The Best Pizza Dough Recipe

May 13, 2020

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A homemade Pizza Dough recipe with all the tips and tricks! Such an easy method that yields incredible results! A soft and chewy interior and a nice crisp, golden brown exterior.

More carb craving favorites to try include my Homemade Breadsticks and 1-Hour Dinner Rolls.

Ball of homemade pizza dough.

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

There’s something so satisfying about making a pizza from scratch from start to finish. This homemade crust made from a simple pizza dough is a game changer! It’s been my go-to recipe for years.

It calls for the most basic staple ingredients yet it makes the base to one of the best foods ever!

And really the electric mixer does most of the work. But if you don’t own you can definitely go the old fashioned route and knead by hand.

A world of possibilities with this pizza dough. What would you top it with? You can check out some ideas at the end of this post (definitely try the Spinach Artichoke Pizza, so incredibly good!).

Overhead image of pepperoni pizza with homemade crust. Pizza is cut into 8 slices.

Pizza Dough Recipe Ingredients

White flour: Unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour both work great for this recipe.

Yeast: Active dry yeast or instant yeast can be used here. The mixing methods just vary slightly as active dry yeast needs to be proofed first and instant yeast doesn’t.

Salt: I use table salt but kosher salt or sea salt work great too, you’ll just want to up the amount by about a heaping 1/4 tsp since the granules are larger therefor volume is different.

Sugar: You only need a small amount here. It assists the yeast and also adds a faint background flavor.

Olive oil: Just use standard refined olive oil for this recipe, nothing fancy needed here.

Scroll down for full recipe with ingredient amounts and full directions.

All-Purpose Flour vs. Bread Flour

Wondering which type of flour of the two to use? I’ve used both and they both offer great results.

  • All-purpose flour makes for a slightly softer crust.
  • Bread flour offers a slightly crisper crust and a slightly higher rise since it has more protein.

Why use unbleached flour? It has better flavor than bleached (plus it may be a healthier option than bleached).

Image of ingredients used to make pizza dough. Includes all-purpose flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar and olive oil.

How to Make Pizza Dough

Here’s a breakdown of the steps to make the homemade pizza dough:

  1. Proof yeast with 1/3 of the water and the sugar.
  2. Mix in remaining water, olive oil, salt and most of the flour.
  3. Add more flour and knead.
  4. Continue to knead to a soft and supple dough that’s not overly sticky.
  5. Let rise until doubled in volume in an oiled, covered bowl.
  6. Press dough down, divide into two portions.
  7. Shape into pizza crust, top and bake!

Collage image of 6 steps to making pizza dough in a stand mixer.Pizza dough shown in a bowl before and after rising.

How to Stretch Pizza Dough

Method 1:

  1. Divide dough into two portions, form into balls.
  2. On a floured surface flatten into a circle while making an indentation near edge of crust and creating a slightly thicker rim.
  3. Lift dough, make fists and drape dough over knuckles.
  4. Stretch and rotate dough to desired width (for this recipe you can shape to about 11 to 14-inches depending on how thick you like the crust).

 Here is a good video tutorial showing two methods of how to shape pizza dough.

Method 2:

Alternately you can just stretch and shape the pizza dough on a floured piece over parchment paper or on well floured pizza peel (used for transferring).

Overhead image of shaped pizza crust without toppings.

How to Cook Pizza in the Oven

  1. Place a pizza stone in 475 – 500 degree oven and preheat for 30 – 45 minutes.
  2. Stretch and shape pizza dough. Place on parchment paper, trim away edges (or remove parchment paper about 5 minutes of baking so it doesn’t scorch).
  3. Top pizza with sauce and desired toppings.
  4. Transfer pizza on parchment to preheated pizza stone and bake in preheated oven for 11 – 14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cooked through.

What If I Don’t Own a Pizza Stone?

  • Pizza crust can also be baked on a heavy duty aluminum pizza pan or aluminum baking sheet (one that can withstand high temperatures without warping).
  • Those do not need to be preheated, but keep in mind with this cooking vessel the crust doesn’t come out with much of a crisp bottom.
  • Another option is to use a pizza steel or cast iron pizza pan. Those you would need to preheat in oven the same as a stone (avoid using parchment paper with those).

Slices of pepperoni pizza made with a homemade pizza dough recipe.

How to Cook Pizza Dough on the Grill

I love love love grilled pizza! You can use this pizza dough to make grilled pizza:

  1. You can either cook on a pizza stone on the grill (and begin with toppings on the pizza). Like this.
  2. Or make individual pizzas – cook dough halfway right on grill grates, rotate and add toppings (off the grill, then return), then continue to cook through. Here’s the how to.

Can you freeze pizza dough?

Yes. Here’s are the steps to freezing:

  • Pizza dough should be frozen after the first rise.
  • Wrap each portion in parchment paper transfer to a resealable freezer bag (I like to label bag with current date).
  • Freeze up to 3 months.
  • Defrost (thaw) in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Bring to room temperature on the countertop and bake as directed.

Can I Use Gluten-Free Flour?

Unfortunately this recipe won’t work with a gluten-free flour blend. Ratios and methods will be different, something like this, or this one without the egg.

Tips to Make It the Best

  • Allow plenty of time for dough to knead to promote gluten formation which helps make a chewy crust.
  • Don’t skip rise times. They are crucial to the overall texture and flavor of the crust.
  • If time allows go for the overnight rise in the fridge, crust will develop more flavor and taste the best this way.
  • To reduce bubbles you can press fingertips along top of shaped crust or pierce randomly over top with a fork.
  • Brush shaped dough with oil for flavor and to create a slight barrier to help reduce sauce soaking in.
  • For additional flavor you can season the crust with things like garlic powder, Italian seasoning and a little salt (though if you use a good sauce and toppings it shouldn’t be necessary).
  • Use parchment paper for easy transferring, but keep an eye on it and remove from the oven if it’s starting to brown. Transferring a large pizza with lots of toppings with a pizza peel can be challenging, the parchment paper makes it so much easier.

Other Ways to Use Pizza Dough Recipe

Of course the number one use for this recipe is for a pizza crust, but this recipes makes enough for 2 pizzas so you can make 1 pizza and reserve the second portion to make one of these:

  • Calzones
  • Breadsticks (regular or cinnamon sugar)
  • Garlic knots
  • Cheese sticks
  • Stromboli
  • Pizza rolls

Delicious Pizzas to Make with This Pizza Dough

Ball of homemade pizza dough.
5 from 10 votes

Pizza Dough Recipe

Such an easy method that yields incredible results! A pizza crust with a soft and chewy interior and a nice crisp, golden brown exterior.
Makes about two (1 lb) pizza doughs, or enough for two 11 - 14 inch pizzas (depending on how thick you like the crust).
Servings: 10 - enough dough for 2 pizzas
Prep25 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Rise1 hour 40 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast (see notes*)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, heated to 110 - 115 degrees for active dry yeast, 120 - 130 degrees for instant yeast
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups (17.5 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, then more as needed (scoop and level to measure)

Instructions

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together active dry yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes until it starts to bubble up. If using instant yeast see notes as method is different.
  • Add in remaining 1 cup warm water, 3 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and 3 cups flour. Set mixer with paddle attachment and blend mixture until combined.
  • Switch to a hook attachment, then knead in remaining 1/2 cup flour. Continue to let knead, while adding more flour 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time as needed until dough isn't overly tacky.
  • Knead on medium-low speed about 6 - 8 minutes until dough is soft and supple and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Dough should be just slightly sticky.
  • Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl (preferably coated with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray), turn dough to other side to coat opposite side in oil.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest until double in volume in a warm place about 1 1/2 hours, or even better 24 hours in the fridge if time allows. If using the fridge method, the following day you'll need to let the dough come to room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping.
  • Near end of rising place pizza stone in oven and let preheat to 475 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.
  • After rising, press dough down, divide into two portions (freeze** second portion for later at this point if desired).
  • Place each portion if using both right away into two oiled bowls, cover and let rest 15 minutes.
  • Stretch and shape dough into a circle about 11 - 14 inches depending on how thick or thin you like the crust.
  • Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper just large enough to fit.***
  • Brush top of crust with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp each). At this point for a fluffier crust if preferred, let rest 10 minutes. Spread top with sauce (I use about 2/3 cup), sprinkle with cheese (I use about 2 cups mozzarella) and finish with desired toppings.
  • Transfer with parchment paper to preheated pizza stone and bake until crust is golden brown and cooked through, about 11 - 14 minutes.
  • Slice and serve pizza warm. Repeat process with second dough if using.

Notes

*If using instant yeast:
  • It does not need to be proofed first.
  • Use water heated to 120 to 130 degrees.
  • To mix just whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Blend in water and oil. Then switch to hook attachment and proceed to mix as directed in step 3.
**Dough can be frozen, to do so:
  • Wrap in parchment paper.
  • Transfer to a freezer resealable bag.
  • Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.
  • Let rest at room temp about 1 hour before shaping.
***Parchment paper should be trimmed to fit the crust or removed partway through baking so it doesn't scorch. Also at this point to reduce bubbles if desired, you can press fingertips randomly over shaped dough or pierce randomly over top with a fork.
Nutrition estimate is for dough only. No toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Pizza Dough Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 295mg13%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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52 Comments

  • Jenn

    This looks so good, if i wanted to add some of my sourdough starter do you have any idea how much I should decrease the water? Or should I?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I would recommend using a recipe like this that’s intended to include sourdough starter as the ratios and method are a bit different.

  • Sarah

    I have made your pizza dough recipe before many times and it is my favorite recipe ever, I love it more than my Italian father’s recipe who has been making pizza for 30+ years (shh don’t tell him!!).

    I do use the teaspoon of vinegar that you listed in the previous recipe. Is there any reason you omitted it here? Or just to simplify things?

    I also always use good extra virgin olive oil when I make mine and only King Arthur’s flour (either unbleached or bread as you mentioned, both are great) because I love the flavor.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it Sarah! And yes I just omitted vinegar to simplify and I don’t notice much difference.

  • Cludia

    ¿Que pasó con la preparación de la salsa? ¿Por qué no salsa de tomate natura?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I prefer the flavor and texture of crushed tomatoes. Hope you enjoy!

  • Charlie

    This is exactly like I make my dough and it always works well. Sometimes I make a whole wheat style dough that uses half whole wheat flour and it works well too. Fermenting 24 hours in the fridge is very important for better work-ability and added flavor. I have made pizzas for 35 years, hundreds and hundreds of them, and I agree that this is how to make good pizza dough.

  • JoAnn Yousif

    I can’t wait to try this!! Thank you!
    I love the red striped kitchen towel/cloth in your photos, where did you buy that?

  • KEVIN COUSINO

    How do I unsubscribe from unsolicited ad bullshit like this?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Just follow the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the last e-mail received. Sorry to see you go!

  • mary mcmahon

    Hello!.. I did not see the amount of water to use in this recipe. Did I miss something?….Thank you

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      1 1/2 cups warm water, there underneath the sugar :). Hope you love it!

  • JoAnn Y.

    I can’t wait to make this!! Thank you!!
    I love your red striped kitchen towel/cloth here, where did you buy that?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I believe I got that at World Market. Hope you love this recipe!