Homemade Pizza Dough 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 cut into slices with a piece being removed

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 fewer 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 on baking sheet

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!

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.

  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!

2 images of homemade pizza dough in a ball and rising in a glass bowl 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 before baking

Overview: How to Make Easy Pizza Dough (for bread beginners)

  1. 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.
  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? 🙂


Pizza Dough 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 cut into slices

Recipes Using Pizza Dough

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

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Homemade pizza on baking sheet

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. Close to 2 pounds of dough total.


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 (450g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan

Instructions

  1. 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.
  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 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. Continue with step 5, punching down the dough to release air if needed.
  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 at least 90 minutes. 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

slices of cheese pizza

1064 Comments

  1. My first time ever making pizza dough at home, and I couldn’t have asked for a better recipe. I just loved the whole process of making it and it turned out sooooo good! I used the base to make spinach artichoke pizza, a small cheese pizza and an Indian spicy chicken pizza. A super hit dish. thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy you loved it, Kavs!

  2. Jeannette Villon says:

    This is my go to pizza recipe! I used either bread flour or all purpose and it never fails me. Thank youuu! ❤️

    1. Barbara Residenti says:

      First time for me also. I forgot the sugar, but the crust came out great anyhow. Forget buying store bought pizza!!

  3. I decided to try a different recipe for a change after using the one I had for years. Instead of using the mixer, I used the wooden spoon. After mixing all the ingredients in the bowl, it was obvious that the dough was very dry. So, I added a little more olive oil, kneading throughout the dough. It then came together fine. Either there’s too much flour or not enough oil.

  4. I have struggled with making pizza dough in the past but followed this recipe to a T and the end result was a nice crispy crust with a nice flavor. I plan to make this again soon using the overnight fridge method and adding some garlic powder to the dough as well. Dough came out really soft and easy to roll out. I don’t have a pizza stone but I did put the baking pan in the oven to preheat to 475 then transferred my pizza to the pan before baking.

  5. First time making bread of any kind. My dough was so sticky. I could kneed it. I weighed all my ingredients. Idk what I could have done wrong. Any help?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alex, be sure to generously flour your hands and countertop when kneading by hand. You can also add flour a small amount at a time (about a tablespoon at a time) to help as well if the dough is still a bit too sticky. Hope this is helpful!

  6. This is amazing. I’ve tried making pizza dough so many times and each time the result has been underwhelming. This morning, I made the first batch using this recipe – made your pizza roll recipe and fed them to the builders who are doing some work here today. They were so impressed, I am now making a second batch for the family. Thank you!

  7. I LOVE this recipe. But, I have to say, freezing half the dough doesn’t work well. I followed all of the instructions and yet the dough never cooked! It was raw. Any idea why?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachel! Is it possible the dough wasn’t thawed all the way through? Make sure to let it rest on the counter to bring to room temperature before baking and roll it out thin enough. We’re so glad you love this pizza dough!

  8. I love this recipe! The dough is so soft. I also froze the second half for a week, defrosted it in the fridge over night, and then let it rest on the counter a while. It tasted as good as the first. This is our go to pizza recipe now! I wonder if I could make a GF version? Switching out 1:1 flour? Any experience with that?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Debbie, we’re so glad you enjoyed our pizza dough recipe! We haven’t tested a gluten-free version, but many of our readers have reported success using 1:1 flours as you mention, like Bob’s Red Mill or Cup4Cup. If you give it a try, we’d love to know how it turns out for you.

  9. what would you say the max amount of time in the refrigerator would be?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachelle! Up to 12 hours in the refrigerator is best. Freeze if storing longer than that.

  10. Dear Ms Sally,
    My family buys pizza quite often. I have been referred to your web by a relative who has ever made pizza following your instruction. As a first timer, may I have your inputs to the following:
    1. Here in Indonesia, we are more familiar with low protein and high protein flour. You recommend to use unbleached all-purpose white flour. Is it a low protein or high protein type of flour?
    2. Will any mozzarella cheese types melt in the oven (at 170 deg C)?
    Thanks and regards,

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hadi! All purpose flour is about 11% protein. Yes, mozzarella cheese will melt but you can use any kind of cheese you prefer. Enjoy!

  11. Further to my earlier question, what is the temperature of the oven for baking the pizza? It is not stated clearly and for how long?
    Thanks so much,

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hadi! See step 4 and step 7.

  12. This is the first recipe I have ever used to make homemade pizza, and it’s excellent!! I have now made it three different times and it has turned out great each time. The kids love it! It’s much easier than I thought it would be and it taste’s great!!

  13. I tried this but always find it very difficult to really stretch out the dough without it ripping. that’s seem to hardest part to get correct .. thoughts?? ( I don’t like using a rolling pin and that takes away allot of the texture

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Peter! If the dough is ripping, you can try covering the dough with a clean towel and letting it rest for 10-15 minutes. This gives the gluten a chance to relax. Then you can return to shaping it. You should have an easier time!

      1. Thxs. Well ive tried that many times. But somehow its the part of the process that seems to be a bit of a mystery. One other thing. In you experience should the dough be at room temp or a bit cooler ,particularly if coming out of the freezer or fridge. Will that change anything

      2. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        I find room temperature dough much easier to work with.

  14. Hi Sally! I would love to try this recipe for my pizza dough because I got everything I need to know here as a beginner <3 I'm just wondering if you can recommend an oil substitute for olive oil? I'm interested on putting up a pizza business here at my place and I find olive oil too pricey for me. Looking forward to your response 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Janela, we’re so glad you enjoy this pizza dough recipe! We find that olive oil produces the best flavor, but you can try replacing the olive oil with a neutral flavored oil such as canola or vegetable oil if desired.

  15. Hi Sally, how long can you leave the pizza dough in the refrigerator? This recipe doesn’t contain eggs, so maybe longer than usual?
    I made this recipe last week and it was AMAZING! It was a hit for everyone! Thank you 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sierra! Up to 12 hours in the refrigerator is best. We recommend freezing if storing longer than that. We’re so glad you enjoyed this dough recipe!

  16. I made this recipe last night!! Our pizza was delicious!! Thank you for this amazing recipe! I

  17. Love, love, love this recipe! It is our go to pizza dough. I make it in the bread machine on the dough setting, and we use all of it on one big sheet pan. So yummy! Thanks again Sally for this wonderful share.

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