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. 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!

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 (7g) 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

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. 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 pizza, 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. 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

slices of cheese pizza

1001 Comments

  1. Is there any way to speed up the thawing process after frozen?
    I froze the dough after making it and would like to use it but usually don’t know 8 hours ahead of time that I want to use it.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tanya! Thawing slowly in the refrigerator really is the best way, otherwise it will thaw unevenly and may still be frozen in the middle when you go to use it.

      1. when I freeze my dough, I make it a flatter disc that fits in a frozen bag. (maybe an inch thick). It takes less time to thaw and is easier to store…

  2. Trying this recipe for the first time and needed 5.5 cups instead of 3.5 before the dough had the right consistency. Not sure why. Its pretty dry where I am with temps of about 75f (32c). Letting it raise right now. Hope it turns out well.

    1. Same here. Needed much more flour than what was in the recipe

  3. Great pizza crust recipe! I used it to make twisty garlic breadsticks. Instead of rolling it into two 12-inch discs, I rolled it into a rectangle roughly 12×18 inches, covered half with a thickened garlic Alfredo sauce, and folded the other half on top. I then cut it into 12 strips, twisted each strip, brushed with butter, and baked them for 14 minutes. Turned out wonderful!

  4. Could I make this and allow to sit on the counter for 4 to 6 hrs? Its winter here and cooler. Want to make and let the kids go sledding for the day. Will it compromise the dough?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie! See recipe notes for Overnight/All Day Instructions. Enjoy!

  5. Started this dough at 12 in the afternoon. Do I still refrigerate for a rise to be done at 6?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine, We are just seeing this but if you every run into this problem again, you can let the dough rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes until almost doubled in size and then place it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

  6. This was an AWESOME crust recipe. 1/2 of recipe made a nice 14” round thin crust. I froze the other half. really good. Used my dough hook and the quick yeast. I didn’t realize that even 20 degrees too hot would possibly kill the yeast. I used a thermometer and made sure it was only 110. I actually had the dough double!!!! after proofing in a oven that was heated to 150 degrees, it doubled in about 90 minutes.
    I baked at 425, not 475 suggested in the recipe for about 15 minutes. The recipe was meant for a 12” pizza (not 14) so we reduced the heat a little. Used our usual Canadian bacon (whole package), pineapple, olives (really)and the sauce was Boboli. We rolled dough with rolling pin to get it to 14”.
    Thanks for all the tips and detailed steps!

  7. This was a simple and great recipe thanks for making a great dinner so easy!

  8. Can I use 00 pizza flour? Would I have to adjust anything in the recipe? Thanks!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, 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, but you can use either with no changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

  9. Please help! This is the second pizza dough recipe I’ve tried…each time, I follow it to the letter and the dough is always so wet and unworkable! I read a while ago that you’re not supposed to add flour while kneading but as the dough is from the recipe measurements, it’s so sticky and even after 20 minutes of kneading with both my hands and dough scrapers, I make almost no progress! What’s happening and what can I do?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karen, 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.

      1. Thanks for the advice Michelle! I am relieved to hear that I can add flour! That will certainly help make life easier!!

  10. Can you use less sugar maybe 1 tsp instead

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Marsha, 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!

  11. Tracey T Parker says:

    OMG!!! I just got thru making this pizza dough. I can bake something!!! I will learning how to bake with your instructions!!! Thank You, Teacher!!!

  12. Made these last night for us and our granddaughters. Everything was perfect and we all loved it. First time making homemade crust. We followed the recipe exactly.

  13. New to the whole making your own pizza dough experience, but I have made this a half dozen times over the last few months. I follow the recipe exactly and it comes out perfect every time. My husband and son are in heaven- no more frozen pizzas! I am a huge fan- every single recipe I make from this Sally’s Baking Addiction is a success.

  14. Joyce Hiebert says:

    I’ve been married for 42 years and been cooking for longer than that. After making this pizza dough and adding toppings of pepperoni, ham, green peppers & pineapple, my husband told me today this is the best pizza you’ve ever made!! So this will be my do to recipe for a wonderful pizza and great compliments ;). Thank you!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joyce, Thanks for trying this recipe! So glad you and your husband loved it.

  15. Made a pizza today using this exact recipe and it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  16. I really like this recipe and always make it. Used to get really good, until I realized that the cheese melts quickly, but the crust doesn’t. Brought the temperature down by 50, but still the dough looks pale and not golden. Can you help with this? Any suggestions?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aida, You have a few options! You can roll the dough thinner so that it bakes through better, and also try lowering the rack in your oven so that the cheese doesn’t melt as fast. Or you can pre-bake your crust (about 5-8 minutes on the same oven temperature) before adding your toppings to guarantee a crisp crust. Hope this helps!

  17. Do I need to bake the pizza on the first rack or in the middle it’s okay?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lizakim, You can bake this pizza on the middle rack but if you notice that your cheese is melting before the crust is finished baking you can move it to a lower rack. Enjoy!

  18. This recipe is absolutely AWESOME! We bought a pizza oven at the beginning of the pandemic and make the best pizza we’ve ever had thanks to this recipe. We get four crusts out of it, which makes a really nice big personal pizza. It freezes really well and cooks up just as fresh and tasty once thawed. Thanks for this and so many other fantastic recipes!

  19. After years of making homemade pizzas for my kids (most Fridays), I decided to invest in a pizza stone. I tried the prescribed pizza dough recipe, but it all went a bit wrong due to me not heating the stone up enough. Second time round I decided I needed an easier recipe and thus remembered stumbling across this one in the first instance. Came out absolutely perfect!!! A lot of recipes claim to be easy and have the perfect crust blah blah blah, but this one really did! And was so easy to make the dough. I like the fact you only have to proof the dough once. Thank you!!! Will be using this recipe over and over for many many years to come.

  20. I was wanting to make a few pizzas and put them in the freezer so I can make them at a later date. Would this be possible with this dough recipe? Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stacy! 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.

  21. Hey Sally,
    I had a quick question. I don’t have a scale and I am trying to figure out how much 150 gr of regular oil will be in cups? I would love if you could help me convert it into cups.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, This recipe only calls for 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil.

  22. This dough was awesome. Based on some other comments I used 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 AP flour. It was a very tasty and easy to make dough. This would make fantastic breadsticks.

  23. This is my all-time favorite pizza dough recipe. I’ve divided it into 2 large, 3 medium and even 4 small portions to customize each person’s topping. I make this at least once a month and do not even crave ordering pizza from anyplace else.

  24. Yup, 5 stars. Super easy and everyone liked it. Thanks!

  25. Jacques Brunelle says:

    Hello from Val d’Or, Quebec, Canada
    I personally use a one cup of corn flour and two cup of regular flour, it give the dough a crusty texture that we only find in restaurant.
    Add in sequence about one third of olive oil when you knead the dough, just add flour if needed but not too much.
    Let it rise and put the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
    Have a look at the bubbly dough coming out of the Frigidaire.
    Make 2 or 3 small pizza
    Give it a try

  26. I’ve been using a focaccia dough recipe for my pizza crust for over 15 years, but wanted something better. I finally made it to this recipe, and like everything else I’ve tried from Sally’s website, it was wonderful. Thank you for sharing with and educating us, Sally! My family thanks you too!!

  27. I made according to recipe and dough isn’t rising much. Can it still be used?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy! See the tip in step 3 for details on creating a warm environment for your dough to rise – given enough time and warmth, your dough should rise eventually!

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