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


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 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 (438g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan


  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.


  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


  1. First time making this recipe and it was so good! I was wondering how many calories this recipe is, I’ve split the dough into 4 smaller pizzas and wanted to calculate how much each mini pizza is in calories.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yas! We’re thrilled to hear you love our pizza dough recipe. We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  2. I’ve done this pizza dough recipe many times before and it always worked so great! But this time, I don’t know what I did. But the pizza dough is super thick and dense. I can’t even knead it.. Any idea on how that happpend? Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bailey, Be sure you are measuring the flour correctly: spoon and level (or weigh) instead of scooping it. Scooping flour can lead to using too much which would result in a heavy dough.

  3. How do I make a thin crust pizza? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dee! Absolutely, just roll the dough out thinner. Or, for better results, use our flatbread dough. The rise time is shorter.

  4. Would I be able to use quick rise yeast with this recipe? Or active dry yeast? Thank you!

  5. Hi! I made this pizza today and it came out very delicious. However, when I checked on my dough after 60 minutes (of the 60-90 min rising time), the dough had risen so much that it was literally climbing out of the container! I would estimate it rose 4-5 times it’s original volume. I gently pushed it down to deflate it, and then refrigerated it while I prepared the toppings. After about 45 min in the fridge, it was close to the top of my container again! I’ve never had dough rise so fast before! And certainly not in the fridge!
    I used a scant 2 tbs active dry yeast; otherwise, I followed the recipe precisely. My dough was wonderfully soft and silky after kneading. I measured my flour in grams.
    I will be making this again, and think I will cut back the yeast to 1 tsp. What do you think?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alice! Was it a particularly hot or humid day for you? That’s so unusual. The recipe does call for 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of yeast, not Tablespoons – could that be the issue? Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

      1. Hi Trina,
        Thanks for getting back to me. I see that I had a typo in my original message; I actually used a scant 2 tsp of yeast, not 2 TBS! Sorry for that confusion.
        Yes, I know, it was pretty strange. It actually was raining here, so maybe that impacted the rise; although it seemed to rise so fast, even in the fridge! but there was no “yeasty” taste to the crust, you know, when too much yeast is used?….I guess this will be one of life’s mysteries!
        We loved the crust, though, and I will definitely be making it again. I am also eager to try your flatbread recipe.
        I’ve just found your website, and I’m thrilled to have this great resource now!

  6. Jennifer S says:

    Hello! I have made this pizza dough recipe about 100 times and it is amazing! I just got a ooni pizza oven and wondering if the recipe would work in there, or if you’ve ever tried that? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer, those pizza ovens look SO cool! We haven’t had a chance to test this pizza dough in one, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. We would love to hear how it goes!

  7. I love this recipe! The texture of the dough is perfect for pizza or focaccia. I usually just split the dough for a thinner crust. I also add seasonings to make it extra tasty. Garlic powder, italian seasoning, etc. Delish! Thank you!

  8. I made this recipe and I admittedly used bleached AP flour, but it did not turn out anything like the video. It was extremely sticky and impossible to work with. I ended up adding 60g more flour and it still didn’t look close to the video. What did I do wrong?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nathan, You’re not necessarily doing anything wrong– a lot of factors go into this such as mixing time, speed, weather, yeast, and temperature of water. Feel free to add a little more flour to make a soft, yet workable dough.

  9. LAURA Montvillle says:

    Found this recipe after trying to make crust per my sister’s instructuions. Seems we misswed the time for the yeast to activate before mixing with flour. Is this going to rise eventually or is there any way I can repair it?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura! Your dough should still be fine, the activation step is helpful just in case your yeast has gone bad – it lets you know from the very beginning so you don’t waste any ingredients. Your dough may take a bit longer to rise. Let us know how it goes!

      1. LAURA Montvillle says:

        Thanks! You’re right. We simply waited another 90 minutes and got the doubled dough we were hoping for! We’ll save this recipe and follow the suggested steps next time.

  10. Thank you Sally!!!!

    I made this pizza dough about 4 weeks ago and it was amazingggggg. First time making pizza. I always wanted to but was scared . Anyway I overcame my fears and did it and it came out great!!!!!

    My question, if I wanted to double the receipt to make more ( for me it only made one 14” and like a 4-6”) can I just double all the ingredients?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joanna, We are thrilled you enjoyed this recipe! 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), we recommend making 2 batches of dough separately.

      1. Thanks! I’ll do that.

        Something I forgot to mention the cornmeal on the pan…..brilliant. Just brilliant.

        Andddd, I added roasted Rosemary to my flour 🙂

  11. Question: I have made this pizza dough many times and we love it. But when I spread it out on my pizza pan it shrinks away from the sides of the pizza pan. Any idea why that happens?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anne! If the dough is shrinking, 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!

  12. This is the best, easiest pizza dough recipe ever. I’ve made it dozens of times since I discovered the recipe. As a Yankee living in the south, I crave good Italian food that can’t be purchased here. So I’ve learned to make it. Not a fan of homemade pizza, but I use this dough for stromboli, calzones, and sausage roll on a regular basis. It’s the best calzones and stromboli I’ve had in 25 years!

  13. Which oven rack do you cook the pizza on? Bottom or middle?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Erin, we cook ours on the middle rack. Enjoy!

  14. This pizza dough recipe is the crowd’s at our house party tonight. I used this recipe for the cheesy garlic bread sticks! Wow! My guests allove the dough! So yummy!❤️❤️❤️

  15. Rod clifford says:

    Well I followed the instructions (hard for a bloke) but ended up with the best pizza I’ve ever had so I’m about to make my second lot so much better than the takeaway pizza’s I used to buy I’m sold on this recipe so many thanks for sharing

  16. Aubrey gaston says:

    I have active yeast is that still ok to use?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aubrey, absolutely. You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be at least 90 minutes, but no other changes to recipe are necessary.

  17. An observation: If placed on the stone in a dedicated pizza oven, this dough will be next to impossible to turn with a pizza paddle. It sticks like glue to the stone – even with a generous coating of cornmeal or rice flour. The hydration for this dough is 67% which is quite high – this is not bread.

    I suggest using 468g flour with 297g water for 64% hydration; or even 480g flour with 297g water for a hydration of 62% resulting in a dough that won’t stick to everything and still be quite extensible.

    If already prepared dough is frozen (like mine), thaw, work in 62g more flour for 64% or work in 77g more for 62% then shape and finish.

    If baking on a pan or a stone or on parchment, in the oven where it does not get turned, hydration is not as critical as it is in a pizza oven with an open front.

  18. can you make this without sugar? I’ve tried a few times and the dough comes out great but very sweet. No dough flavor when cooked at all. If I can and do cut the sugar how much longer should l leave it to rise?

    PS – you’re recipes are my go-to. They are easy to follow and taste great!!!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pat! The sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, we don’t recommend skipping it. You could use honey instead. If you try reducing the sugar, please let us know how it goes!

  19. Hi my dough is so sticky. What can i do?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Oona, the dough can certainly be sticky, depending on lots of variables like even the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. Feel free to add additional flour, about a tablespoon at a time, to help the dough come together. Generously flouring your hands will also help when handling the dough.

  20. This is the best pizza dough recipe ever! Such a huge hit in the family (especially the little ones)… I have scrapped all of my other pizza dough recipes as this ones a keeper! I also tried your pretzels and they were amazing! Thank you so much for posting such wonderful recipes 🙂 I have bookmarked your website.

  21. Worked great! Thanks!

  22. Came out really nice. This is my new go to pizza dough. Thanks a lot.

  23. I LOVE this pizza dough recipe!! Before this recipe, all the other recipes I’d tried resulted in a super floppy, and soggy crust (one recipe was even super salty), but this recipe is PERFECT!!! I usually mix the ingredients for 1 minute to combine, and then 7 minutes kneading in my kitchenaid, or by hand. It is a super fun, and easy recipe to make for dinner, even for an 11-yr-old (like me). Thank you soooo much Sally for this recipe!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you loved this recipe, Oona!

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