Instructables

Homemade pizza

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Okay, I've been making pizza at home for a long time. I've only recently discovered the perfect homemade dough, which I will share with you in this instructable (it also happens to be my first instructable ever). Fair warning: this is New York or New Haven style thin crust pizza, not thick-crust (I'm not hating, just saying). Since I live near New Haven, CT in the US, most homemade pizza doesn't come close to what I can get in my backyard, but this is darn close!

UPDATE  (03/28/2010): Thanks to all who commented for some nice ideas!
 
 
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Step 1: Prepare

ingredients.JPG
I used to buy raw dough in bags that my supermarket sold in the deli section. Unfortunately, they stopped carrying the brand that I liked, and the replacement was no good. So I tried to find a substitute that at least came close to what you can find at a good pizza place: a chewy crust with tangy flavor. What I didn't want was fluffy "white bread" pizza crust, or a tough, bland crust. Those seemed my only option until recently. Be warned: for the best flavor and texture, this dough should be made at least a day before you use it, and making it a week ahead is even better!

If you don't want to make dough at home, see if your grocery sells fresh dough (usually in bags, usually near the deli). It may not be easy to find a good brand, even if it's made in-store or locally. I've never tried the frozen bread dough, nor the stuff that comes in a tube. Call me old-fashioned, but good pizza does not start in a tube! If you're at a loss, try your local pizza shop. A dough ball will probably cost only a couple of dollars.

Here's a general rundown of what you need:

1. Dough (a.k.a.: flour, water, yeast, and salt) Also see step 2
2. A pizza pan, or baking stone and pizza peel (if you're using a peel, you need fine corn meal or dried bread crumbs), plus an oven to put it in.
3. Toppings: crushed tomatoes, cheese, veggies, meats, etc.
Its my first time making pizza and this instructable was a good start except, I've never baked anything in my life so when you said turn the heat up to 500, I did. I ended up with burned cheese and some uncooked dough. Other recommendations I've had were to heat to 350.
I am positively bursting to make it.
SpagoPizza2 years ago
It looks very good for a homemade pizza ! Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing it with us. It looks very tasty.
ivandanmer2 years ago
I think that every pizza should include mushrooms!
tomatthews3 years ago
I AM DA KING
Chimex143 years ago
I did enjoy :)
jgfish4 years ago
just made this 10 mins ago, very impressed with how it came out, I just used pepperoni, mozarella, parmesan and barbecue sauce for the topping, and for the sauce I used canned diced tomato with a bit of water drained and blended with a pulse blender, will definately be doing this again. thankyou for the awesome instructable
nomeoslo4 years ago
We don't have the option of buying pizza dough - so I've been making my own, looking for the "perfect" recipe.  I used your "updated" recipe a few days ago - making it with half white and half whole wheat flour - I found your instructions very readable with great hints.  This was the easiest recipe I've ever made AND  it turned out absolutely perfect.  Your recipe is definitely a keeper!

Many Thanks for posting this!
cphillips4 years ago
Oh no! You just put canned tomatoes on for sauce? That's a bummer. You should make a good spicy marinara from scratch. It'll take your pizza to a whole new level. It's not hard: diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, a little cayenne, time, and lots of taste testing and adjustment (sometimes a little sugar or shredded carrots to cut the acidity...sshhh).
careman71 (author)  cphillips4 years ago
Hi again! Well, really I don't use "just" crushed tomatoes. I personally dislike any kind of cooked sauce on pizza. Generally, the sauce is: tomatoes (obviously), fresh basil and oregano, fresh garlic (lots), and a little salt (adjust for how salty the tomatoes are). That's how we used to do it at the ol' pizza shop. But I might spice it up a bit; good idea. Thanks.
careman71 (author) 4 years ago
@cphillips: The original recipe I based this on was really for bread, but lately I have been using olive oil when I make the dough. It definitely changes the character of the crust. I keep meaning to try a sourdough starter but it requires more planning <sigh>.

@picklet: Actually, I do sometimes leave a smidge in the bottom of the bowl and put together a new batch. The end product is somewhat more... fragrant (in a good way), and the texture is a bit different (also in a good way).

Thanks for the comments.
cphillips4 years ago
Seems like this recipe is missing the olive oil required to be a real honest-to-goodness pizza dough. You could sub out some of the water for a few Tbsp olive oil.

Have you ever tried using a sourdough starter (or even a one-off sponge) to get a good ferment in a shorter time?
Or maybe keeping some of the well-matured dough to put in with the next lot? That should start it off nicely. And - yes - I would consider some olive oil too.
Nice recipe - thanks for posting!
Sir Crapton5 years ago
Dad was always finding it difficult to make a good pizza dough, thank you so much for posting this. Now we can have pizza more often! :)
yum5 years ago
All I have to say is "YUMMY"
not4u2no5 years ago
Every weekend my husband wants pizza. That can get pricey, so we started looking for how to make it ourselves. After seeing the picture of your pepp. pizza our mouths were watering! We had to try it. Were so impressed with how good it came out!!! THANK YOU...YOU ROCK
i have always had a hard time making good homemade pizza. I want to thank you, as I tried this and it came out AWESOME!!! My love to you forever!!
Goodhart5 years ago
Fantastic, great detail !
flio1915 years ago
awesome! i use some honey with the warm water and yeast, to help the yeast become active again. it's ironic that i found this now because i just finished making pizza an hour ago haha.
piks5 years ago
Hi, great instructable. But could you try to shorten the Transatlantic gulf, what the hell is pizza peel?
careman71 (author)  piks5 years ago
A pizza peel is a long-handled, wooden or metal paddle used to slide pizza (bread, etc) onto the stone floor of an oven. Mine is meant to be used with a stone in a home oven, so its quite short. I added a photo to step 1 to illustrate. And thanks for letting me know that it wasn't a universal term!
Another FANTASTIC take on the crust (which is very similar to the one I make), is to add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. If you get some of that infused oil, it's even better. It takes on such a rich, velvety texture. When you're working with the dough, you can just feel that it's going to be good. I prefer using a floured rolling pin to flatten the dough, as I'm terrible with stretching by hand. Also, a pizza stone is a MUST. I've made pizza on both pans and stones, and nothing beats the flavor of a well-used pizza stone. Be sure that you liberally coat the peel with cornmeal before you put the dough on, though, or is very well may stick! I learned that the hard way with a partially folded pizza. One last thing: If making thicker pizza, I recommend turning the heat down to between 450 and 475. It takes longer for thicker stuff to cook, but you don't want the blackened crust and gooey center you're likely to get if you cook it at 500-550 (550 makes the most awesome thin-crust). Great instructable. Yummy pizza!
cheezstake5 years ago
I'm always looking for new takes on homemade pizza. It's amazing how much pizza joints charge when a pizza is actually quite cheap to make. I don't have a pizza pan, but do bake on a stone. I place an old 8" round pan filled with water in the bottom of the oven. I find that the steam does a good job of getting the cheese to melt better while not causing the crust to get too crunchy. Thanks!