Papa John's Style Cheese Pizza

Papa John's Style Cheese Pizza

This recipe makes one of the best cheese pizzas that I've had. It combines a thin crust pizza dough and a simple pizza sauce that bakes up even better than Papa John's pizza. As is true with most homemade dishes, you can use better ingredients and your love of cooking to make better pizza.
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Chill: 1 to 3 hours
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Total: 2 to 5 hours
  • Yields 4 pizzas
Papa John's Style Cheese Pizza

Carbohydrate Counts

Carbs-per-gram ratio: 0.2729

Serving Size 80g (about 22g carbs)

Carb calculations Weight Carbs
Bread flour 626g (459g)
Instant yeast 14g (3g)
Honey 42g (34g)
Can whole or diced tomatoes 794g (28g)
Net Weight 1920g (524g)

* Multiply serving weight in grams by the carbs-per-gram ratio to calculate the total estimated carbs. Provided for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for insulin dosing advice.

  • Dough
  • 626g / 22 ounces bread flour (about 5 cups)
  • 14g / 4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt with a dough whisk or a wooden spoon.
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 42g / 2 tablespoons honey
  • Add water and honey to flour mixture and stir to combine until a rough dough forms.
  • Kneading
  • Stand Mixer: Fit mixer with the dough hook and mix on low speed until a coarse ball forms, about 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Mix again on medium-low speed until dough becomes soft and smooth, about another 2 minutes.
  • Mixing by Hand: Knead and fold dough until all the flour is incorporated, about 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to allow the water to fully saturate the flour. After resting, knead again until the dough is slightly sticky, soft, and supple, about another 3 to 5 minutes.
  • If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured counter, dust the top of the dough with flour to absorb the surface moisture, and then, working from the corners, fold the dough into a ball.
  • Rising
  • olive oil
  • Lightly coat a clean bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place to rise, until doubled in bulk, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • If time permits, punch down dough after it has risen and allow it to rise until doubled in size a second or even a third time, about 45 to 60 minutes each. The additional rising times can be skipped to speed up the recipe, but it will make for a more flavorful dough.
  • Pizza Sauce
  • 794g / 28 ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped or minced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • While dough is rising, blend the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  • Baking
  • Adjust a rack in the lower part of the oven and place the pizza stone on it. Turn the oven to the maximum temperature (500°F or higher) and preheat at least 30 minutes.
  • flour
  • Generously flour a clean work surface and cut dough into quarters. Taking one quarter of dough at a time, form it into a disc with your hands. Working from the outer edges inward, stretch the dough and turn it a quarter turn. Repeat until dough has stretched out. If desired, use a rolling pin to roll out dough to desired size.
  • cornmeal
  • Generous coat a pizza peel with cornmeal and place stretched out dough on the peel. Gently shake the peel to ensure that the dough is not sticking.
  • reserved pizza sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Top the pizza with reserved pizza sauce and spread around evenly in a thin layer. Top sauce with shredded mozzarella cheese. (Go easy on the toppings - less is more.) Bake until outer edges of crust have risen slightly and turned golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on how hot your oven is. Monitor the first pizza closely and repeat that time for the remaining pizzas. The hotter you can get the oven the better the pizza.
  • While the first pizza is baking, you can prepare the second pizza.
  • Once each pizza is finished, using the peel or cookie sheet, transfer the pizza to a warm metal serving tray or large cutting board and cut with a rolling pizza cutter into six slices and serve.
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