Homemade Pizza

How to make Pizza from Scratch

(Adapted from A Guide by Sam Sifton)

Homemade Pizza

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Before you Start

  1. Plan ahead. Make the dough at least a day before you intend to make pizza, to give it enough time to rise.
  2. You will need a cooking surface. This could be a pizza stone, a marble slab or four to six unglazed quarry tiles measuring 6 inches by 6 inches or one large tile (from a building store).  Whichever you use, heat in a very hot oven for atleast an hour before cooking.

Pizza dough

Yield two 12 inch pizzas


  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour (wheat flour)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. and 2 tsp. all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 2 gms (3/4 tsp. dry yeast)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • In a large bowl, combine flours and salt.
  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together 1 cup lukewarm water, the yeast  and the olive oil, then pour it into the flour mixture.
  2. Knead with your hands until well combined, approx. 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Knead rested dough for 3 minutes.
  4. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball, and let rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza).
  5. To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it, then your hands to shape it into rounds or squares.
  6. Put desired toppings and bake.

Cooking the Pizza

Baking in the Oven

To Bake Pizza in an oven, you’ll need either to do it on a stone or metal surface, or in a sheet pan. Either way, you should set the oven to it highest temperature and let it heat for a full hour before you intend to cook.

If you are using a pizza stone or set of tiles as the cooking surface, begin by placing it on the middle rack,  turn on the oven and preheat the cooking surface for an hour.

When you are ready to cook, carefully place your shaped dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or flat tray or plate or board, or on the back of a pan.  Gently shake the board or pan back and forth a few times to make sure the dough can move, then add your toppings.

Pick your pizza board or pan and gently slide the pizza on the pre-heated stone or tile, starting at the back and working your way toward it front.  Bake for about four to eight minutes until the edges are a beautiful golden brown and the sauce and cheese are bubbling nicely.  Remove from the oven and then slide the pizza onto a cutting board and cut into wedges.

Pan-frying on the Stovetop

Cooking a pizza on top of the stove is a simple way to get started and a single ball of dough will yield two pan pizzas.

Simply heat a 10” pan over medium-high heat, then smear with olive oil. Take one half a ball of risen dough and press it out into a circle just smaller than the pan.

When the pan is heated, put the dough in the pan and adjust the heat so it browns evenly without burning. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork.  Cook for a minute or so. Turn over and add the toppings.  Cover the pan with a lid to melt the cheese or run it under a broiler.   Cook till the dough is cooked and cheese is melted.

Another option for Pizza Toppings

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