You can make homemade pizza easily and economically. You’ll save a ton of money and eat better pizza. Learn how to make pizza at home that’s cheaper and way better than ordering it. Guaranteed.
If you’ve ever paid too much for a pizza or found yourself without pizza on a Friday due to cost or unavailability, well, today’s the day to discover pizza freedom.
You can make pizza at home, with all your favorite toppings — none of this having to choose just one since they cost $2 each! — pizza that tastes amazing and costs just a few bucks.
Homemade Pizza is one of those things that you can make yourself to save money.
Homemade Pizza is also a regular feature on the FishFam menu. I try to make it at least once a week, usually on Fridays. Sometimes we make these easy 5-Ingredient Pita Pizzas or these fun kid-friendly Pizza Bagels. But today, we are talking about traditional pizza with some homemade dough.
This makes a great start to our weekend. Coupled with root beer/wine/beer, a movie, and snacks, it creates a fun family night for my husband and me and our kiddos.
It’s a non-negotiable part of our week, and thankfully, we don’t have to rely on anyone to make it happen. Homemade pizza is easier than you think!
Ingredients for your homemade pizza dough
To make the dough you will need:
- olive oil
- all-purpose flour (but bread flour or a combination would also work)
What is the best flour for making homemade pizza?
We used regular all-purpose flour for our pizza dough and it works great. I wanted a pizza dough recipe that uses a flour that I have on hand all the time.
That being said, if you are finding the dough in the end doesn’t have enough chew or is tearing as you are trying to roll it out try using bread flour (or a combination of AP flour and bread flour). Bread flour has a higher protein content that will result in a stretchier dough that results in nice, chewy crust.
How to make homemade pizza
Fun fact: you don’t need much to make homemade pizza. A few baking supplies, a can of tomato something, a bit of cheese, and maybe some toppings. My daughter eats vegan pizza without any cheese, so there ya go!
Even if the cupboards look a little bare, you can still pull off a great pizza.
In fact, I’d call it the king of pantry meals.
A homemade pizza dough isn’t difficult to make, especially if you have a bread machine or a stand mixer. Make the dough a few hours before you plan to bake the pizza(s).
This Homemade Pizza Dough makes enough for 4 medium pizzas. You can cut the dough into smaller portions for smaller pizzas.
Can you make pizza dough ahead of time?
You definitely can! And it will result in a more flavorful dough. Simply make the dough and then lightly cover it. Pop it in your fridge for 1 day, letting it rise slowly in your fridge.
Can you freeze pizza dough?
If you don’t want to bake all four pizzas, you can freeze the extra dough balls for a later date. When the dough is ready, divide it into 4 sections. Place a dough ball in a greased ziptop, freezer bag and place it in the freezer immediately.
When you’re ready to use the dough, remove one frozen ball from the bag and place it in a greased bowl at room temperature for several hours. The dough will thaw and rise. When it has doubled in bulk, you can form and bake the pizza.
Once you’ve got your dough prepped, you’re going to need the other two components: sauce and toppings.
Homemade Pizza Sauce
You can use whatever pasta sauce you have on hand. It can be a jar or homemade. You can also get creative and use pesto, BBQ sauce, or some other savory sauce that you have on hand.
Usually I use something I’ve made myself, like this homemade pizza sauce recipe. It’s pretty amazing.
When I don’t have any simmered sauce ready to go, I use this Last-Minute Pizza Sauce.
You’ll need about ⅔ cup sauce for large pizzas, ⅓ cup for smaller, individual size pies.
Homemade Pizza Toppings
You can keep it simple or feel free to have some fun and creative with your toppings. Here are a few fun ways to do just that:
- Supreme pizza – Add some olives, peppers, onions, and pepperoni
- Meatball – Make a big batch of meatballs and then slice some up and add them to your pizza.
- Thai Chicken pizza – Add some Thai sauce, carrots, celery, cilantro, and cooked chicken.
- Roasted Veggies – Keep it simple and healthy and some veggies to your pizza!
- Bacon and pineapple – Add some pineapple and easy oven baked bacon for a classic flavor.
- Ham and pineapple – Have any leftover slow cooked ham from the holidays? Add some to your pizza with pineapple for an easy pizza idea.
You can use whatever toppings you like best. Prep them before you start to assemble the pizzas, just to make things easier.
Standard pizza toppings include:
- cooked and drained Italian sausage
- sliced mushrooms
- diced onion
- diced tomato
- sliced, black olives
- chopped zucchini
- sliced bell pepper
You don’t have to limit yourself to these toppings, though. You can pretty much put anything on a pizza: bacon, pulled pork, cooked chicken, grilled steak, black beans, etc. I’ve even seen mashed potatoes on a pizza!
Check out our Burrito Pizza and the French-inspired Tartiflette Pizza.
Place a thin layer of toppings on your pizza and cover with a layer of cheese. We like a combination of shredded jack and mozzarella cheeses.
Take care not to use too many toppings as that may prevent the dough from cooking properly.
Do you put the sauce or cheese on first?
I’m not going to lie I have heard people doing it both ways. But for a traditional homemade pizza it’s customary to spread the sauce on first, then your cheese.
Do you cook the pizza dough before adding on the toppings?
No you don’t need to. Just assemble the pizza – dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and then bake or grill your pizza!
How do you get a crispy pizza crust?
To get a crispy pizza crust you can try a few things:
- Make your crust very thin. Ideally around ⅛-inch or ¼-inch thick.
- Go light on the toppings and sauce. The more you add the soggier your crust might become.
- Pre-cook some of your toppings. Certain toppings, like fresh veggies, benefit from being cooked first to help remove some of the water.
- Bake on a pizza screen. Pizza screens allow heat to reach the bottom of your crust making for a crispy crust.
- Bake on a hot pizza stone. If you use a pizza stone, then it helps to place in the oven and pre-heat and get very hot before you place your pizza on it.
- Use a HIGH oven temperature. A low oven temperature just isn’t going to cut it for getting a crispy pizza crust. I recommend baking your pizza at 475 degrees.
How to Bake Your Homemade Pizza
You don’t have to have a fancy pizza oven to make great homemade pizza, but you do need a hot oven or grill.
To bake your pizza in the oven:
A preheated oven is key to a great crust. Up to an hour before baking, set your oven to 475 degrees. 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.
To grill your pizza on the BBQ:
We love grilled pizza. We assemble the pizzas just like we would for baking, only we “bake” them on the grill.
Heat the grill to 400 to 500 degrees. Once you have the grill hot enough, place your pizzas on the grill. Close the lid and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the toppings are hot.
What do I serve with homemade pizza?
Of course you can simply dig in as is! But pizza night always goes well with a garden salad topped with this Easy Homemade Italian Salad Dressing Recipe. Or try this Italian Salad with Crispy Prosciutto.
Of course you can’t go wrong with a Quick and Easy Caesar Salad.
Tools To Help You Make Homemade Pizza:
While you really only need a baking sheet, there are some tools that I’ve found helpful over the years of pizza making:
- a KitchenAid mixer or a bread machine – to help me make the dough
- a large plastic cutting board to work my dough on
- a dough knife – to easily cut the dough into portions
- pizza screens – these help achieve a crisp crust on the bottom
- a Pizza Cutter – a pizza cutter or pizza wheel make quick slices in your pizza.
Watch the video.
When you’re first starting out shaping pizza dough, you might feel like a dork. It takes a little practice to be able to flip it and make perfectly round pies. Don’t worry if they look like amoebas. Just call it an artisan pizza and no one will know you didn’t do it on purpose.
Here’s a very old video that shows how to form small pizza rounds. Those are super easy to make when you’re just beginning. Mini pizzas make for a super duper easy pizza night. Check out these easy pizza recipes for pizza topping ideas.
Basic Homemade Pizza Dough
- 1 ½ cup water warmed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 4 ½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
To make the dough by hand:
- Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the honey and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow this to set for five minutes. The mixture will start to foam and bubble.
- Add the oil, flour, and salt, and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about five minutes until a smooth dough ball is created.
- Transfer the dough ball to a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
To make the dough in a bread machine:
- Combine ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the order recommended by your machine’s manufacturer.
- Set on "dough" and start the machine, checking after ten minutes to make sure all the ingredients have been incorporated and not stuck to the side of the pan. Scrape down any stray ingredients.
To make the dough in a stand mixer:
- Place the warm water in the mixing bowl. Stir in the honey and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow this to set for five minutes. The mixture will start to foam and bubble.
- Add the oil, flour, and salt.
- With the dough hook, stir the mixture on low until a smooth, elastic dough ball forms. Scrape down the sides, if needed.
- Transfer the dough ball to a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Once the dough is ready:
- Grease four 12-inch pizza screens or prepare four baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or greasing and then sprinkling with corn meal.
- When the dough is ready, divide it into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a flat, 12-inch round. Place each on a prepared pan and proceed with your pizza recipe, adding your preferred sauce and toppings. Bake at 475 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted.
This post was originally published on July 24, 2009. It has been updated for content and clarity.
Hi I am wondering if this recipe can be used without yeast and instead using baking powder or baking soda in place? If so how much would it be of either or both?
I have never used anything but yeast in my pizza dough, so I’m sorry I can’t be much help!
Making the pizza dough sounds ok, but we have a really good pizza place up the street, and they make a signature delicious pizza dough. In lieu of making the pizza dough myself, for a couple bucks we can buy a batch of raw, ready-made dough from the pizza place — then making the rest of the pizza is a cinch; we just add our own sauce and toppings. Super fast, super good.
If you have a pizza place you really like, ask if they’ll sell you (cheaply) enough of their ready-made dough for a pizza or two — saves time and money.
Yes! If you have a great pizza place, buying their dough is a nice, quick alternative. We don’t have good pizza where I live, so homemade is our favorite.
You refer to freezing the dough before the first rise is complete. Should this dough rise after taking it out of the bread machine or in the machine, if so, how long?
Once the kneading in the machine is done. Set a timer for 20 minutes. When that rings, stop the machine and form dough balls to freeze right away.
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:)
Does the crust get soggy when you thaw it?
No, it doesn’t! We started pre-baking all of our pizza dough before topping it so it’s a) not soggy and b) sturdy enough to eat by hand. I’ve only done it once, but it worked great:)
I am going to try this. I just made this recipe for dinner. I loved it except I found the dough to be soggy in the middle. Next time I will prebake, then top, then finish baking. Is there any other way to prevent a soggy bottom?
What kind of pan did you use? And how much did you top the middle? If you go heavy on the toppings and have a big pan, you might have issues. We’ll get it figured out. Sometimes it takes a few tries to perfect it.
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.
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!
Glad it worked! I usually divide the dough into 1/4s for 12-inch rounds, but that is for a thin crust.
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!!
I don’t think anyone has told me that yet. My friend Lynn posts her GF recipes. This is one of them: http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2011/08/gluten-free-pizza-crust.html She was a big time wheat baker before they went GF, so she would have lots of tips for you.
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.
Sounds wonderful! I was just thinking the other day that it would be nice to have semolina on hand. Thanks for the nudge.
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??
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.
I will be trying this recipe soon! How many dough balls does this recipe yield? Thank you for sharing! 🙂
2-3, depending on how big you want your pizza.
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.
@Claire, that’s great to hear. I’m so glad you enjoy them.
I do not have honey. 🙁 So do I subsitute 2 tablespoons sugar?
yes, that is fine.
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?
Yes, but I let it rise in the refrigerator in a greased dish. No need to knead again. Just let it thaw and rise.
How many pizzas does each recipe make? Thanks!
It will make four 12-inch rounds, but feel free to use other sizes.
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!
Manufacturers vary. Mine says liquids, then dry ingredients with the yeast last. Hope that helps!
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.
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?
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.
@Kris, love it! So glad you enjoyed it.
🙁 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;)
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?
@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.
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.
@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.