If you’ve never made pizza from start to finish, there’s no time like tonight to start. Our three dough recipes take minimal ingredients and mere minutes; get them down, and whatever pie you desire—thin-crust or deep-dish, sprinkled with sausage or stuffed with vegetables—will be flat-out delicious.
Classic Margherita Pizza
Like vanilla for ice cream, the margherita is the ur-pizza by which to judge all others. Its traditional dough is super-easy, yet the use of bread flour makes for a crispy, chewy, refined texture. Press it out on a wooden peel sprinkled with semolina or fine cornmeal (a flat cookie sheet or thin wooden board works, too), then season it with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a flavorful crust, crucial to such a simple pie. Top with a swirl of tomato sauce and creamy fresh mozzarella, slide it onto a pizza stone in the oven for 10 minutes, and finish with fresh basil. Cut it into rectangles as the Italians do, and take a bite out of history.
Grilled-Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina Pizzette
Celebrate warm weather and just-picked produce with a pizza that puffs up like a dream over your grill’s high temperatures. Three tips: Preheat thoroughly, make sure the grates are clean, and don’t move the dough too soon. You’ll know it’s ready for toppings when it’s pillowy on top and slightly charred on the bottom (lift a corner and peek). Fontina is a lovely melting cheese, with a savory flavor that pairs well with scallions, asparagus, tomatoes, and thyme. You can make the pie any size, but seven-inch pizzette are easiest to handle, both on and off the grill. In Italy, they’re street food, eaten folded in half.
Roman-Style Thin-Crust Pizzas
If a cracker-like crust is your weakness, surrender now. Roll out the dough on parchment paper dusted with semolina or fine cornmeal, then slide the whole thing onto a peel. White-pizza aficionados, perk up: These pies are covered with alfredo sauce, a rich mix of butter, cream, garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano that makes a silky base for ricotta, peas, and prosciutto.
You can also go vegetarian and gild with curly-leaf spinach (which gets soft in the middle and crispy, like kale chips, on the edges), or potato and red onion. For extra jolts of flavor, scatter fiery red-pepper flakes or pleasantly bitter arugula on top after the pizza is baked.
Vegetable Lovers' Deep-Dish Pizza
Anyone who says you can’t be all things to all people hasn’t made this guy. Its buttery crust is indulgent, while the mélange of artichoke hearts, broccolini, peppers, and onions tips it back to the healthier side. The filling is substantial but doesn’t feel heavy. And the upside-down order of the toppings keeps the pie intact: A layer of cheese on the bottom prevents a soggy crust; tossing the cooked vegetables with more cheese helps hold everything together when you cut into it. (Yes, you’ll need a knife and fork.) And the sauce spooned on top? Well, that’s how they do it in Chicago, and it has to go somewhere.
Skillet Pizza Diavola
Pan-pizza fans are legion and impassioned, and it’s easy to see why. The chewy dough; the golden, almost-fried bottom—what’s not to love? Pull it out of the oven, and you inhale childhood nostalgia. Our rendition is topped with sausage, olives, fresh chiles, and—in a surprise twist—a bit of crumbly feta, which offers a briny note and brings out the olives and oregano. Using a cast-iron skillet makes this recipe almost foolproof. You slide it into the oven directly—no need to transfer the dough from peel to stone. But don’t think of it as a personal pie unless you’re a teenage boy: It’s big and hearty enough to feed four.
In our fantasy Italian life, this fragrant, fluffy, golden-on-the-edges pizza would be Nonna’s specialty, passed down (and perfected) through generations. All-purpose flour makes our version soft and tender, and a second rise in the pan gives it an airy, focaccia-like texture. Olive oil in both the dough and the pan guarantees a crunchy bottom. The crust is substantial enough to handle a generous helping of red sauce, cheese, and toppings (here, cremini mushrooms and pepperoni), and the ample size feeds a group, whether it’s friends on a Friday night or Sunday supper for the extended famiglia.
Watch Everyday Food host Sarah Carey whip up this uniquely shaped (and uniquely delicious!) pizza: