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On picky pizza-making instructions

I’ve posted several pizza recipes on my blog over the years, and two in particular have very precise equipment/method instructions.

whole wheat pizza

(Those two recipes are the basic pizza crust recipe and the whole wheat pizza recipe.)

And sometimes readers are like, “Uhhh, Kristen, I think you are overcomplicating matters here.”

I know there are lots of ways to make easy, quick pizza.

But I also know that there’s lots of easy, quick, Very Not Good™ pizza out there.

And if you only know how to make forgettable/awful pizza, you are likely to opt for takeout pizza.

Or you’ll make homemade pizza that no one wants to eat, which ends up being wasteful.

Lisey's first pizza

Now, I know not everyone is as picky about their food as I am. Which is totally ok! As long as you’re eating what makes you happy, it’s all good.

But I posted the two detailed pizza recipes precisely because I know there are a lot of people out there who are unhappy with their homemade pizza.*

And I was one of them until I learned a thing or two about ingredients and methods.

*I actually posted the whole wheat pizza recipe because my friend Stacy messaged me letting me know that her homemade whole wheat pizza was rather awful. As in, her family didn’t want to eat it!

If you’re happy with your current pizza situation (whether it’s making an easy version or buying pizza), then just ignore all of my specific directions and carry on like the boss you are.

But if you’re feeling like your homemade pizza is meh or worse, the stuff I posted is for you because there are common pizza-making problems that are fixable.

homemade pizza

(For instance, learning that you need to preheat your pizza stone at 500&° for an hour was a huge revelation to me, and it made my pizza so much better than the flabby stuff I was turning out before. Your pizza is only going to be so good if you bake it in a 350° oven!)

Anyway, once you get the hang of the fixes, it’s not actually all that hard.

It’s kind of like yogurt-making.   It feels SO complicated at first, but once you’ve done it a few times, you can go on auto-pilot.

Pizza Recipes

If you’re feeling inspired to give this a try, here are some recipes to get you started.

Pizza Bagels

(easy and quick; not as good as homemade pizza, but great for hot summer days)

French Bread Pizza

(same deal as pizza bagels!)

How to make French Bread Pizza

Basic Homemade Pizza

This is the regular ol’ pizza crust recipe that I use, along with lots of tips for making your pizza better.

Lisey making pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza

It’s 60% whole wheat, and you get to make the dough the day before, which can be super convenient on a busy day.   And it’s pretty tasty! I was surprised at how non-offensive the whole wheat ended up being.

Geez. I am so wordy once you put me in front of a keyboard. I thought I’d write just a thing or two about pizza making and here I am, over 500 words later.

Happy (500°, baked on a stone, made with King Arthur bread flour) pizza-making, friends. 😉

P.S. In case you were wondering, I did some detailed calculations on the cost of homemade pizza vs. takeout.

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Thursday 10th of May 2018

Do you use any special kind of parchment paper? I would love to do this but my husband is convinced that the parchment paper will start burning since the boxes usually say you can only use it at temperatures up to 400F.


Thursday 10th of May 2018

I just use regular parchment paper, and you're right, the package does advise against temps above 400 or so. But (and do not take this as advice!), I do it all the time and nothing has ever caught on fire.

You really just need the parchment for sliding the pizza on the stone, and after a few minutes, it's not too hard to just pull the parchment out from under the pizza (I use a spatula to hold the pizza in place and then gently pull the paper out). Once the pizza has baked for a few minutes, it's dry enough to allow the parchment to come out easily.

Anne of Boston

Thursday 26th of April 2018

It’s more along the lines of an “heirloom” investment, but a pizza steel will even take the stone up a notch. And it doesn’t crack like my stones have also done. They say it gets to like 800 degrees or something crazy like the pros’ ovens. I would only advise against the thickest one which is literally 20-25 pounds!


Thursday 26th of April 2018

I think someone who puts out beautiful looking pizzas pretty much every Friday night is entitled to spill over into 500+ words, particularly if the pizza tastes as good as it looks. And I'm grateful for the parchment paper news -- I figured it would burn down my house which would make the per-pizza cost a little prohibitive and would make my insurance agent a little testy. I think I just might make pizza tomorrow night with the pizza stone I got 8 years ago and have never used (yep, that's true). Thanks, Kristin!


Thursday 26th of April 2018

OMG. A person's name is the most important thing to get right. That's Kristen with an "E." My apologies!


Thursday 26th of April 2018

I don't have a stone, had one never used it, but I do have a pizza pan with holes in it (think TJ Maxx or even Aldi on occasion), not solid and we use it all the time and have for 20 years. We LOVE homemade pizza, calzones, pizza rolls, breadsticks, anything like that, bready yummy goodness!


Thursday 26th of April 2018

I am soooo grateful for your pizza baking posts! I was endlessly frustrated with my soggy floppy pizza at home from other recipes. After reading your post Santa got me a pizza stone for Christmas and it has taken homemade pizza to another level! Almost as good as takeout and makes it actually worth the work. Plus it cooks super quick. Few blog posts make as big a difference in your day to day life as your pizza post has.

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