I Spent 8 Years Perfecting Homemade Pizza – Here’s My Trusted Recipe – Eat This, Not That

Weekends always call for pizza. This is a necessity. Friday, Saturday, Sunday – any of these days is really good for sharing the pieces between friends. Or just enjoy the whole pie alone. There is no condemnation here!

Of course, delivery is always possible (and Slice makes it easy to deliver incredible local pizza right to your front door), but as someone who grew up in the Northeast, where pizza is essentially a food group, I took on more than just learn how to make homemade pizza… but perfect It.

Hence my ambition to make the absolute best, reliable pizza dough recipe. A type of pizza dough that will work in any pan, from a pizza stone to a baking sheet, and even in a cast iron skillet. Whatever the kitchen appliance, I wanted to give readers (and myself) a homemade pizza recipe that they can easily rely on when pizza cravings kick in.

And as you can see it took long time. Actually, eight years.

My task was to improve the texture. I dream of the homemade pizza that comes from the little pizzerias in Brooklyn, with a perfectly crisp yet chewy crust. But for years, my dough was anything but. My pizza crust came out either too hard, too soft, too crumbly, or too crumbly. Some dough worked for a cast iron skillet, some for a pizza pan, but it never worked for both at the same time—and I was determined to make it happen.

So I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked. How much flour? Should I add sourdough or instant yeast? What flavors are needed for this? Need a long lift or a short one? At what temperature should pizza be baked in my oven? (Hint, a very really high temperature).

You can imagine how excited I was when I finally fixed the dough. I watched my pizza bubbling in the oven, the crust perfectly crisp and firm enough to take a bite.. I cried. Really.

And, of course, when I go on a big journey related to my skills in the kitchen, I have to document it on the Internet. And you, dear reader, will benefit from eight years of trials and failures, and soon a major success. Here are all my tricks on how to make the perfect homemade pizza.

And don’t forget your sauce! Here is the best Italian pizza sauce recipe you can make at home.

holds container for pizza dough flavor
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not This!

I didn’t realize pizza crust had a special flavor until it did not have in my test. My crust has been pretty bland for years, and it took me a while to notice that I was actually missing an important ingredient to give pizza dough that cheesy (yes, cheesy) flavor we all desire. I now have a container of King Arthur flavored pizza dough and add two teaspoons to my recipe.

rolling out pizza dough on a cutting board
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not That!

While it’s fun to make our Italian pizza dreams come true by tossing the dough in the air, you’ll want to roll it out first. Not too much a lot – just enough so that you can easily stretch to the desired size. When it comes time to stretch, I usually do 10 inches for a cast iron skillet (for a thicker crust) or 12 inches for a pizza stone or steel (for a thin crust).

Given that this recipe makes enough dough for two personal pizzas, I would say that if you are making one large pizza on a baking sheet (about half a sheet), I would just leave it as one large ball of dough and not divide it.

laying dough on pizza steel before making pizza
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not This!

Okay, I know I said this recipe is versatile for several different types of pans, but I’ll admit, I think you’ll get Best an artisanal quality pie if you are using perforated pizza steel. I use Made In Pizza Steel, 12″ with 86 perforated holes on the bottom, giving your pizza perfect bottom cooking. It’s made from carbon steel with a non-stick coating, making it easy to take the pizza off when you’re done.

spreading the filling on the pizza dough
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not This!

While it’s tempting to just load up on toppings (no more paying for extra toppings, right?), I promise you, you’ll want the cake to be light – or you’ll suffer the consequences of the toppings falling on your face. after. A good rule of thumb is not to overlap the type of topping. For example, lay out the pepperoni first and don’t stack them on top of each other. Then do the same with a few slices of bell peppers, onions, and any other vegetables you want. And don’t go too much crazy about cheese. Just a little crazy.

Need pizza inspiration? Try one of these 32 Best Healthy Pizza Recipes!

season pizza before baking
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not That!

I think it just adds flavor! I sprinkle all my pies with Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I also like to drizzle with olive oil. before sprinkle with cheese so that all my vegetables can benefit from the rich olive oil while they brown in the oven.

preparing pizza for sending to the oven at a temperature of 550 degrees
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not This!

We try to mock the pizza oven in our homes by not heating up to 900 degrees, which is, yes, as hot as pizza ovens sometimes are! Pizza experts would say it’s important to get your oven as hot as possible, so I’ve found that baking at 550 degrees allows you to quickly cook crispy pizza in just 10 or 15 minutes.

finished pizza ready to eat with hot honey
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not This!

Okay, this is optional with my trusted method. It’s just delicious when the pizza is sprinkled – all the cool pizzerias in Brooklyn do it. I usually choose Mike’s Hot Honey or Savannah Bee’s Hot Honey.

frozen pizza dough wrapped in cling film
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not This!

Are you planning to bake only one pizza? Ready for dough for the end of the week? You can freeze it! The trick is to wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. before second lift. Then, when you’re craving pizza, you’ll want to let the dough thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. When it’s time to bake, take the dough out and place it on the counter for 30 minutes to warm up and go through a second rise before rolling it out and making the pie.

ready-made pizza slices
Kirsten Hickman / Eat This, Not That!

You’ll need

1 glass of warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast, equivalent to one packet
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little
3 cups ’00’ pizza flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp pizza flavor
Toppings to choose from

How to do it

  1. In a stand mixer, combine water and instant yeast. Wait for the yeast to bloom – this should happen quickly.
  2. Add honey, olive oil, flour, salt and pizza flavoring. Mix at the lowest level with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil. Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl, then cover with cling film. Let rise for 1 hour.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into two pieces. Pinch the ends of each dough together, then roll the two doughs into balls. Cover with the same plastic wrap and let rise for 15-20 minutes. While you wait, preheat the oven to 550 degrees.
  5. Separately, flour the dough and gently roll it into a circle with a rolling pin. Widen the circle by grasping the ends and stretching it out to a 10″ or 12″ diameter.
  6. Place dough on pizza stone/steel or cast iron skillet. Add your desired toppings.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how crispy you want. A cast iron skillet will probably take longer.
  8. Remove and let pizza rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

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