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!

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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

806 Comments

  1. Carolyn Russell says:

    Hi Sally, thank you for the great blog and easy recipes! I’ve made this crust twice now and really enjoyed it. I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried making one batch into three crusts instead of two to get a thinner crust on each. Is this the way to get thin crust or is there a modification to the dough required?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carolyn, You can certainly make smaller pizzas with this crust. For a thinner crust though, I really love using the recipe for Homemade Flatbread Pizza.

      1. Carolyn Russell says:

        Great. Thanks! I’ll try that tonight.

  2. Hi Sally! I don’t see the video, is it still up?
    Thank you!!

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Terry, about 2/3 through the post you’ll see a section called “Video Tutorial.” There’s a horizontal image with a play button below that- press on that image and it should play immediately.

    2. paulette mckinnon says:

      Made 2 pizzas 2 nights ago.. absolutely wonderful flavour and easy to make..Probably will not order out again…Paulette

  3. I’ve been making this pizza crust recipe all year and it never fails! I’ve had complements of BEST PIZZA EVER! Tried this dough for calzones and it worked out amazingly as well. Super easy directions to follow as well. I bake on a pizza stone and it’s crispy on the outside and never have to worry about the toppings sliding off from the crust being limp. Thanks so much!

  4. Soft homemade pizza crust.

  5. This was absolutely fabulous! Always come to your website for all things baking, and this time was no different. It was the first time I’ve made pizza crust and it was super successful and absolutely delicious. The crust was firm and crispy on the outside and lovely and soft inside. We could not believe that our well-worn home oven was capable of such professional standard pizza.
    I found that I needed a few tablespoons less liquid than the recipe recommends for the given amount of flour, but nothing else.

    1. Hi! I made the dough and set it out to rise, I forgot about it for abojt 3 hours and the dough smelled like beer ( the yeast I’m sure) is it bad now?

      1. That is the yeast doing it’s job. It has a distinctive smell & “like beer” is a good way to describe it. It will have a really good flavor. Not bad at all.

  6. Hi Sally, would measurements be the same with pizza flour?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie, Pizza flour typically 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. Enjoy!

  7. Love the receipe !! Thanks so much for sharing

  8. I’m a little confused about when prepping day before and putting in fridge. Do I still let it rise first 60-90 minutes at room temp … or does it go straight into the fridge without first rising at room temp.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Loraine, For the overnight instructions allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator instead of the 60-90 minutes in a warm environment. So after you cover your bowl it can go right in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

      1. Thank you so much. I sent a separate question posted under your Mix Berry Galette’s. I’m making both the pizza and Galette’s tomorrow for company.

  9. Hi, Sally!

    I love your recipes! I made the dough and watched the video, but my pizza dough always seems way too sticky when I make it! I tried adding about 1/4 cup more flour and it was still almost too sticky to handle and didn’t look like the consistency of yours. What am I doing wrong? I did double check to make sure my measurements were correct and they were….

    Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, There are a lot of variances that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the brand of flour and the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.

  10. I have been using this recipe for quite a while now and I love it. It is the only pizza dough recipe I use. Every time I google a recipe, I end up on your site and have success with every recipe I get from you. Now instead of googling a recipe I just go to your site and search there. So thanks for all the great no fail recipes!

  11. I love the recipe the only changes I made were adding italian and garlic powder to the dough mixture. I also added Italian bread crumbs to the flour when rolling out the pizza and adding Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and parmasean cheese to the oil I brush over the pizza before topping. I just felt that the pizza crust needed some flavor. The texture is perfect and was very tasty, but after making these small adjustments to the recipe; the pizza came out phenomenal.

  12. your pizza dough recipe never fails and is always delicious, thank you for sharing a winner of a pizza crust.

  13. Hi Sally!

    Thank you so much for this incredible recipe! It has become a Sunday staple at my home. I need your help though. On Sunday’s I have been making both pizzas at around noon and leave the second one for dinner time. However I have been wanting to wait to make the second pizza so its fresh and hot for dinner. What is the best way to store the second dough for the few hours I won’t be needing it?

    Thank you for all your help!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Monica, We are so happy this has become a staple in your house! You can let the dough in the bowl rise in the refrigerator for a slower, delayed rise. Or you can let it rise on the counter then roll it/shape it and cover & refrigerate until ready to use. The shaped dough will *slightly* rise during that refrigeration.

      1. Thank you so much for your help!

  14. hI Sally,
    and anyone who tries this! shucks, I didn’t read all the way through (bad habit), and I didn’t divide the dough!!!! Make sure you DIVIDE THE DOUGH!
    Our pizza was really thick, and needed more baking time. Not a good thing! oh well it tasted good.

  15. I made this with Sunrise Flour brand Heritage Pizza Blend and a little semolina added in. It’s delicious, crispy on the bottom, nice & chewy inside and it tastes amazing!

  16. Michele u Felton says:

    Hi Sally, love your recipes. Do I need to use the Platinum yeast for the pizza crust? My dough is not rising with the instant yeast from another brand. Thank you so much

    1. Hi Michele, you can use any brand instant or active dry yeast. I wonder if the yeast you’re using is expired? I love using Platinum yeast by Red Star if you ever want to give that a try. Their quick rise yeast is great too.

  17. I made this dough tonight. I used 1+1/2 cups of whole wheat and 2 cups white flour. I would recommend if doing this you add an addtional 2Tbsp of water to help hydrate the whole wheat flour a bit better. Overall this pizza was amazing with a crisp, not to airy crust, with good flavor and a nice mouth feel. If anyone has any other recommendations let me know. I’m always looking to make some delicious pizza on my blackstone rotary pizza oven. 🙂

  18. I love your recipes they always turn out great. My biggest issue is always spreading the pizza dough, its my nemisis. Once I spread it, it keeps shrinking back. What is a good tip to help with that.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jo-Ann, This is completely normal for yeasted doughs. Cover the dough that keeps shrinking with a clean towel and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. (Giving the gluten a chance to relax.) Return to shaping it. You’ll have an easier time!

  19. Hi Looking forward to trying this…Can I use bread four instead of all purpose??

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura, 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.

  20. How do I double this recipe?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elea, We recommend making two separate batches of dough instead of doubling.

  21. I have only been able to find bleached all purpose flour. Can I use this?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      That should be ok, Gerry.

  22. Hi Sally! I would like to make this dough in the morning for dinner tonight. Can I put it in the refrigerator to slow rise for less than 8 hours? I’m thinking maybe 5 hours in the fridge and 1 hour on the counter? Also, I don’t have a pizza pan. Is it too much dough for a single baking sheet?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sue, We are just seeing this but if you try it again for a 5 hour time period, you may want to start it at room temperature first, then place in the refrigerator.

  23. Perfect recipe!!!

  24. So easy and so delicious! The dough is pillowy and addictive! We get 3 pizzas out of the dough since we have to make them a bit smaller to pre-cook the bottoms in our cast iron. For a quick dough this cannot be beat. Thank you!

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