This recipe makes two 10-inch thick-crust pizzas. Plenty for two adults, a couple children, and maybe a dog.

Pipo’s pan pizza is perfect for help from little hands. It’s a flexible recipe that can be made either from scratch, or with store-bought fresh pizza dough. It’s delicious either way.

Very young children can help by dumping the pre-measured ingredients into a big bowl for the dough, as well as with adding sauce and cheese (so long as you don’t mind some of the cheese disappearing on the way to the pizza). Older kids can help scoop flour with measuring cups, or operate the kitchen scale, depending on whether you prefer cups or grams. (Incidentally, measuring in grams using a kitchen scale is the most consistent way to make dough.)

Every kid loves to knead.

The pizza bakes at a high temperature, and the pan will be screaming hot when it comes out of the oven, so be careful of little ones during baking until everything cools down.

Pipo likes her pizza plain, but you can add as many toppings as you’d like. This particular pizza recipe is hearty enough to take on a big ol’ pile of toppings without collapsing or flopping.

P.S.: Make sure you don’t wear your nicest clothes while cooking. Tomato sauce has a way of jumping out at you unexpectedly.

Ingredients for Pipo’s Pizza

  • Homemade or store-bought dough (recipe and instructions below)

  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite pizza sauce (good quality crushed tomatoes seasoned with just a little salt make an excellent sauce!)

  • 12 ounces of grated low-moisture mozzarella cheese

  • Any toppings you’d like. Pipo tops hers with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Her mama prefers Hawaiian. Papa is just along for the ride.

For homemade dough:

  • 1 cup (230ml) warm water

  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) instant or rapid-rise yeast

  • 2 1/2 cups (350 grams) flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) table salt

  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) olive oil, plus a few tablespoons more for the pans and for drizzling

For store-bought dough:

  • 1 pound of store-bought pizza dough at room temperature (set it in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap on the counter for at least 2 hours)

And before you start, remember: even imperfect pizza is still pizza, and pizza is always delicious.

Every Night is Pizza Night Book Every Night is Pizza Night Book J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Instructions for Homemade Dough (if using store-bought dough, just jump to step 4)

1. Mix the water and yeast in a measuring cup, stirring until the yeast is dissolved. Set it aside and mix the flour and salt in a big bowl with your hands or a wooden spoon.

2. Add the water/yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour/salt mixture and keep on mixing until the dough comes together into a ball.

3. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop, then knead it with your hands until it is smooth and elastic. The dough should feel pretty wet!

4. Divide the dough into two halves, and roll gather each half into a ball, holding it up off the counter with lightly floured hands.

5. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the bottoms of two 10-inch round cake pans or cast iron pans and rub it all around with your hands to coat the bottom and sides. Don’t wash your hands yet!

6. Plop each a dough ball into the center of one each pan and turn it over a few times to coat it in olive oil, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place for about two hours. Go read a book or play a really long round of hide- and- seek.

To Top and Bake:

7. Preheat the oven as hot as it will go to (500°F to 550°F) and set the rack on the lowest shelf. Remove the plastic wrap, then push, pull, and stretch the dough out into the corners of the pans, completely filling them. and making sure no big air bubbles are trapped underneath. It’s OK if you accidentally poke a few holes. Pizza is always delicious.

8. Cover each pizza with sauce, grated mozzarella, and whatever toppings you’d like. Bake until the tops of the pizza are bubbly and the bottoms, are golden brown and crisp when you carefully lift the edges with a thin spatula, are golden brown and crisp. (Be very careful with small hands here, because the pans are HOT). This will take around 12 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven.

9. Transfer the pizzas to a cutting board, cut into slices, and eat! Make sure to invite your friends.

Recipe excerpted from Every Night is Pizza Night by J. Kenji López-Alt, illustrated by Gianna Ruggiero. Copyright (c) 2020 by J. Kenji López-Alt. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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