Pizza is one of the world’s most popular dishes, and for good reason. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to make homemade pizza from scratch!
It’s perfect for any occasion: a quick dinner with friends, a potluck dish that everyone loves, or an easy meal after school or work (everyone loves pizza night).
One of the key ingredients in homemade pizza crust is yeast – which you can buy at your grocery store.
If you’re feeling creative, there are all kinds of toppings you can use on your pizza: pepperoni slices, olives, bell peppers, and green pepper; mushrooms and caramelized onions; artichokes and red sauce; ham and pineapple…the combinations are endless!
- What is pizza?
- Thin crust vs thick crust
- The best cheese for homemade pizza
- Homemade pizza sauce
- Favorite pizza dough recipe
- Is it possible to freeze the dough after it has been made?
- What is the difference between yeast and baking soda/baking powder?
- Assembling your homemade pizzas
- Thin-crust homemade pizza
- Thicker crust homemade pizza
- Pizza toppings
- Ending note
What is pizza?
For many of us, pizza is an unforgettable taste of our first homemade meal. However, it can be difficult to find time to make a quick trip to the local pizzeria – but thanks to this article, you’ll learn how to make your homemade pizza quickly and easily!
With just a few ingredients and 20 minutes of prep time, you can make your own homemade pizza – and it’ll taste far better than anything you buy at the store! So, what is pizza?
Pizza consists of bread dough that is spread with sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. The dough is then baked at high heat, creating a delicious meal that satisfies our cravings for crispy slices of bread.
Pizza can be made with any kind of topping – meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, etc.
To make pizza, you can use your oven, hot stone, pizza pan, etc.
Thin crust vs thick crust
Many people think that the ingredients and method of preparing pizza dough is more important than whether it’s thin-crust or thick.
However, that is not the case.
If you prefer a thin crust, simply roll dough with your hands and then bake it at 400° F for 10 to 15 minutes.
On the other hand, if you prefer thick crust pizza, place the dough in an oiled baking dish and cook it for 20 to 30 minutes at 350° F.
The best cheese for homemade pizza
… is mozzarella cheese, and it is necessary to grate it yourself. If you can’t find artisanal cheese that’s already grated, then go ahead and buy block cheese and grate it yourself using a box grater.
This will just taste better than pre-grated mozzarella because as it sits in your pantry (or freezer), it will lose moisture, and lose flavor. By grating the cheese yourself, you’re ensuring that this won’t happen.
But wait! You don’t want to sprinkle too much mozzarella on your pizza because it will make your pizza soggy. Still, you want enough so that when you take a bite of your homemade pizza, the cheese stretches from your pizza to your face.
That might sound weird, but you’ll understand what I mean when you try mozzarella on homemade pizza yourself.
As for which type of mozzarella, that’s up to you! You can buy smoked or regular mozzarella, and whatever floats your boat is fine with me. Alternative to mozzarella is parmesan cheese, which is excellent as well.
Homemade pizza sauce
If you want nine times out of ten people who try your homemade pizza to tell you that it tastes like a real, genuine New York slice of pizza, then make your own sauce. It is as easy as opening a can or a jar of tomato paste and stirring in some spices.
The spices I use for my homemade sauce are oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.
If you really want that New York pizza taste then go ahead and add a little sugar to your sauce as well. You can even crush a couple of cloves of fresh garlic into the sauce if you want.
Favorite pizza dough recipe
Making a pizza that tastes like a real, genuine New York slice of pizza requires you to make pizza dough. You can buy the pre-made pizza dough or premade naan at the grocery store, but this will add unnecessary steps and ingredients to what should be a pretty simple process.
For this pizza dough recipe, you’re going to need some yeast, water, salt, and flour. You can also add sugar if you want to give your pizza crust sweetness too.
Yeast is basically a magical ingredient that will make your homemade pizza dough puff up into something wonderful, and it can be fresh or instant yeast. If you have fresh yeast, then let it dissolve in warm water for five minutes before mixing the rest of the ingredients together.
You can also buy instant yeast in a packet, and this is going to save you time because it will dissolve immediately upon contact with water.
Let your dough rise for 45 minutes to an hour before you use it on your homemade pizzas. In the meantime, put little olive oil into a bowl or container that’s big enough for dipping your homemade pizza crust into.
Is it possible to freeze the dough after it has been made?
After the homemade pizza dough is made, it can be frozen for later use. Divide the mixture into small portions that you will use to make pizzas.
Place on parchment paper or a lightly floured dish and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered.
Next, remove from the freezer and place in individual ziplock bags, reducing as much air from the bags as possible.
Place back in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When unfreezing, thaw the pizza dough overnight or for 5 to 6 hours in the refrigerator. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.
What is the difference between yeast and baking soda/baking powder?
Yeast is a living organism that feeds on the sugars in flour. When yeast comes into contact with water it produces carbon dioxide, which makes dough rise and forms air pockets in bread.
Baking soda or baking powder are leavening agents, meaning they produce gas when mixed with acid and heat which allows baked goods to rise.
Assembling your homemade pizzas
While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to give your pizzas a crunchy bottom, then use a clean sheet pan as this will heat up in the oven at the same time as your homemade pizza crust.
You can put any favorite toppings you like on your homemade pizza, but this is what I do:
Step #1: Spread the extra virgin olive oil all over the crust using a spatula or your hand (I’m not judging!).
Step #2: Put some mozzarella cheese on there – about ¼ of a cup. Remember that mozzarella has salt in it so you don’t have to add salt to your pizza dough.
Step #3: Spread out some sauce – again, about ¼ of a cup. If your homemade sauce is watery then drain away from the excess liquid.
Step #4: Put any other toppings on there such as pepperoni or pineapple, and sprinkle with oregano and crushed red chili flakes for some added flavor.
Step #5: Put the pizza dough in the oven and bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes (or until it looks like a real, genuine New York slice of pizza).
Your perfect homemade pizzas will be ready to eat soon after they come out of the oven. Just let your homemade pizzas cool down for a couple of minutes before you slice them in half and take a bite.
Thin-crust homemade pizza
As the name implies, thin-crust pizza is thin and crispy in texture. But how do you make it, and what’s the secret ingredient?
To make thin-crust pizza, you’ll need:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (or 232 Celsius). Once your oven is preheated, you’ll want to place your pizza stone (or an upside-down baking sheet) in the oven to heat up as well.
Step 2: Blend together active dry yeast and warm water until it dissolves; let sit for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Place the pizza dough mixture into a large bowl and mix with flour and salt. Stir it around with a spoon for about 5 minutes, until the dough mixture is firm and cohesive.
Step 4: Dump onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough with your hands for 15 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Sprinkle a wooden pizza peel (or cutting board) liberally with cornmeal or semolina flour. Now use your hands to gently press and pull the dough into a thin rectangle, about half an inch thick (or as thin as you feel comfortable).
Step 6: Add sauce and toppings of your choice, then slide pizza onto a heated stone or cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
Thicker crust homemade pizza
For thicker crusts, use the recipe above, but follow these steps instead:
Step 1: Place pizza dough into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours (this process is called “overnight rise”).
Step 2: After it has risen, let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Step 3: Roll out your dough as usual, but instead of placing it directly on the oven rack, place a pizza stone inside the oven to heat up at the same time you turn on the oven.
Then use a rolling pin to roll out a 9 or 10-inch circle and carefully pick it up with a large spatula. Place onto the preheated pizza stone.
Step 4: Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned on the edges.
Different types of pizza toppings for both thin-crust and thicker crust pizzas can be added to make your homemade pizza exactly the way you want.
If you are using a prepared sauce (e.g., spaghetti or béchamel), that can be spread over the crust first, then add the cheese and other toppings.
For extra flavor, consider adding some herbs like oregano or basil to your sauce, as well as some garlic.
If you choose to make your own sauce, it’s easy and tastes better than what you can buy in a jar or can. You will need:
- 1 tbsp of oil (e.g., olive)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 x 400 g (14 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- optional: add 1/8 cup red wine and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar before cooking
Stir fry the onion over low heat until it is soft and nearly translucent, then add garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, and tomato paste (optional ingredients above) and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
If you want a smooth sauce, use a handheld blender or a food processor instead of a knife to puree it. You can also add some fresh basil leaves before cooking if desired.
Homemade pizza is satisfying, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make! With just a few ingredients you have lying around your kitchen, you can have a delicious hot pizza in just 20 minutes.
Meta Description: Here are the steps for making your own pizzas at home. With just a few ingredients you have lying around your kitchen, you can have a delicious hot pizza in just 20 minutes!