Easy Homemade Pizza
on Jun 11, 2023, Updated Feb 17, 2024
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My Easy Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style) will be your new favorite way to make 🍕 pizza at home. Not only is this a foolproof recipe, but this method also produces restaurant-quality 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.
Why You’ll Love Easy Homemade Pizza
Once you try my amazing Easy Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style), you’re never going to look back. The final product of this recipe has a crispy yet tender crust. Combined with the simple and satisfying 🇮🇹 Italian flavors of tomato, 🧀 cheese, and basil, it’s so much better than takeout. The best part is, that the dough can be made in advance and frozen, and the pizza only takes about 10 minutes to cook. Buon appetito!
How to Prepare Easy Homemade Pizza
💦 First, activate the yeast by combining yeast, sugar, and warm water (100-110°F or 40°C).
Whisk and allow to activate and foam for 5 to 10 minutes.
💧 Ensure water temperature is within the specified range for successful activation.
🥣 Once the yeast is activated, you can make the pizza dough. Start by mixing flour and salt in a large bowl. Then, pour in the activated yeast mixture and stir.
✨ Now, knead the dough on a clean counter until smooth, adding flour if sticky. Test readiness by pressing a finger into the dough; it should bounce back slowly.
🫒 Shape dough into a ball, oil it, and then let it rise, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. After rising, divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll into balls.
🍕 Roll out each ball into thin pizzas using hands or rolling pin, flouring as needed.
🔥To bake the pizzas, preheat a skillet on the stovetop on medium-high heat and set the oven to broil.
🍄 Place one pizza dough in the hot skillet and then add toppings immediately.
♨️ Cook until charred on the bottom, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
🧀 Broil until cheese is melted and charred, monitoring closely to prevent burning (about 5 minutes). Optionally, top your Easy Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style) with basil, slice, and serve.
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 or 40 degrees Celsius.
Variations and Substitutions for Easy Homemade Pizza
There are several variations and substitutions you can make to customize this Easy Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style) 🍕 recipe according to your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. I have not tried all of these options, so you may need to experiment and adjust quantities as necessary.
- Experiment with different types of flour, such as 00 flour, whole-wheat flour, bread flour, or 1-1 gluten-free flour, however, you will have to experiment and adjust the quantities.
- For a thin-crust pizza, roll out the dough thinner or for a thicker crust, leave the dough slightly thicker.
- Choose toppings according to your preferences. Common choices include pepperoni, sausage, 🍄 mushrooms, onions, 🫑 bell peppers, olives, and fresh tomatoes.
- Include cooked proteins such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for added protein.
- Feel free to use a homemade pizza sauce (like my Italian Tomato Sauce) or a store-bought sauce like Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce.
- Use alternative sauces such as pesto, barbecue sauce, or Alfredo sauce instead of traditional pizza sauce.
- Load up on vegetables for added nutrition and flavor, such as 🥬 spinach, kale, artichokes, or roasted garlic.
Best Served With
- A fresh green salad 🥗
- Some warm garlic breadsticks or Cheesy Roasted Garlic Bread
- A glass of red wine 🍷
First, make sure the yeast is not old or expired. The water must be warm to activate the yeast — not hot, not cold. The water needs to be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 43 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot or too cold the yeast will not activate. 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.
Activating the yeast is the most important part of making this Easy Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style) recipe because your crust depends on it! 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.
If you’re using the stand mixer you can do everything in one bowl by activating the yeast in the mixer bowl, then adding the flour and salt and mixing the dough with the dough hook attachment on low speed until it’s kneaded and smooth. If the dough is sticky and not pulling away from the sides, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The kneading should take 6 to 8 minutes at medium-low speed.
Absolutely! To make this Easy Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style), you can buy a nice pizza dough from an Italian bakery and make it the same way to save time.
After the dough has risen and punched back: divide the dough into your preferred portion sizes, wrap loosely in saran wrap, and seal each ball of dough tightly in a freezer bag. When you want to prepare a pizza, thaw the dough overnight in the fridge, or for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature, then roll it out and bake as per my instructions.
I have not tried this, but it should work with 1-to-1 all-purpose gluten-free flour. My favorite flour is by Caputo and they have an amazing pizza dough recipe on the back of their GF flour pack.
Yes, you can but if you use instant yeast you do not need to activate it, as the grains are super fine. Simply add all the dough ingredients to a bowl all at once. If you use quick-rise yeast, it will cut down the rise time so keep an eye on it. You can also use fresh yeast which would require 21 grams in total.
If you use parchment paper make sure you don’t place the tray too close to the top burners as the paper can start to burn. I always place the oven rack on the second highest level.
My favorite store-bought pizza sauce is Rao’s Homemade Classic Pizza Sauce.
You CAN use 00 flour, whole-wheat flour, or bread flour for this recipe. 00 pizza dough flour is my favorite.
Homemade Pizza (Restaurant-Style)
- 1 packet 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, to taste
- provolone cheese, or any melty cheese you like
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
- fresh basil leaves, to taste
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 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!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.