A simple recipe for extra cheese pizza on top of the best homemade pizza dough.
Baking with Yeast Guide
Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.
Homemade pizza crust may sound difficult to you. Why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is definitely more convenient, but homemade pizza crust has a delicious flavor and texture that only comes from YOU!
Pizza Dough Ingredients
Here’s my recipe for homemade pizza dough. And this is the breakdown of ingredients you need. There’s only 6, plus some water.
- Yeast: Instant yeast makes the job quicker. You need 1 standard packet.
- Water: Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 105ºF – 115ºF. Anything over 130ºF is too hot.
- Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose white flour in the pizza crust. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which will affect how much water the flour absorbs.
- Oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough. Don’t forget to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings, which prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
- Salt: Adds flavor.
- Sugar: A little sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the pizza dough.
- Cornmeal: Use cornmeal to dust the pizza pan; it gives the pizza crust a little extra flavor and crisp.
Homemade Pizza Dough Video Tutorial
Homemade Pizza Baking Equipment
There’s only 3 crucial tools you need.
- Stand Mixer: An electric stand mixer is preferred for making homemade pizza crust, but you don’t *NEED* it. You can simply mix and knead the dough by hand.
- Pizza Pan: Some pizza enthusiasts own pizza stones, baking stones, and pizza peels. If you have them– awesome. If you don’t, just use a regular pizza pan or a baking sheet.
- Pizza Cutter: This OXO pizza cutter because it’s sharp, comfortable, and easy.
Pizza Night Ideas!
Turn your homemade crust into something social by hosting a pizza night. Have friends over, make a batch of the dough, roll into smaller circles (5-6 inches each), and serve with different toppings. Everyone can assemble their own individual pizzas. There are NO rules when it comes to pizza toppings! However, don’t go too heavy or your crust will become soggy and weighed down. My pizza recipe below is for regular extra cheese pizza, but feel free to pile your favorite veggies or meat on top.
Pizza Topping Suggestions:
- Hawaiian Pizza
- Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Veggie Pizza: 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 1 small roasted and thinly sliced eggplant, 3/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms, 1 thinly sliced red onion, 1/2 thinly sliced red pepper, drizzle of olive oil, pepper/ground basil to taste
- Supreme Pizza: 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni/sausage, 1 thinly sliced green pepper, sliced olives, 1/2 chopped onion, ground basil to taste
- 4 Cheese Pizza: 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 6 ounces each: shredded parmesan cheese, shredded Monterey Jack, shredded Asiago
And not only that, little bakers can lend a hand making dinner AND have fun in the process. Let them help you press down the dough and shape into a circle. They can add their cheeses and make pepperoni faces on top of the pie. Common, who doesn’t love a smiley pizza? 🙂
If you’re looking for a slightly heartier option, you’ll love my whole wheat pizza dough as another pizza night option!
My pizza dough recipe yields about 2 pounds of dough, which is enough for two 12-inch pizzas. Toppings listed below are enough for one 12-inch extra cheese pizza. Freeze the rest of the pizza dough for another time, or make two pizzas by doubling the topping ingredients. Feel free to use 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough instead of homemade.
- 1/2 recipe homemade pizza dough (or 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough)
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) cornmeal
- 1/2–3/4 cup (127-190g) pizza sauce, depending how much you like (homemade or store-bought)
- 8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1 and 1/2 cups (6oz or 168g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2–3 Tablespoons (10-15g) grated parmesan cheese
- dried basil or Italian seasoning, to taste
- Dough: Prepare pizza dough through step 3. If using store-bought frozen pizza dough, make sure it’s thawed.
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15–20 minutes as you shape the pizza in the next step. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or pizza pan with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor.
- Shape the dough: When the homemade dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and freeze half the dough for another time—see freezing instructions in the pizza dough recipe. On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly and let it rest for 5–10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped into a 12-inch circle, lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on a baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you gather the pizza toppings.
- Top & bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Brush remaining olive oil all over the dough. Top the dough with the pizza sauce, then the sliced mozzarella, the shredded mozzarella, and grated parmesan. Sprinkle lightly with basil or Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 14–15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freezing and reheating instructions below.
- Freezing Instructions: See homemade pizza dough recipe for how to freeze the pizza dough. You can freeze the baked and cooled pizza or pizza slices. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place wrapped slices in a freezer container or bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Reheating Instructions: Reheat leftover cold pizza in the microwave or cover with aluminum foil and bake on a lined baking sheet/pizza pan in a 350°F (204°C) oven until warmed. (About 10 minutes for slices, 15–20 minutes for whole pizza.)
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Feel free to use my whole wheat pizza dough recipe instead. You only need half of the dough to make 1 pizza, so freeze the extra dough according to those directions or make 2 pizzas.
Keywords: homemade cheese pizza