for rolling out dough, choosing the right salt, and picking the best cheese.

The guide also covers how to store and reheat leftovers, how to prepare dough in advance, and the essential tools needed for making pizza at home. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, these insights will elevate your homemade pizza to the next level.



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