Homemade Pizza … At Home!
I never made completely homemade pizza before shooting this episode. I also had never had such delicious, perfect pizza anywhere in tha werld before shooting this episode. Thanks to Brandon of Via 313 pizza, I now can make my own wicked-good pizza at home ANY TIME I WANT TO (provided I have a premonition to make the dough the day before I want pizza).
It’s really much easier than I ever thought. Here are a few guidelines from Brandon, plus some things I figured out in the subsequent days after shooting this episode, days wherein I made and ate pizza for dinner every night.
- Use bread flour and instant (a.k.a. bread machine) yeast when making your pizza crust dough.
- Portion the dough out before letting it rest overnight in the fridge. If you try to refrigerate the whole batch in one bowl, thinking you will portion it after resting, you’ll end up with an overflowing bowl of pizza dough and then when you portion it, you’ll bust up all the air bubbles the yeast has made.
- Preheat your oven to as high as it will go. Mine goes to 550, yours might only go to 500. That will still work.
- Flour the pizza peel (or cardboard square, or rim-less baking sheet) liberally before you dress your piza crust on it. It’s really sad when you make a beautiful piza but didn’t use enough flour and it won’t slide off the peel and into the oven. Coarse cornmeal would probably work, too, in place of flour.
- Use full-fat mozzarella or provolone for the best flavor and grate it yourself if you can. Pre-grated cheese has “non-clumping agents” added to it and I suspect they interfere with the meltiness of the cheese.
- Use a pizza stone or a large cast iron skillet for cooking. Preheat it in the oven. While I suggested in the video that you use the skillet upside-down, when I actually did it myself, I used it right-side-up because the bottom of my skillet is absolutely dirty. I slid it into the skillet, making sure the pizza was slightly smaller than the bottom of the skillet, and it folded over a bit around one edge but it was still delightful.
- Let it cool at least 5 minutes before cutting, and a few more minutes before eating to avoid the dreaded Pizza Burn.
I think that’s all the tips I have. On to the recipes!Print
Pizza Crust Dough Recipe
An easy pizza dough recipe, graciously adapted for home use by the boys at Via 313
- Yield: 10-15 1x
- 5 1/4 cups bread flour (King Arthur brand suggested)
- 2 teaspoons instant (bread machine) yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water (90–100 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Extra flour and olive oil for kneading and storing
- For the Homemade Pizza Sauce (my recipe):
- 2 pounds Roma tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of stand mixer with a bread hook or just a large bowl, combine the yeast and flour.
- Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water, then add the oil.
- Add the water mixture to the machine and turn it to low speed for kneading. (In the absence of a mixer, combine with a large spoon until a workable dough forms.)
- Knead on low speed for about 5 minutes, or by hand, adding a tablespoon of flour or so if necessary to make a soft, smooth, non-sticky dough.
- Divide the dough ball into 4 or 5 equal portions and shape into round balls as shown in the video.
- Coat each ball lightly in oil and store in individual containers in the fridge overnight.
- Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to shape the pizzas.
- When shaping, sprinkle a countertop with flour and put a dough ball down. Form a crust around the edge, then gently press out the center. Use your knuckles and a gently stretching movement to form the pizza crust.
- Lay on a well-floured pizza peel or cardboard square and dress the pizza.
- Transfer it into a preheated oven (500-600 degrees F) onto a preheated stone or cast iron skillet and bake 5-10 minutes until brown and bubbly.
- Remove and cool on a cutting board for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
- For the sauce:
- Blanch and peel the tomatoes: Bring a pot of water to boil. Cut a small “X” in the bottom (blossom end) of each tomato and drop in the boiling water. Count to 60 and remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds. Remove and peel off the skin with your fingers.
- Dice the peeled tomatoes.
- Saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, and salt.
- Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
- Puree or leave the sauce slightly chunky.
This recipe makes 4 or 5 9″ pizzas and enough sauce to lightly coat them.
Recipe requires an OVERNIGHT REST, up to 48 hours.
For a super-duper-awesome gluten free pizza option, check out SOCCA!
Wow! That pizza looks incredibly good. I am definitely going to try out the dough.
Yeah! Let’s have a pizza party!
I’ll definitely try this. I’m not a peel & chop fresh tomato person mostly. I usually used canned, but I understand your concern about BPA in canned products. I tried Pomi (imported from Italy) tomato purée recently for a recipe and they makes a chopped product, too. They package in non-BPA aseptic boxes. A domestic alternative could be Trader Joe’s Italian Tomato Starter Sauce.
Yes, the boxed tomatoes are fine I’ve heard and I’ll use those sometimes, too. I’ve gotten to where I prefer the fresh tomato flavor, except in some things like marinara sauce.
When making boxed tomatoes, do you deskin them or blend them “as is”?
I never remove the skins from canned or boxed tomatoes
Has anyone else had trouble with the video not playing? I push the “play” button, and a black screen sits there and ignores me.
I know this sounds like a cliché, but the best pizza I’ve ever had really was in Naples, Italy. In the twenty years since I’ve never been able to duplicate the crust; maybe Hilah’s recipe will do it. Topping was crushed tomatoes, buffalo-milk mozzarella in chunks, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Ok, I got the video to play. I had to drag the cursor at the bottom of the screen a few seconds to the right. Everything was fine from there.
Hmm, I’m glad you got it to work. We didn’t hear from anyone else so hopefully it was a temporary glitch.
I want to get some buffalo mozzarella now and try that pizza! I think you will be happy with this crust. While I’ve not had real Napolese (?) pizza, this crust is on par with the stuff I had at Keste in New York, which I heard from a couple Italians was the best, most authentic in NYC.
We’ve never had Keste in NYC, just Grimaldi’s and Otto.
If you do use fresh tomatoes, the sauce is better if you gut them, i.e. remove the jelly and seeds. Once you find a dough recipe that you like (mine is almost the same as above but no oil and half the yeast), then you do not have to think ahead, you can always keep some in the fridge. It is good for at least a week.
Via 313 Rocks, if you are in Austin, get you some!
I don’t mind leaving the guts in, especially with Roma tomatoes since they are really pretty dense as tomatoes go and there’s not much jelly in them anyway.
Good to know about the dough. I imagine it could be frozen as well for longer keeping.
Coincidentally one of the things I intentially became obsessed with to avoid dealing with a really fucked up holiday season is pizza making. I’ve made homemade pizza for years. Thanks to Wolfgang Puck’s first cookbook, even my first attempt resulted in pizza superior to anything I’ve been served in a restaurant (but no, I’ve never eaten at Spago).
Hands down, the biggest exasperation has been the baking surface. I think everyone agrees that a pizza stone is a minimum requirement. But this year I finally got tired of spending $50 for a new pizza stone every couple of years. I’ve had at least 8 crack on me. Buying cheap unglazed clay tiles always seemed to be a very attractive alternative, but contrary to what millions of online twits say, Home Depot does NOT sell them (at least not any that’s visible from IH-10 between here and Los Angeles). However, earlier this year I came across a web article that claimed that creating a makeshift pizza oven by arranging clay tiles on two oven racks and closing in the sides with even more tiles resulted in internal temperatures in excess of 600 degrees. Unfortunately my search for safe tiles in Austin has been futile. So when I stumbled upon a pizza stone for $25 at Cost Plus World Market, I bought one. At some point I’m going to buy some over-priced but non-toxic tiles online.
Hey Randy! Great to see you back in the comments. We’ve missed you!
Sounds like you have been up to some interesting pizza experiments. I think we’re going to finally break down and get a pizza stone, but I really like the clay tile idea.
I’m glad you found something to distract you from the seasonal fucking. For years, my distraction was corndogs on Christmas.
These pizza guys suggested going to an art supply store for a “kiln stone”, or something like that. I will look into that and link to it if I find anything. We also saw some pizza stones at Target for like 15 bucks, so I might give that a shot being that it’s only 15 bucks and even if it breaks after one use, it’s still less than a fancy gourmet pizza at any of the hip pizza joints in town.
Hope you’re doing better now after the holidays. Good to hear from you, buddy.
I was intrigued a couple of months ago by an article that tauted Mario Batali’s method of achieving really really high heat at home: parbake the crust by itself on a griddle and then using the broiler to cook the assembled pizza. Unfortunately, the author of the article was not Batali himself and I think he really misread the Molto Man. The recipe for pizza dough recipe calls for too much salt and and following the recommended timing for the actual broiling will give you ashes in your oven. Using a realistic broiling time works, but I’m still not sure if the extra effort results in pizza that is that much better than that baked using a conventional method.
The best way I have found to cook pizza in the home oven is without a stone. Use the lowest rack with the pizza on either a screen or pan. You only need to preheat the oven until it reaches max temp (about 10 minutes @ 550 degrees in my electric oven). Cook the pizza for 3-4 minutes, then remove from pan/screen and move to top rack. If you have a top broiler, kick it to high and cook for another 1-2 minutes or so, 3 or so if no top broiler.
This method evens out heat and places it where needed.
That didn’t work, try this:
One of those will work.
The pizza was AWESOME!!
YAY! I thought so, too! 😉 Thanks for writing, Adam!
I wanna try this!! Looks delicious..
how many pizzas did you get out of your dough?
This makes enough for 5 pizzas! But leftover dough balls can be frozen.
What do you think about freezing leftover dough. Can it be done with this and how would you wrap it and stuff.
You know, I asked Brandon about that and he didn’t recommend it. I suspect it would work okay, though. I would wrap it tightly in plastic, then put in a freezer container. I think it would probably work best if you froze it right away, too, rather than after the 24 hour refrigerator rest. Then thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of days before using it. If you try it, let me know and I’ll do the same.
Thanks for writing!
I’ve done it. I freeze the dough before it rises. It’s not AS good but still good! I put it in a large bag because it will rise a bit before freezing.
Thank you so much! Good to know, especially since this recipe makes so much dough.
Jim Lahey, the inventor of kneadless bread, has now invented kneadless pizza dough. But what really intrigues me is his baking method: he, too, bakes the assembled pizza under a broiler, but without par-baking the crust. He also, like a number of experts, has loosened up on the gospel that you absolutely can not make decent pizza without a pizza stone. Here’s a link to the article: http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2012/02/diy-pizza-party.html
Oh, awesome! thanks for sharing that, Randy! Did I ever tell y’all I bought a pizza stone a couple weeks ago (only $8) and we used it one night at a friend’s house to make maybe 6 pizzas in a row. By the end of the night, after it had cooled in the oven after the oven was off, I went to take it out and it was broken in half. 🙁 Ah well. I didn’t really expect it to last, but maybe now I don’t have to worry about it at all!
I’ve ditched pizza stones in favor of a baking steel from Sur la Table. They cost as much as a really good pizza stone, but they should last more than a lifetime. They also have the advantage of being far easier to clean and take only half the time to heat as a pizza stone.
Just a variation of pizza topping –
Chop boneless chicken breast into strips, then cube. season with your favorite BBQ rub (I love Rudy’s rub from my days in Waco on travel for work). cook up in frying pan with a bit of hot olive oil. When cooked through, add a little BBQ sauce to lightly coat the chicken and caramelize on it.
For the pizza itself, make the same dough. I like to add some onion and garlic salt as well to the dough, and decrease the regular salt. Instead of Pizza sauce, use a Sweet Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce. add your cheese. Spread the chicken around the top. Add some caramelized red onions (red onions, olive oil, red wine, brown sugar). sprinkle a little more cheese on top. Same process to bake the pizza in the oven. I go about 8 minutes.
After you pull it out of the oven, add some chopped cilantro on top. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Its a little more work intensive than just throwing pepperoni on top, but the result tastes great.
Hi, Matt! That recipe sounds really good. I love the idea of cilantro on top – that makes it taste so fresh. I’m imagining a cheddar cheese on the pizza, but I bet monterey jack would be great, too.
Thanks for sharing!
Good call – I use a cheddar / jack combo.
OMG. Seriously. I’ve been using the same pizza crust recipe for years and it was just missing a little something. I don’t know if it’s the kind of yeast, flour, or letting it rise overnight, but this is seriously delicious. My favorite right right now is a pizza with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, fresh tomato, mozzarella and goat cheese. Thanks for another great recipe, Hilah!
Yay! That’s awesome to hear, Nicoleincos! I agree this is the best pizza dough I’ve ever tried. And your toppings combo sounds absolutely delicious. What a great summertime pizza!
I love pizzas as well my children. Instead to use instant yeast can i change to brewers yeast.
I haven’t tried baking with brewer’s yeast myself, but it should work the same way according to this article I found. It will probably give the crust more flavor, even, than baking yeast. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Thanks for writing!
Hi Hilah i love your cooking its hilarious and creative um for the pizza stone do we put cornmeal on it so it doesnt stick to the dough or just leave as it is and dont put anything on the stone.
Hi Julian! The stone doesn’t require anything on it, but the pizza peel (or cardboard box) you use to transfer the pizza to the stone does need some flour or cornmeal to keep the raw dough from sticking.
How many inches will the pizzas make
It will make 5 pizzas, each about 9 inches across (diameter).
Can you roll it out with rolling pin instead of tossing it.
Stretching it like we did in the video works best.
Hilah, that pizza looks awesome! The crust, to me, is really what makes an awesome pizza. Your crust looks exactly like the best pizza in my memory that I’ve ever had. It was from a little pizza restaurant run by a couple of brothers from Italy. I have to try this!
Yay! That makes me happy to hear, Elise! And yeah, the crust makes or breaks a pizza. This one really is superb.
Could the homemade pizza dough be scaled down to make just one pizza. Going to try this
You could try cutting the recipe in half to make 2-3 pizzas. Cutting it down further than that I think would be tricky and might affect the texture. You can always make the whole batch and then freeze the leftover dough balls for later, too.
I had a major craving for homemade pizza (at home) haha, and came across this amazing recipe. This pizza dough is amazing! I may or may not be eating pizza all next week.
Yay! Isn’t it the BEST, Rebecca?! I haven’t actually made this again since we shot the episode because I would be eating pizza every day, too. 🙂
Hi Hilah! Just wondering what is the least amount of time that I can let the dough rest, because I have 3 youngsters that are dying for some pizza and can’t really wait til tomorrow to eat it. And quite honestly so am I, lol.
Ha! I know what you mean, Aesha. I’d say minimum is an hour. Bare minimum. If you can wait 2 or more, do that!
Hi Miss Hilah 🙂
I am here because of you recent Pizza Roll recipe when you got a lump of Pizza dough from the Fridge/Freezer (not sure which).
I am assuming that it was from the “overnight stage”, rather than a pre-prepared item. Is that correct.
Good to see you in the Yellowstone park cook-off video. Well behaved as always +-).
While I am at it – well behaved too with the Paella.
I am a few videos behind (from Itunes) so I have not yet seen if you have maintained the demure Hilah image. You will be wearing Gingham dresses soon. (another :–))))
Bye James from England
Yes, this is the same dough I used in that video! I had it refrigerated overnight, but you can also freeze it at that point to keep it for longer.
I’m glad you liked the Yellowstone video! That was such a treat to be able to visit there.
This guy was about as exciting as suicide.
Hope he’s doing OK these days…
Hilah your pizza reciepe is being prepared now. Cant wait to eat it tomorrow. You are gorges by the way. Off to ride the Harley, Be safe dear.
Thanks, Mike! You will love it!
I have a question: I don’t have one of those fancy blenders, so I tried making the dough by hand. My dough seems very dry. I’m a little nervous about it turning out after overnight in the fridge, as I’m having a make-your-pizza for the kids tomorrow. What did I do wrong?
With any dough, the exact amount of water varies a little depending on how humid/dry the air is or how dry your flour is. You can add a little water if needed to get it to form into a ball.
Hilah, thank you so much for a prompt response. I used the instructions exactly, but as you said, I suspect the dry winter weather had something to do with it. In any case, I did the recipe again last night, but let it knead in the bread machine. Thought my little bread hook was going to pass out. Anyhow, the dough turned out just right, as in your video. Now, let’s hope for outstanding and impressive guest results. Thanks again.
Good thinking to use the bread machine! I’m sure it will turn out great.
Alrighty Hilah! So the pizza flavor was amazing! The guest and the kids loved the pizza; however, I really struggled to get the dough to be the right consistency. This made it very hard to stretch the dough. I’m looking for your guidance again *tee hee*. I had the dough covered with towel while it was sitting in the fridge overnight. Should I have used something little more air tight? I pulled the dough out about 45 or so min before I was ready to work with it. The top of every dough ball was a bit crusty/hard, while the bottom was nice, as in your video. I tried lubing it with oil and another ball with water, but never reached the wonderful “stretchy consistency. Any guesses or suggestions, eh?
Oh yeah, next time be sure to either cover with plastic wrap or put it into oiled plastic containers with airtight lids. That might have been the only issue, that it got dried out in the fridge. Happy to hear the flavor was good! Sorry it was kind of frustrating for you.
This was my first time ever making homemade pizza crust and sauce from scratch. Followed this recipe exactly and wow, it was so yummy!!!! And quite fun to make! 🙂
I do have one quick question though. I rubbed oil on my ball of dough and refrigerated it for about 24 hours (in a plastic bowl with a small towel over the top). Then left it on the counter for about 45 mins before making it into the pizza. When I took the dough out of the bowl, the bottom was really soft but the top was kind of tough and a bit crusty. It didn’t seem to make a bit of difference in cooking or the taste but it made it a bit harder to stretch it out to 12″. Do you know what I could do to avoid that next time? Thank you, Hilah!
Oops! I’m sorry, I just read the comment directly above mine that had the same problem and read your answer! So I’ll try that next time. 🙂 Thanks!
No prob! Glad you liked it and know what to do for next time, Heather!
Hello Hilah, just wanted to let you know I tried your pizza recipe and it was fantastic. I have been making pizza at home for years, but never could figure how to get a crust like yours (it was awesome). Your help is very much appreciated.Thank you so much, this recipe rates 5 gold stars.
Hooray! I’m so happy to hear that, Robert! 🙂 Thanks for writing.
In the late 70’s my company manufactured a rectangular pizza stone but I do not remember the company we made them for. It was 16 x 14, flat on one side and three long ‘legs’ on the other so two loafs of bread could be baked and was sold along with a wood peel. Unfortunately the factory burned down in 1980. I’ve been making pizza every Friday since 1978 and I’m using the same stone and peel now for thirty six years! We made a strong, quality product which is not found these days.
Oh you lucky duck! Let me know if you ever happen to remember the name of the company. Maybe I could find one on ebay or something. I’m truly amazed that any pizza stone would last that long.
That $25 pizza stone I bought 2 years ago at Cost Plus is still in one piece and hasn’t been removed from the oven except for cleaning since I bought it. I, too, make pizza every Friday. Once a month, I make enough dough for 4 pizzas, divide it up and freeze it. I also buy fresh mozzarella at Costco, divide it up, and freeze that as well. And of course, I make tomato sauce once a month and freeze portions of that. As long as I remember on Thursday night to move the components for the next night’s pizza from the freezer to the refrigerator, making a pizza on Friday is a snap.
I gave up on ever using “non-fresh” mozzarella on pizza for a couple of reasons. First, it’s getting damned near impossible to find whole milk mozzarella in Austin. Second, it doesn’t freeze well. I suspect that it’s the higher moisture content of the fresh that allows it to freeze fairly well. You wouldn’t want to used thawed fresh mozzarella in a caprese salad, but it melts just fine.
Ooh, I’ll remember to look for fresh mozzarella next time. You’re right about whole-milk mozz being almost impossible to find here. I wonder if that’s just Texas generally, or if it’s hard to find in all places without significant Italian heritage. Seems like my whole life, I’ve only seen “part-skim mozzarella” in grocery stores all over. Thanks for the tip that you can freeze fresh mozz. Do you drain the brine off first, or freeze it brine and all?
I just ordered a new pizza stone that should be here today. It’s the one Paul recommended in a previous comment and hopefully they DO still make em like they used to!
I drain it. Keep in mind this is just a decent fresh cow’s milk mozzarella from Wisconsin. I don’t think I’d try freezing buffalo milk mozzarella imported from Italy. Then again, I wouldn’t be putting that on pizza, either.
There is one store that pretty regularly has the whole-milk stuff: Central Market. At least the south Austin store does. Except for when you’re dying for a pizza.
Just when I’d given up trying all those par-baking, using the broiler, etc. experiments, I had one of those “DUH” moments. The knob for my oven only goes to 500 degrees. But the gap between 500 and broil is huge. I’m finally going to have spring for a oven thermometer and find out how close to broil I can get without engaging the broiler. I might be able to get 650 out of it. If I can, it will sort of make up for the fact that the damned thing can’t going any lower than 250. So far, I’d estimate that I’ve gotten it up to 600 and that it’s made for a slight improvement in my pizzas.
I just remembered that at least until 5 years ago when I first had my big Type 2 diabetes scare, HEB sold big blocks of whole milk mozz. I stopped eating pizza, pasta and rice for a couple of years but when exercise proved to be way more effective than diet in curbing my blood glucose level and I started eating pizza again, HEB had switched to a skim milk version. I suppose I should thank them for that, because it put me on the road to using fresh mozz which is much better in my opinion.
There’s a Pizza making site I go to where these guys are really anal, measuring yeast, water, etc to the GRAM. Anyway, some of the IDIOTS somehow bypass the door lock and run the oven on ‘self-clean’! Forgot the temp but I think it’s like 800-900 degrees to duplicate the brick ovens for New York style. Not too bright of on idea.
When it comes to baking, weighing ingredients to the gram isn’t anal, it’s the easiest, simplist way to eliminate guesswork. Measuring by volume doesn’t take into consideration the varying amounts of moisture in flour, meaning that you usually have to screw around adding either flour or water to get the consistancy right. Not so when you weigh. A digital scale is one of the best investments anyone who bakes can make.
Will the pizza crust still taste as good if I use all purpose flower instead of bread flower
It will still work, but it won’t be as chewy and stretchy.
I was inspired to dump the Wolfgang Puck recipe for pizza dough that I’ve used for decades by my latest favorite cookbook, Peter Reinhart’s American Pie. Among other things, he takes you through making pizza dough with various flours. Interestingly, he advocates not adding olive oil to a crust made with all-purpose flour. I tried it and while it was tasty, it made a really flimsy crust. At the other end of the gluten level spectrum, he points out that bread flour has too much gluten (making for a dough that is more of a pain in the ass to shape than it ought to be). Pizza makers in Naples use a special, less-gluten-than-normal-double-zero flour. Antimo Caputo makes a special pizza flour that I really like. It comes in a blue package rather than the red package that their much easier to find, high gluten version does.
Hilah, can you do a video on making a deep dish pizza? Is the process the same except with a pan?
I’ve never made deep dish pizza, but I assume you could use the same dough in a deeper pan and cook longer at a slightly lower temperature. Sorry I’m not more help!
This looks amazing! I would love to hear what cheese you used to achieve that gorgeous result????
We used a full-fat mozzarella, not the more common part-skim.
Tasty. Thanks for recipe. Look at amazing
I stopped dusting the peel with corn meal years ago. Instead, I assemble it all on parchment paper on the peel. Crust is the same and no problem with sliding it onto the stone.
That is a GREAT pizza tip, Paul! Thank you!