How to Make Perfect Homemade Pizza

By Christopher Song


We as a world, and particularly as a nation, love our pizza. America alone eats about 350 slices of pizza every second. Despite our infatuation with the dish, pizza remains synonymous with delivery, take-out, or standard restaurant fare. This needs to change.

MORE: How to Make a Pizza Panini

Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with countless different pizza recipes, trying different crusts, sauces, and toppings. This article is a summation of all that I’ve learned and it’s a plea to get people to try the delicious pizzeria quality pies that can be made in college apartment kitchens.

Here are some of my core tips to making the perfect homemade pizza and some of my basic recipes for homemade dough and sauce.

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Tip 1: Get that oven HOT. Crank up your oven to its highest temperature which is usually around 520 and cook your pizza on the lowest possible shelf position (ovens are hotter on the bottom).

Tip 2: Don’t spread too much sauce on your pizza. Use less of a stronger flavored sauce to prevent your pizza from becoming soggy.

Tip 3: Use bread flour to make the dough. Bread flour has a higher protein content than its all-purpose cousin and will therefore make a crispier crust.

Tip 4: Use un-shredded cheese and cut it yourself. Shredded cheese has anti-caking agents that don’t allow it to melt as well. Even better, use fresh mozzarella cheese for a truly pizzeria quality experience.

MORE: 5-Ingredient Pizza Dip

The Dough

Prep Time: 15 minutes (with 1 hour for rising)

Cook Time: 0 hours

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4 pizzas


  • 4 cup bread flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ½ cup very warm water

  • 1 envelope fast acting yeast

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil


1. Stir together the yeast, water, and sugar and let sit for five minutes.


2. Combine the flour, salt, olive oil, and yeast mixture in a large bowl.


3. Mix the dough thoroughly and switch to your hands once the dough has started to come together. Knead this dough for about ten minutes, adding more flour if the dough seems too sticky (you might have to add up to a cup of additional flour). The dough should feel tacky but shouldn’t stick to your fingers.


4. Let the dough rise in a lightly oiled bowl, covered, for at least 1 hour.


For the sauce and full recipe, click here.

Photos by Jay Park.

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