Kitchen Tip: Totally Awesome Pizza at Home

Kitchen Tips & Tricks | 29 comments

I don’t know a single person (besides Logan – because he’s Mr. Particular) that doesn’t enjoy biting into a big slice of pizza. Pizza seems like universal comfort food, yet it’s often tricky to make it just right at home.

With these five easy tips you can improve your homemade pizza making skills. In no time at all you’ll be whipping up your own delicious pizza at home faster than it would take to pick up a pizza for takeout.

how to make great pizza at home

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5 Tips for Totally Awesome Pizza at Home

1. Use a HOT oven. I crank mine up to 550 degrees F (as hot as it goes).

2. Let the oven preheat for at least 35 minutes. You want it really, hot and evenly hot. Especially if you’re using a pizza stone, (see #3)

3. Don’t bother with a pizza pan, cook the pizza right on a hot baking stone. The hot, hot stone is essential for the crispy on the bottom crust without the whole crust being crunchy.

4. Use a pizza peel – or fake it! – to transfer the pizza to the stone. I don’t have a pizza peel, so I fake it.

  • First, I roll the crust out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper.
  • Then I transfer the parchment to a pizza pan (which I don’t use for the actual baking).
  • To get the pizza in the oven, slide the pizza (with the parchment) off of the pan and onto the baking stone.

5. Use Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day Master Boule dough recipe for your crust. This is the best pizza crust I’ve made, with Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe coming in at close second. Why?

  • With Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day you won’t have to wait 2 hours for the dough to rise before you can assemble your pizza. In fact, you’ll have the dough already ready in your refrigerator whenever the mood for pizza strikes.
  • It’ll take you less time than ordering and picking up take out pizza.
  • Get the Master Boule Dough Recipe or purchase a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Amazing Pizza Recipes for your Inspiration:

Do you have any tips for making great pizza at home?

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    marla {family fresh cooking} - January 25, 2011 @ 7:05 am

    Katie, this is such a helpful & inspirational post. The fact that any of us can make a great pizza thrills me :) xo


  • 2
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - January 25, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    These are some great tips. :)


  • 3
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - January 25, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    You are so right, the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day Master Boule dough recipe is amazing! I really love that book. Great tips on making pizza at home!


  • 4
    stephchows - January 25, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    Have you ever tried grilling pizza?? It’s my favorite thing to make in the summer!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — January 25th, 2011 @ 7:37 AM

      Yes, we’ve done that too! Definitely fun in the summer when you don’t want to heat the house up. I follow the same basic rules and put my pizza stone in the grill.

  • 5
    Annie - January 25, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    I’ve been wanting to try pizza for a while. Any suggestions for someone who doesn’t have a pizza stone?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — January 25th, 2011 @ 7:35 AM

      You can bake it on an inverted cookie sheet that has also been preheated, but you won’t get the same results. Another option would be to experiment with cooking it on the grill. A stone is definitely worth the investment. I have this one: Old Stone 4461 16-Inch Round Oven Pizza Stone. I use it for pizza, galette, crostata and breads.

    • Annie replied: — January 25th, 2011 @ 7:37 AM

      Awesome! Thanks Katie.

  • 6
    Shaina - January 25, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    Love the tips! Perfect for pizza night.


  • 7
    Tracy - January 25, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    Homemade pizza is the best! Love these tips!


  • 8
    SusieBee at eatlittleeatbig - January 25, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    Good tips. I’d add-don’t overload the pizza with too many/much toppings. Also, be creative-take flavors/combinations that you love and adapt to the pizza. (see below, my spicy peanut chicken pizza).
    I have to try to the AB5M recipe; I use a whole wheat dough now that works well, freezes well and cooks up great:



  • 9
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - January 25, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    Great tips! I make pizza all of the time… It’s one of our favorites. I have to try that recipe for the pizza dough.


  • 10
    Kristen - January 25, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    Great tips – we love making homemade pizza.


  • 11
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - January 25, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    Great tips Katie. I keep meaning to invest in a pizza stone!


  • 12
    Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams - January 25, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I must say that the isuue for me is getting the dough right more than anything else.

    Thanks for the link to the recipe.


  • 13
    Alina - January 25, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    Oh thank you, we’ve been making pizza almost every weekend recently. Beautiful pictures – such a splash of colour!


  • 14
    Cookbook Queen - January 25, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    You had me at totally awesome.

    Kidding ;)

    This pizza looks amazing and I love your photos!! I have been dying to buy that cookbook, this gives me the perfect excuse. THanks for the tips!!


  • 15
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest - January 25, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

    I LOVE your pizza photos! I almost ate my computer screen!


  • 16
    Maddie - January 25, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    thanks for the tips! your crust looks great!


  • 17
    Cheryl Smithem - January 26, 2011 @ 6:28 am

    I enjoy making pizza each Sunday evening. My dough making process has been streamlined thanks to Alton Brown’s tutorial on letting the stand mixer do the kneading. I’ve developed my own recipe for an Italian style loaf, and make my pizza dough and a loaf of bread after the pizza, but your notes based on Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day have me inspired. I’ve printed out the recipe for the Master Boule and will give this a try.

    You are right about the hot oven and stone as well as the water in the pan in the oven, but I was not using water on the loaves I baked each Sunday after the pizza.


  • 18
    Happy When Not Hungry - January 26, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    Thanks for sharing your pizza tips! I use a pizza stone and absolutely love it. I think it gets the crust just right!


  • 19
    Lacey @ dishfolio.com - January 26, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    Your blog looks so clean and refreshing! Great photos, too! We’d love for you to share this recipe at dishfolio.com!


  • 20
    naomi - January 26, 2011 @ 11:30 am

    I’m loving the recipe for the dough. Homemade pizza is the best and it’s one of the things that is always fun to make with kids.


  • 21
    Mary K. - January 27, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Great post! Thanks for the ideas. Question: Do you put the parchment paper in to the 550 degree oven? That worries me about it burning. If you do, what kind do you use because mine is not recommended for temperatures that high.


  • 22
    Wenderly - January 28, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    I’m LOVING the pizza dough recipe! I’ve never made pizza dough! Can’t wait to give it a whirl!


  • 23
    Shaina - February 01, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    We adore Mexican pizza here. Love putting lettuce and sour cream on last and a healthy dose of Cholula hot sauce.


  • 24
    chere - February 07, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    this tip rocks! It has made all the difference in my pizza NOT turning out soggy!


  • 25
    jennifer green - March 24, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the great tips.


  • 26
    Friday Delights - March 26, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

    I was lucky to stumble into this amazing site, I love Pizza!!


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