My easy homemade pizza will be your new favorite way to make pizza at home. Not only is this a foolproof recipe, but this method also produces restaurant-style flavor and texture without a wood-burning oven or any fancy equipment. This dough is similar to an Italian Neapolitan-style pizza: a pleasantly chewy thin crust, speckled in dark spots from baking in a hot oven. Here I use active yeast and 00 flour (a finely milled flour, which is considered the gold standard for pizza and pasta dough, though I’ve included alternatives in the recipe notes) to create a light yet durable crust. The goal is a thin, even crust with lots of brown spots and an even golden-brown color on the bottom of the pizza. The result: a pizza that transports you to Italy.
I top my pizza very simply, using Rao’s store-bought pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought marinara, or sugo, all work well), provolone cheese (mozzarella, of course, works beautifully too), freshly grated parmesan, and fresh basil. The final product is a crispy yet tender dough, and the simple, satisfying Italian flavors of tomato, cheese, and basil. The best part is, the dough can be made in advance and frozen, and the pizza only takes about 10 minutes to cook. Buon appetito!
Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style)
- 11-inch pan + a baking tray
- 1 packet of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams)
- 1 ¼ cups warm water (300ml)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (5 grams)
- 3 cups 00 flour, whole-wheat flour, bread flour, or all-purpose flour (450 grams), plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt (6 grams)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pizza sauce
- slices of provolone cheese or any melty cheese you like
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- fresh basil leaves
Activate the Yeast:
- Note: Activating the yeast is the most important part of this recipe. If the yeast does not activate, start this step all over. If it does not activate it means that the water was too hot, too cold, or the yeast was old or bad. The water should be around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, add the yeast, sugar and warm water. Give it a quick whisk and leave it to activate and foam up for 5 to 10 minutes.
The Pizza Dough:
- Note: You can use 00 flour, whole-wheat flour, all purpose, or bread flour for this recipe. 00 pizza dough flour is my favorite.
- Add the flour and salt to a large bowl (stand mixer instructions in notes below) and mix together. Pour in the activated yeast mixture and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Pour the dough out onto the clean counter and begin to knead it. If the dough is sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time (I used about 1/4 cup or less) and knead until you have a smooth dough.
- You will know the dough is ready when you press down on it with a finger and the indent bounces back up slowly. I knead by hand for 8 to 10 minutes. If you don't know how to knead dough, watch this Youtube tutorial here: How to knead dough
- Once the dough is kneaded, shape it into a ball and oil it up with the olive oil. Place it in a big bowl and let it rest, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm dry place away from drafts. (This can be in a turned-off oven, microwave, or cupboard.) Let rest for about 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has tripled in size.
- When the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and punch it down in the middle so it deflates. Place the dough on the counter and divide into four equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and start to roll out the pizzas one by one. I take a dough ball, flatten it with my hands and begin to stretch out the dough gently with my fingers, rotating it around.
- If you don't know how to gently stretch dough with your hands you can skip this step, grab a rolling pin, and roll it as thin as possible, making sure you rotate the rolling pin in all directions. Be sure to lightly flour the dough and rolling pin, if the dough gets sticky.
- Roll out all four pizzas as thin as possible and set them aside. You can set them on a big baking dish or kitchen towel that is sprinkled with flour. You can also set them on parchment paper.
- Note: before you start, make sure you have all the toppings of choice ready.
- Preheat a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat (my skillet is 11 inches). Preheat the oven to broil. Place one pizza dough in the hot skillet and immediately (carefully) add the toppings. Spoon on your favorite pizza sauce, distributing it evenly with the back of a spoon, leaving a small border for the crust.
- Add the grated cheeses. When the pizza is charred on the bottom (lift it up with a spatula and check), transfer it onto a baking dish or sheet lined with parchment paper and place it in the oven on BROIL (top burner only), until it's melty and charred.
- I put the pizza on the second highest rack to prevent the parchment paper from burning. Watch the pizza the whole time as it can quickly burn. Mine takes about 5 minutes (sometimes less).
- Note: if you have an oven-safe skillet, you do not need to transfer the pizza onto a baking sheet, you can put the skillet in the oven IF it's oven-safe and safe to put under the broiler.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, top with basil, slice and enjoy!