Do you ever wonder if you can make pizzas at home? You are not alone. As someone who frequently orders pizza deliveries, I seek a healthier and cheaper alternative.
You can make a homemade pizza in a regular oven by creating your dough from scratch and adding toppings. Cook them at 350/400 °F for a crispy crust and perfectly melted cheese.
But it is not as simple as you think. Letting the pizza dough rise is essential to give the crust a better taste and texture. You also need to mix the ingredients properly. In this article, I will teach you how to make homemade pizza from scratch and cook it in a regular oven.
How to Make Homemade Pizza in a Regular Oven?
Contrary to popular belief, making homemade pizza is not that difficult. Follow these tips below to bake a delicious pizza in your regular oven.
Create Your Own Pizza Dough
What is the point of homemade pizza if you are going to buy dough from the grocery store? It is best to make the pizza dough from scratch for its far superior taste and texture. Only choose store-bought pizza dough if you are in a rush and do not have a few hours to spend.
You can create homemade pizza dough with only six basic ingredients, regardless if you want it with a thick or thin crust. All you need is to combine them and leave the mixture alone. So most of the time, the process is hands-off while you wait for the dough to rise.
The rise time takes one to two hours. But you can also mix the dough the night before baking to let the dough rise slowly. Remember to bring the homemade dough to room temperature prior to kneading and shaping.
Buy or Make the Pizza Sauce from Scratch
After making the dough, it is time to focus on the pizza sauce. It ties the crust and toppings together, making it an essential part of pizza making.
Again, you can buy the sauce from your local store if you are short on time. You can find classic marinara and tomato sauce in cans if you are baking red pizza. You can also purchase white pizza sauces in jars.
However, we highly recommend creating the sauce from scratch. This way, you can modify the flavors according to your taste.
If you are intimidated by the process, you can stick with no-cook recipes first. Make a tomato puree by using a knife and a blender. Add sugar to taste if you like your pizza sauce sweet.
Finally, put the tomato sauce on the pizza dough. Spread it evenly with a spoon or spatula.
You can add any kind of pizza toppings you like. Pepperoni, cheese, and olives are among the most popular additions as they complement tomato sauce-based homemade pizza. But you can also put other unconventional toppings, like pineapples, broccoli, and artichoke hearts.
Note that these ingredients will only cook a little in the oven. So if you prefer to eat something well-done, such as sausage or mushroom, cook them in advance. But if you love fresh herbs like basil and oregano, sprinkle them over the pizza as soon as it comes out of the oven. The extra heat from the oven and cooked pizza can bring out their flavors.
Remember to keep the toppings at a handful. You can put various ingredients but not too many. Having excess toppings can slow down the cooking time. That means the toppings would not be cooked properly. It can also increase the risk of burning the crust.
Bake the Pizza at 350/400 °F
Once you have put the sauce and toppings on the raw dough, you can proceed to bake the pizza.
Preheat the oven to 350 to 400 ºF before cooking pizza. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes for the oven to reach the required temperature. Preheating ensures the oven is hot enough to give you a crispy bottom crust without overcooking the toppings.
Next, place the dough on a pizza stone or steel. You can also use an upside down baking sheet for cooking pizza. Sprinkle some flour or cornmeal to prevent the bottom of the pizza from sticking to the baking stone. Then, put it in the middle rack of the oven to ensure even heating. Keep the oven door shut as the pizza cooks.
Bake the pizza at 350/450 °F for around 15 to 20 minutes. Check if the crust is golden brown to know if the pizza is cooked to perfection.
My Favorite Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
Homemade pizza is easy to make using some basic ingredients already available at home. Refer to my favorite pizza dough recipe if you are craving a great pizza.
Below are the ingredients you will need to make homemade pizza dough from scratch.
- 3 ⅓ cups of all-purpose flour or bread flour (plus additional for dusting)
- ½ teaspoon of active dry yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar or honey
- ½ tablespoon of salt
- 1 ¼ cups of warm water (between 105 to 110 °F)
- 1 tablespoon of oil (plus extra virgin olive oil as needed)
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder or dried basil leaves (optional if you want extra flavor)
You will also need the following cooking equipment to achieve a perfectly-cooked pizza crust.
- Regular baking or pizza oven
- Pizza stone or baking sheet
- Pizza peel or spatula (for launching and retrieving pizza from the oven)
- Parchment paper (to prevent the crust from sticking to the stone or sheet)
- Rolling pin (optional)
After preparing the necessary ingredients and pieces of equipment, it is time to make the dough. Follow these pizza recipe instructions to enjoy pizza at home.
Mix the warm water, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of yeast and leave it for five minutes before stirring the ingredients.
Put all the flour in a separate and much larger mixing bowl. Make a well in the center where you can pour the liquid yeast mixture into. Thoroughly combine the ingredients with a spatula until you form the pizza dough.
Once the dough starts to pull away from the bowl, knead by hand for around two minutes. It will be sticky, but that is expected.
Get another bowl and brush its sides with cooking oil. Lightly sprinkle your hands with flour to help transform the dough into a round ball. Next, place this ball in the bowl. Seal the container with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Doing so allows the mixture to rise.
After the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the sticky dough in half. The three ⅓ cups of flour can make two 10- to 12-inch pizzas. Press down on the dough mixture to deflate it. Continue kneading the dough gently until it is smooth.
Then, use a rolling pin or your hands to form the fresh dough into 10 or 12-inch circles. You can make them slightly bigger than intended because they will shrink while baking in the oven.
Transfer the pizza dough to a baking stone or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pinch the edges to form a crust. You can brush this crust with olive oil or butter to achieve a golden-brown color.
Add your desired toppings. Again, putting fewer ingredients ensures a faster cooking time.
Finally, bake the pizza in a 350 to 400 °F preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool for several minutes before serving.
You can follow and make this homemade pizza dough in advance. As stated in the recipe, you need to deflate the dough and wrap the container tightly with plastic to prevent drying. Store it in the refrigerator for up to several days or freeze it for up to a month. Remove the homemade pizza dough an hour before baking to let it relax at room temperature.
You can use any cooking oil to drizzle on the pizza crust. I prefer adding olive oil for enhanced flavors and a crispier crust to enjoy the best homemade pizza.
As for storage, you can keep leftover pizza slices in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat it in the oven at 150 to 200 °F for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also keep pizza warm in a microwave or on a non-stick pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long to cook homemade pizza at 400 °F?
You can cook pizza in a regular oven at 400 °F for 15 to 20 minutes. At 15 minutes, you can check the crust and toppings to see if they are already golden or deep brown. Once they are, they are already cooked.
Other home chefs bake pizza between 450 and 550 °F if they want their pies cooked quickly. However, not all ovens can reach these extremely hot temperatures. So using the 400 °F heat setting is still best for homemade pizzas.
How long to cook homemade pizza at 350 °F?
You can bake homemade pizzas at 350 °F for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remember to preheat the oven for the same amount of time before putting the dough on the hot pizza stone in the oven.
However, note that this temperature can only give you a soft crust. You will need to increase the heat to enjoy a crispy crust.
How to tell if the yeast is active?
Active yeast causes the homemade pizza dough to rise. It also produces an airy and bubbly pizza crust. Hence, it is an important ingredient in pizza making.
However, you can accidentally kill the yeast when exposed to heat.
Fortunately, it is easy to check if the yeast is active. Combine a teaspoon of sugar and a packet of yeast in a cup of warm water. Let the ingredients sit for five to 10 minutes. If the water starts bubbling with a distinct aroma, you can still use the yeast for the homemade pizza dough.
Is it better to let the dough rise overnight?
You can allow the dough to rise overnight. Put it in a bowl and seal it with plastic. Then, store the container in the fridge.
Doing so can slow yeast activity, but it does not completely kill it. It gives a stronger yeasty flavor that some people prefer. It can also fit better into your busy schedule—you are basically making the dough hands-free while you are asleep.
However, avoid leaving the yeast at room temperature for long periods. It can lead to over-fermentation, which causes the dough to become crumbly instead of crispy and fluffy.
Can I freeze homemade pizza dough?
You can store homemade pizza dough in the freezer for up to a month. But before doing so, give the yeast time to rise. It will take around 30 minutes to an hour or until the dough doubles.
Then, shape the dough into a ball. Divide it into two if you intend to freeze the entire batch. Finally, put them in a bowl and cover them with a plastic container.
How do I thaw frozen pizza dough?
You can thaw frozen pizza dough in a refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours. If you do not have time, you can also defrost the dough at room temperature. Set it on your kitchen counter for around two to three hours before baking it in a regular pizza oven.
While delicious and convenient, pizza deliveries or takeouts can take a toll on your health and money. Fortunately, a homemade pizza is a healthier and cheaper option.
You can bake a pizza in a regular oven at 400/350 °F. But first, you will need to create the dough from scratch with six basic ingredients and add your desired toppings. You can follow our homemade pizza dough recipe above.
Do you have more questions about baking homemade pizza? Drop your queries on our contact us page.