Make your own dough

Homemade personal pizza

So, I am no longer in a resident hall, and I am pleased to inform you all that I have an apartment with a full kitchen. I have never been so happy to see a set of cabinets in my entire life.

That said, I have been cooking non-stop since I have moved in, and I have tried everything from spaghetti tacos to sweet potato curry. However, today I want to share with you a recipe for just enough homemade pizza dough for you (and maybe a friend if you are more generous than I or don’t want a whole pizza to yourself).

I was kind of missing the pizza constantly available at West Dining, to be honest with you. But I wanted to put whatever I wanted on top. Just cheese or just pepperoni doesn’t cut it for me. 

That’s the beauty and freedom of a homemade pizza! I covered mine in two different kinds of cheese. I used mushroom flavored pasta sauce from Target. I piled on pepperoni, olives and spinach, and I had the freedom to make the crust as thin and as crispy as I wanted.

Another amazing advantage of homemade pizza dough is that it allows you to experience the freshness of homemade bread with the least amount of rising time. If you haven’t made homemade bread before, I highly recommend it, and perhaps I will send out the recipe I like to go with in another article. 

However, to the first time bread baker, it can seem a little intimidating. There is a few hours total of rising time required, and my recipe asks me to put a pan of water in the oven to create humidity.

Pizza dough is much more low maintenance and just as satisfying in flavor and texture.

My pizza is topped with pepperoni, olives and spinach.
Photo Courtesy | Azalea Benjamin


The amounts are adjusted for one small-medium pizza. If you want a really large pizza or even two small pizzas, the recipe is easily doubled. 

  • 1 ⅛ tsp. Active dry yeast (one packet is typically 2.5 tsp.) 

-I personally have a jar of yeast kept in my fridge so that I can measure out any specific amount I may need for any of my breads.

  • ½ c. warm water (not hotter than 113 degrees fahrenheit; you don’t want to kill the yeast!)
  • ½ tbsp. Honey or maple syrup (this is food for the yeast, so don’t be tempted to omit! It does not make your dough sweet.)
  • ½ tbsp. Olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt


If you have a stand mixer, please feel free to use that for the dough kneading process. While it would be my dream to possess one, I do not and assume that the majority of other students don’t either. For all our sake, the instructions will be in terms of hands.

  1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm water, honey, allowing the mixture to sit for a few minutes until slightly foamy. This means your yeast is alive and kickin’!
  2. Add flour, olive oil, and salt, using a wooden spoon to mix ingredients until dry and slightly shaggy.
  3. Make sure you have a clear counter, and dust it with some extra flour. Place your shaggy dough to your freshly floured counter and knead with vigor for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Form your dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.
  5. Place your bowl in a warm location (I set mine in between the stovetops while my oven was preheating) and allow it to double in size. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.
  6. When your dough has risen, punch it down to remove the gas that has formed. 
  7. Take your dough back to your floured counter and use a rolling pin to roll into your desired shape, size, and thickness. 
  8. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
  9. Grease your pan of choice, place the shaped dough on, and top it with your toppings of choice. 
  10. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is to your liking.


  • While not necessary, you can sprinkle cornmeal on your pan before placing the dough on. This creates that classic crumby pizza bottom.
  • Before I put sauce on my pizzas, I like to brush or spritz it with a little bit of olive oil and cracked pepper for flavor and browning.
  • Have fun with your pizzas! You can use ranch as your sauce for a chicken-bacon-ranch pizza or barbecue sauce for a barbecue pizza.
  • If you’re strange and a spice-lover like I am, try drizzling a little sriracha on a slice! Trust me, it’s life changing. 

“Pizza is like life: when it’s good, it’s really good; and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” -Unknown

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