For the last 4-5 years at our home, Friday night is pizza night. I make pizza dough and the kids get to roll out and make their own personal pizzas. I can’t even describe how magical pizza night is around here. Once one of the kids realizes it’s pizza night he quickly starts chanting, singing, dancing, hollering, etc. all around the kitchen and within milliseconds all the other boys are suddenly in there doing the same thing. They love to get covered in flour, roll out their own personal dough, dock a million holes and put a mountain of cheese onto their masterpiece. Not only do the boys love this night, but I have to admit that I do to. It is wonderful when it comes to planning the meals for the week, it means one less day I need to worry about planning and one less night of trying to convince the kids their dinner isn’t poison.Homemade Pizza

I will post the recipe at the top of the post here. So this way if you know all about making pizzas you don’t have to scroll through all the “how-to” photos and explanations. But if you are new to pizza making please stick around and read all the tips and tricks I have learned these last 4 years about pizza making. I have tried many different techniques (cornmeal under crust, baking sheets instead of pizza stone, grilling, etc.) and will share with you what I have learned (after much trial and error) is the best way to make pizza at home.

So let’s begin . . .

Homemade Pizza


  • 4 – 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 – 1/2 tsp. Instant Yeast
  • 2 – 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 3 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 – 1/2 to 1 – 3/4 cups Water


Place the pizza stone into oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and oil until just combined. Then add the water and mix until your dough is soft and smooth, but slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky).

Divide the dough; Divide the dough into halves if you are having large pizzas, thirds if you are doing medium pizzas, or sixths if you are doing personal size pizzas. Let the dough rest about 20-30 minutes.

Roll out the dough to shape the pizzas. Place on parchment paper and dock the dough. (Docking is just poke holes everywhere, except the crust, with a pizza docker or even a fork.)

Par-bake crust for 5 minutes. Then add sauce, cheese and toppings. Return the pizza to the oven until cheese is bubbly, usually 6 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy!


Step 1: Make the Dough

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and oil until just combined. Then add the water and mix until your dough is soft and smooth, but slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky). Once the dough is done, I dump it from my Bosch onto a lightly floured counter. I then divide the dough into halves if we are having large pizzas, thirds if we are doing medium pizzas, or sixths if we are doing personal size pizzas. (Note: I usually divide my dough to do one medium pizza and 4 personal size pizzas.)


Step 2: Preheating

If you plan to use a pizza stone you want to place it on the lowest rack into a cool oven. After you place the stone in the oven, then begin preheating. You always preheat a pizza stone with the oven.

If you don’t have a stone, flip a cookie sheet upside down and place into the oven just as you would a stone (into a cool oven). Preheat the upside down cookie sheet with the oven. Then when it comes time to cook the crust use this upside down cookie sheet just like a stone, sliding the crust onto the hot bottom of the cookie sheet. When cooked, slide the crust off with a pizza peel, don’t try to remove the hot cookie sheet.

Note: Pizza stones should never be taken out of the oven when hot. I actually don’t remove mine until the next day to make sure it is good and cool.


Step 3: Let Rest

Once I have my dough divided I let it rest while my oven is preheating. I have to admit that over the years I have learned this step isn’t that vital. The resting/rising of the dough does help the flavor to develop more into the dough and to roll out easier and you can create a thinner crust quicker, but honestly I think I only do this step 50% of the time.


Step 4: Rolling & Shaping

Once the dough has rested, take the pre-divided dough and roll out until you get the crust thickness you like. (Note: We roll ours quite thin. When baking it will rise slightly.) After you have rolled it out to the thickness you like, carefully pick up your dough and place onto a piece of parchment paper.Homemade Pizza


Then form a crust. Most people, I have noticed, roll the crust on to the top of the dough. We actually roll ours under, this creates a much prettier pizza, but really I don’t think it matters which way you roll the crust.Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

See, look how lovely the pizza looks when you roll the crust to the underside.


After the crust it formed you need to dock the dough. This is a step I learned late in the game of pizza making, but it makes all the different. Docking the dough simply means pocking the dough to help avoid bubbles forming. For years, I just used a regular fork and pocked the dough everywhere, except the outer crust you have folded. A year or two back, I finally just bought this inexpensive pizza docker and have loved it. My kids can now easily dock their own dough.Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza


Step 5: Baking & Topping

Now slide the plain pizza crust into the oven and par-bake for 5 minutes and then remove. Now you can either add toppings to the warm crust or let this crust cool and use later. If you store in the fridge, wrap well and use within 3-4 days. If you plan to freeze the crust, which I love to do, just wrap well (either wrap it in plastic wrap and then foil, or if I it’s just the right size I place it in a freezer ziplock bag: sometimes I do all three) and freeze for several months.

UPDATE: I have had several people ask me how to use the frozen crust. What I do is: I remove the pizza from the freezer right when I want to use it. {If you let it defrost/thaw on the counter it can get very mushy.} Place the frozen pizza onto the hot pizza stone, that is in the oven, just until no longer frozen (maybe 2-3 minutes). You don’t want to cook the crust anymore because you still need to add the toppings. Once unfrozen, remove from oven and add sauce and toppings . Now bake it just as you would if it were never frozen (directions below).

Homemade Pizza

This is what the underside of the pizza crust will look like after you have par-baked it for 5 minutes.


Once crust is par-baked add sauce and toppings. Return the pizza to the oven and cook another 5-8 minutes until cheese is bubbly all over and hot.

Homemade Pizza

Look how the cheese has bubbled up on the entire surface of the pizza. This is what you are looking for. You don’t want to just have melted cheese, you want it bubbling.


Note: When adding cheese to a pizza less is more. Really. If you add cheese to the point of not being able to see patches of sauce through, you have to much. (This is one of those trial and error things.) The cheese will cook and then when eating, the cheese will all pull off the crust in a big sheet. You know what I’m talking about, right??? So remember less is more.

Homemade Pizza

Notice how I have not put a layer of cheese on the sauce. I have just sprinkled the cheese on the top, while leaving spaces where the sauce still peeks through.


Mmmmm Mmmmmm. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do and thanks for stopping by!

Homemade Pizza