How to Make the Tastiest Pizza at Home

You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to have great pizza! Even though cooking is a skill that takes time to master, you can have brilliant pizza at home, without having to spend money to eat out. When you’re making homemade pizza, though, you must know that there are different recipes for the kind of pizza you want, so, today – we’ll be teaching you how to make several different kinds of pizza at home, which will ensure that you can enjoy one of the tastiest meals in the comfort of your own home.

How to Make the Tastiest Pizza at Home
How to Make the Tastiest Pizza at Home

Let’s get started!

The Classic

Step 1 – Ingredients

This is a great recipe and it surely won’t take you more than 2 hours to prepare it, with another 30 minutes of cooking in the oven.

The ingredients you’ll need for this pizza are:

– for the dough – 1 ½ cups of warm water, 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast, 3 ¾ cups of bread flour, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar

– for the pizza – extra virgin olive oil, cornmeal, tomato sauce, grated firm mozzarella cheese, small clumps of fresh and soft mozzarella cheese, grated fontina cheese, grated parmesan, crumbled feta cheese, thinly sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced bell peppers with stems and seeds removed, Italian pepperoncini that are thinly sliced, crumbled and cooked Italian sausage, sliced black olives, chopped fresh basil, baby arugula, pesto, thinly sliced pepperoni, thinly sliced onions, and thinly sliced ham

You’ll also need a pizza stone – if you want a crispy crust, and a pizza peel or an edgeless cookie or baking sheet.

Step 2 – Making the Dough

Making good pizza dough is essential if you want your guests, or yourself, to enjoy a good pizza. It’s the building block of any good pizza.

The first thing you’ll want to do is proof the yeast. You should place warm water in the large bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over it. Then, let it sit until the yeast is dissolved. If the yeast hasn’t dissolved completely after five minutes, feel free to stir it in. Foaming and blooming is what you’ll witness from the yeast, ensuring that it’s still active.

If you’ve decided to use instant yeast instead of active yeast, then you won’t need to proof it, just add it to the flour in the following step.

The next thing you have to do is add the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil, and mix it at low speed for a minute, using the mixing paddle attachment. After that, replace that paddle with the dough hook attachment.

Turn it on and knead the pizza dough on a low or medium setting for about 7 to 10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, don’t worry! You can mix the ingredients together by hand and knead them by hand. It’s natural for the dough to be sticky to the touch, but if you find it to be too wet – add a little flour.

You’re supposed to let the dough rise, and to do that, spread a thin layer of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it around the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil.

You can either leave it to ferment for 24 hours in the fridge (that’s called a slow fermentation), or you can leave it to ferment quickly, for 1 and ½ hours in a warm place. Slow fermentation will result in more complex flavors in the dough, but the quick fermentation is, well – quicker.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm place – anything from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to have it rise quickly.

You can also use the method of medium rise, which allows the dough to rise for 8 hours at room temperature. The general rule is that the longer the rise – the better the flavor the crust will have.

You probably won’t need all of that dough once the pizza has risen, so you can freeze it and save it for any other future culinary adventures you may undertake. Divide it in half, since half the dough is enough for one pizza, and place it on parchment paper or a lightly floured dish and place, uncovered, in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, you can remove it from the freezer and put it in individual freezer bags (make sure to remove as much air as you can from the bags). After returning it to the freezer, you can store it for up to three months.

Step 3 – Prepping the Pizzas

The first thing you should do is preheat your pizza stone. Put it on a rack in the lower third of your oven, and heat your oven up to 475°F (245°C) for at least 30 minutes, but it’d be better to keep it at that temperature for an hour.

Feel free to use a pizza pan or a thick baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone, the only important factor is that it doesn’t warp at high temperatures.

After you’ve divided the dough in two balls, dust your hands with flour and push the dough down so it deflates a bit. Form two round balls and place each one in its individual bowl and cover it with plastic, and let sit for another 15 minutes. Take note, though, that we’re now talking about the scenario where you’re making two pizzas – feel free to make only one, in which case you should do what’s said with one ball of dough, while you should freeze the other ball.

When it comes to toppings, feel free to do whatever you like. Everyone has different likes and dislikes, and if you feel like eating spicy pizza – make it spicy, and if you feel like eating pizza with cheese only, then make a Margherita.

Don’t load up a pizza with all the toppings at hand, as the crust will end up not crisp that way.

We suggest that you focus on cheese, as pizzas with different kinds of cheese are incredibly, and little meats are necessary for them to taste great.

Only a third of a cup of tomato sauce is enough to cover a whole pizza, and you won’t have to worry about having too little. You also don’t need more than two, thinly sliced mushrooms to cover a whole pizza.

Now, flatten the dough ball and stretch it into a round, flat shape – your work surface should be lightly floured. Use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch of thickness, working your way outwards from the center. Turn it and stretch it and repeat the process until it can stretch no more.

Let it relax for 5 minutes before stretching it until it reaches the diameter of 10 to 12 inches. Some pizza masters prefer to hold up the edges of the dough with their fingers, letting the dough hang and stretch, while they work around the edges of the dough.

It could happen that a hole appears in the dough, in which case, you need to place the dough on a floured surface and push the dough back together to seal the hole. This means that you’ve overstretched the dough.

Step 4 – Putting the Ingredients On

Once you have your dough shaped, you should brush the top of it with olive oil – prevent bubbling by pressing down on the dough and making dents. After you’ve brushed it with olive oil, let the dough rest for another 15 minutes – this will prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings.

If you’re making two pizzas, repeat the process with the second ball of dough as well.

Once it’s been 15 minutes, sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal and put the flattened dough on top. The only reason behind this is moving the pizza from the pizza peel into the oven.

Now, you can spread the tomato sauce and sprinkle it with toppings. You should spoon it on when you’re spreading it, and sprinkle the top with cheese and place whatever toppings you want to on the pizza. Too many toppings will lead to a soggy pizza, know that.

You’re almost done! Now, sprinkle some cornmeal on the pizza stone in the oven (make sure not to burn yourself), and shake the peel gently to see if the dough will slide easily enough. If it won’t, lift up the edges of the pizza and add some more cornmeal. Slide it onto the baking stone.

Step 5 – Bake the Pizza

You should bake the pizza at 475° Fahrenheit until the crust is brown and the cheese is golden, which will probably take between ten and fifteen minutes. You can also add a bit more cheese towards the end of the baking.

It’s important to keep in mind that you can choose the toppings as you’d like, but make sure not to overdo them.


Step 1 – The Ingredients

For the dough, you’ll need 2 and a ½ cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, a teaspoon of granulated sugar, half a teaspoon of active dry yeast, ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt, 7 ounces of warm water, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

For the sauce, you’ll need a cup of pureed or crushed San Marzano canned tomatoes, 2 or three fresh cloves of garlic (you’ll mince them with a garlic press), a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (and you’ll need some more for drizzling), ¼ of a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 2-3 large pinches of kosher salt.

For the toppings – 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 7 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 6 fresh basil leaves, and crushed dried red pepper flakes.

Step 2 – Preparing the Dough

Put the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and add warm water and olive oil after you’ve whisked those together. Stir that mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together. The dough may seem to be dry, but that’s just fine.

You should scrape it out onto a well-floured countertop and knead the dough for three minutes. You’ll see that the dough is coming together and it’s beginning to get sticky, so you should dust it with more flour (you’ll need to do this several times). It will remain tacky, but it won’t stick to your countertop. The dough should be smooth, elastic, and tacky after a few minutes, and you should grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil lightly and place the dough into the bowl.

You can put a plastic wrap over it or put a kitchen towel over the bowl, and you should allow it to rise in a warm, dry area for two hours. You can, of course, follow the same principle we’ve explained with the previous pizza if you’d like – it really depends on whether you’re making the pizza for tomorrow or for eating it immediately.

You’ll notice that your dough has doubled in size. If your kitchen isn’t warm enough, you can just heat a large heatproof measuring cup of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and remove the cup from the microwave, and put the bowl with the dough in there. This is a neat trick you can do.

Step 3 – Prepping the Pizza

Place the pizza stone on the top rack of your oven and preheat it to 550 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 45 minutes, but an hour would be preferable. There are ovens that can’t reach the temperature of 550 degrees, in that case – heat it to the max. If you can heat it to a temperature over 550, feel free to do that, that’s even better.

You should assemble your ingredients as the oven is preheating. Stir the pureed tomatoes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pepper, and salt into a small bowl and set another bowl aside for the cubed mozzarella cheese. The cheese shouldn’t be moist, so feel free to pat it down with a paper towel. You’ll need to add basil leaves and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, so set it aside and have it ready to be added.

Once the dough has risen, separate it into two equal-sized portions and put it on a large plate or floured countertop, cover it gently with plastic wrap, and allow it 5 to 10 minutes of resting.

Step 4 – Putting the Ingredients On

You can sprinkle the pizza peel with a tablespoon of flour and stretch one ball of pizza dough into roughly a 10-inch circle. It may happen that the dough springs back or is too elastic, in which case you should allow it to rest for an additional 5 minutes.

The edge will naturally be thicker, but make sure that the center is as thin as possible. Transfer the dough to your pizza peel.

Brush olive oil on the dough and add half a cup of tomato sauce onto the pizza, leaving a 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch border on all sides. Make sure that it’s spread evenly and that the layer is thin (the back of a spoon is perfect for the job). A tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is great to be added to the top of the pizza at this point, alongside half of your mozzarella in cubes, but make sure that it’s evenly distributed. Sprinkle basil over the pizza, as well.

Step 5 – Bake the Pizza

Slide the pizza from the peel onto the heated baking stone and bake it for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. The edges of the pizza should be golden-brown. At this point, you should remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a wooden cutting board or foil. Add some olive oil to the top, alongside some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and chiffonade of fresh basil.

You can now serve it!

If you’re serving two pizzas, not one, then you can place the cooked pizza on a separate baking sheet while you prepare the other pizza. Place the prepared pizza into the oven in the last few minutes of cooking, so that it’s still enjoyably warm when it’s served!

Original Homemade Pizza

Step 1 – Ingredients

For this pizza, you’ll need 2 and ½ cups of warm water, a teaspoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, 7 cups of all-purpose flour (and some more for dusting when you’re working with dough), 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 and ½ teaspoons of kosher salt and a quarter of a cup of semolina flour.

For the toppings, you’ll need 28 oz of canned whole tomatoes and a tablespoon of kosher salt, fresh mozzarella cheese that you’ve torn into small pieces, pepperoni slices (they can be spicy or not, depending on what you like), and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Step 2 – Preparing the Dough

Sprinkle the sugar and the yeast in warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes until you notice bubbles that have formed on the surface.

Combine the flour and the salt in another bowl, and make a well in the middle for the olive oil and bloomed yeast mixture. Use a spoon to mix the combination until you notice that a shaggy form of dough has appeared.

Once you gauge that the dough is appropriately hydrated, you can take it to a clean surface and knead on it for 15 minutes – the combination you’re looking for is soft, smooth, and bouncy. Form it into a ball.

Put the dough into a large bowl that you’ve greased with olive oil, and turn the dough so that it’s covered with olive oil. Cover that dough with plastic wrap and follow the same process to let the dough rise that we’ve described in the first recipe.

Once the dough has risen and it’s ready to be worked with, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. You’ll need to knead it for a minute or two, before cutting it into 4 equal portions and shaping it into rounds.

Flour the dough lightly, and cover it with a kitchen towel before letting it rest for 30 minutes while you prepare everything else.

Step 3 – Prepping the Pizza

Preheat the oven to the highest setting possible, not all ovens allow for the same setting – between 450 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Use a pizza stone to bake your pizza.

To make the tomato sauce, add the salt to the can of tomatoes and puree with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth.

At this point, the dough should be rested and you should take a portion of it and start poking the surface with your fingertips until bubbles form and don’t deflate. Stretch the dough and press it into a thin round. You should always make the dough as thin as possible. Most people like a full pizza, right? Well, the dough will actually grow once you put it in the oven, and if you don’t make it thin, then you’ll see that the pizza is very thick, to the point of being too thick. Whenever you think that the dough is thin enough – think again.

Step 4 – Putting the Ingredients On

You can sprinkle your semolina flour onto an upside-down baking sheet and place the crust onto it. Add the ingredients we’ve listed. Make sure to not overdo it on the ingredients, as people naturally follow the principle of sufficiency, always thinking that it’s not enough.

Step 5 – Bake the Pizza

Once you’ve put your ingredients on the pizza, you can slide it onto the preheated pizza stone and bake it for 15 minutes. Golden brown is the color you’re looking for on the crust.

The pizza’s yours to serve!

Tips for Making Homemade Pizza

Always cook your pizza on a preheated surface! A pizza stone is the best choice, but make sure that you put it in the oven at least an hour before you start cooking, as it needs to be hot when you put the pizza on.

The higher the temperature – the better! Professional, restaurant ovens can achieve great temperatures, but that’s not necessary for making pizza at home. You should, however, always try to get your oven to the highest possible temperature. This will ensure that your pizza’s made quickly – 500 degrees Fahrenheit is what you’re looking for.

Parchment paper is a great way to keep your pizza from sticking. This will make the transfer of the pizza from your working surface to your pizza stone much easier, and there won’t be as much of a mess in comparison to cornmeal.

You don’t need to be strict with your sauces – feel free to use anything you’d like, there are no rules in the culinary world, and creativity is encouraged. Pesto, salsa, ranch dressing, Alfredo sauce, BBQ sauce, use whatever you’d like!

When you’re putting protein on your pizza – bacon, chicken, whatever it is – don’t overcook it beforehand. You’ll put it on your pizza and you’ll throw it in the oven, and if you’ve cooked it completely before that, it’ll burn in the oven. Undercook it just a little bit.

Olive oil and garlic blend for the crust is a blessing. Make sure to brush olive oil mixed with minced garlic over your crust before you add any toppings, this will change the way your pizza tastes completely and you’ll see amazing results!

You can par-bake your crust if you want it to be crispy. We all want a crispy crust, but that’s sometimes difficult to achieve. However, you can slide your crust in the oven before you’ve added any toppings and let it bake for about 5 to 8 minutes before taking it out. Only then should you add your toppings and return your pizza to the oven. This will ensure that your crust is incredibly crispy.

Don’t overtop your pizza! We’ve mentioned this several times, but overtopping your pizza will make it soggy, and human taste buds can’t handle that much taste, meaning that you, or your guests, won’t be able to appreciate it. Some ingredients have a more potent taste than others, and you should focus on different pizzas with different ingredients, not a single pizza with 20 toppings!


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