I love pizza. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t. Is there even anyone that doesn’t? I don’t know. I don’t think I want to know that either.
For me, a crispy crust with a sweet tomato sauce, lots of cheese, Italian sausage, and pepperoni is the pinnacle of pizza perfection. When I lived in NY, my standing Friday night order was a large sausage and pepperoni pie from my local pizzeria. And while that’s most certainly my favorite pizza. I love making my own creations at home, as well. You name it, and it can be put on a pizza. Shrimp alfredo, alfredo sauce with ham, caramelized onions, and spinach, cheeseburger pizza with a cheese sauce. Jeremy likes pineapple on his pizza. I’m not a fan of that, but every once in a while I can make an exception for him lol.
Contrary to what people may think, pizza dough is very easy to make. There are only a few ingredients in the dough; yeast, water, flour, and salt. I like to use Active Dry Yeast when baking. The most important thing is activating the yeast.
Rehydrating Active Dry Yeast before using it allows it to work better. I usually put a few teaspoons of sugar in the water, so the yeast has something to “eat”. The yeast feeds on the sugar, which allows the yeast to work through your dough. I usually put a few teaspoons of sugar in the water, so the yeast has something to “eat.” It is imperative that the water you pour the yeast into is WARM. Believe it or not, warm water is between 105-110 degrees. If the water is too hot, you will kill the yeast. If the water is too cold, the yeast won’t activate.
Next, I put the yeast mixture in a warm area for about 5-10 minutes, and it begins to foam, which means it is activating. While the yeast is activating, I mix the dry ingredients; the flour and the salt. Once the yeast has been activated, I pour the yeast into the dry ingredients. After a few minutes of mixing the dough is ready to rise in a warm area for about 2 hours.
1 3/4 cups warm water divided
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
Recipe used and adapted from
This dough can be used to make thick or thin crust pizza. Your oven should be set to 500 degrees for 30 minutes before you put the pizza in the oven.
** Follow the manufactures directions for your pizza stone if you have one.
I have a stone pan. The stone pan can’t go in a 500 degree oven, so make sure you follow the directions for your own pan.
- Measure 1/4 cup of warm water about (110 – 115 degrees) along with 2 tsp sugar into 2-cup measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast in; let stand in a warm area until yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup of warm water plus 1 1/4 cups water and olive oil.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix bread flour, all purpose flour and salt until combined.
- Add liquid ingredients to flour and pulse together. Mix until dough is smooth.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand to form smooth, round ball. Use chef’s knife or dough scraper to cut the dough in half, quarters or into eighths for personal pans.
- Put dough into oiled bowls, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape the dough. Transfer to pizza peel (if you have one) that has been lightly coated with semolina. If you don’t have a pizza peel you can just place your dough on your pan or pizza stone. I like to spray my pan with cooking spray first.
These times are for a 500 degree oven.
14-inch pizzas (recipe makes 2) – Bake 7 to 8 minutes
12-inch pizzas (recipe makes 4) – Bake 5 minutes
8-inch pizzas (recipe makes 8) – Bake 3 minutes.
Medium Thick Crust
12-inch pizzas (recipe makes 2) – Bake 9 to 10 minutes
8-inch pizzas (recipe makes 4) – Bake 5 minutes
6-inch pizzas (recipe makes 8) – Bake 4 minutes.
Since I use a stone pan, I cooked my pizza on 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.