Homemade Pizza Crust for Beginners

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!

Homemade pizza crust

This is my go-to pizza dough recipe. It was published on my blog 6 years ago and after making it for the millionth time, I decided it’s time for an update with a video tutorial and clearer recipe instructions. Plus, many of you said you want to conquer your fear of yeast this year! Consider this your starting guide and refer back to it often.

(And if you’ve ever made homemade bagels or sandwich bread, you can easily make pizza dough because it’s quicker, easier, and requires less steps!)

Pizza dough is the foundation and every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust. Some like thin and crisp pizza crust, while others prefer thick and soft pizza crust. This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft & chewy with a delicious crisp and AWESOME flavor.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade pizza dough

Why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is certainly convenient, but from-scratch crust has a delicious flavor and texture that only comes from homemade. Plus, most of the work is hands-off!

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.

  1. Yeast: I use Red Star Platinum yeast. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, but add a couple extra Tablespoons of water since bread flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour.
  4. 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.
  5. Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
  6. Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.
  7. 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!

Homemade pizza dough on counter

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 and overnight cinnamon rolls require fat to yield a “rich dough,” which creates a softer and more dessert-like bread.

Pizza dough with toppings

How to Make Easy Pizza Dough (for bread beginners!)

Watch my pizza dough video tutorial below. It’s really that easy!

  1. Mix the dough ingredients together by hand or use a hand-held or stand mixer.
  2. Knead by hand or beat the dough with your mixer. I like doing this by hand and you can watch me in the video.
  3. Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover tightly, and set aside to rise for about 90 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Punch down risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide in 2.
  5. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Cover and rest as you prep the pizza toppings.
  6. Top with favorite pizza toppings.
  7. Bake pizza at a very high temperature for only about 15 minutes.

Little 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? 🙂

Video Tutorial

How to 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.

How to 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.

Homemade pepperoni cheese pizza

Recipes Using Pizza Dough

Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

PS: If you’ve already tried my pizza dough recipe before, let me know what you think!

Print
Homemade pizza dough

Homemade Pizza Crust

  • Author: Sally
  • 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

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum instant yeast (1 standard packet)*
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: 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 by hand with a wooden spoon in the next step.*
  2. 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 3-4 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. 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. Highly recommended.
  5. 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. 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.
  6. 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 pizzaHawaiian pizzaclassic margherita pizzaspinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
  7. Top & bake the pizza: To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. 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.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: 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. 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. Continue with step 5.
  2. 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 5. 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).
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand MixerDough ScraperPizza PanPizza Cutter
  4. Yeast: Red Star Platinum yeast is an instant yeast. You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be up to 2 hours. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  5. 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

Homemade pizza crust

721 Comments

  1. This is our go to pizza crust recipe! It’s so easy and so dang delicious!

  2. I have made pizza dough for a lifetime and it’s always good but your recipe came together so easily! No reason not to make homemade pizza! I simply followed your instructions to a “t”-I let my dough hook and electric stand mixer do the rest. I did turn onto a floured board and knead for about a minute after I used the stand mixer. Thanks for your good work!

  3. Love this recipe! Quick question – can this sit out on the counter longer than 60-90 minutes? Wanting to make the dough over lunch and use in 4ish hours for dinner. Thanks!

    1. Hi Katie! If you want to make the dough further in advance, let it rise in the refrigerator instead. For the 4 hour time period, you may want to start it at room temperature first, then place in the refrigerator.

  4. Melissa Penney says:

    This recipe was amazing. I totally cut the rising time short because I started too late before dinner time. So the dough rose for 35 minutes. It still had almost doubled in size.

  5. Do you think I could use this recipe, but make my pizza like a sheet pan pizza?

    1. Definitely! Depending how large the pan is, you could use the full dough recipe for the sheet pan pizza. (Since it usually makes 2 12-inch rounds.)

      1. How long would the pizza bake for if you baked it on a baking sheet?

      2. The pizzas turned out amazing. I actually divided the dough into two and stretched it to fit the pan. It was a thinner crust and so yummy. My boys said we never need to order pizza again! I reduced the baking time to 11 minutes and it was perfect. We made it again tonight and it’s a hit. It’s now on our weekly rotation.

  6. First attempt at this recipe AND had to use a BBQ to bake it – turned out pretty well! We hope to have a working stove on Monday, so will make another one. I suspect it will be even tastier. Great recipe, thank you.

  7. My go to pizza recipe which I have been using for years, its simple and tastes great. We have pizza nearly every friday. I usually make one large pizza and a small deep dish with the rest of the dough. Leftover pizza the next day tastes even better

  8. This recipe is the ONE. I’ve been trying different “quick” pizza dough recipes. This one is hands down the best. I used Red Star quick rise yeast instead. (because that is what I had on hand) and it turned out great. Definitely going to try it with Platinum. I used half the dough quantity and rolled it out super thin. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  9. Hi Sally,
    Hope you’re okay! I had a quick question and was wondering if you could help? What level do you put the pizza on? Top, middle, or bottom shelf? Thank you so much! Is this the same for your whole wheat pizza dough recipe too? Thanks! Can’t wait to try!!

    1. Usually right in the middle! Same with pizzas made with the whole wheat dough.

      1. Thank you so so much! Will be making one now :)))

  10. SANDIPA NITIN TOMBAT says:

    Inspite of having baked many cakes and breads etc never gathered the courage to make pizza from scratch. Son was craving for it and bases were not available…..and this recipe gave me the courage to attempt it.
    Have made it 3 times in 10 days and henceforth no buying readymade pizzas bases.

  11. Manisha Verma says:

    Got a very nice, soft and fluffy pizza with this recipe, in one attempt.

  12. I followed the instructions to a T and made a four cheese pizza. The best pizza I ever had. I added some garlic powder to the dough and used corn meal on the pan as recommended. I cooked it for the whole 15 minutes at 475. Froze 1/2 the dough per instructions. Thank you.

  13. Hey Sally!! I tried this recipe last week and my whole family loved it!! I’m going to try to make calzones this week with this dough, and I need about 1 pound of dough. Do you know how much this recipe makes??

    1. Hi Alexa, this recipe yields about 2 lbs of dough.

  14. I have used this recipe many time now and it is fantastic. I would love to double it so that I can make 4 pizzas. Any advice on which ingredients I should double? Not sure if I should double yeast or not.

    1. Hi Jamie, for best taste and texture– and so you don’t overwhelm the mixer with excess dough (and since the added volume of dough would take much longer to rise), I recommend making 2 batches of dough separately.

  15. Best pizza dough recipe we’ve found yet and another homerun from your site!

  16. It turned out more like a scone than a pizza crust will not be making again.

    1. Hi Lily, I would love to help troubleshoot. Did you follow the recipe and each step carefully? Was your yeast active? Or the dough under-proofed? I’ve never had yeasted dough turn out dense and crumbly like a scone before.

  17. Mehrnaz shahparast says:

    Best ever pizza crust
    I wish to say thank you for the best pizza dough I have ever made.
    I am writing this comment from long distance and want to show You my great thankfulness from Iran.
    Wish You joy and happiness

  18. Hi! I let the dough rise for an hour outside the fridge but I don’t plan on making it until later on. Should I just put it in the fridge as is now (in a bowl and very much risen) or divide the dough now into 2 balls and wrap them up for later in the fridge? Great recipe by the way!

    1. Hi Sandra, if it’s already doubled in size, I would punch it down and divide it in two, then wrap each up/cover tightly and store in the refrigerator until later.

  19. Made homemade pizza for the first time, turned out great! Made my own sauce, too. 🙂 Thanks for your great recipes, Sally!

    1. Hi Sally,

      Would Bread Flour work too?

  20. Tracie Kile says:

    I love this pizza recipe! I had to buy 2 lb bag of the Red Star Yeast because they were out of packets during the Covid mess. After opening it should I put it in the refrigerator or place it in the cabinet?

    1. So glad you enjoy this recipe, Tracie, thank you! I recommend storing the yeast in the refrigerator.

  21. Can I use a mix of bread flour and all-purpose flour or is it better to use just all-purpose?

    I have plenty of bread flour but white plain flour is still in short supply here.

    Thanks
    Anne

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anne, certainly! Bread flour has a higher protein level and forms a stronger gluten network. It creates a chewier pizza crust. We published this recipe with all-purpose flour since it’s more commonly used in kitchens. You can use either with no changes to the recipe, or use a combination of both. I swap between the two when I make it at home.

      1. Thank you so much for replying so quickly!

        I’ll mix and match too until until I can get enough plain flour.

  22. Great recipe! Just got a stand mixer and wanted to try making pizza dough (never done it before) and this recipe was so easy and turned out great. Thanks!

  23. Made 2 batches of the dough this morning for a pizza night with the family and it turned out so well! The crust was easy to roll out, light and delicious. We also had plenty to freeze for this Friday. Thanks for always posting such great and easy to follow recipes 🙂

  24. Ritu Narain says:

    Hi Sally,
    I used this recipe, but the whole mix was like thick batter! I added about 1/2 cup more flour. The mix would not resemble your dough. Still not able to knead it. I left it to rise, which it did beautifully. But still too wet to shape. So I have just picked up the wet and runny dough and put it in a nine inch pan, basted it with herb and garlic butter and plan to bake it at 150 degrees for 15 minutes. The ingredients are good so I trust I will get a delicious bread.
    By the way I can understand what you mean by addiction! I am agonising over crusts and rise and perfect measure of ingredients!

  25. Krista Wood says:

    Tonight I made this for dinner. I topped it with pesto, tomato and fresh mozzarella then sprinkled some chopped basil leaves when I took it out the oven. DELICIOUS!!!!! Will definitely make this again.

  26. Chewy and soft and flavorful. My go-to recipe for pizza at home!

  27. Hi Sally,

    I’m planning on letting the dough slowly rise in the fridge overnight. Can I use it immediately once I remove it from the fridge, or does it need to sit out for any length of time? I will also be using a pizza stone if that makes a difference.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi KS, You can use it right out of the fridge unless the dough didn’t quite double in size overnight. If it did not, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before punching down (step 5). Enjoy!

      1. Thanks so much! I’m excited to finally make this! 🙂

  28. Excellent recipe, easy & comes together quickly, especially when using a stand mixer. I made it using 2 cups of 00 flour & 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour. The addition of the whole wheat gives it a nice flavour & adds extra nutrients & fibre. I have some rising right now for tonight’s dinner.

  29. My daughter wanted pizza tonight. Looked up pizza recipes
    Yours came up. 15 min no yeast. Gave it a try. Glad i did. So easy to make . Tastes great. Thank you for the recipe

  30. Tonight is the second time I’m making this recipe. I enjoyed it the first time, having frozen-then-thawed half for a second pizza a few days later. Tonight, I have some leftover shredded cheese, and am going to use it up before it goes bad. THIS TIME, I weighed the flour (like a good baker is supposed to) – but I found the dough waaaaaay too sticky. I ended up adding (an estimated) three quarters of a cup of extra flour, and kneading the dough until it hit the right consistency – soft yet slightly springy. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I’m sure this will taste just fine. I’m curious to know what you think; do you typically weigh your flour, or do you spoon/level it into a cup measure?

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