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Pizza making tips

make better pizza at home

Never make a bad pizza again!

We’ve all had that moment when we thought we did everything right but then the dough didn’t stretch. Maybe you once had a pizza stone but it broke and you haven’t gone back. If your pizza came out of the oven a big soggy mess, you are not alone. We are here for you.
Use the videos and recipes below to help you on your quest for excellent homemade pizza. These are all tested methods we teach in our online classes. Once you understand the concepts, you’ll be experimenting with your own variations. Just make sure to tag @scottspizzatours when posting your creations!
For the best home pizza making equipment, visit our sister site Pizza Resource Center.

Videos

How To Make Pizza Dough

This video will guide you through the dough making process. The exact measurements are different from the recipe below, but the technique is the same. 

Stretch Your Pizza Dough

You’ve spent all this time crafting and fermenting the perfect dough, now you’ll need help transforming it into a pizza “skin.” Watch carefully!

Top & Bake Your Pizza

You’re almost there! Your pizza dough is stretched and now all you have to do is get it topped and into the oven for a successful transformation.

Recipes

PIZZA DOUGH (makes four 12" pizzas)

WATER: 460g or 2 cups
SALT: 18g or 3 tsp
FLOUR: 700g or 5 cups (All Purpose is fine, Bread Flour is better)
YEAST: 2g instant / 1.5g active or 0.5 tsp
OIL: 10g or 2 tsp

1. Start with your water in a bowl. If it’s below 75 F in your kitchen, use cool tap water. If it’s above 75 F, use cold water.
2. Add salt to the water. Stir to combine.
3. Incorporate flour into your water slowly, adding yeast about halfway through.
4. Allow the mix to sit, covered for 15-30 minutes. 
5. Add half of your oil to the dough and spread it across the surface with your hand. 
6. Incorporate oil into the dough by kneading until it no longer feels slick. Add the other half of your oil and repeat the kneading process.
7. Give your dough a 5 minute rest, covered.
8. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and bouncy, about 3-5 minutes. 
8. Let the dough rest, covered and at room temperature, for a couple minutes while you lightly coat your dough storage containers with oil.
 *9. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and fold each into a tight, seamless ball (watch the video above for help with this).
10. Store dough balls in lightly oiled containers inside a refrigerator for 1-4 days. 
11. Let dough warm up for 2-3 hours before use.
 
*For even more flavor and strength, you can delay step 9 for 24-48 hours. This means storing your entire dough ball in the refrigerator (covered) until you’re ready to form your dough balls. The process is called “bulk fermentation.”

NEAPOLITAN SAUCE

TOMATOES: 1x 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
SALT: 6g (one big pinch)

1. Pour tomatoes into bowl.
2. Add salt to tomatoes.
3. Crush the whole tomatoes by submerging them in the tomato liquid from the can until the texture is fine and consistent. 
4. No need to cook, they’ll cook on the pizza! Season with oregano, garlic, etc as needed directly on each pizza.

GLUTEN FREE DOUGH (makes four 10" pizzas)

WATER: 400g or 1.75 cups
SALT: 18g or 3 tsp
FLOUR: 500g or 3.5 cups (we recommend Caputo Fioreglut)
YEAST: 2g instant / 1.5g active or 0.5 tsp
OIL: 20g or 4 tsp

1. Start with 1 ¾ cups (400g) of cold water in a large mixing bowl
2. Add 3 tsp salt (18g) into the water and dissolve
3. Add 3 ½ cups (500g) of gluten free flour into the salty water
4. Add the yeast on top of the gluten free flour
5. Mix the gluten free flour and yeast into the salty water until no dry flour remains
6. Cover the mixture and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes
7. Mix 4 tsp (20g) of extra virgin olive oil into the dough until it has been completely incorporated. 
8. Coat your dough storage containers with a small amount of olive oil 
9. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and form each into a creaseless ball as if you were making snowballs. The dough will be very sticky so you can use a piece of plastic wrap to help.
10. Place each dough ball into its own storage container
11. Leave dough out on the counter to use 3-5 hours later, or in the refrigerator overnight for use within 1-3 days

Pizza class method

PIZZA IN A BAKING SHEET

1. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can achieve (500 or 550 F).
2. Lightly oil your bakign sheet
3. Without degassing your dough, gently coat it with flour.
4. Starting in the center, use the pads of your fingers to push down on the dough, lifting your hands and moving them farther towards the edge of the dough after every push. 
5. Continue to push down on your dough until the gas has all been relocated to the edge of your pizza, forming a lightly inflated lip. At this point, the dough ball should be about 6-8 inches in diameter.
6. Lift the dough with your knuckles just slightly inside its lip and let the dough cascade off your knuckles and away from your body. Pass the dough from one knuckle to the other as you rotate it, keeping your knuckles at the very edge of the dough. 
7. Allow the dough to stretch slowly and evenly until it reaches 10-12″ in diameter. At hat point, lay it onto your baking sheet. 
8. Apply a thin layer of sauce and cook your pizza on the center rack for 7 minutes or until brown spots begin to appear on the outer lip. 
9. At that point, remove the dough from the oven and apply ingredients in whatever order you prefer. Cheese > toppings > sauce is a great way to do it because the sauce will be in two distinct layers and that’s fun.
10. Bake the pizza for an additional 3-6 minutes or until the crust has browned to your liking. 
11. Remove from the oven, slide the pizza onto a cooling rack, and let it cool for 1-2 minutes. 
12. Slice the pizza, apply any additional ingredients (basil, grated cheese, olive oil, arugula, prosciutto, etc) and ENJOY!
 

PIZZA STONE METHOD

1. Preheat your oven, with the pizza stone on the center rack, to highest temp your oven can handle (usually 500 or 550 F) for at least 45 minutes before you intend to bake your first pizza. 
2. When the pizza stone has sufficiently preheated, follow steps 2-6 from the above “Baking Sheet” method. 
3. When the dough has reached the desired diameter (usually around 12″), lay it gently onto a lightly floured pizza peel. If you have parchment paper, you can use a sheet of that instead of flour. 
4. Top your pizza swiftly and with grace in whatever order you prefer. Cheese > toppings > sauce will give you excellent results because the cheese will protect the dough from soggification. 
5. Bake your pizza on the pizza stone for 6-8 minutes or until your crust looks amazing. If you’re using a sheet of parchment paper, you can remove that from the oven about 3-4 minutes into the bake. 
6. PRO TIPS: If you want to get some nice char, hit the top of your pizza with the broiler for 30-60 seconds toward the end of the bake. If you like your pizza extra crispy, transfer it directly onto an open rack on your oven for its final minute. 
7. Let your pizza cool on a wire rack for 1-2 minutes before slicing so the cheese will settle down.

Tips & Tricks

FREEZING YOUR DOUGH

1. Once you’ve made your dough, let it rise either covered and on the counter for a couple hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Transfer your dough in its container to the freezer. Once frozen, remove from container and wrap in plastic wrap. 
3. When you want to use the dough (within 3 months), let the balls sit in your refrigerator at least 24 hours to thaw.

BAKING BREAD WITH LEFTOVER DOUGH

1. Let dough ball sit on a sheet of parchment paper, covered with an overturned bowl that’s three times the size of the dough.
2. When the dough has almost doubled in size (a couple hours in warm temperature, longer in cold), preheat your oven to 450 F (bonus points if you preheat with a pizza stone for > 45 minutes. 
3. Put a pan of water onto the lower rack of the oven to create steam that will give you a crunchy crust. 
4. Dust the dough ball with a small amount of flour. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, score the top of the dough ball.
5. Slide the scored dough, parchment and all, onto a baking sheet (or use a peel to slide it onto a pizza stone). 
6. If you didn’t put a pan of water into the oven for step 3, you can spray the inside of the oven with water now for a similar effect. 
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the exterior of the bread browns to your liking. 
8. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. DO NOT cut into the loaf right away or it will be gummy. 


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