Homemade Pizza

A few weeks ago I posted on my instagram that after three years of homemade pizza Fridays, I made a pizza that Philip claimed was as good as a pizza parlor. Being a pizza lover and a big time foodie, as well as a tough grader, this is seriously high praise. One of the best days of my life, as you can imagine.

So, after three years of trial and error, time to share my recipe.

Oh, but first things first. To make great pizza, you really need a pizza stone. I’ve made plenty of pizzas without a stone and they’re good, but amazing pizza is born right on that stone. Get one.

Pizza Dough
makes one 12″ pizza. double for a thicker crust or larger pizza

1/2 cup hot water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour (I often do 1/2 white, 1/2 wheat, which is delicious, but full white flour makes the very best crust, in my opinion)

Combine water and yeast and wait five minutes while the yeast activates. Add salt and flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Knead in the mixer (or by hand) for five minutes, then cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes. In all honesty, I don’t always let it rise more than five minutes…it’s still great. Just a little lighter, fluffier, and crispier (on the bottom and crusts) if you let it rise the full 30 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
slightly adapted from mels kitchen cafe. Makes enough for 4-5 12″ pizzas. 

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until desired consistency. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

. . . . . 

Heat your oven to 500 degrees (with the pizza stone on the lowest oven rack, or second to lowest if your lowest is super close to the bottom burner).

On a pizza paddle, or on the back of a cookie sheet, sprinkle some cornmeal, and then spread your pizza dough out on top of it.  Top with pizza sauce and your desired toppings. We typically do mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, jalapeños and fresh basil. Then we top it off with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Carefully slide the pizza off the paddle or cookie sheet and on to the stone. Cook for 10-12 minutes (Philip likes the crusts pretty crispy so we go the full 12 mins). Let it cool for about a minute, then cut and serve.



  1. Jenn says:

    Yummy. I'm making pizza tonight but I have never tried my own dough or sauce. The sauce recipe I'm going to have to try but I have perfected the dough with a store bought whole wheat dough. Have you tried using the pizza stone on the grill? Amazing!

  2. Ash says:

    Yummo! I will have to get brave enough to try this… It looks wonderful!

  3. tricia says:

    I am beyond excited you posted this. I was thinking about your Instagram pic of the pizza this weekend. Now I'm hoping I have tomato paste in the pantry because we are in the middle of a blizzard and I would live this for lunch! Thank you for posting!!

  4. Amy says:

    Ooh, I love a good pizza recipe! I got a pizza stone for my birthday a few years ago and I fell in love! I have to admit that I am a teeny bit afraid to have the oven so hot, it just seems like a recipe for disaster? I will try and be braver next time I make some though!

  5. Wow! this looks so yummy, thanks for the recipe!

  6. MeganRuth says:

    I think you have inspired me to finally getting a pizza stone.

  7. Sarah S. says:

    I LOVE making my own pizza (once, sometimes twice a week) but you definitely go all out with the homemade dough! awesome! I've never done that. I like to use Naan bread for my crust.

  8. I am a new follower. I'm Italian and I love pizza! from your pictures it looks really good.
    advice: also try using mozzarella, will be even better!


    I hope my English is correct

  9. samandro22 says:

    Ahhh. This makes me so hungry! I applaud you for making your own pizza dough. It's honestly a huge pain in the butt, but it's soooo worth it in the end. It's like making homemade bread in that aspect. Do you knead the dough or do you have a stand mixer? Once I got a stand mixer, it seriously made making baking ten times easier, especially in the case of breads.

  10. newpetite says:

    That look good and Love the red pepper flakes 🙂

  11. Packrat says:

    Looks sooo good. Thank you for sharing the recipes.

  12. Kacie says:

    Looks yummy! My husband and I do a homemade pizza night too 🙂 I'll have to try this recipe next time!


  13. Brittany M. says:

    Mer that LOOKS like you bought it from a restaurant! You go girl! We're on a no-pizza "diet" until after our anniversary shoot on Tuesday (have to wiggle back into that mermaid wedding dress somehow!), but you BET we're doing pizza after! It's been so.dang.long!

  14. Chelsea says:

    Ever since I received that cookbook from you, I have always used your pizza dough recipe. Now happy to have a sauce to go with it! Thanks Merk! (Looks delicious)

  15. Allie Emme says:

    It look so incredibly good! I've been craving pizza these past few days…
    xx Allie | A Song to Pass the Time

  16. Chelsea says:

    That sounds tasty! I'll have to try that again!

  17. I love making pizza! So fun! When I was a kiddo we would always have pizza on Fridays. I'm going to start that tradition with my little family – thanks for the inspiration!

    Have you tried white whole wheat flour? I just discovered it about six months ago and it changed my life (not to be too dramatic…) because it has all the health benefits of whole wheat but it's made with a different type of wheat than traditional brown wheat so you get a much lighter taste and texture. I use it in everything. 🙂

  18. Lindsay says:

    This looks SO good! My husband is a big pizza fan, so I may have to try this. I don't have a pizza stone, though. Where did you get yours?

  19. this looks amazing and not too hard!

  20. Jenn says:

    We made this the other night and it was so good. We have a pizza stone and I always have the pizza stone heat in the oven while I'm preheating the oven. I always have a problem getting my pizza dough with toppings to slide nicely from my cookie sheet onto the pizza stone. We usually end up having to use four hands to get it on the pizza stone, praying it doesn't split in the middle and then spreading out the toppings again before shutting the oven again. Do you have a trick for this step in the process? I spread corn meal on the baking sheet before shaping the dough into the pizza shape…do you roll your dough out and then put it on the corn meal covered cookie sheet?

  21. Joseph Carr says:

    Making pizza dough from scratch is maddening! You need to have the perfect knead, the right amount of water etc. to avoid any mishaps on the crust. But, I learned that you should add some oil on your hands to smoothen the kneading process and that it won't stick to your hands. I usually watch cooking shows and apply the methods their cooking methods. Always believe that you can do anything as long as you keep on practicing!

    Joseph Carr

  22. Serena Johnston says:

    I might even be able to do this without screwing it up!! I might just find myself running off to the store this afternoon!!

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