Let’s Make Pizza!
So you’re ready to bring restaurant-quality pizzas into your home kitchen, but not quite sure how to do that? This guide will walk you through every step of the process.
If you’re new to making creative pizzas at home using unusual toppings, I recommend that you start with some of my recipes on this site to get your feet wet. If you’re in the mood to create your own flavor combination, though, this guide will help you with that too.
Let’s get started!
Go through the whole guide in order, or skip to the step you need help with.
- Step 1: Gather Everything You Need
- Step 2: Make Your Dough!
- Step 3: Preheat Your Oven
- Step 4: Prepare Your Toppings
- Step 5: Stretch Your Dough
- Step 6: Top Your Pizza
- Step 7: Bake Your Pizza
- Step 8: Finish Your Pizza
- Step 9: Enjoy!!
Step 1: Gather Everything You Need
The great news is that you can make really good pizzas without any special tools at all! Since we travel most of the time, I often need to make do with whatever is at the current Airbnb.
If you’re ready to take your pizza to the next level, though, there are a few investments you can make to take your pizza from really good to truly great.
Once you have all of your tools ready to go, decide on your toppings! You can:
- Start simple with your favorite classic pizza, like olives, pepperoni, and mozzarella.
- Follow one of my pizza recipes here on Three Big Bites!
- Get creative and invent your own pizza using my guide to toppings.
You’ll also need to either buy dough or make your own. If you’re going to make dough, gather all the ingredients for that too!
Step 2: Make Your Dough!
Now that you have everything organized and figured out, it’s time to make your pizza dough! (If you really want to, you can cheat and buy it, but making your own is less scary than you might think!)
- In a hurry? Haven’t made pizza dough from scratch before? Use my 2-hour pizza dough recipe.
- Planning ahead and have at least 5-6 hours before dinner? Try my basic pizza dough recipe.
(Wondering what flour to use, and whether you need Italian Tipo 00? Check out this information.)
Step 3: Preheat Your Oven
This one is really important. Put your pizza stone inside your oven, then turn your home oven up as high as it will go.
One of the keys to great pizza is ensuring that your pizza stone has time to completely heat up before you put the pizza on it, so preheat your stone for a full hour before you bake on it.
If you’re just working with what you have at home and you don’t own a pizza stone, this step is less important. Still, preheat your oven fully and put the surface you’re going to bake on (such as a cookie sheet) in the oven in time for it to heat up.
Step 4: Prepare Your Toppings
While your dough finishes rising and your oven preheats, get your toppings ready. I promise you that putting in the effort to actually prepare your toppings rather than throw them on raw makes a night-and-day difference in your finished pizza.
- If you’re following one of my pizza recipes, it will walk you through how to prepare all the toppings.
- If you’re making up your own topping combination, check out this guide to preparing your toppings so that they absolutely shine.
Step 5: Stretch Your Dough
New to stretching dough? Don’t worry – I have a detailed guide to stretching pizza dough for you! It’s complete with step-by-step instructions and pictures.
I know it might seem intimidating at first, but even if your first pizzas are a bit oblong, they’ll be so much better hand-stretched than if you used a rolling pin. Give it a shot!
Step 6: Top Your Pizza
Let’s recap: you have all of your toppings prepared and ready to go. Your dough is stretched and lying on a semolina-dusted pizza peel (or other flat surface, if you don’t have a peel). Right?
Great! It’s time to top your pizza.
Unless you’re using a sauce (like tomato sauce or a creamy sauce) as your base, brush your entire stretched dough with a thin layer of olive oil.
Arrange the cheese and your toppings of choice on your stretched dough. Not sure how much to put on? Here’s my guide to how many toppings you should use, and in what quantity.
Step 7: Bake Your Pizza
Remember how you preheated your oven? Your stone (or other flat surface) is nice and hot now, right? Good!
Slide the pizza off the peel and onto the stone (or other flat surface), in one smooth motion if possible. If you’re new to pizza making, you’ll probably be tempted to carefully slide the peel out in a series of little jerks, but this is actually more likely to rip or deform your pizza than if you do it all in one smooth motion.
When your crust is golden-brown and the cheese is melted, the pizza is done. At 550 degrees Fahrenheit, this typically takes 7-10 minutes.
Step 8: Finish Your Pizza
Nope, you’re not quite done yet.
Now that your pizza is done baking and out of the oven, it’s time to add any finishing ingredients.
These can range from the familiar (basil, chili flakes, parmesan, flavored olive oil) to the unusual (garlic and onion ash, bee pollen).
Not sure what to put on your pizza at the end? Struggling to
- Guide to finishing pizzas. There’s a list there that will help you start figuring out some of the many possibilities.
Step 9: Enjoy!!
Now your pizza is done and ready to eat. Let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear from you directly, or you can share a picture on Instagram and tag @ThreeBigBites!