Weekends always call for pizza. It’s a necessity. Friday, Saturday, Sunday – any of these days is a really good time to share pieces among friends. Or just enjoy a whole cake alone. No judgment here!
Sure, delivery is always an option (and Slice makes it easy to have incredible local pizza delivered right to your door), but as someone who grew up in the Northeast, where pizza is essentially a food group, I took it upon myself not to do it just learn how to make homemade pizza…but Perfect it.
Hence my journey to making the absolute best foolproof pizza dough recipe. The kind of pizza dough that would work in any type of skillet – from a pizza stone to a sheet pan to a cast iron skillet. Whatever the kitchen utensil, I wanted to give readers (as well as myself) a homemade pizza recipe that they can easily rely on when the pizza craving strikes.
And as you can see, it took a long Time. Eight years to be exact.
My mission was to perfect the texture. I covet the hand-made pizzas that come out of the little Brooklyn pizzerias, with a crust that’s perfectly crispy yet chewy. But for years my dough was anything but. My pizza crust was either too hard, too soft, too crumbly or too doughy. Some doughs worked in a cast iron skillet, others on a pizza pan, but it would never really work for both at the same time – and I was determined to make it happen.
So I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked. how much flour Should I add sourdough or instant yeast? What spices do you need for this? Does it need a long climb or a short one? At what temperature should the pizza bake in my oven? (Note, a very high temperature, in fact).
You can imagine the excitement I felt when I finally perfected my dough. I watched my pizza bubble in the oven, crust perfectly crispy and firm enough to pick up a slice. i cried For real.
And when I go through a big journey in the kitchen, I naturally have to document it online. And you, dear reader, will soon benefit from eight years of trial and error – and soon great success. Here are all my tricks for making the absolutely perfect homemade pizza cake.
And don’t forget your sauce! Here is the best Italian pizza sauce recipe you can make at home.
Little did I know pizza crust had a distinct flavor until then was not in my dough. For years, my crust was pretty bland, and it took me a while to realize I was actually missing a key ingredient to give my pizza dough the cheesy (yes, cheesy) flavor we all crave. I now have a container of King Arthur Pizza Dough Flavor on hand and add 2 teaspoons to my recipe.
While it’s fun to live out our Italian pizza dreams by tossing the dough in the air, you’ll want to roll it out first. not to a lot – just enough to easily stretch it to the size you want. When it’s time to stretch, I usually do 10 inches for a cast iron skillet (for a thicker skillet crust) or 12 inches for a pizza stone or steel (for a thin crust).
Given that this recipe makes enough dough for two personal pizzas, I’d say if you’re making a large sheet pizza (about 1/2 sheet) I would just leave it as one large ball of dough and not divide it.
Okay, I know I said this recipe is versatile for a few different types of pans, but I’ll admit, I think you’ll get it best Artisan quality cakes when you use a perforated pizza steel. I use the Made In Pizza Steel which is 12 inches tall and has 86 perforated holes on the bottom which will cook your pizza to perfection on the bottom. It’s made of non-stick carbon steel, so you can just peel off the pizza when you’re done.
While it’s tempting to just load up on the toppings (no more paying for extra toppings, right?), I promise you’ll want to keep it light on your cake — or suffer the consequences of toppings falling all over your face later. A good rule of thumb is not to overlap a topping type. For example, start by laying out some hot peppers and don’t overlap them. Then do the same for some sliced peppers, onions, and any other veggies you want. And don’t go to crazy about the cheese. Just a little crazy.
Need pizza topping inspiration? Try one of these 32 Best Healthy Pizza Recipes Ever!
I think it just adds to the flavor! I sprinkle Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper on all my cakes. I also like to drizzle the olive oil In front sprinkle with cheese so all my veggies can benefit from the fatty olive oil while they crisp up in the oven.
We try to mock a pizza oven in our homes – without going to 900 degrees, which is as hot as pizza ovens get sometimes! Pizza experts would say it’s important to get your oven as hot as possible, so I found that baking at 550 degrees gives a quick, crispy pizza in just 10 or 15 minutes.
Okay, that’s not mandatory with my foolproof method. It’s just delicious drizzled on pizza — all the cool pizza places in Brooklyn make it. I usually use Mike’s Hot Honey or Savannah Bee Hot Honey.
Planning on just making a pizza? Preparing the dough for later in the week? You can freeze it! The trick is to wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer In front the second climb. Then, when the craving for pizza gets the better of you, let the dough thaw in your fridge for 24 hours. When it’s time to bake, take out the dough and set it on the counter for 30 minutes to warm up and go through a second course before rolling out and preparing your cake.
1 cup of warm water
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast, equals one packet
1 tbsp honey
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little more
3 cups ’00’ pizza flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pizza flavor
toppings of your choice
How to do it
- In a stand mixer, mix the water and instant yeast. Wait for the yeast to bloom – this should happen quickly.
- Add the honey, olive oil, flour, salt and pizza flavor. Knead for 5 minutes on the lowest setting with a dough hook.
- Lightly brush a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Squeeze the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise for 1 hour.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and divide into two parts. Pinch the ends of each dough together and roll the two doughs into balls. Cover with the same plastic wrap and let rise for 15 to 20 minutes. While you wait, preheat your oven to 550 degrees.
- Individually flour your dough and gently roll it out into a circle using a rolling pin. Expand the circle by holding the ends and stretching it to a 10″ or 12″ diameter.
- Place the dough on your pizza stone/steel or in a cast iron skillet. Add your desired toppings.
- Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how crispy you want it. The cast iron skillet will probably last longer.
- Take out the pizza and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.