This easy pizza dough recipe is great for beginners and produces a soft homemade pizza crust. Skip the pizza delivery because you only need 6 basic ingredients to begin!
This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.
Every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust. Some like it thin and crispy, while others prefer a thick and soft crust. This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft & chewy with a delicious crisp and AWESOME flavor. It’s my go-to pizza dough recipe and just a glance at the hundreds of reviews in the comments section tells me that it’s a favorite for many others too!
Easy Dough for Bread Beginners
This is a no-fuss dough recipe for beginners. You need just 6 basic ingredients, plus a little cornmeal for preparing the pan. (You can skip that if needed.) Most of the time is hands off as the dough rises. You might wonder… why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is certainly convenient, but from-scratch crust has unbeatable flavor and texture that only comes from fresh dough. And you can use the dough for cheese breadsticks, too!
Reader, Andy, commented: “Super easy, super fast, super good! I don’t like doughy thick pizzas and I find with this recipe that I can make them thin and crunchy, I love how easy it is. I make pizza once or twice a month! Haven’t bought one for quite some time now! ★★★★★“
If you’ve ever made homemade bagels or sandwich bread, you can easily make pizza dough because it’s quicker, easier, and requires fewer steps.
Overview: Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients
All pizza dough starts with the same basic ingredients: flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil. Here’s the breakdown of what I use in my homemade pizza crust recipe. The full printable recipe is below.
- Yeast: I use Platinum Yeast from Red Star. I have the best results when I use this instant yeast. The Platinum yeast is fantastic because its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. You only need 1 standard packet of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) to get the job done.
- Water: I tested this pizza dough recipe with different amounts of water. 1 and 1/3 cups is the perfect amount. Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 100-110°F. Anything over 130ºF kills the yeast.
- Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose white flour in this recipe. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which will affect how much water the flour absorbs. You can substitute bread flour for a chewier pizza crust. If you love whole grain bread, try this whole wheat pizza dough instead.
- Oil: A couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough. Don’t forget to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings, which prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
- Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
- Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.
- Cornmeal: Cornmeal isn’t in the dough, but it’s used to dust the pizza pan. Cornmeal gives the pizza crust a little extra flavor and crisp. Most delivery pizzas you enjoy have cornmeal on the bottom crust!
You could also add 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and Italian seasoning blend to the dough when you add the flour.
Reader, Shane, commented: “Excellent pizza dough. I add about 1 tbs of garlic powder and Italian herbs to give the dough more flavor as well as 40 grams of cornmeal for a little crunch. It freezes well and makes a nice thin crust. ★★★★★“
This is a Lean Bread Dough
Pizza crust, like homemade bagels, artisan bread, and focaccia, requires a lean dough. A lean dough doesn’t use eggs or butter. Without the extra fat to make the dough soft, you’re promised a crusty pizza crust. (However, I recommend using some olive oil for flavor and to keep the interior on the softer side.) Recipes like dinner rolls, homemade breadsticks, and overnight cinnamon rolls require fat to yield a “rich dough,” which creates a softer and more dessert-like bread.
Overview: How to Make Easy Pizza Dough
- Make the dough: Mix the dough ingredients together by hand or use a hand-held or stand mixer. Do this in steps as described in the written recipe below.
- Knead: Knead by hand or with your mixer. I like doing this by hand.
- Rise: Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover tightly, and set aside to rise for about 90 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Punch & shape: Punch down risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide in 2. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Cover and rest as you prep the pizza toppings.
- Top it: Top with favorite pizza toppings.
- Bake: Bake pizza at a very high temperature for only about 15 minutes.
Young bakers can lend a hand AND have fun in the process. Let the kids help you press down the dough and shape into a circle. They can add their cheeses and make pepperoni faces on top of the pie. Who doesn’t love a smiley pizza? 🙂
Favorite Pizza Pans
Let me share my top choices for pizza pans just in case you’re shopping for a new one. I use and love (affiliate links) this one and this one. If you like baking your homemade pizzas on pizza stones, I’ve used this one before and it’s wonderful.
If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a regular sheet pan. Grease it with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal as directed below, and then press the dough into whatever shape that will fit. Make sure the dough is about 1/2-inch thick. For a thinner pizza, stretch the dough out more.
FAQ: How Can I Make The Dough Ahead of Time?
Prepare the dough through step 3 below, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (If it needs to be in the refrigerator for longer, use cooler water in the dough which will slow the dough’s rise and allow for more time.) As a bonus, the slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 5 in the recipe below (the shaping step). If the dough didn’t quite double in size when rising, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before shaping.
FAQ: How Do I Freeze Homemade Pizza Dough?
This recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months.
FAQ: How Do I Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough?
Place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5 in the recipe below.
Uses for Homemade Pizza Dough
Here are the many uses for this homemade pizza dough:
- Extra Cheese Pizza & Stuffed Crust Pizza
- Pesto Pizza (pictured above)
- Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets
- Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
- Spinach Artichoke White Pizza
- Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Garlic Knots
- Margherita style: For 2 pizzas, when it’s time to top it in step 6 below, top with the following. (Feel free to halve for only 1 pizza.) Make a homemade tomato sauce by blending 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt, and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Spread on shaped doughs. Top each with 2-3 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. Bake as directed, and then sprinkle each hot pizza with 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese and a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil.
- Apple gorgonzola pizza is a favorite: For 1 pizza, when it’s time to top it in step 6 below, top with 1 and 1/2 cups (6oz or 168g) shredded mozzarella cheese, 8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese, thin slices of apple, then sprinkle with chopped fresh or dried rosemary before baking.
- Or any other pizza topping you love: pepperoni, crumbled sausage, black olives, onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, etc
Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.Print
Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
- Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Follow these basic instructions for a thick, crisp, and chewy pizza crust at home. The recipe yields enough pizza dough for two 12-inch pizzas and you can freeze half of the dough for later. Close to 2 pounds of dough total.
- 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) Platinum Yeast from Red Star instant yeast (1 standard packet)*
- 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, plus more for pan and brushing on dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/2 cups (about 450g) unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
- sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan
- Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula in the next step.
- Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes (for a visual, watch me do it in the video above). The dough can be a little too heavy for a mixer to knead it, but you can certainly use the mixer on low speed instead. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray– just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. (Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.) Lightly grease baking sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor.
- Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. (If not making 2 pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time. See freezing instructions below.) On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly for 5-10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped into a 12-inch circle, lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
- Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings. I suggest pepperoni & green peppers or jalapeño slices, extra cheese pizza, Hawaiian pizza, pesto pizza, spinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
- Top & bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator. Reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 3 months.
- Freezing Instructions: This recipe yields enough dough for two 12-inch pizzas, a little less than 2 pounds total. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Preheat the oven and continue with step 5, punching down the dough to release air if needed.
- Overnight/All Day Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (If it needs to be in the refrigerator for longer, use cooler water in the dough which will slow the dough’s rise and allow for more time.) The slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 4. If the dough didn’t quite double in size overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before punching down (step 5).
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer | Dough Scraper | Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
- Yeast: Red Star Platinum yeast is an instant yeast. You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be at least 90 minutes. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Pictured Pizza: This recipe yields 2 pizzas. For each, top with 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, thinly sliced green pepper or jalapeño, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning blend or dried basil.
Recipe originally published on Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2013
Keywords: pizza, pizza dough, pizza crust
Reader Comments & Reviews
Has anybody tried Walmart yeast? My dough didn’t rise.
Hi Julia! Our baking with yeast guide has helpful information including a section titled “What if my dough isn’t rising?” – we recommend reviewing that to help troubleshoot!
Best pizza crust recipe I’ve ever used.
This is a great recipe. I double it. And add fresh garlic, a tablespoon of dried oregano, and tablespoon of dried basil and teaspoon of garlic salt. Makes great garlic bread!
The crust is good. But getting the dough and fillings to slide onto a heated pizza stone was a disaster, even with cornmeal. There will be a next time since I have leftover dough, but I’ll heat the stone, then put dough on the stone and then add the toppings
I LOVE this recipe made several times.
After a overnight refrigerator rise can I then freeze the dough ? I want the rich deep flavor of a refrigerator rise and then also want to freeze it is that possible? Thank you.
Hi Camille, that should work just fine! So glad this is a favorite for you.
Could you interchange the sugar for honey?
Hi Amy, That should be fine!
Today is the third time I have made this dough. So far, the dough has turned out perfectly each time. I especially like the different instructions based upon how quickly you need the dough. I’ve used the directions for letting the dough rise in a warm place, then making the pizza and making the dough and letting it rise in the fridge all day while at work. I have yet to freeze the dough for later use. I have this recipe pinned in my favorites : )
S for modifying this recipe to use either all whole wheat flour or whole grain flour?
Hi Louise, for a whole wheat pizza crust, we recommend following this recipe instead. Hope you enjoy it just as much!
I love this recipe! I made the dough using the ‘dough’ setting on my bread machine. I was making individual pizzas for the week so I froze the individual portions and cooked them throughout the week. The pizza tasted delicious both from the fresh dough and the defrosted dough! Will definitely make again.
Your recipes are absolutely amazing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them and this is one of my ‘go to’ sites! For those who REALLY want to take their bread making to the next level, check out the Ankarsrum mixers. They easily handle extremely heavy doughs, don’t throw flour all over the place and eliminate the need for hand kneading. I’m confident you’ve run into them before, but if not, boy would you enjoy one!
I made it tonight, turned out great. New go to
How long to bake the pizza
Hi Tierrah, bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
How long can I refrigerate, not freeze, the unbaked dough?
Hi Donna, see the second recipe note for Overnight/All Day Instructions.
Oh, yes, I see that now. Unfortunately already made the dough and just don’t want to bake until tonight 🙁
this dough turned out well, i think it lacked in taste and could use more seasoning. did not prebake nor did i use cornmeal (none on hand) the crust still crisped on bottom at 475 degrees for 20 minutes with toppings. one one pizza the middle seemed soggy but it could have been the pan and dough thickness since the other pizza was perfect.
I wondered about the amount of flour in this recipe, it felt like too much and the dough never really “came together” for me, even after kneading (by hand) for the 5 minutes suggested. It feels really ragged still. Did I miss something?
Hi Kerri! How did you measure the flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.
Sally, I think you made a mistake on the amount of flour needed. Your recipe says 3.5 cups AP equals 450g where in fact 3.5 cups is 828g. Since most pizza dough is 65% flour to water, I am guessing you meant TWO AND A HALF (2.5 cups) AP flour : 1.33 cups water ? which would be 53%, not 38% yes?
Hi Rob, we use the measurement of 125g = 1 cup flour (spooned and leveled, not packed). 125 x 3.5 = 437.5g, which we rounded to roughly 450g for this pizza dough recipe. You also need a little extra for your hands and work surface. Hope this helps clarify!
Can use selfrising flour instead of all purpose
Hi Debra, we don’t recommend self rising flour. Best to stick with all-purpose flour here.
Made this recipe many times -great success – making for company – can I make this completed pizza and put in freezer – cook frozen – don’t want to assemble pizza while Company is here
Hi Betty, we’re so glad you’ve had success with this recipe! We wouldn’t freeze an assembled pizza, but you could par bake the dough for 5-8 minutes, then freeze. Let it thaw before topping and baking. Make sure you roll the dough/flatten thin as it will puff up without toppings on.
I like that it allows you to have a second one for later. I appreciate the freezer info.
Would be great if you had the amount of flour to use.
Hi KRHC, You need “3 and 1/2 cups (about 450g) unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface“.
Absolute disaster. I felt like I followed everything carefully, but the dough turned out so incredibly sticky it was unworkable even with extra flour. Couldn’t stretch it out without massive holes. The dough ended up in the garbage.
Too much yeast, and or too much water. My first attempt went like yours. If the dough rises too quickly, this can happen.
Closest to restaurant crust!
We have made this dough at least half a dozen times now. It’s fantastic. We did have to modify cooking time as we prefer chewy and not crunchy crust. We do half time on pizza pan and half on a pizza stone. It’s delicious and I love knowing all the ingredients we are eating. Thank you!
Hi Sally! I want to make ahead the dough for dinner tonight, and it is around noon now. Should I let it rise for step 3 in the refrigerator and take it out when I am ready to start shaping it? Or should I take it out 30-45 in advance? Thank you for all of you help! I really appreciate it!
Hi Cassie! You can leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to start shaping it. If the dough didn’t quite double in size while it was in the refrigerator, then you can let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before punching down (step 5). Enjoy!
Hi! I don’t have a round pan. I have a sheet pan that measures 38cm across. If I make a rectangular shaped pizza that fills up the height and width of the pan, how long should baking time be?
Hi Sheryl, we’re unsure of the exact bake time, but it should still be close to the time written in the recipe. If you have a cookie sheet, that is also an option. Simply shape into a circle or rectangle. Hope you enjoy the pizza!
I made this recipe with my cuisinart bread machine and it was light and delicious!
This was a great recipe. I experimented with non-traditional pizza on a great crust
Tried this and liked the flavor! But I faced 2 problems. Please advise.
1) I’m in India and am using the regular Roti flour. By weight, it is lighter so it turns out to be just 350 gm instead of 450 gm for 3.25 cups. In this case, do I go by weight or by cup for measure?
2) Total time 15 minutes for baking at that temperature is too much as the cheese starts to darken a lot. I had to stop at 10 m and the inner part was under baked. I’m using a convection oven at 250 C. Shouldn’t we pre-bake for some time before putting the cheese and toppings?
Hi Sanjay, unfortunately, we do not have any experience baking with Roti flour, so we’re unsure how best to adapt this recipe for its use. If you find that the crust is underbaked, you can certainly try pre-baking the crust slightly before adding your toppings. Hope this helps and thank you for giving this recipe a try!
Sanjay, I also live in India. I use 1/2 maida and 1/2 atta for my pizza dough (for those of you not in India maida is all-purpose and atta is whole wheat). Cook at a lower temperature at around 200C for more time. Make sure you oil your pan with olive oil first. Also, not sure about the sauce you’re using but I find that here in India the sauce sometimes can be too watery if homemade in which case I put cheese first, then sauce, then veggies and light cheese on top. I have also pre-baked for 5-10 minutes and then added toppings which also works fine and might help you with your problem. Good luck!
Used this as my first attempt at homemade pizza crust. It was so easy to do and so delicious. Best thing is I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. I did only have bleached flour but it still worked wonderfully.