While there are plenty of amazing pizza places across the States, nothing beats a deliciously cooked homemade pizza shared with your family. Whether it will be in your outdoor oven or in your normal kitchen one, baking a pizza is 10% knowing how to handle the dough and 90% choosing the right toppings. In this article, we will discuss some of the best recipes for various pizza toppings that will make your pizza taste like heaven.
Here are some of my favorite homemade pizza recipes that you can prepare in no time:
- Homemade cheese pizza
- Taco Pizza
- Homemade Margherita
- Spinach Pizza
- Pan Pizza
- Fresh Veggie Pizza
To cook pizzas more easily and evenly, I highly suggest buying a good pizza stone for your oven. You can check my top picks for this year in this Buyer’s Guide! Before we get into the individual recipes, let’s quickly go through the general process of making pizza from scratch. Once you get the hang of that, any recipe will vary slightly in its topping and sauces used!
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How to Make Homemade Pizza From Scratch
Let’s say you want to make two large 8-piece pizzas for your family and you need the quick steps. Here we will go through the few simple steps needed to get the pizza to its final stage. First, let’s gather the resources needed for that:
- 1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1/4 oz dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
Before you start, start preheating your oven to around 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). Then, mix the yeast in a large bowl with a cup of warm water. After you’re done mixing that, add sugar, salt, and oil. Mix that well before adding 2 cups of flour. Beat the whole mixture for 3-5 minutes (medium speed if you’re using a dough maker). While stirring, add the remaining cup of flour until the dough gets soft enough.
Put the now-ready dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it gets elastic and smooth. This shouldn’t take more than 6-10 minutes. Then, place it back into a large bowl that is greased and make sure the grease covers the whole dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for around 10 minutes.
After that, split the dough into two equal halves and roll them onto your pizza stone or directly onto the pizza peel. Don’t forget to flour the stone or peel before you put the dough on it, otherwise you risk the dough sticking to the surface. You will have enough material to make two 12-14 inch circles for your pizzas. You can then transfer the ready circles into a pizza pan while building up the edges of the dough a bit to form the thicker edge crust. To bake the dough better, prick it with a fork all over its surface.
Now is time to bake! Put the pizza pan inside the now-heated oven for around 15 minutes. After that, take the dough out and spread your pizza sauce all over it (evenly without covering the edges). Then, add a topping of your choice and return the pizza back for 20 more minutes. If there is cheese on the pizza, it will be a good indicator of when to stop. Allow the pizza’s topping to become golden/brown before taking it out.
Before the toppings, you will need to add pizza sauce evenly on the pizza. While you can use a store-bought one, further down this article we will also go through how to make your own homemade pizza sauce! Scroll down now if you want to check that out.
It is important to note that you can add the pizza sauce and topping before you bake the dough. Some people actually prefer baking everything at once. Still, for better results, I prefer slightly baking the dough first and then bake it again with its sauce and toppings.
Here are all the steps to make your pizza summarized:
|Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees top and bottom heating.
|In a large bowl, mix the yeast with warm water.
|Add sugar, salt, and oil to that mix, and then add 2 cups of all-purpose flour.
|Beat/stir for 3-5 minutes at medium speed if using a dough maker. Add one more cup of flour while stirring.
|Put the dough on a floured surface and knead it until it gets elastic and smooth for around 10 minutes.
|Put the bowl in a greased bowl and cover it up for around 10 minutes.
|Split the dough in two and roll two 12-14 inch circles.
|Put the circles in a pizza pan and bake at around 375-400 degrees (F) for 15 minutes.
|Take the baked dough out and add your pizza sauce and toppings.
|Bake for 20 more minutes until the topping is fully cooked and the cheese melted.
While the following recipes will be mostly geared towards kitchen ovens, you can always get an outdoor pizza oven and use it for an even more deliciously baked pizza!
Pizza Recipes & Topping Ideas
Now that we’ve gone through the process of processing and baking the pizza dough until it develops a delicious and crispy crust, it is time to choose the different toppings. In fact, most often, the pizza topping is what is different from one recipe to another. That is why, instead of constantly repeating the process of preparing the dough and baking it, we will just list the toppings for each of my favorite recipes along with a few additional instructions.
Homemade cheese pizza
While cheese pizzas are super famous across all pizza places, making one at home really makes it taste different. It takes no more than an hour to make and is one of the simpler homemade pizzas you can try out.
All the ingredients you need besides the ones for your dough are 4 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese, that much more shredded mozzarella, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and that’s about it! While the cheese will be the majority of your topping, the rest of the ingredients should be used in your pizza sauce.
Once your dough is spread out across the pizza peel, spread the pizza sauce evenly across it with the back side of a spoon. Then, add the fresh mozzarella pieces on top and cover them with the shredded mozzarella. Remember, it is only a matter of taste when it comes to how thick you want the topping to be. Still, don’t overdo it, or the pizza might become soggy. Bake until the cheese is fully melted and the crush has a golden brown color.
On top of its already delicious and simple nature, cheese pizza goes well with a ton of things! You can serve it next to some salads (arugula, apple, etc), with a ranch dressing, or even with carrot sticks.
Who says tacos don’t belong on a pizza? Well, almost everybody but the point is that you can take the ingredients of a fresh taco and put them on top of a nicely baked dough. This will create an explosion of tastes in your mouth that will embed the memory of this pizza in your head forever.
The key here is that instead of a traditional pizza sauce, you can use refried beans from a can! These are almost always flavored too, so you won’t have to add extra ingredients and spices.
Above the beans, you should spread out as many taco veggies as possible. These are olives, onions, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and chopped romaine. If you want meat on your pizza, you can add pork or even seafood, although that last one is risky.
Just like cheese pizzas, Margheritas are quite simple to make, although super delicious! The secret of this pizza lies in its sauce and topping. Most Margherita pizza sauces are made out of canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and salt. You can add black pepper to that but that is up to you. The tomatoes actually have to be specifically canned fire-roasted ones. If those aren’t available to you, use as good of a brand as you can afford, as the sauce is half the magic here.
On top of the tomato sauce, add fresh mozzarella cheese cut into small pieces covering the whole pizza. Then, grate some parmesan cheese for bonus flavor.
After you are done baking your pizza, add fresh basil leaves.
If you are a fan of spinach, this topping is definitely going to win you over. This pizza’s topping has spinach as its main ingredient along with artichoke. To create the topping add some sauteed garlic, spinach leaves, and let it stay in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Then, take it out and add the chopped artichoke. After that, cook for a few more minutes.
Pan pizzas are famous for their thick and fluffy crust. They don’t have a specific topping but are still a whole other type of homemade pizza recipe.
The main difference here is that, after you prepare the dough, you have to let it sit in the skillet for up to 1 hour. Then, you press the dough so that it fills most of the skillet’s floor. Let it stay like that for 30-45 more minutes while you prepare all the toppings.
The key to the fluffy crust is proofing the dough two times. The ideal size of a skillet for such a pizza is 10 inches. Toppings that go really well with these pan pizzas are ones made out of fresh veggies, including peppers, onion, mushrooms, and others!
Fresh Veggie Pizza
Fresh veggie pizzas are what I call “lazy pizzas”. The reason for that is because the topping consists of whatever vegetables you have lying around the kitchen. Typically, they are cut into bigger pieces which conserve their aroma better. Some of the best veggies you can use are red onions, mushrooms, peppers, all topped with grated parmesan or mozzarella.
If you want to learn more about different brick oven cooking techniques, including how to make a delicious pizza in one of those, head over to my detailed article!
How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce
To make some of the best homemade pizza sauce, you will need:
- A can of tomato paste (6 oz). Can be bought or homemade
- One and a half cups of water
- A cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Dried oregano (half a tablespoon)
- Dried basil (half a tablespoon)
- Dried rosemary (half a tablespoon, crushed)
Start by mixing the tomato paste with the water and olive oil. Mix them well until fully homogenous. Then, add the minced garlic, as well as the salt and pepper to your taste. After you mix everything, it is time to add all the dried spices (oregano, basil, rosemary). Make sure the rosemary is properly crushed before you mix it in. The sauce doesn’t have to be cooked, so just spread it evenly on the pizza once it is fully mixed.
If you and your friends and family like onions, you can also include them in the sauce (chopped). The garlic can also be in a powder form if you don’t have fresh one.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what temperature should you cook your homemade pizza?
This depends a lot on what type of oven you’re using. For traditional kitchen ovens, you can cook your pizza for around 10-15 minutes at 475 degrees (Fahrenheit). If you’re using a traditional brick oven or an outdoor gas oven, the pizza is going to be best cooked at more than 900 degrees for just a few minutes.
What are some of the best pizza toppings?
What is a nicely baked pizza without a great topping, right? Some of the best toppings that are also time-tested are:
- Ham, mushrooms, tomatoes, rocket, pesto
- Spinach, basil pesto, green olives, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese
- Bacon, artichoke, ricotta, olives, tomato sauce, cheese
- Pepperoni and cheese
How to make a thin pizza crust?
To make a thin crust, you will have to follow a few major rules. First, make sure the dough is at room temperature. Secondly, avoid any type of sticking by spreading olive oil over your workplace. Press down on the dough before you start stretching it. When stretching the dough (with both hands) use gravity to your advantage. Lastly, stretch the dough evenly on the pizza peel (or stone) and add the toppings.
Part of every home chef’s journey is to test some of the best homemade pizza recipes and find the one that he and his family love the most. After you’ve perfected the craft of creating evenly baked thin pizza crusts, the rest is just a matter of personal taste. I encourage you to experiment with different toppings until you find the one that everybody just dies for!