DIY Homemade Pizza in Three Easy Steps
As far as we’re concerned, there are two types of people in the world: 1) Those who love pizza, and 2) Those who don’t know yet how much they love pizza!
But for most of us, pizza at home comes in two basic varieties… delivery, or frozen. And that’s where we want to elevate the discussion and encourage you to turn it up a notch by making your own pizzas, from scratch. Because if more people understood how easy, how fun, and how incredibly delicious homemade pizza can be, nobody would ever order carry-out again.
We’ve broken down the art of homemade pizza into three basic, easy-to-follow steps. So if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get your fingers a little sticky with dough, let’s get this party started and turn your kitchen into a pizzeria!
Step One: Fresh & Zesty Homemade Sauce
Pizza sauce is no mystery… it’s tomato, garlic, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. But a good sauce is the fundamental secret ingredient to any great pizza. And fresher is always better, so set aside the jarred sauce and make your own! Remember, you can make this sauce ahead of time, up to 2-3 weeks before your next pizza adventure.
Makes enough sauce for about 6 or 7 pizzas.
2-1/2 lbs. fresh plum tomatoes (about a dozen)
1/4 cup quality olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
A good handful of fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, cut side facing up. Drizzle and rub the olive oil over each, and season generously with salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Rub the unpeeled garlic cloves in some of the oil and place them on the sheet too.
Roast for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it all cool down for about 5 minutes, and then peel the garlic cloves (they should slide out easily). Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a blender and add the fresh basil. Note: You will probably need to work in two batches, so only place half of the tomatoes, garlic and basil in the first batch.
Blend until smooth. Taste and add seasoning if needed. Save sauce in tightly closed canning jars and refrigerate until needed.
Pro Tip: Get a Pro-Quality Blender
If your old blender isn’t quite up to the task anymore, consider the Kenmore 1200-watt stand blender. It provides ample power and a premium stainless-steel quad-blade to make quick work of the toughest ingredients, and its generous 2-quart jar handles large batches with ease.
Step Two: DIY Dough
Some of you may remember back in the early 2000s when automatic bread-makers became the latest kitchen gadget fad. They were all the rage for a hot minute, and everyone had their favorite cheese-bread recipe. A lot of those bread-makers sat buried in the back of cabinets for a long time, until the pandemic came along and suddenly… people were making their own bread again!
But many people noticed something cool about their old, long-lost friend: it has a Dough setting. And the user’s manual came with a recipe for basic pizza dough that was simple enough for a child to follow. Here’s one such recipe…
3/4 cup water, between 75 and 85 degrees
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon each, salt and sugar
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast (NOT instant yeast)
Place all the ingredients besides yeast in the bread maker container, in the order listed above. Make a small well in the middle and add the yeast into it. Close the lid, set the maker to “Dough” and press Start.
Go do something else for the next 90 minutes or so, until the bread maker starts beeping at you. Seriously, you’re done.
Pro Tip: Choose Your Pizza-Baking Surface
Different home chefs have their own preferred pan, sheet or surface for baking fresh pizzas. Many like to use a heavy ceramic “pizza stone” in the oven. Others enjoy making deep-dish style pizza using a heavy cast-iron skillet. Still others are just fine using a large rimmed baking sheet to make rectangular “lunch lady” pizza.
At Kenmore, we have our own preferred pizza-baking tool. It’s our 14-inch, cast iron pizza pan that works equally well in the oven or outdoors on the grill. We love it because the solid, heavy-duty cast iron retains heat and distributes it evenly for beautiful, consistently even results.
Step Three: Roll, Top, and Bake
Before you roll out your dough, take a few moments to preheat your oven to 500 degrees. (If your oven doesn’t go up that high, set it to the highest setting it will allow.) Preheat your pizza pan in the oven while you prep your pie.
When the dough is finished in the bread-maker, take it out and place it on a smooth, clean surface covered in about a quarter-cup of flour. If you have stone countertops in your kitchen, that will work perfectly. Roll the dough ball around in the flour so it won’t stick, and then roll it out with a heavy rolling pin (the heavier, the better). Work from the center outward to form a circle… and don’t worry if your circle isn’t 100% perfect. This is pizza, not fine art!
Gently lift the dough off the counter and set it on a rimless, nonstick cookie sheet. Cover the pizza dough in a thin layer of fresh sauce, and then top with 4 to 6 ounces of fresh-sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese. Then, let your creative juices run wild! Add mushrooms, olives, pepperoni, onion, peppers, fresh herbs, artichoke hearts, or whatever else sounds good to you… it’s your pizza. And if Hawaiian pizza is your jam, go ahead and grab that ham and pineapple. Nobody’s stopping you.
Next, take a handful of corn meal and scatter it on the preheated pizza-baking pan or surface; this will help keep the dough from sticking. Slowly, carefully slide your uncooked pizza onto the hot pan and slide it back in the oven.
How long? That really depends on a lot of factors. Take a quick peek after about five minutes to see how it’s coming along, but plan on it taking more like 10-15 minutes for pizza that’s crisp on the bottom and melty, golden-brown on top.
Pro Tip: Upgrade Your Oven
The latest Kenmore electric range (#95163) and gas range (#75293) provide all the necessary features to take your pizza-making talents to a higher level. Their True Convection oven technology ensures deliciously even baking results, every time, with super-fast preheating. And yes, the ovens can easily handle 500-degree baking temperatures, with a max of up to 550 degrees. The large oven window and bright halogen light make it easy to check on your baking progress as you go.
Switch It Up
Don’t have an automatic bread maker with a Dough setting? No worries. Many groceries carry pre-made fresh pizza dough you can take home, or the kind that comes in a cardboard pop-out canister.
Craving a next-level, gourmet crust? Use super-fine gauge “00” flour in your dough. Available online and in many specialty stores, it’s the flour that the finest Italian pizzerias use for impossibly light and crispy crust.
Tomatoes not in season? Don’t stress. Go ahead and use jarred sauce for now, until your local market has fresh, ripe ones.
Not a fan of red sauce? Use some fresh basil pesto sauce instead… or make it a sauce-free “white” pizza.
Going meatless? Veggie pizza is one of the most delicious ways to stop hunger in its tracks without meat. Or make it a Mediterranean feast by topping it with feta cheese, spinach, red onion, black olives, and toasted pine nuts.
Enjoy Fresh, Hot Pizza!
Homemade pizza, with freshly prepared dough and sauce made from scratch, sounds like it could be a lot of work. But we swear to you, it’s NOT! And when it’s done baking, you and your family can dig into something super-delicious, hearty, warm, fresh, fun and wholesome.
After all, who in the world doesn’t love pizza?
Looking for a bite-sized option? Try these homemade pizza rollups!
The Kenmore brand represents 100 years of trusted performance, backed by exclusive features and innovations that no other brand can bring to the table. We’re always evolving to ensure day-to-day tasks are taken care of with faster cooking, better cleaning and more living throughout the home.