Making your own pizza dough is not as intimidating as you think. All you need is a simple quick recipe and you can start experimenting with awesome pizza topping ideas like making chocolate chip dessert pizza.
For the best marks, you should try one of the best pizza ovens for your backyard but this recipe works for a standard kitchen oven, too. But first, you need to start with the dough.
Make the Best Homemade Pizza With These Easy Steps
Consider this your new favorite recipe for pizza dough and a tomato sauce base.
Makes four 12” pizzas
For the crust:
- 7 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 1/2 cups warm water (not boiling, not room temperature)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
For the tomato sauce:
- 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt (alternatively use 3/4 tablespoon salt and 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
The Tomato Sauce:
- In a blender, pour in the canned tomatoes. Add the garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Puree until smooth but still thick. You will probably have leftover sauce. Pour the remaining sauce into an airtight jar and refrigerate it. Tomato sauce keeps for 5 days.
- You can also experiment further with the basic recipe. Try adding more garlic powder, fresh oregano or even a teaspoon of sugar to bring out the sweetness.
- For a thicker alternative, you can also replace some of the canned tomatoes with tomato paste. This has a stronger taste though, so you might want to play around further with the proportions of the spices.
- Fill a bowl or measuring cup with the warm water and add the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until bubbles appear at the top. (This process is called ‘blooming yeast’ and is done to test whether the yeast is still good and to prepare it for a recipe.)
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
- Create a well in the middle and fill this with the bloomed yeast (including the water) and olive oil. Using a spoon at first, mix the ingredients together. Once it is less watery, form a nice ball using hands.
- Take the ball out of the bowl and place it on a clean flat floured surface. Start kneading the dough until it is smooth and has some bounce, around 10 -15 minutes. Form a firm ball, again.
- Rub olive oil all around the dough ball before placing it in a new clean large bowl. Cover with cling film and let it rise for at least 1 hour. (The longer it rises, the airier the crust will be.)
- Once risen, place the dough back on a lightly floured flat surface and knead for another minute, back into a smooth ball. Cut the ball into 4 equal pieces. Form these pieces into smooth balls.
- If you are going to make less than 4 pizzas, place the remaining dough balls in a covered container in the refrigerator. The container should be big enough that the dough has some space to rise further. You can keep this in the fridge for 1 – 3 days.
- Dust the dough with flour. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 1 hour.
- Once risen, poke the dough with fingertips. Continue until air bubbles form that do not deflate.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F – 500°F. The best temperature differs depending on the type of oven used.
- Stretch and flatten the dough into the desired shape. Remember that it will rise while baking so a thinner shape is better.
- Flour the surface that you will be baking the pizza on i.e. stone plate, tray or oven skillet. Place the stretched out dough on the baking surface.
- Add the tomato sauce, cheese, and any other topping.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Note that the baking time and oven temperature may differ per oven type. If you have an outdoor pizza oven then you should follow their provided instructions for the best results.
This is because each type has different heat distribution and maximum temperatures which strongly influence how fast the crust bakes.
Also, remember to preheat the oven on time since the dough will continue to rise, even after you have shaped it. Once it is baking, the crust will slightly shrink and puff up so don’t expect the shape to be identical to what you put in.
For larger pizza sizes, simply combine 2 of the smaller dough balls into a larger one. You can stretch this out to 20” which is great for when you are having a party.