Introduction: Homemade Pizza

Picture of Homemade Pizza

I'm not from New York, nor do I claim to be, but I love pizza. My New York friend is always telling me that she can't get good New York style pizza in northern California, so I set out to try and make some New York Style Thin Crust Pizza.
If you love to make your own pizza then definitely check out This site is full of great information to make all kinds of pizza.

This method will take 2 days. You can cheat and make pizza in one day, but with varied results.

Remember, good things come to those who wait.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Mixer (Kitchen Aid)
Pizza stone
Pizza peel (optional but helpful)
Pizza cutter or a long knife

A pizza stone isn't absolutely necessary but it really makes for a great crust. There are a lot of metal pizza pans out there but I've never tried one.
A pizza peel is the large spatula looking thing to take out the pizza from the oven.

Step 2: The Dough Formula

Picture of The Dough Formula has a great Pizza Dough Calculator
After reading the pizza forums a while I decided to use these stats for my dough.

1 dough ball for a 12 inch pizza with 0.1 thickness

Flour 100%
Wheat gluten 3.3% - 1T =7.5 oz
Water 63%
Salt 1.5%
Oil 1%
Instant yeast 0.25%

One thing I learned is that you need a high gluten flour for a good crust. I couldn't find any so I add vital wheat gluten to the dough. I thought it would be hard to find wheat gluten, but I found it in my grocery store. Health food stores will carry it too.
Also, instant dry yeast is recommended because it doesn't need to be started like active dry yeast. It can go straight into the dough. You can use active dry yeast but you may have to dissolve it in warm water first to get it going.
I had a hard time finding instant dry yeast but I finally found it at Smart and Final. One pound for $2. I have a ton of it, enough for 1000 pizzas. If your in my neighborhood, I'd be more than happy to share some.

Step 3: Making the Dough

Picture of Making the Dough

I converted the percentages as well as I could, some amounts are pretty small.

Dough Ingredients:

1-3/4 Cups plus 1/2 T All Purpose Flour
1 T Vital Wheat Gluten
1 tsp salt
0.18 tsp instant yeast, a little less than 1/4 tsp - 1/4 tsp active dry yeast can substituted*
1/2 Cup plus 1/8 C water
1/2 tsp olive oil

T = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon

Combine the dry ingredients into a mixer bowl*. Mix well. Slowly add the water and mix until the dough forms. If you have a dough hook on your mixer, great. You could probably make this dough in a bread machine but I have never tried.
Add olive oil and continue to mix. If after 5 minutes of mixing the dough hasn't come together, add a few drops of water at a time until the dough forms. Use extra water sparingly.
Knead the dough in the mixer until its soft and smooth at a medium speed, about 10 minutes. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little flour in. The dough should feel moist and slightly tacky but not sticky.

*If you are using active dry yeast, I would hydrate it in 1/2 cup of the water heated to 110-115 deg. Let it sit and dissolve and maybe froth up a bit. Then add at the same time as the water. Your yeast should come with instructions.

Step 4: Cold Fermentation

Picture of Cold Fermentation

Your dough is now ready for the refrigerator. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl. I use Pam spray but any vegetable oil should be fine. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. This is called cold fermentation. This slow fermentation allows the dough to develop better flavor.

I have read that you can proof it at 80-85F for 2 hours if you want to make pizza right away. I've never done it but people have said the longer cold proof makes for a much better crust.

Step 5: Prepare the Dough

Picture of Prepare the Dough

In 12-24 hours your dough will be ready to:

A. Go in the freezer.
I often will make a large batch of dough and freeze some of it for later. This dough will freeze well. I double zip lock it and put it straight into the freezer.


B. Make a pizza.
Allow your dough to come to room temp for an hour or two. The dough will stretch better if it is warm.

If you are starting from frozen dough, put the dough into a lightly greased bowl the night before and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Pull it out of the fridge a couple hour before you use it.

Step 6: Preheat Your Oven

Picture of Preheat Your Oven

Before you start making your pizza, preheat your oven to as hot as it will go. Most household ovens go up to 500-550F. If you have a pizza oven, I'm extremely jealous.

Put your pizza stone in the oven as well, you'll want it hot. I use the lowest oven rack or 1 above that. This depends on your oven though. My oven is small and the cheese burns if the pizza is too high.

Step 7: Pizza Setup

Picture of Pizza Setup

Once your dough has come to room temp and risen a bit, you are ready.

Prepare the area you are making the pizza. Have a well floured area ready.

Have your toppings ready to go.

3/4 - 1 cup tomato sauce, warmed in the microwave
1/2 - 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Any toppings you may have

I make my own sauce from the garden. I don't really have a recipe, but you can use any sauce you want. Heat your sauce in the microwave to warm it up.

I have found that, since I don't have an 800 degree pizza oven, if I make the pizza on the hot pizza stone it gives the crust a head start.

When you are ready, pull out your HOT pizza stone. Use oven mitts and put it on something that won't burn.

I'm only making cheese pizza but you can add anything else you want. Don't fill it up too much because it is a very thin pizza.

Step 8: Make Your Crust

Picture of Make Your Crust

Prepare the crust.
Start with a very well floured area. Flour your hands up as well. The dough will be very soft and airy. Pull the dough out of the bowl and put it in the flour. Do not knead the dough. Start to form a circle. The dough will be very stretchy. Use two fists to move the dough and stretch it into a circle.

I find it hard to keep the dough circular since it is so soft and stretchy, and no, I can't flip it over my head yet.

It doesn't take long to stretch your dough into a large circle. Place it on the hot pizza stone and adjust it to fit.

Do this fast because the dough will start to cook immediately. You can put a little flour on the stone before hand to keep the dough from sticking.

Step 9: Add Your Toppings

Picture of Add Your Toppings

Add the sauce and spread it around the dough evenly with the back of a large spoon.

Add the cheese and any other toppings you have.

Step 10: Bake Your Pizza

Picture of Bake Your Pizza

It's time to bake your pizza. Put the stone back in the oven. It should take about ten minutes. The cheese will start to bubble. It will be fine as long as it doesn't start to burn. If it burns too quickly try a lower rack next time.

Keep an eye on the crust. When it gets brown, its ready to take out. You can also take a peek under the pizza to see how the bottom looks. All ovens are different, so you can play around with cooking times.

Take your pizza out of the oven with the pizza peel. If you don't have one, you can usually slide the pizza out if the crust isn't too soft. I like my crust to be crispy on the bottom.

Let the pizza cool.

Remember: Hot cheese + Roof of mouth = Ouch

Step 11: Enjoy Your Pie

Picture of Enjoy Your Pie

Slice your pizza up and enjoy.

This is how I make thin crust pizza. I'm not claiming it to be better than New York pizza, this is just my version. Play around with the dough calculator, try some variations, thicker crust, different topping, etc...

Just have fun and enjoy your pie.


stargate2001 (author)2013-02-07

Wow, what a well written recipe! I'm one who needs exact recipe instructions and the pictures really help, great job. My husband's been bugging me for years to make thin crust pizza and none I've tried have worked out. I have all the ingredients since I bake bread and even grind my own wheat berries, rice, spelt, popcorn, etc. For the person who wanted to know where to get Wheat Gluten try Whole Foods store. However, my local supermaket in St. Louis, as well as WalMart, now carries it also; if not just ask them to oder some. For those of you who have a Bosch Universal Mixer use it (remember to put the SAF on top) and after the dough comes off the sides cleanly mix on 2 for 6 minutes and your dough will be ready for target0122's next step. Target, thanks!

susanchen2011 (author)2012-07-06

Great Article.

SpagoPizza (author)2012-06-29

I think you should raise the oil to 3-5%. 1% is way too low !

target022 (author)SpagoPizza2012-06-29

How will that change the dough? Will it make it more elastic or easier to handle, because I still can't handle the dough like you see in a pizza parlor. Or will it change the final product, like make it chewier or even crispier. I'll give it a try and see how it turns out.

SpagoPizza (author)2012-06-29

It is not true, take my word for it.

CandiiKorn (author)2011-11-18

This looks rlly gud ;)

micraman (author)2011-10-14

That... looks... DAMN GOOD!

Rowleysh (author)2011-01-16

I've heard that metal will deactivate yeast, but I may be wrong...

taz2020 (author)2010-08-24

There goes new york people saying its the best, newport is haha jk there both good and i love new york pizza its the best

monkeywhale (author)2010-07-21

I made my first every home-made pizza today by following your recipe and process. I wondered why you put the quarter in the view to show how thin the crust was. At first I thought "big deal". But then I tried it myself... You are a true artist for making crust so perfectly thin! Mine turned out overly doughy and thick :P. Great instructable.

SinAmos (author)2010-06-20

Hey, does anyone know where you can get wheat gluten besides on online source? Any retail stores?

target022 (author)SinAmos2010-06-27

Check the flour section of your grocery store. If its not there, check a health food store. Whole Foods would probably have it.

SinAmos (author)2010-06-09

I'm on it soon. I have my own deals when I comes to pizza, but I'll give some of your techniques a gooooooooooooooooooo!

An Villain (author)2010-06-08


mastermakoko (author)2010-05-26

the pizza turned out funny coz i make it oundy and stuff,had fun making it and had fun eating it thanks!5 *'s!!!!!

mastermakoko (author)2010-05-17

i mixed the water together and not a litle bit at a time,now its sticky and a wont solid up!.
my mom says that i can still make the pizza,so she put a wet cloth on the bowl and told me to leave it for a day or she right?

target022 (author)mastermakoko2010-05-17

You can still make pizza. Just sprinkle it with a little flour and knead it until it works into a dough. A little flour at a time, not too much.

mattthomas992003 (author)2010-04-25

the best pizza is st louis based imos pizza hands down cant beat it, but thats just my honest opion

jack.spigack (author)2010-03-21

your pizza looks so good... if you ever try a metal pan make the dough without the yeast...  preheat the oven to 550 degrees or hotter...  when you put the pizza in the oven do it really realy fast to keep the heat in...the pizza cooks in 7 minutes and rises from the water turning into steam at a fast rate....  it dosent work good in a mobile home stove but it works great in a good oven with a glass window....  keep your eye on it it over cooks easily...  im only posting this cuz i see your a pizza lover

target022 (author)jack.spigack2010-03-21

Yeah, the one thing I wish I had is a hotter oven. I have a horrible oven.
I do have some old metal pans from a pizza parlor. I'll give it a try.
Why no yeast?  Just not necessary?

jack.spigack (author)target0222010-04-25

yeast is good but i acn taste the yeast in the cooked pizza....  no yeast equals no yeasty flavor....  a hot enough oven can make the steam act as a leavening agent...   also add just a touch of garlic in some softend margarine and spread generously around were the crust of the pizza will sorta fries the crust were it touches the pan and also mixes well with the cheese :)

target022 (author)2010-03-19

There's olive oil in the dough and you can always brush the crust with it. I'm going to try the tip below about adding some to the cheese.

Shiftlock (author)2010-03-18

Try giving the cheese a generous drizzle of olive oil before baking.  I'm from Brooklyn, and I can tell you from working in many pizza places as a teenager that this is something all the good ones do.  It changes the flavor, and makes it "right".  My uncle, who was known for good pizza, used to call this a "necessity". The pre-bake olive oil drizzle is what causes the oil to drip off of the back fold of real piece of NY pizza when you fold it over to eat (which, of course, is the proper way to eat a piece of NY pizza). 

gypsygina (author)Shiftlock2010-03-18

Thanks so much for the olive oil hint!  When I read it, I knew that is the exact ingredient that I have been missing in my homemade pizza all these years!  I was born and raised on Long Island but moved to the southwest about 25 years ago.  I am telling you folks, there is nothing, absolutely nothing like New York pizza and I have been trying to recreate it all these years.  The bagels too, New York bagels are just so much better than any I have bought and even better than the ones I tried to make.  I love you and miss you NEW YORK:)

vadios (author)2010-03-17

extremely tasty and easy to do. thanks for great dough receipt, it's very tough and my pizza was very very thin!

Very Adorkable (author)2010-03-15

I've never cold fermented when I've made my homemade pizza's!

I'm probably gonna try this in a couple of days it looks so Yummy... I miss NYC >.<

Thanks for this ^.^

arifsethi (author)2010-03-14

hi.. ur pizza look very nice.
 just want to give u a tip; if u notice that ur pizza edges are more saucy  if u make next time try to put the cheese outside from sauce. when cheese will melt down and come towards the centre it won't leave the red sauce on edges..

hope it will be helpful.

myzmudd (author)2009-12-10

i love making different variations of pizza by hand. Still have not yet perfected the dough tossing technique but it's certainly fun to try...will try to link one of mine i posted in myspc  from a while back,  thanks for sharing :)

lukkbox (author)2009-03-13

hi OP nice job on the instructable :) one question as i have some new yorkers coming to stay soon ... 'new york style' means they like their bread undercooked and their cheese burnt is that correct? please clarify thanks

target022 (author)lukkbox2009-03-14

Maybe we should throw that out to some New Yorkers. Personally I like a crisp crust with a chewy center. Melted, chewy cheese, browned, definitely not burnt.

Chocomarshfrog (author)target0222009-03-23

Your all getting it wrong NY style pizza is like mana bread from God!

target022 (author)Chocomarshfrog2009-03-23

What's mana bread?

lukkbox (author)target0222009-05-31

wheat grains that have the mycelium from amanita muscaria growing as a culture on them but shhhhhhh im not supposed to tell anyone ... yet :D

majjck (author)lukkbox2009-03-16

No no no. New york style means a thin crust and the whole pizza to be a little overcooked. Big slices are also a good indication of NY style crust.

maurice1993 (author)2009-05-28

wow, that pictures let me hungry!

flio191 (author)2009-04-12

if you don't have a stone, just take whatever you're putting your pizza on, put the dough on, and fry it for a little before you stick it in the oven, just so you can have a nicely done bottom.

MacLean (author)2009-04-10

O man, theres a pizza place near my house, that puts LOADS of ham on then pizza sauce, their pizza is like 2 inchs tall, im gonna try to make that stuff.

Justine61 (author)2009-03-26

Wow! Great pictures and description of pizza making. It looks yummy! The cold step really does improve the dough both in flavor and texture, but I can hardly stand the wait! Yes I have frozen dough too and that makes it easier to make pizzas quickly next time. I have actually put the frozen dough in the microwave for 1 minute and watched carefully. You can catch it before it cooks and is just thawed. Another way I make pizzas fast is to use tortillas. Heat the pizza stone, top the tortillas with sauce and whatever else you want and bake them until they are starting to brown. These are good for appetizers or small individual pizzas for kids. Let them make them and top whatever they want. The tortilla crust is crispy and nice.

t.rohner (author)2009-03-16

Very nice instructable.
I think the most important ingredient for a good pizza is the dough. You prolong the fermentation with refrigeration and that's very important. When i started making pizzas at home, i wasn't aware of it. I always thought it was some secret ingredient, that makes the difference. I use a very basic recipe for my pizza dough now. Bread flour, salt, water, very little yeast and sometimes olive oil. I think olive oil helps later while forming the dough, it makes it a little less stretchy...
A pizza stone in a very hot oven is mandantory as well. I use it for my bread as well, it gives a very nice oven spring. With bread, a long fermentation is important as well. It makes the difference between a bland piece of baked dough and a wonderful flavorful piece of art... I showed this last week giving a breadworkshop to 18 people in my girlfriends cooking school. I made a dough with a preferment (24hours) and with the same recipe (more yeast) a dough ready in 2 hours. They tried both breads and got the message.

Now here's something to drool for you...

xrobevansx (author)2009-03-15

It's a combo of the dough (which the water in NYC makes's hard/minerals/etc) and sauce. Can't be duplicated anywhere else.

Harmodius (author)2009-03-14

Um, I've been making pizzas for thirty years at home. I'm really puzzled by your handling of the hot pizza stone. Why not leave the stone inside the oven with the oven door closed, scatter cornmeal (or couscous, or any other grain based granular material) on the pizza PEEL, build the pizza on the peel, then gently bang the handle of the peel to make sure the pizza will slide off nicely, then open the oven door and use the not hot peel that you can handle with your bare hands to deposit the pizza on the stone? Then remove the peel and close the oven door.

target022 (author)Harmodius2009-03-14

I have tried that. That's the normal way to do it, but my peel is too small. I'd have to make a smaller pizza, but it's totally doable. I like to utilize the entire stone.

kbourgault (author)2009-03-14

It looks like relatively wet dough. Wet dough can be a hassle trying to get onto the stone (especially if the stone is 400 degrees). I found that by placing the dough on parchment paper I was able to shape, dress, and cook everything in one fell swoop. It's non stick and easy to clean. Just don't use it at 500 degrees though. It's not rated for that temperature.

lemonie (author)2009-03-13

You don't say a lot about the sauce, can we expect a "Pizza Sauce" Instructable from you soon? L

lukkbox (author)lemonie2009-03-14

crushed tomato's + basil + oregano the italians know less is more, and they invented and perfected it

lemonie (author)lukkbox2009-03-14

No onion or garlic, or salt / pepper? L

target022 (author)lemonie2009-03-13

I actually used all my sauce for this, so I'm gonna need to make some more. I'll make sure I write the recipe down this time.

struckbyanarrow (author)2009-03-13

that looks freakin' delicious!

dyermaker8 (author)2009-03-13

In the spirit of keeping it simple,. Just use "bread flour" instead of "all purpose flour". Most grocery stores carry 3 types of flour. Self-rising, All Purpose, and Bread flour. Bread flour = "high gluten flour" and thus would not need the addition of vital gluten.

target022 (author)dyermaker82009-03-13

That's totally true, but I wanted to increase the gluten even more. Bread flour is about 12% gluten and I wanted to recreate King Arthur brand Sir Lancelot flour. It has about 14% gluten. Also, where I'm at, there's a big price jump from all purpose to bread flour. It was cheaper for me to buy the gluten.

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