DIY Pizza! We Promise It's Worth It

By Carolyn Stine March 7, 2019 

Your favorite food… made in your own kitchen!

If we ever did the math on just how much money we’ve spent on NYC pizza over the years, the results would be staggering. Hmm maybe staggering is not the right word. Straight-up WILD is more like it. We simply can’t get enough of the stuff, and whether it’s for a classy dinner out, a slice as a snack, a 2am hit and run, or cold for breakfast, we love every incarnation that pizza has to offer. We’ve even dressed up as the famed Pizza Rat for Halloween (true story).

However, when faced with making our beloved pizza in our own kitchen, the task seemed, well, daunting. How would it live up to our lofty expectations? Do I need to spend days waiting for the dough to rise? Where do I even start with the toppings? Bashed, to the rescue! We put together a foolproof guide to how to go about creating the pizza of your dreams, at home. We dealt with finding the best recipes for every kind of crust, sauce, and topping so that you can not only DIY your Friday night pizza dinner, but host the pizza party of your dreams. We swear, just put “pizza” on the invite for your next dinner party and people will RSVP within thirty seconds.

Let It Dough

When it comes to making ‘za, it’s all about achieving the perfect crust. And the fun thing about crust is, there’s a perfect crust out there for everyone. Whether you want a meaty chew, a no-rise version you can whip up in a pinch, or a whole wheat or even cauliflower variety, we rounded up our favorite crust recipes so you can hit the ground running (crust us).

Also, one thing to note here is that it’s very wise to invest in a pizza stone if you plan to be making pizza on the reg. Making your dough right starts with having a hot surface for it to bake on, and that helps to build the crisp factor as well. This pizza stone is nice and thick, and is our current favorite. You can store your pizza stone in the oven even when it isn’t pizza night - it actually helps to distribute heat more evenly throughout your oven, no matter what you’re baking. Just note that your preheat time on your oven may go up slightly when the pizza stone is in there.

Classic Dough

No-Rise Dough

Whole Wheat Dough

Cauliflower Crust

Get Saucy

This is one part of the pizza that doesn’t need to be complicated. Good tomato sauce is all about using high-quality tomatoes. And what that means is, you should be checking out the label on those canned tomatoes to make sure there are only two ingredients: tomatoes and salt. No other flavorings or additives are necessary.

This sauce recipe is our go-to, courtesy of Joe Beddia from the legendary Pizzeria Beddia in Philly. There are only 4 ingredients, and the flavor is out of this world. This sauce will form the perfect base for all of the toppings you’re about to add (plus cheese, can’t forget about that!).

Cheese, Please

When it comes to cheese, we’re all about using more than one kind atop our pizza. The best “base cheese” you can use will always be shredded low-moisture mozzarella. This will give you a nice base across your pizza, on top of the heavenly tomato sauce, and form the perfect bottom layer for the other goodies you add on top.

One thing to note here is that your mozzarella has gotta be whole milk. Don’t try to cut calories here, you’ll miss out on flavor. There’s also a richer texture with whole milk mozz that melts better in that hot oven, too.

When it comes to the second kind of cheese, this is where you can go wild. We love dotting the top of our ‘za with little pieces of fresh mozzarella, or smoked mozzarella for that earthy flavor. You can use pretty much any kind of cheese in this way as an accent atop the pizza, and can also use your cheese to complement the flavors of your other toppings.

Love On Top

Now we get to the fun party. There’s only so creative you can go with your crust, sauce, and cheese, but the toppings are where you can feel free to go hog WILD!

Whether you’re following a recipe for a harmonious layering of toppings or want to wing it and top the ‘za with all of your favorites, something to consider is how “cooked” you want your toppings to be. For example, ingredients like sausage and bacon are ones you’ll want to cook in advance before adding on top. Same with heartier veggies like butternut squash. Other ingredients, like fresh arugula, you can add right at the end of cooking so they barely start to wilt. There’s nothing worse than under- or over-cooked toppings to mess with the perfection that is your homemade pie.

Toppings are also a great place to have fun while entertaining with pizza. You can either make a variety of different pies ahead of time so that your guests can try a slice of each, or you can have the dough and sauce prepped and have guests DIY their own personal pies as they arrive. Any way you slice it, you can’t go wrong (yes, that was a pizza pun).

We rounded up some of our current favorite pizza topping recipes, featuring seasonal produce and flavorful add-ons that have our mouths watering just thinking about them (is it dinner time yet?). Remember that these recipes are just for the topping combos - you can use any crust your heart desires as the base, and adjust the baking time as necessary. Happy eating!


Brussels Sprouts Pizza with Goat Cheese

Roasted Apple, Butternut Squash, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza

Grilled Mushroom and Taleggio Pizza

Mexican Breakfast Pizza

Are you making pizza at home? We want to hear about it, meet us in the comments with your fav toppings or tips!




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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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