Homemade Pizza for Beginners

Want to make homemade pizza but not sure where to start? Here’s everything you need to know about how to make pizza at home.

Homemade pizza | How to make pizza at home

Want to have a pizza night but you’re not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Alex and I have been making homemade pizza for years. We’ve traveled to Italy several times and learned from several pizza making masters here in the US. Luckily we’ve learned: homemade pizza can be simple! All you need are a few special tools and good recipes. After that, the world of homemade pizza is at your fingertips! Here’s everything you need to know about how to make pizza at home: pizza gear, the best ingredients, and how to make pizza at home.

Pizza peel
Margherita pizza on an aluminum pizza peel

What you need: pizza gear

Before you start a Pizza Friday tradition, you’ve got to find the right pizza making gear. There are two tools that we use every time we make pizza and are absolutely essential for the best homemade pizza: a pizza stone and a pizza peel. Keep reading for our favorites:

Pizza stone in the oven
Margherita pizza on our pizza stone

Pizza stone

To make really, really good homemade pizza, you’ve got to have a pizza stone! You’ll preheat your oven with the pizza stone inside, and then cook your pizza right on the stone. Cooking it on a stone makes the pizza crust perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. There is a huge difference between a pizza stone and cooking pizza on a baking sheet. You’ll taste it right away! Round pizza stone $36

For More: What’s the Best Pizza Stone? | How to Clean a Pizza Stone

Pizza peel

What’s a pizza peel? It’s a paddle shaped wooden tray with a handle used to slide the pizza onto and off of the hot pizza stone. You’ve probably seen people in pizzerias use them! They’re essential to using a pizza stone. Here are the two we recommend: the conveyor pizza peel is worth the price as it makes it very simple to transfer the pizza to the stone. But either work!
Aluminum pizza peel $17 or Conveyor pizza peel $57

A note about a pizza oven

Now, you definitely don’t need a pizza oven for homemade pizza. However, if you really want to geek out on pizza, you can think about an outdoor pizza oven! We use this Ooni pizza oven that heats up to 1000 degrees in 10 minutes! It makes for the most perfect char on the crust, and the pizzas cook in just 1 minute like at an artisan pizzeria. However, this is only for hard-core homemade pizza. For a beginner, all you need is your standard oven!

Pizza oven

Best homemade pizza ingredients

Moving on! The best pizza is made out of the best ingredients! If you’re a beginner at homemade pizza, there are a couple things to know about ingredients:

  • Use Tipo 00 flour for your pizza dough. This is not required for the novice homemade Pizza Friday! However, we’ve found that using the flour the professionals use results in the very best, soft and fluffy pizza dough. Tipo 00 flour $15
  • Use great tomatoes. We recommend finding the best high quality organic tomatoes you can find. Our best homemade pizza sauce recipe uses fire roasted tomatoes (our favorite brand is Muir Glen Organic).
Homemade pizza sauce | How to make pizza at home
The best homemade pizza sauce: simply blend tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt & oregano

Homemade pizza dough & sauce recipes

So, you’ve got your pizza peel and your pizza stone: ready to get cooking? Alex and I have developed a few go-to homemade pizza dough and sauce recipes that we use all the time for our Pizza Friday nights:

  • Homemade Pizza Sauce: it takes just 5 minutes to whip up, and is so simple but the best pizza sauce you’ll taste. Make sure to get high quality tomatoes.
  • Best Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe: our tried and true recipe people around the world have been making for years! It’s fluffy and chewy, and crispy on the bottom.
  • Food Processor Pizza Dough: if you’ve got a food processor, this one is a variation on the recipe above!

Homemade pizza toppings

In terms of pizza toppings, the sky is the limit! In the recipe below, we’ve added some pizza topping ideas for your pizza night. And, here are a few of our favorite homemade pizza recipe ideas to get your wheels turning!

Homemade pizza

How to make pizza at home

And that’s all you need to know to get started! The recipe below provides the basic steps for a homemade pizza recipe. We’ve added some topping ideas to get your wheels turning, but of course you can customize to your own tastes! Let us know how it goes in the comments below.

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How to clean a pizza stone

Homemade Pizza for Beginners


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pizza 1x

Description

Want to make homemade pizza but not sure where to start? Here’s everything you need to know about how to make pizza at home.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Stand Mixer Pizza Dough or Food Processor Pizza Dough
  • 1 recipe Best Homemade Pizza Sauce
  • Topping ideas:
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Feta cheese, goat cheese, burrata cheese, Parmesan cheese, or Pecorino cheese
    • Chopped spinach leaves, chopped bell peppers, sliced red onions, thinly sliced tomatoes, avocado
    • Olives, roasted jarred red peppers, artichokes
    • Sauteed mushrooms
    • Fresh basil, fresh thyme or fresh oregano

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Stand Mixer Pizza Dough or Food Processor Pizza Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F.
  3. Make the pizza sauce: Make the Best Homemade Pizza Sauce. (You’ll use about 1/3 cup for the pizza; reserve the remaining sauce and refrigerate for up to 1 week.)
  4. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see this video for instructions.
  5. Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the dough, using about 1/3 cup. Add the toppings, and if desired, few pinches of kosher salt
  6. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Homemade Pizza, How to make pizza, How to make pizza at home, Pizza Friday

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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