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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.

Homemade pizza cut into slices with a piece being removed

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.

Homemade pizza on baking sheet

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 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.
  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. If you love whole grain bread, try this whole wheat pizza dough instead.
  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!

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. ★★★★★”

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

  • 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 beat the dough with your mixer. I like doing this by hand and you can watch me in the video.
  • 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.

Homemade pepperoni cheese pizza cut into slices

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.

slices of pesto pizza made with mozzarella cheese and fresh pesto on top.

Uses for Homemade Pizza Dough

Here are the many uses for this homemade pizza dough:

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

Print
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Homemade pizza on baking sheet

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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) 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. (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.
  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, 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.
  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 pizza, margherita pizza, pesto pizza, spinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
  7. 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.
  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. Preheat the oven and 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 (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand MixerDough Scraper, Pizza Pan, Pastry Brush, Pizza 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I tried Sally’s pizza dough recipe after watching the video and the result was perfection! I can honestly say that I may never order take-out pizza again. The dough was easier to make than with other recipes and it came out crispy and flavorful. I recommend using a pizza pan with holes if you enjoy a crispy crust.

  2. I made your pizza dough this morning and put it in the frig to proof all day. But it has already doubled in size after 2 hours. What should I do?

  3. This is always my go to recipe for pizza nights! Thank you Sally for making many family movie nights amazing with this soft yet crispy crust 🙂 I use whole wheat flour and honey as the sweetener and get awesome results every time!!

  4. I’ve been using this recipe for a little while now. It has been specially AMAZING during the quarantine! We were pizza lovers and when ordering food seemed to be questionable, we had to improvise and this recipe was perfect! Now, we’ve saved so much money because there is no need to order pizza any longer!
    Thank you!

  5. Hi, just tried the pizza dough and it was marvelous. I made a chicken and bacon pizza with a garlic alfredo sauce and a ground turkey with onions olives and mushrooms in a red sauce my family absolutely loved them. I’ve made other pizza doughs before but this one was really easy and it was tastier than any of the others that I’ve tried. Thank you for this recipe I will use it again and again.

    1. Trying the recipe for the first time and was wondering is the water amount correct ? a 1 and 1/3 equals – 296 in milliliters for me not the 320. Just wondering

  6. I use this every week for pizza night, it’s great! I do have a question. If I make the crust and top it, can I put it in the fridge till I’m ready to bake it?

    1. Hi Beth! You can for a few hours, yes, but the assembled pizzas will continue to rise a bit. Cover them tightly in the refrigerator– that will help.

  7. The first time ever making this it was so perfect and ever sense that one time I can’t get it like how I did the first time. Yesterday I made bbq chicken pizza and used this dough maybe I didn’t let it rest long enough or maybe my fridge was too cold I’m unsure what I’m doing wrong:( but practice makes perfect right I’ll make sure to get this down

  8. omg this recipe literally changed my life. “sally’s baking addiction,” has always been my go-to recipe blog, but this dough was more than a game-changer. i made this pizza dough for my family one evening and it was so good! yesterday i made a pizza and some garlic knots and my family devoured and loved them. this dough is so easy versatile and springy and fluffy, which makes it always better (of course). this is one of those recipes that i know i’ll be making again and again until i just do about every week! thank you sally!

  9. My boyfriend absolutely raved about this pizza crust-said it was the best he’s ever tried. I’ve made this with white sauce and red with many different toppings, and he loved them. Thank you!

  10. I love this pizza dough recipe. I have tried others but my family has decided this is the one. I love your recipes!

  11. I totally agree with the positiv comments here. I did this once and tried other pizza crust recipes . This is the best so far so sticking with this one! Thank you!

  12. I love this recipe! I use it in my high school foods class and my students love it. I am wondering, though, if we make the dough through step 5 on a Tuesday, will it be ok covered in the refrigerator until we make pizza on Thursday? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen! Up to 8-12 hours in the refrigerator is best. Freeze if storing longer than that. (Unless you use cooler water in the dough as mentioned in the recipe note!).

    1. Hi Emma, for best results, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling.

  13. I h a ve used this several times to name calzones. My family loves it, it is easy to make and use. Now our family favorite pizza crust dough.

  14. I’ve made this dough many times and it’s always delicious! However, I currently only have bleached flour in my pantry – should I add more water to compensate for the difference in protein from unbleached flour?

  15. This was really easy to adapt for 7300 ft. Great instructions, easy to follow as always. I chose a longer refrigerator rise and that resulted in a great flavor, too.

  16. Seriously the best pizza dough recipe! Looking for a bit of advice though! Do you have any tips or tricks for getting the pizza easily off of the pizza peel onto the pizza stone?! Made a mess trying to do this and ended up giving up and just using a pizza pan!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I wish I had some great advice for this. Try using a little more cornmeal under the dough so it can slide a little easier. That’s been my best “trick” and it’s not perfect every time, but it does help.

  17. best pizza crust recipe I’ve found so far. I especially loved having the weight of the flour listed. it made it so much easier to just weigh the needed flour as I had to double this recipe. definitely will be using this one again!

  18. I have made beginner pizza dough, whole wheat dough, and flatbread pizza dough. My weekly delimma is to decide which recipe I want to make. So far my favorite flatbread pizza but the other two are also excellent. The whole wheat requires a pretty healthy amount of topping since the dough is chewy. The dough freezes well.

  19. We only use this recipe and everyone loves my pizza. Grateful to find this recipe! Thank you!!!

  20. I made a Turkey Club pizza with this pizza crust recipe and my husband and I loved it so much that I made it again the next night. I honestly can’t believe how chewy and delicious the pizza crust turned out and what a nice crunch the bottom of the crust got from the cornmeal. This recipe was easy to make and I was happy to discover how well the dough held up while shaping it into the pizza pan (I usually end up with lots of little tears in the crust that I have to try to seal back together). I will definitely be getting a lot of use out of this recipe!

    My only question is if you have any guidance on making pizzas ahead of time and freezing them for later use (vs just making and freezing the dough). Does it work well to make the entire pizza ahead of time? How long would I need to take it out of the freezer before baking it or could I just stick it right into the oven from the freezer? Any help would be appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Robin! So glad you loved it. 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.

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