My Favorite Homemade Pizza Crust

I love using whole wheat flour as much as the next health nut, but there are times in life when you really need to let taste triumph over nutrition.  This pizza crust is seriously delicious.  It’s fluffy, it’s tasty, and it’s honestly as good as restaurant crust.  I’ve had some people tell me they liked it even better!  Six Sister’s Stuff had this one for the win.  I add in some spices because I like seasoning!

Copycat Papa John's Pizza Crust Recipe

They called this a copycat Papa John’s recipe, but I think it tastes different – very good, but different.  This particular recipe makes enough dough for 3 pizzas, but I’ve had great success with one pizza using a third of everything.  It also works to make the whole batch and freeze two balls of dough.  Just make sure you stick it in the fridge the day before you want to use it.  Also, after rolling it out, let it rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes or you’ll get a thin crust pizza.  (Also tasty, if you like that!)

Pizza CrustPapa John's Pizza Crust Recipe

  • 8 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 3/4 teaspoons quick rising yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • olive oil

Combine your flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and seasonings in a large bowl.  Mix your water and oil together and stir it into your dry ingredients.  Use a large spoon to stir it around a little until it starts to ball up.  Dump it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (sprinkle a little more flour on as needed to keep it from sticking to you and the counter).  Ball it up and set it back in the large bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rest for about 15 minutes.  I usually just set mine on the stove top next to one of the burners.  Then I use that burner to brown my sausage while the dough is resting.

Separate your dough into 3 even sections.  Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll each chunk of dough into a pizza.  Set on pizza pans and poke all over with a fork.  I think this helps the crust not to bubble up.  It also seems to help it cook nice and even.  Set your pizza pans with dough in a warm place and let them rise another 10-15 minutes.  During the waiting time, I like to prepare all of my toppings.  If you are dicing any veggies, browning meat, etc, this is a great time to get everything out and ready.

Preheat your oven to 425.  Drizzle olive oil all over the crust and spread it around with the back of a spoon.  This keeps the crust from burning.  Poke the crust in the oven and bake it for about 6 or 7 minutes.  Pull it out and dump it with sauce and toppings of choice.  Put it back in for another 10-15 minutes, depending how well done you like your pizza!  I usually do close to 12 minutes, which gets the top of the cheese nicely browned.  I tend to really pile the toppings on though, so if you make a lighter pizza yours might cook faster.  Easy peasy and delic.  This takes homemade pizza to a whole new level of goodness I’m pretty sure.

Whole Wheat Dough

I officially love this dough recipe and use it for a million different things (only a slight exaggeration)!!  Of course, the classic way I use it is for pizza. 🙂  The best part is that it makes enough for 3 large pizzas.  The whole wheat dough makes it nice and filling, so one pizza usually lasts our family 2 1/2 meals.  I’ll give you the recipe provided by Taste of Home (only slightly tweaked by me, because I love seasonings) and then try to give you a few ways to use it!

Whole Wheat Dough

  • 3 packages quick-rise yeast (1/4 ounce each)*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

*If you go through yeast as quickly as I do, you might use the jar kind.  To save you the trouble of figuring it out, 3 packages is equal to 4 1/2 teaspoons.

Mix yeast, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and whole wheat flour in a large bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil and water to 120°-130°.  Stir into dry ingredient mix.  Add in enough white whole wheat flour to form a soft dough.  (I usually stir in 3 cups at this point and slowly add probably an entire cup more while kneading)

Turn onto a floured surface and knead 6-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.  Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Punch dough down and divide into whatever portions you want.  If you’re using it for pizzas, divide into 3 equal sections.  You can cook up a pizza right away, put it in the fridge overnight or freeze it for up to a month.  To cook a pizza, preheat oven to 450 and bake around 12 minutes or lightly browned.  We usually do longer because that’s how we like it.

Okay, some of my favorites…. I have three different go-to pizzas we enjoy.  My normal version includes pizza sauce, pepperoni, diced turkey-ham, 1 lb cooked Italian sausage, diced onions, diced bell peppers, frozen corn (Don’t hate it until you try it!  We had some friends from back in Iowa introduce us to this lovely idea and we never eat it without now!  Thanks, Beth & Jacob!) and of course cheeeeese!  I usually do cheddar and mozzarella since that’s what we typically have on hand.  My philosophy, of course, is to load the pizza dough with as much as you possibly can so it lasts longer. haha Pizza

My next style is Breakfast Pizza!  I always make this sometime after we have had biscuits and gravy, because I’m TELLING YOU, the secret to awesome breakfast pizza is using sausage biscuit gravy for the sauce!  It is literally to die for amazing.  You douse the dough with sausage biscuit gravy, throw on a ton of scrambled eggs, bacon bits, turkey-ham, corn (yup, again…), peppers, onions and cheese.  This is really tasty and fulfills my desire for Casey’s breakfast pizza at least in part – ha!Breakfast Pizza

Last, but not least, Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo Pizza!  This one follows a night of Chicken Alfredo (A recipe I must share with you sometime soon, as it is quite delicious!) because, oh yes!, the secret sauce here is homemade Alfredo!  A generous helping of sauce, topped with cooked & shredded (hopefully seasoned) chicken, diced turkey-ham, bacon bits, thawed broccoli and lots of cheese is a pretty tasty way to decorate the dough!  Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

Those are my favorite pizzas to make – did you notice a trend with plenty of meat?  I enjoy eating hearty….  Other options to whip up with this dough include Calzones, Breakfast Pockets, Baked Mozzarella Mini Bread Sticks, and whatever else you can think of…..  This recipe is one of my all time favs!  I know some people aren’t into the whole-wheat taste, but I honestly think after it’s loaded down with toppings, you might forget to notice.  So, get up and go give ‘er a try!Breakfast PocketCalzoneCalzone2