Pizzeria Style Pepperoni Pizza

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    Before you close your browser, hear me out: this isn’t a boring pepperoni pizza recipe. This recipe is more about the technique behind making a great pizza like what you would get at a pizzeria and how to achieve that at home. It’s THE go-to pizza technique and recipe we use all the time. I absolutely love it and this is why I want to share it with you all today, and maybe save you a few bucks from ordering pizza :)

    Jason and I adore this one pizza shop near our house. I’ve always tried to mimic how pizzerias make their pizzas but have never had great success. The dough is the trickiest for me. I don’t like my dough to be thick yet I don’t like thin crust either. I like my dough to be in between thick and thin. Thin enough where it isn’t paper-thin and thick enough where there’s still a bit of fluff to bite into. I have been looking high and low for the best pizza dough recipe, I even tried making my own, but every time, the dough would come out to be really poofy and thick. I then saw this thin crust recipe on Annie’s Eats site and of course, it was from Cook’s Illustrated and you KNOW you can’t go wrong with a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

    The process of making this dough is what makes it thin: the chilling process and the COLD ingredients that you must use to make with it. It also does take a bit of planning as you chill this for 24 hours – 3 days, but it makes enough dough for two pizzas so you can always freeze one for later :)

    The other process of getting this crust to have that CRISPY CRUNCH is the baking stone. I swear by my baking stone. I love pizza crusts that have that crispy edge just like the pizzerias. I never knew how to achieve that until I read that baking stones were essential for that. Well, they really are!! They aren’t expensive and they last forever, so it’s a great investment if you eat as much pizza as we do, and not only that, baking breads on it is wonderful too cause you get that crunch crust on the bottom.

    The last and final tidbit: use whole-milk mozzarella. It will change your life. I won’t make casseroles or pizzas without whole milk cheeses now. It really does make a difference. It’s not as great for you, but I’m not telling you to eat it every day. It just makes your dish so much cheesier and more gooey and PERFECT. I love how it melts because it’s whole milk aka lots of fat :) hehe YUM! Not all delicious things are healthy for ya! Gotta indulge every now and then :)

    Anyway, I hope these tips help you achieve that pizzeria crust you’ve been looking for. Try it at home and I promise you that you’ll eat more pizza at home than you do with to go soon!

    Pizzeria Style Pepperoni Pizza

    Haven't you always wanted to know what it takes to get your homemade pizza tasting just like the pizza you ordered from your closest pizzeria?  
    Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins
    Cook Time: 12 mins
    Total Time: 1 hr 27 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 2
    Calories: 1201kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    For the crust:

    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 2 tsp granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
    • 1 1/3 cup ice water
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup cornmeal

    For the topping:

    • 1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
    • 2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
    • slices Pepperoni


    • To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to combine.
    • With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and process until the dough is combined everything is incorporated, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
    • Add the salt and vegetable oil and process until the dough forms a smooth, tacky ball that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 1 minute on a lightly oiled or floured work surface then transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 3 days. (AFTER the refrigeration process, the dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag, and frozen for later use.)
    • hour before making the pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the 2nd highest position. Place your baking stone on top.
    • Remove the pizza dough from the fridge and divide in half. If you plan on freezing the other half of your dough for later use, this is the time to do it.
    • Form your dough into ball and lightly oil it. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
    • Transfer your dough to a floured work space and flatten to an 8-inch disc. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. You may need your rolling pin at this time to help you get the crust thin.
    • Take the cornmeal and spread it over a pizza peel then place your pizza dough on top. Gently stretch it to 13-inches. Start layering your toppings, leaving a 1-inch border from the edge: marinara sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni.
    • Carefully transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and melted.
    • Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.


    Source: Cook's Illustrated
    Nutrition Facts
    Pizzeria Style Pepperoni Pizza
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 1201 Calories from Fat 333
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 37g57%
    Carbohydrates 155g52%
    Fiber 2g8%
    Sugar 6g7%
    Protein 53g106%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 

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    Recipe Rating


  • Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations says:

    It really does look like a pizzeria pizza. A baking stone! Why of course. THanks for telling us about this great trick.

  • Little Kitchie says:

    Great tips! I love making pizza at home and am always trying new crust recipes. This is my next one for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says:

    I’ve never been able to master the stay-at-home pizza. It always tastes too homemade (which isn’t always a bad thing), but I would love a delivery style pizza like this, but made at home. It looks amazing Julie!

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets says:

    Looks delicious Julie! I have baking stones in every size and shape. I used to be a Pampered Chef consultant (years ago) and collected them all. I swear by them!!

  • Kristen says:

    What a fabulous looking pizza. I need to get a baking stone!

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife says:

    My baking stone and I are joined at the hip! OK, not really, but it is one of my favorite kitchen tools, and I would beg a stranger to buy one for themselves. I love to make homemade pizza too-it’s totally worth the wait. Yours looks totally professional Julie. Thanks for sharing your techniques!

  • Audra | The Baker Chick says:

    Ok- you’ve got me craving pizza for breakfast! I have a pizza stone we got as a wedding gift that I’m dying to use- I just need the patience to wait while the dough chills! :)

  • Tracy says:

    After all the years of making pizza at home I have learned your cold rise, less yeast method is the best. Common recipes call for more yeast which gives the dough a yeast flavor I don’t care for. I’ve also learned to make pizzas with a cast iron pan. While the stones are great, I feel wasteful heating them for so long in a 500 degree oven.
    When I make pizza now I put the formed crust in a cold, oiled cast iron pan and add the toppings. I start the pan on med/high on top of the stove for a short time to heat the pan and get the crust started then finish in the oven. The method works great every time and solves the problem of who wants thick, who wants thin allows the kids to personalize their pizzas.

  • Annie @ Annie's Noms says:

    Yum!! I’m always looking for new pizza dough recipes, this one looks like a winner, we’ll definitely be trying it! I also swear by my baking stone, it’s wonderful! I like my pizza not too thin and not too thick as well, but my other half likes thin crust! Oh well, hopefully this one will be a good enough compromise for him as it looks delicious! :D

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says:

    I love a good thin and crispy crust. This looks extremely perfect!

  • Julia says:

    Thin and crispy is the only way my husband and I will eat pizza. You just made me REALLY hungry and it is only 8:30 in the morning.

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks says:

    Don’t have to twist my arm! My mouth maybe, but not my arm.

    That made no sense.

  • [email protected] Food Ramblings says:

    Yum- pass me a slice of that pizza :)

  • Meagan @ A Zesty Bite says:

    Apparently we both have had pizza on our minds lately! Thin and crispy is so good and even better when you make your own crust at home.

  • Carolyn says:

    If you freeze the pizza dough and then thaw it out, how long do you have to let the dough rest for? Does 1 hour still suffice?

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    LETS HAVE A PIZZA WINE PARTY! this looks incredible.

  • Carla @ Carlas Confections says:

    When Matt and I first got married I tried using a pizza stone to make a pizza (with storebought crust – my mistake) and the pizza got ruined bc of the dough, and I was so mad I chucked the pizza stone away :( Stupid me! I want one now! Guess I need to go spend some money now. And seriously, I have always wanted to know how pizzerias make their pepperoni pizzas so good. I cant wait to make this (after I go buy another pizza stone) :D

  • naomi says:

    I’m with you I don’t make my pizza on anything but a stone.

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    Mmmmm…this pizza looks AH-mazing!! I seriously need to invest in a pizza stone. I can’t believe I’ve never used one before!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I normally don’t eat pepperoni, but I think I’d make an exception for your pizza ;).

  • dixya @ food, pleasure, and health says:

    thanks for sharing these techniques, although i dont do pepperoni- a key to good pizza is the CRUST and WHOLE MILK CHEESE!

  • Kay says:

    Oh man this looks amazing!!

  • nancy @ adore to adorn says:

    If I ever have the true time and patience to make pizza, I would totally follow this recipe. My husband loves to munch on pepperoni pizza and this looks just like the pizza we would order! =D

  • Kathryn says:

    This really looks like a pro pizza – definitely going to try this method!

  • Chris says:

    I hated trying to get my pizza off my pizza peel and I don’t like cornmeal, so I found if I made the pizza on a piece of parchment paper I could slide it off my counter and right onto the pizza stone, paper and all.

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    Way back when we first were talking about pizza and how homemade is good but not as good and we realized whole milk is the key… uhm yeah I still totally have two packages of whole milk cheese ready and waiting, sitting patiently. I swear I’ll get to them soon lol. And holy jeez the grease is making me drool.

  • NICE….. got to love a great classic. :)

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says:

    It has been awhile since I have seen pictures of pizza that look THIS good! Yum! :)

  • Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine says:

    Julie – this looks amazing! Why anyone close their browser after seeing that picture! The gooey cheese and perfectly placed pepperoni! Your pictures are amazing! I am desperate for a baking stone! I must just find a nice one!

  • Lynna says:

    This looks delicious! I wish I had a pizza stone!

  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama says:

    I have a pizza stone but rarely use it. I need to break it out this weekend for pizza night! This looks perfect and way better than any delivery pizza!

  • Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    Okay, so I am stupid-obsessed with pizza. And I would eat it nightly if I could afford it (or if I wouldn’t weigh 2384682374 pounds). I’ve always wanted to make pizzeria-style pizza at home but whenever I try, it always tastes… off. Who knew the secret was in cold dough and a pizza stone?! Now I’m headed to Sur La Table after work to get one.. and maybe Macy’s so I can buy some fat pants.

  • Tracey says:

    I’m not usually a thin crust pizza girl, but this is one of my favorite recipes!! It yields the most delicious pizza and your post reminds me that I need to get on making it again soon – preferably with pepperoni :)

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says:

    I love the baking stone idea — it’s a life changer! Can’t stand a soggy pizza crust ;)

  • Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry says:

    Well I just found a reason to buy a baking stone. Hello homemade pizza!

  • Sherry says:

    I just tried your crust recipe this morning, and I have a question for you. After adding the salt and oil, about how long do you process? I kept waiting for it to leave the side of the bowl completely, and because the ball of dough had the processor off-balance, the motor was overheating! I probably processed it for one good minute, but it was still really sticky. I’m afraid I cooked the yeast! It’s in the fridge now, but I’m not sure if it’s going to work.

    • Julie says:

      I probably only processed it less than 30 seconds. Usually I find that if the dough is still sticky, just add more flour or just completely take it out of the food processor and hand roll it into a ball with some flour and it should be good :) I don’t think the motor heating up would kill your yeast. You should be fine!

  • Lisa Broussard Januska says:

    I just learned the other day from our local Italian place, who have THE BEST pizza, not only their crust, but the cheese is fantastic! They said their secret to the cheese was whole milk, from Wisconsin. They said California cheese is eh, but the best comes from Wisconsin. Well we usually bake a pie on Friday’s….so I sent the hubs to the store (I’m recovering from surgery), I told him to look for some whole milk cheese, knowing he probably won’t find/look for good cheese. He calls me ten times (at least) saying he can’t find any whole milk cheese…which I should have known, and not even asked him to look..(can’t believe how much 1% cheese they are pushing in the pre-shredded cheese selection at the markets). I finally told him not to worry honey. Well, the smart man he is, went to the deli, and had them cut him some whole milk cheese. What a sweetie! Now, I didn’t ask him if it came from Wisconsin though…lol! Your pizza looks fab. Just saw this recipe, will have to give it a whirl when I’m up to it.

  • Amy, At the Pink of Perfection says:

    Oooh, I love Annie’s pizza crusts and this picture and recipe is killing me at 10:45 at night!! I totally agree with you on full-fat cheese, no substitutes!!

  • MyFrogs says:

    Is it just the regular blade in the processor or do you have to have the “special” dough blade?

    • Julie says:

      I used the regular blade! I’m afraid to use the dough blade ’cause I feel like the dough would snap that plastic thing right off!

  • Sarah Johnson says:

    I finally got to make this pizza and it was the best I’ve ever made! i love the crust especially! It is perfect! I will making this crust and freezing it to have on hand. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  • Sarah Johnson says:

    Dear Julie,
    Have you ever used this dough recipe to make bread? I did and it had a great taste and my family loved it. I thought it was a little doughy in the center but the outside was crusty and delicious.I set my oven on 400 degrees. What temperature would you recommend? This is the first time my husband has liked my home made bread, and I have made many different recipes. Thank you.

    • Julie says:

      I’ve never made bread with this dough but I imagine since you did it, it’s possible! If 400 degrees worked for you, I would do that. Maybe to get the inside less doughy, use 375 or 350 degrees, but it’d definitely have to bake longer so if the crust gets too dark before it’s all done, put foil on top.

  • Sarah Johnson says:

    Thank you Julie. I will continue following your blog. Keep up the good work. :)

  • Germaine says:

    One of my favourite things to make once or twice a month or sometimes more..Home made pizza..the dough is made from scratch.. just a little over an hour and its ready..my secret..my bread machine and a recipe from my ex-mother-inlaw, I think its the only thing I’m glad I got from her, its the best pizza dough ever.. I may even drag the machine to the lake and enjoy pizza this weekend.. thinking on that one..lol

  • Julie says:


  • Carolyn Baeta says:

    Julie, if I wanted to make a Chicago-style crust instead, would I simply not roll it as flat? This looks delicious and I’d like to experiment with different thicknesses!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Carolyn, you probably could use this for Chicago-style crust but I’m not too familiar with that type of crust so I can’t ensure it’ll definitely work out.

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