Homemade is Better—Friday Night Pizza

For five years my family has eaten pizza on Fridays.  We make it because there is something about homemade pizza, it just has a better quality to it.  And its cheap!  Anyone can make pizza.  With a few ingredients, some time, and some patience you will be rewarded with a restaurant experience at home!

If you have a stand mixer or bread machine, put them to work.  If you have neither, then good, old elbow grease will also work.  Some words of caution: it is better to knead your dough a little longer than not long enough.  You want to develop gluten in pizza, that is what makes the dough crusty.  Having a pizza stone is also handy, but not a necessity, for this recipe.  A rectangular or round baking pan works perfectly, but, if you want a pizza stone, get one that fits your oven; 14-16 inches is perfect.

The best part of this dough recipe is that you can let it sit for hours and rise or you can use it right away.  Resting the dough will allow it time to soften up and develop more flavor, but it does not ruin the experience if you don’t.  We make our dough Friday morning and let it rise in the refrigerator for the day.  The best part is the cold in the fridge still allows the dough to rise, but not at an exponential rate.  You still end up with great dough.

We make our sauce just before eating, but you could make it the night before and set it in the fridge overnight.  The longer it sits, the better the flavor!  Flavor good!

Many TV chef’s like to use fresh herb because the flavor can be better.  I have a hard time using the amount that grocery stores sell, and we have not noticed much difference, but using fresh can be fun if you want to show off your knife skills!  Dry herbs are cost effective and still give you the flavor or a great pizza sauce, and they are generally good for three months or more if stored properly.

Cheese is important.  When buying your cheese, you can buy pre-shredded, but make sure you get a mozzarella with an MF (milk fat) percent of 25 to 30.  We buy the blocks and shred half of it for two pizzas.  Higher milk fat will create that golden brown cheese you are looking for.  It is how you know the pizza is done, once the cheese is starting to turn brown and your crust is a golden-brown color, your pizza is done.

The last note to make is about resting.  Resting your pizza for five minutes, at minimum, will allow the cheese to cool off and it will not run when you try to cut it.  It will also make it cooler to eat, if you have little ones, they will appreciate being able to eat faster, a bit of an oxymoron I realize.  Kids do not like to wait, and often do not understand why they cannot do something right away.  But, if they can “help” you make the pizza then they will feel like they did something.

Friday Night Pizza – Corey Wren

Prep time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes to 8 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16-24


  • Dough: 135
  • sauce: 3


  • 8g Active dry yeast (jar or envelope, 2.25 tsp)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water (110 to 120F)
  • 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 3 ½ – 4 Cups all purpose flour


  • 1 5.5oz can of tomato paste (I like the yellow labeled without a name brand)
  • 5 oz water
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ kosher salt


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a 5qrt bowl) mix the yeast, salt, honey, and warm water. Stir with the handle of a spoon to mix.  Let is bloom for ten minutes.
  2. Add the dough hook attachment and turn the speed to mix (or one). Add the olive oil and start adding the flour one cup at a time until you’ve reached three cups, then add the flour by the half cup as needed.  Depending on the humidity of where you live you may not need all the flour.  Let it mix until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.  If it is still sticking to the sides then add in half a cup of flour.
  3. Once you’ve added enough flour for the dough to form a ball and not stick to the edges turn the speed to two or three, but not higher than medium. Mix for ten minutes at this speed.
  4. Once you’ve finished mixing turn the dough out on a clean surface and form a dough ball.
  5. Spray or lightly oil the inside of the mixing bowl. Add the dough ball to it and ensure it gets lightly covered in the oil.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in in a warm place for 30 minutes up to two hours or place in a refrigerator up to 8 hours.


  1. Empty the entire can of tomato paste into a small mixing bowl. Add the spices and herbs and start to whisk in the water until you’ve added ¾ of the water.  If the sauce is too thick, add more water, 2 teaspoons at a time, until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
  2. Let the sauce rest for ten minutes.


  1. Turn on your oven to 450F.
  2. After resting your dough turn it out on to a floured surface and split it in half. Roll each half into dough balls as close to the same size as possible.
  3. Flatten one ball at a time and cover with flour. Roll out the dough to the size and shape you want.
  4. Spread cornmeal onto your baking pan, about a ¼ cup is good. Place your dough on it.
  5. Spread half the sauce over the dough, making sure you leave room around the edge.
  6. Spread on desired toppings and cheese and bake for up to 20 minutes. You will know it’s done when the peaks of the cheese are starting to brown.
  7. Remove and let rest for five minutes before slicing.