Everyone Loves Pizza!
I’m not sure whether someone compiled a list of the most favorite meals of the world already, but pizza would surely be very close to the top of it. I mean seriously, do you know anyone who wouldn’t love a fresh homemade pizza? I don’t… maybe my youngest son, but he still loves to eat the crunchy edges, at least 🙂
In the past, I used to resort to store-bought pizza dough, but once I made the dough myself for the first time, I never looked back. Homemade pizza dough is simply much better, no doubts about it. And it’s not hard to make at all.
All you need is a few ingredients that everyone has at home. It comes together really quickly, especially if you have a stand mixer. The dough needs some time to proof and rise, but the final result makes up for that for sure.
TIP: Looking for the dough recipe only? Check my Homemade pizza dough recipe. And how about a pizza that doesn’t use marinara (tomato) sauce as the base? My white pizza with chicken tastes really great!
Homemade Wins 🙂
Let me show you how I make the dough, it might not be the best pizza dough recipe in the world, but it’s the best to me and my whole family loves it. Honestly, everyone I served my homemade pizza to, was happy about it, you have my word!
Personally, I LOVE pizza with a thick puffy edge. It has to be thin on the inside, but the edges must be thick. When done properly, the edges will be full of air pockets, giving you the ultimate crispy bite.
TIP: Ever heard of Hungarian Langos? Looks almost like a pizza, try it too 🙂
Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients:
You will be able to make 3-4 large pizzas from this batch of dough!
500 ml (2 cups) of water
800-900g (5,5 – 6 cups) of all purpose or bread flour (you can mix the two)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 teaspoons of salt
1-2 teaspoon of sugar
1 pack of instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
For The Toppings:
Calculated for 1 pizza only!
4 tablespoons of tomato puree
200g (6-7 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
50-70g (2 oz) prosciutto ham
cherry or regular tomatoes
TIP: Flour types are labeled differently in pretty much every country so it’s hard to tell you exactly which one to use. You want to use finely grained high gluten flour, the 00 type works great. All purpose and bread flour is a good choice too, it’s the best to mix them 50/50. Do not use self rising (as we’re using yeast) or cake flour. Whole grain flour is also not the best for this particular homemade pizza dough recipe.
How To Make Homemade Pizza
Watch the video or scroll down for step by step instructions:
1. First we need to activate the yeast. Mix a pack of dried yeast with warm water and 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar. Sugar helps the activation process. Do not use HOT water, it would “kill” the yeast.
2. Prepare the rest of your ingredients and wait for the yeast to come back to life. Once ready, foam will start forming on top of the mixture. My homemade pizza dough only requires a few basic ingredients.
3. Sift the flour to prevent lumps from forming and get some air into it. This is an optional step, the dough would be fine anyways, but this step makes it a tad bit better.
4. Add salt and garlic powder to the flour. Now whisk it properly! If you don’t do this, the tastes might not distribute evenly. It’s a good idea to set a cup of the dry mixture aside now and add it later during the mixing process, if needed. The reason is simple, different flour types absorb water in a different way.
It’s easier to add more flour during the mixing process, compared to incorporating water into a tough pizza dough. If you have ever made any type of dough, you might know this already.
5. In with the water/yeast mixture and olive oil. Turn on the mixer and let it do its job for at least 5 minutes. The dough is ready when it starts to separate from the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
Remember how I told you to reserve a cup of the flour mix? Keep adding it one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency of the pizza dough. The final pizza dough should still be a bit sticky but not enough to remain “glued” to the mixing bowl.
TIP: Several other recipes call for more water to be added and for the final dough to be really sticky. Feel free to experiment with the consistency! As a rule, the more sticky/watery the dough is, the harder it is to work with, later on. On the other hand, if the dough is too dry, the baked pizza crust would be tough and hard to bite through.
6. Now it’s time to take the dough out of the mixing bowl and form a nice ball. Sprinkle the board with the same flour type that you used to make the pizza dough, to prevent it from sticking. Once the ball is formed, put it inside a bowl or a nice proofing “container” like I did and let it raise.
You need to give it at least 1-2 hours, but for the best result, let it slowly ferment in the fridge overnight. There is something about slow fermentation, that makes the crust taste better. I often keep this homemade pizza dough in the fridge for up to 4 or even 5 days! So if you make more than you can use in one go, don’t worry, it will remain usable for a few more days. You can also freeze the extra dough, for up to 3 months.
Just make sure you always store it covered, either with foil or with some cover, otherwise the top layer will dry out. And one more tip, when using refrigerated or frozen dough, let it reach room temperature, prior to working with it.
The dough is done, now we need to wait for it to proof.
7. The dough has risen and it’s time to work with it.
Sprinkle the board with flour again and form an oval shaped ball. This big batch of dough is enough for 3 large pizzas, so divide it into evenly sized smaller balls. Not using all 3 at once? Keep them covered in the fridge.
8. Start forming the crust with your fingers and knuckles. Aim for a round shape, but keep in mind it doesn’t have to be perfect. Using a roller can make this process easier. Since we are aiming for a thick edge, try not to roll out the edges flat.
A dough of this type tends to “fight back” a bit, so it takes a few tries to stretch it out to the shape and size you are looking for. Give it a minute or two.
9. I totally love using a pizza pan, if you can get one, definitely do that. It will make the final shaping a lot easier and you will reach the perfect round shape of the crust. Use your fingers to make the edge nicely thick and puffy.
10. And that’s it, there you have a perfectly shaped pizza crust with a nice thick edge that’s gonna bake perfectly and become super crispy. The next step is to finish the pizza with your favorite toppings.
11. Choosing the toppings for your pizza is entirely up to you, whatever you prefer, just toss in on top of the crust. Basically, there are just two ingredients you shouldn’t skip: tomato puree or marinara and cheese.
I’m sure we all have our favorite pizza variety, so let me show you mine. I start with simple canned tomato puree that I sprinkle with a pinch of dried oregano. This gives it the nice smell, just like in an Italian restaurant.
12. Next comes a thick layer of mozzarella cheese, since no pizza is complete without it. I prefer to use shredded, but you can also use slices of fresh or smoked mozzarella. Just make sure you add “enough” of it 🙂
TIP: The cheese needs to go below the other toppings, if you cover your salami, ham and the other toppings with cheese, they will not bake properly.
13. I love prosciutto and any other type of dried ham, so that’s what I’m gonna use for this homemade pizza. Simply tear the prosciutto into smaller pieces with your hands and distribute evenly.
14. Veggies give the pizza a touch of freshness, so let’s add some. Onions or shallots along with a few slices of tomatoes will do the job. Add as many as you like.
15. When making pizza for myself, it has to contain something spicy. Green jalapeno peppers are the perfect choice, not too hot but still give it a nice kick. I’m quite a cheese fan, so here we go with more of that goodness. A few slices of camembert style cheese are a perfect addition and they also make the pizza look pretty 🙂
16. At this step, I usually add some more of that dried oregano. You can skip this, but I really do love that smell of Italy in my kitchen. Want the edge to become really crispy? Grease it with olive oil! For a more intense taste, mix a bit of crushed garlic into the oil.
17. It’s time to bake the pizza. The golden rule is to bake pizza at the highest possible temperature that your oven can go up to. Most domestic ovens can heat up to 250-270 Celsius or 500-550 Fahrenheit, which is what you should aim for.
Make sure you preheat the oven in advance and only put the pizza in, when it has reached its maximum temperature. The baking process will take a bit longer with a domestic oven, than it does at a restaurant, since the commercial ovens can reach way higher temperatures. Expect anywhere between 15-20 minutes for the pizza to bake on a metal sheet or pizza pan.
Using a pizza stone can reduce the time by a few minutes. If you’re about to use a pizza stone, make sure to preheat it in the oven as well.
What we are aiming for, is a nicely browned and crispy edge of the crust and golden pieces of cheese on top. Some ovens produce too much heat from the bottom side, you might want to check the bottom of the crust after about 12-15 minutes, to make sure it’s not starting to burn.
18. And that’s it! This homemade pizza will easily beat any takeout (or most) or delivery that you can get locally. It’s fresh, tastes great and you know exactly what went into it. Enjoy 🙂
- Experiment with the toppings, your fantasy is the only limit. You can keep it very simple and use just some tomato sauce and cheese, or spice it up with more ingredients, like I did.
- Try to replace the tomato puree/marinara with heavy cream… it sounds weird, but the result is actually very tasty.
- Feel free to add more herbs/veggies… fresh basil or arugula (garden rocket) leaves go really well with any pizza. Add these at the very end of the baking process or right before serving.
- Looking for more Italian recipes? Try this easy Linguine Bolognese recipe.
- Have some Jalapenos left over? Try to make Cowboy Candy!
Homemade Pizza With Prosciutto And Jalapenos
- 500 ml of water
- 800-900 g all purpose or bread flour (you can mix the two)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons of salt
- 1-2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 pack of dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 200 g shredded mozzarella cheese
- 50-70 g prosciutto ham
- 1 shallot
- cherry or regular tomatoes
- jalapeno peppers
- camembert cheese
- dried oregano
- olive oil
- Mix water with sugar and add the yeast, let it activate for a few minutes.
- Sift the flour. Add salt and garlic powder and whisk properly. Reserve a cup of the dry mixture.
- Add water (with yeast) and olive oil. Start working the dough with a mixer or by hand.
- It will take about 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it's no longer "glued" to the mixing bowl. Add more flour if needed.
- On a floured surface, form a nice ball. Put into a bowl, cover and let rise for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
Making The Pizza
- This amount of dough is enough for 3 large pizzas, so divide the batch into 3 smaller balls. Store the unused dough in the fridge, up to 4-5 days or freeze it.
- Start forming the crust with your hands. Pay attention to the edge, it should stay thick, not flat. Use a roller to finalize the round shape, but again, do not flatten the edge!
- Place on a pizza pan or baking sheet and give the edge a few final touches to reach the shape you want.
- Add tomato puree or marinara. Sprinkle with dried oregano.
- Add cheese now. You don't want to add cheese on top of other ingredients, or they won't cook properly.
- In with the prosciutto, shallots and tomatoes.
- Some jalapenos to give it a bit of heat and a few slices of camembert cheese to make it complete.
- Grease the edge with olive oil, to make it even more crispy.
- Bake at high temperature! Laterally as high as your oven goes.
- Once the edge is brown and the cheese bits golden, we are done. It should take 15-20 minutes.