21 March 2022

Pizza Notes

My pizza recipe, shared since I've been asked a couple of times. This page is occasionally updated as I discover new things. Notes are at the bottom.


  • 2 cups of flour (bread flour is ideal; all-purpose flour could work, but is less fluffy; don’t use pastry/self-rising flour)
  • 2ish tsp of yeast
  • 1 tbsp of sugar/honey
  • 1.5 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 0.75ish cups of warm water (up to 1 cup; temp should be about 110F, max 120F; lukewarm or room temp can be fine, but yeast takes longer to bloom)
  • optionally, garlic powder and/or dried basil


  • Add yeast and sugar/honey to warm water and let sit until foamy. This blooms the yeast, it should become foamy in 10 minutes. If it doesn't, the yeast is no longer active.
  • Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. If desired, add garlic powder and/or dried basil.
  • Add water+yeast mixture to flour+salt mixture and mix until moisture/texture/etc is uniform. If dough is so dry that the flour is still visible or that there is no pull on the dough, add more water and mix. If dough is so wet that it doesn't hold its shape or huge clumps stick to your hand, add more flour. It's okay if the dough is a little dry (firm but with some pull) or a little wet (some stick or slowly (over minutes) loses its shape).
  • Add the oil and knead the oil into the dough until uniformly integrated.
  • Let the dough rise. Oil the sides of the bowl, cover the bowl with the dough so no moisture can escape. Let sit for as long as possible, ideally 2 times the size and/or minimum of 1 hour.
  • Knead dough a few times and roll into ball. The ideal dough is a bit wet/sticky but can still maintain its shape. It should be workable with a bit of oil on the dough or your hands and should roll/knead into a smooth ball.

Bake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 500F
  • Lightly dust pizza pan with flour and roll into shape
  • Add toppings.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, or until desired crust/topping doneness

Additional notes on baking

  • Leave a couple of small spots in the center where the sauce is somewhat exposed so water can evaporate, otherwise the dough will absorb the water.
  • Do not cover in cheese, cheese melts
  • 10 minutes is ideal for soft crust, 12 minutes for crispy. Use mesh pan or pizza stone for faster crust doneness
  • If toppings have high water content, use oven mode with heat from both top/bottom. Or do half time from top, half time from bottom. This requires more attention to prevent overcooking through.
  • Crust bottom may not have much color depending on amount of oil, type of pan used, and duration of heat

Pizza notes

Tomato sauce

The type of tomatoes doesn't matter as much as the preparation of those tomatoes for a good pizza sauce. Raw pureed tomatoes usually leads to an unpleasant raw taste and a watery consistency which seeps into the crust when baking. Tomato paste could be a good base, but blending tomatoes yields a more "fresh" taste. Regardless, the tomatoes should be cooked in a sauce pan until most of the water cooks off. Ideally start with finely chopped onions + garlic, cook, add in tomato puree, cook, (optionally) deglaze with vodka and cook off alcohol, cook off water until saucy with some hold but not paste-like. Add basil, spice, seasoning to taste while hot at the end, but don't actively cook it. There's no need to add cream, it's not a pasta sauce.

Wrangling dough

If it's tough and doesn't spread, let it rest. If it's sticky, use oil first and flour second. Use the dough proofing to your advantage to spread -- it's aerated (less tight/dense) and should be naturally pliable then. Using fingers (not the hand or palm) gently but rapidly tap to spread (pressing down and out in a single motion).

Sheet pan and skillet

Usually needs a lot of oil to crisp up the bottom due to moisture trapping. This is why porous pizza pans or ripping hot stones (and some tools like the Betty Crocker pizza maker) are preferred. Although, that's not a dig on sheet pan or skillet pizza -- dough moisture levels and cook temperatures make a difference.

NY and Neopolitan Style

It's too hard to do at home in a reasonable amount of time/work.