Basic Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza is a regular feature on the FishFam menu. I try to make it at least once a week, usually on Fridays. This makes a great start to our weekend. Coupled with rootbeer, a movie, and snacks, it creates a fun family night for my husband and me and our six children.

The first time I made pizza, it was a terrible bomb and I vowed never to make it again. That was fifteen years ago. About three years later when our first child was born and we moved to one income, I reconsidered that vow. I liked pizza, but I knew it wasn’t in the budget to indulge on a regular basis.

Instead, I set out to teach myself how to make it at home. After some trial and error, I’ve come up with something that we like just as well if not better than pizza parlour pies. I still goof up sometimes, but overall everyone enjoys pizza night.

I rely on my bread machine to make fantastic dough. The texture can vary a little, depending on the humidity, but overall it’s pretty consistent.



Sauce
I usually use whatever spaghetti sauce I have on hand. Usually something I’ve made myself, like this tomato sauce with meats. I prepare it in huge quantities and store it in 2-cup portions in the freezer. The morning of pizza night, I pull out a container to thaw in the refrigerator.

I use about 2/3 cup sauce for large pizzas, 1/3 cup for smaller, individual size pies.

Toppings

Start with a sprinkling of cheese. We like a combination of shredded jack and mozzarella cheeses.

Next layer on whatever toppings you like:

  • pepperoni
  • sausage
  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced onion
  • diced or sliced tomato
  • sliced, black olives
  • chopped zucchini
  • sliced bell pepper

Top with more cheese.

A preheated oven is key to a great crust. Up to an hour before baking, set your oven to 475 &deg. Bake pizzas for 8-15 minutes, depending on their size. Use the shorter baking time for smaller pizzas, the longer time for larger ones. Pay close attention to how your oven operates and how brown your pizzas are getting. I cook only one large pizza at a time.

Enjoy!

Tools To Help You:

While you really only need a baking sheet, there are some tools that I’ve found helpful over the years of pizza making:

Those are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. Your price does not change, but your purchase indirectly helps support this site. So thanks!

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

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Comments

  1. Look delicious! I've got a pizza dough recipe I like, but I'm going to try this one next.

  2. Okay, I made this tonight and want to use it tomorrow. Can I just store it in the fridge overnight? Or should I put it in the freezer? Thanks to anyone that can help?!?

  3. FishMama says:

    For just overnight, I would store in fridge. Longer storage, freezer.

  4. Is there anyway to translate the dough recipe into a non- bread machine one? Maybe warm the water and let the yeast sit, then combine, let rise, then punch down? Does that sound right?? Lol… Did I just figure it out?

    • Jessica says:

      Yes, that’s exactly it. I’ve done it when making many batches at once. ;)

      • Can you give me instuctions for the non-bread machine intructions? I need more directions than sit, combine, rise, and punch! haha.

        • Jessica says:

          Non-bread machine directions: Warm the water and place it in a large mixing bowl (or Kitchenaid bowl). Add honey or sugar and sprinkle the yeast. Once it starts to foam, add the rest of the ingredients. If using mixer, put the bread hook on and mix for 3 minutes. If by hand, stir until dough forms, transfer to floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Transfer to greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.

      • Could you outline in more detail how to make this dough if you don’t have a bread maker? The first post was a little vague for me, as I’ve never made any type of bread before. FYI: The breadmaker is on my Christmas list! :)

        • Jessica says:

          Warm the water and place it in a large mixing bowl (or Kitchenaid bowl). Add honey or sugar and sprinkle the yeast. Once it starts to foam, add the rest of the ingredients. If using mixer, put the bread hook on and mix for 3 minutes. If by hand, stir until dough forms, transfer to floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Transfer to greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been making homemade pizza for 13 years and have never been satisfied with any of the recipes I’ve tried. I’ve made this 3 times now It is awesome! This is now the only one I will use, it has ended my cravings for any of the pizza chain pizzas. Thank you for sharing!!!

  6. Your pizzas look great!! I have been fiddling around with a different dough recipes, but haven’t really found one we really like, so i’m going to try yours, I do have a question though: what purpose does the honey serve? Is it just to give the dough a hint of sweetness? I ask because its not something we normally have in the house and wondering if i could get away with substituting brown sugar. Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      A little bit of sugar or honey helps the yeast do its stuff. Feel free to substitute a different sweetener.

  7. I had just all but given up on good pizza at home. After reading all of your posts and seeing your wonderful-looking pizzas, I’m going to give it another try. It gives me a reason to keep my bread machine around a little longer. lol! I was thinking about donating it because it has been taking up space since I haven’t used it in quite a while.

    Thanks for the inspiration to try again!

  8. Hi! Sounds yummy!! Was wondering how you freeze the pizza dough?

    • I wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap or sandwich bag and then store in freezer in a gallon size bag. Do it quickly in the coldest part of your freezer. The yeast keeps going and dough can keep rising until it’s frozen. (It’s alive!) ;)

  9. I have a question. Like Carrie, above, I’m going to try this recipe without a bread machine. I also want to freeze the dough. Should I freeze it before it rises and just let it rise when it thaws in the fridge?

  10. (I can’t find which post about your pizzas that I made my original comments on.)

    These pizzas are awesome. I have been a homemade-pizza failure for a decade. No more, thanks to you! My pickiest eater tells us that this is her favorite meal. The sauce is awesome. (We don’t like that sweet stuff.)

    I do the dough with my kitchenaide mixer. Warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of the flour in together….let it proof for a few minutes. Mix in everything else besides the last of the flour. After a little mixing, add remaining flour. It only takes a few minutes of prep. Then I let it rise for an hour. Punch it down and it is ready to go.

    Love it!

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah! Thanks for the good word. When I’m making this for the freezer, I get one batch going in the bread machine and one in the Kitchenaid. And that’s exactly how I do it.

  11. Have you tried using whole wheat flour in place of white flour or a half and half combo?

  12. Lisa O Shea says:

    Hope im not repeating but about freezing the dough after the first rise, you just pop it in as is?Its usually very soft no? Just curious as i would like to make a few at a time to safe myself some hassle next time! What are the best steps to take once removing the dough from the freezer.

    • I’ve been researching and testing. I think the best way is to only rise about 30 minutes and then put each dough ball in sandwich bag. When ready to thaw, remove from the bag and place in a greased dish in the refrigerator, covered with a towel. Gonna mix up several batches today.

  13. I am giving this a try today, but I am going to freeze the dough to use for after baby #3 gets here. So when I am ready to use it, I just thaw it in the bag all day then just roll it out, etc, or does it require some more rise time or anything?

    • @Lerin, I take out the frozen balls from the bags and place in a greased dish and let it thaw/rise all night in the fridge or 1/2 day on the counter.

  14. Misty Rodz says:

    Wow, this pizza dough is awesome! I was skeptical at first, because it seemed extremely crumbly when the bread machine first started mixing the ingredients together. However, this was the best pizza that I have made by far. I live in Puerto Rico, so the humidity usually obliterates any type of dough that I attempt to make. When I try to make pizza, I always have to add so much flour to make it less sticky that I end up with white crust that never browns–and it tastes terrible too! However, this dough browned up beautifully without burning the cheese. It truly was pizzeria quality dough. I am soooo excited about this! We can pizza any time we want without breaking the bank. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  15. What size bread machine do you use? Mine makes a 2lb loaf is that big enough? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

  16. Never mind, I just tried it and it was perfect! I used 1 C wheat 1 C white and 2 1/2 C bread flour. The dough was amazing!! so elastic and perfect moisture content – not to wet/dry. Thanks!!

  17. Aubrey Jensen says:

    Just tried this (w/computer set up in the kitchen!) tonight and it turned out AMAZING!!! Just wondering, to turn it up to be extra-fattening (hey, I’m pregnant!), how would you make this a pan pizza?

  18. I know this is an old post, but after many failed homemade pizza attempts, I tried this recipe and it was AWESOME! In fact, I just ate leftovers : ) I think the thing I always missed before was the oven being so hot – I swear most recipes call for 400 degrees. That and the awesome crust recipe….Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. Thanks for all the information! I’m going to make this tomorrow and freeze it! I’m hoping to make a months worth and start having Friday Pizza Nights!

    Thanks for all the tips on freezeing and thawing! I cant wait!

  20. Casey Malone says:

    Okay…Stupid question…Self rising flour or all purpose. I have never made pizza dough.

  21. Stephenie says:

    Hi,
    I’m getting ready to attempt some freezer cooking in anticipation of our new baby’s arrival in 3 months. I’m trying to get my plan together and I wanted to have ‘frozen pizzas’ in the freezer. I see where you have suggested freezing the dough, but have you ever tried actually putting the whole pizza together and then freezing? Would you bake the crust briefly before topping and then freeze or what would you suggest? I love the idea of having to only grate cheese and chop veggies once and have many pizzas ready to go for my children to pull out and heat. Thanks.

    • Jessica says:

      @Stephenie, I don’t recommend freezing it topped and uncooked. That would get soggy. (I have no idea how the frozen pizza people do it.) But, I have made small pizzas, baked them and then frozen them baked for a quick reheat. Makes for great, quick lunches.

  22. I’m making mine for the first time. I had to half the recipe because my machine is smaller. I really want to get the hang of this! a few questions. I forgot to stick around and watch it after 10 min, mine was a bit sticky… then it would not hardly spread on the pizza pan, it kept shrinking back together, and I got one pizza and one small pizza out of the crust. My pizza pan is not very large either. Is doesn’t seem like the amount you said you were able to get from a whole recipe worth?
    Thanks!

    • @Tracy, To reduce the stickiness, you can work in more flour. It’s a fine line, though. Too much flour can make it tough. Also, the humidity in the air can effect the texture of the dough. It’s kind of a trial and error method.

  23. :( I just tried making this without a bread machine and for some reason the dough wont cook. The outside is, but the center is not cooking. What do you think I did wrong?

    • You made it into pizza and the dough won’t cook? How many pizzas and how high was the heat?

      • @Jessica, It was at 475 like the “easy cheese pizza” recipe said. I am super new to making my own stuff, this was my first. The only thing I can think of is 2 things–I used whole wheat flour and maybe I didn’t let the dough rise/sit long enough. I made the dough without a bread machine. I’m going to try it again next day off. But if anyone can think of any other reason why it may not have worked, please let me know;)

  24. Your red sauce (no meat) is in my crock pot right now and the dough is rising as I type this. We are trying to eat out less and if I can make a pizza everyone likes at home that would be a big step I came here via aslobcomesclean.com reading about the pantry challenge.

    • Sounds like a great plan! I am heading to the kitchen to get my dough going right now!

      • @Jessica, Turned out great! I made small pizzas and let my boys make their own even though we just had cheese. It rolled out nicely and baked up well. I won’t have a problem getting 6 individual pizzas out of it. I used my kitchen aid and then let it rise in the mixer bowl next to the crock pot with the sauce for added warmth since my house is not that warm. Thanks for a great easy recipe.

  25. I am tying SSSOOO hard to try and make some of our own ‘stuff’ in the kitchen. I need to learn more about how flour and yeast work to make dough. Your recipe doesn’t say anything about letting the dough ‘rise to double in size’ but a comment mentioned it. I have a new Ninja procssor with a dough paddle that I want to try out using this recipe!! I’m scared :( but I want to try. Can you help, please? Thank you, Lindy

    • I wish I could, but I have no idea how to make dough in a food processor. But, I would read the manual’s recipes for dough and follow the instructions, only using these ingredients. Does that make sense?

  26. i too was wondering if you let the dough rise in the bread machine, or after the ten minutes do you form it into the pizza’s. if you let it rise in the bread machine approximately how long does it rise in there? or should i take it out and put it into a greased bowl and cover it and let it rise for an hour? thank you!

    • @rere, if I’m using the dough that day, I let the dough cycle do it’s thing. If I’m going to freeze the dough, I set the timer for 30 minutes and then form the dough into balls, wrap, and freeze it.

  27. Hey! I haven’t the slightest clue of the order that I’m supposed to put these ingredients into my bread machine. You had mentioned whatever the manufacturer info says, but I can’t find that. Is this the order that you put yours in the bread machine?
    Thanks so much!

  28. Paige Chase says:

    Jessica,

    How many pizzas does each recipe make? Thanks!

  29. Okay…After reading through the comments, I just want to make sure I have these steps down correct for freezing the dough and then thawing…

    1. make dough (I won’t be using a bread maker…just a mixer & kneading myself)
    2. after kneading, let rise for 30 min…then split into balls to freeze
    3.to thaw-let it sit out for 1/2 day until it doubles in size? Is there any need to knead it again before getting it ready to cook?

    thanks!

    • Yes, but I let it rise in the refrigerator in a greased dish. No need to knead again. Just let it thaw and rise.

  30. I do not have honey. :( So do I subsitute 2 tablespoons sugar?

  31. I usually use the recipe on the Pizza yeast packets. it is ready in less time than other yeast. Presently I am out of that yeast and need to use regular yeast. I make 3 pizzas each Friday for our family of 8. My younger two are 2 &4, they dont each but one slice. The older boys ages 6-11 eat the pizza. I will try this recipe tonight. I love using my bread machine to make just the dough, so much of a time saver. Plus less to clean up! LOL Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and tips. I use your recipes so many times each week.

  32. I will be trying this recipe soon! How many dough balls does this recipe yield? Thank you for sharing! :)

  33. Can you make the dough and freeze with out any thing on it for later use? For example taking to a fishing camp for snack time when it is your day for snacks. I was not sure how it would transport and keep?? when my husbands church group goes fishing they each provide a snack each day and we are trying to come up with something good for snack time. Any afternoon snack ideas for a group of very hungry men??
    Thanks,
    Teri

    • I have frozen it already baked as well as just as dough. You could also parbake it and add toppings later. I’m not sure what you have available for baking at fishing camp, so I’m not sure how to give great advice.

  34. Sometimes when I make this recipe of yours, I sub 1/2 cup semolina flour for the same amount of white. nice flavor and easy dough workability.

  35. Tracy Goring says:

    I know this pizza dough recipe is an old post, but we have a recent dietary change in the house and I need help! Since your Freezer Cookbook came out, we have been using your pizza dough recipe EXCLUSIVELY for Pizza Night here. Now we have to eliminate gluten for a month trial for my teen son. I know that your family’s food allergies don’t include gluten/wheat, however, I’m wondering if anyone has subbed a Gluten Free all-purpose flour in your dough recipe and reported back to you with good or “unfavorable” results. This is our first week on the new diet, so I don’t have much experience yet with replacement flours. Also, GF flours are too expensive to just experiment with and have it not turn out well. Thanks for your help!

    Love your site – it has helped me so much!!

  36. Jennifer Hoffman says:

    Can this dough sit out all day? Last week I had major issues spreading it- but I had put it in the fridge since I made it in the morning and I’m wondering if that is why. Can use all the help I can get!!

    • I think it’s better to refrigerate if you’re not going to use it right away. But, let it warm a little (about 30 minutes) when you take it out of fridge before forming it. That should help the spreading issues.

      • Jennifer Hoffman says:

        I think I divided it in too many balls (3 instead of 2 for a 14 inch round) worked much better this time and used it warm. Thanks so much for always helping!! You are such a blessing!

  37. For a ‘frozen pizza’ I will bake the crust for ten minutes, then top it and throw it in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake it, pull it out in the morning to defrost in the fridge somewhat and bake:)

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