Let’s Make Pizza From Scratch

No Pizza Dough? Here's How to Make it Yourself (Even if You Don't Have Yeast, or Flour, or...)

Don’t let a shortage of pizza crust (or yeast, or flour!) get between you and your craving.

Featured photo by Randy Harris for Pizza Camp: Recipes from Pizzeria Beddia by Joe Bedia

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“Mom, could you pick up some pizza crusts when you go to the store?” my son asked recently. It seemed like a simple enough request, and a quick dinner idea for these times. But wouldn’t you know it, pizza crusts were the latest thing there had been a run on. I came home empty-handed — but inspired. “Let’s make pizza dough from scratch,” I told him. “We’ve got flour and yeast, and a can of tomato paste, and some sausages…”

I remembered a beautifully supple homemade pizza dough recipe with extra-virgin olive oil, and pretty soon the Kitchen Aid stand mixer was thrumming, kneading the dough. While it rose (I skip the plastic wrap and use a towel, by the way), we whipped up toppings from what we had on hand. My son was psyched about the classics: my no-recipe red sauce (a can of tomato paste plus half a can-ish of water, a big grind of black pepper, and some dried oregano), mozzarella cheese, crumbled and browned sausages, and some sliced red pepper and red onion. I remembered a sauceless pizza from a trendy restaurant and set out ricotta cheese, and some arugula to scatter on at the last minute.

With the fixings in place, I pulled out the rolling pin and produced four lovely if lopsided personal pizza crusts; and just like that, we had ourselves a little DIY pizza party. After a second rise of 15 minutes or so, we popped the puffy pizzas into the hot oven and the kitchen filled with the fragrance of dough and cheese. 

At the table my son happily dove into his regular pizza and I took a big bite of my ricotta + sausage + red onion + extra drizzle of olive oil + arugula with lemon vinaigrette. There are some things about this shelter-in-place stuff that aren’t so bad, I thought.

How to make homemade pizza dough with yeast

Homemade pizza dough without yeast

Pizza dough without all-purpose flour

Gluten-free pizza dough

Pizza stones and other equipment

5 all-time favorite homemade pizza recipes


How to make homemade pizza dough with yeast

Congrats. You managed to score some yeast, or maybe you already had a jar in the fridge. You can proof and knead and roll to your heart's content.

Yeast equivalents. There are several forms of yeast and for pizza dough; they’re interchangeable if you use the right temperature to dissolve the yeast (see below). The most common, active dry yeast, is dry granules sold in packets and by the jar; 1 packet holds 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast. Instant yeast is ground finer and has additives so it works faster and you only need to let the dough rise once. You can sub it packet for packet for the regular kind. Cake yeast, a fresh yeast that can be hard to find, is perishable and keeps about a week in the refrigerator; 1 cake equals 3 packets of regular.

How warm is warm water? Follow package instructions to dissolve the yeast, as the temperature (and method) for each kind of yeast is different: 90°-95° for cake yeast, 100°-110° for active dry, and 120°-130° for instant yeast. 

How to knead yeast dough. With a stand mixer and a dough hook, knead the dough on medium speed until it’s smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. To knead yeast dough by hand, fold it over towards you on a floured board and give it a quarter turn, then repeat, adding flour as required to keep it from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

What’s the right temperature for yeast dough to rise? You can let dough rise at room temperature, all the way up to about 95°.

Now, on to the recipes.

Made with olive oil, The Best Pizza Dough has a lovely flavor and is nice and flexible. It’s the right amount for two medium pizzas or four personal-size. If you’re really into this idea of pizza from scratch, the recipe called Homemade Pizza Dough makes enough for three 1-pound balls of dough so you can freeze some to have on hand. The recipe advocates keeping the dough on the sticky side for a light, stretchy texture. And finally, this small-batch Perfect Pizza Dough recipe uses only 2 cups of all-purpose flour, instant yeast, and a smidge of salt and olive oil.



Homemade pizza dough without yeast

No yeast? No problem. We’ve got options for your homemade pizza dough! House of Yumm creates a {No Yeast} Pizza Dough reminiscent of biscuit dough with all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, milk, and butter. If you don’t have regular milk, you can use unsweetened almond milk. Maybe you have self-rising flour and Greek yogurt on hand, and if that’s the case, you can make a quick and easy 2-Ingredient Pizza Dough. The Kitchn makes their dairy-free N0-Yeast, No-Rise Pizza Dough with self-rising flour, baking powder, and a little garlic powder for extra flavor.



Pizza dough without all-purpose flour

You’re out of regular flour but you happen to have some bread flour. Or quinoa. Or no flour or leavening of any kind. Game on!

The extra protein in bread flour vs. all-purpose makes Personal Pizza Dough nice and springy. Soaked in water overnight then pureed and mixed with a little baking powder, quinoa bakes up soft in the middle and beautifully crispy at the edges for 5-Ingredient Quinoa Pizza Crust. Another option, if you’re out of yeast, out of baking powder, and out of flour? Make No Dough Pizza with a “crust” from cream cheese, eggs, and Parmesan.



Gluten-free pizza dough

If wheat flour doesn’t work for your household, you might already know about using a specially formulated mix like Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix or Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix. But you can also create your own gluten-free blend from scratch, or go with a cauliflower crust.



Pizza stones and other equipment

Do you need a pizza stone to make great pizza? No, though if you have one, your pizza crust will bake up extra crisp. And you can use a pizza pan if you have one, but a regular baking sheet will work great.



5 all-time favorite homemade pizza recipes

Is the best pizza all about the dough, or all about your favorite toppings? It’s a delicious dilemma that might require some careful testing to figure out.

Classic Margherita Pizza

Craving homemade pizza with fresh tomatoes? Along with mozzarella, garlic, and fresh basil, they add up to one of the simplest and most sublime of pizza topping combos. But canned tomatoes will work here, too.

Pepperoni, Mushroom & Olive Pizza

A Friday pizza night classic with legions of fans, and a great option if this is your first time making pizza. Pat out the crusts as thin as you like.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza

Do you love a chewy thick-crusted pizza? For this one you make a quick and easy homemade pizza sauce (you’ll have leftover for another time). Then you spread dough in a sheet pan, top it with some sauce, and load it up with lots of cheese and of course, pepperoni. Blast it in a 500° oven, and bliss is a few bites away.

Roasted Garlic Spinach White Pizza

A white pizza is one with no red sauce. This one goes for extra-cheesy with ricotta and mozzarella, and adds in thawed frozen spinach and a bold 4 to 5 heads of roasted garlic.


Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

If you’re ready to go for gold on the distracti-baking, this is the project for you: fully loaded deep-dish pizzas made in springform pans (or deep cake pans) with a homemade crust, homemade sauce, oodles of cheese, and whatever extra toppings you like, such as pepperoni, bell peppers, and sausage. You’re welcome.


Recipes for quarantine cooking

We're with you at Yummly during the coronavirus to make home cooking as easy and flexible as possible. You'll find lots more ideas in our quarantine cooking collection.


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