Classic pizza with golden melted cheese, and the most perfect homemade crust! This crust is pillowy soft but also crispy in all the right places!
There is not much that can beat a traditional pepperoni pizza when it comes to comfort and taste!! Today’s recipe gives you a classic pizza crust that you can use to create any of your favorite pizza flavors! I like to pair my pizzas with a delicious salad like bbq chicken salad, orzo arugula salad or fruit salad!
Best Homemade Pizza!
If you know our family, you know we LOVE pizza!! We perfected our homemade pizza crust recipe so that we get a perfectly crisp crust with a soft center each and every time.
Once the crust was perfected we kind of went crazy and made pretty much every pizza variety known to man – but pepperoni pizza is still a family favorite!
We love making our own pizzas mostly because it’s something the whole family can participate in. It is fun to make personal size pizzas and let everyone do their own toppings. And we enjoy making traditional pizzas that rival even the best pizzerias around.
How to Make Pizza Dough
Top with sauce and toppings and then bake at 450 degrees for 8-12 minutes. And then devour and enjoy!
Pizza Dough/Crust Tips:
Here are a few tips to keep in mind concerning the dough and crust…
- White or wheat flour: You can use either white or wheat flour for your dough, it’s totally up to you.
- Deep dish: To make it a deep dish pizza you just have to pull the dough up on the sides of a cake pan to bake.
- Thin crust: To make it a thing dough make sure to roll it out nice and thin.
- Stuffed crust: To do a stuffed dough roll it a little bit bigger than you would normally and then put your filling about an inch away from the edge. Once you have lined your dough with the filling fold over the edge and seal it tightly.
- Seasoned crust: Brush the crust with butter and desired seasonings. We love a garlic butter crust!
- Prevent soggy crust: Make sure that you don’t stretch the dough too thin because then it won’t be able to support the weight of the cheese and toppings and will be soggy.
- Crispy Crust: You can make your crust crispy by pre-baking the dough to get some color on it and then adding the toppings. Finish baking the pizza until the cheese is bubbly.
Sauce + Toppings
When it comes to sauces and toppings, it is a very personal choice. Some love LOTS of sauce and others very little sauce. Some love a basic cheese, while others are into supreme style and more!
When choosing a sauce you can use either homemade or store-bought. Again you may want one with lots of Italian seasonings or you may prefer a plain marinara sauce.
My only suggestion would be to choose one that is a little thicker in its consistency. In my experience, thinner sauces sometimes produce soggier pizzas, as does using too much pizza sauce.
For your toppings, you can put them on before or after the cheese. It doesn’t make a huge difference. But I do recommend microwaving your pepperoni on a paper towel-lined plate on high for 15-20 seconds and then dabbing off grease so you don’t end up with a pool of grease on top of your pizza. 😉
I also recommend skipping the pre-shredded mozzarella cheeses. Use the type that you have to grate or slice yourself-it melts better, browns nicely and tastes amazing!!
Variations / Additions
I will always love a traditional pepperoni pizza but there are hundreds of different pizza topping variations! Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Here are some suggestions:
- Hawaiian: Canadian bacon and pineapple!
- Veggie: Mushrooms, olives, green bell pepper, and onion.
- Meat lovers: Sausage crumbles, bacon, pepperoni, and ham.
- Extra cheese: Go over the pizza once and then go over it again.
- BBQ Chicken: Use bbq sauce instead of the traditional marinara sauce, top with bbq chicken, red onions and gouda cheese
- Pesto: Pesto sauce instead of marinara, topped chicken, pine nuts, mozzarella, parmesan, basil, and red pepper flakes
- Margherita: basil, mozzarella, and Parmigiano
How to Store, Freeze + Reheat
Storing the dough: Once you have let the dough rise a little bit during your initial dough making process, place it in a bowl with room for it to rise and cover it with plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1-3 days. Let the dough come to room temperature before trying to roll it out.
Leftovers: Allow the pizza to cool completely before placing it in a Ziploc bag. You can also place 2 pieces of pizza in alternating directions on a paper plate and then use parchment paper to separate each layer (if you have multiple plates) and place the whole stack in a large freezer-safe bag.
Reheating leftovers: Microwave each slice or a few slices for 3o seconds then place it on a hot, slightly oiled skillet. This will help crisp up the bottom of the crust and get rid of limp leftover pizzas!
Freeze unbaked pizzas: Prebake the crust (450 degrees for 4-5 minutes) to help prep the crust and prevent sogginess. The dough should be puffed and the surface should appear dry. Then top with sauce and toppings. Double wrap with plastic wrap and foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted!
For more pizza recipes, check out:
- Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Garden Veggie Pizza
- Hawaiian Barbeque Pizza
- Spinach Artichoke Pizza
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Spicy Cajun Crust
Homemade Pizza Recipe
For the pizza dough:
- 1/2 cup warm water - (110 degrees)
- 1 1/4 cup room temperature water
- 1 tbsp active yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups all-purpose flour - plus more as needed for the work surface
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, add warm water and yeast. Sprinkle sugar over top and allow to sit for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture begins to puff. Add the oil and the room temperature water. Whisk gently to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine salt, flour, and water mixture. When dough begins to form a ball, remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook. With mixing speed on low, knead dough for 4-5 minutes or until a ball begins to form and the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Remove dough from bowl and place in a large well-greased bowl (I prefer using olive oil, but you can also use Pam). Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- To deflate dough, punch with fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two or three balls (depending on how big and how many pizzas you want to make- I always make 2).
- Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a pizza pan and fold edges over to form a crust.
- Place desired toppings on, bake at 450 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until cooked through.