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!

Print
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.
  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. 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

302 Comments

  1. It’s 10:20 and I needed to make the dough before a meeting and I am letting it rise, can I put it in the fridge after that and take it out and make it or do I have to let it rise again when I make it at 5?

  2. I was thinking of using your recipe, so I noticed you wrote that the dough tastes better if left overnight in the fridge, but it also says refrigerate after step 3, so do I let it rise for 60-90 minutes at room temperature before refrigerating? Or do I put it straight into the fridge to rise?
    Thank you!

    1. Yes– prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator instead of in a warmer environment.

  3. First time making pizza dough. Made 2 batches last night. One to make and one to freeze. My husband said, we will never buy pizza again! We loved it and it is so easy to make and the clean up was not much either. There is no reason for us to ever buy frozen or delivered again. Love it. Thanks so much…

  4. I loved this ! I just got a kitchen aid for Christmas and I have been pinteresting tons of recipes to try. Pizza was one we were all excited for! I made the dough and used both halves. I did one rectangle pizza and one circle pizza. We did a cheese and a pepperoni pizza. They both came out amazingly! My boyfriend accidently bought cornmeal mix not just plain cornmeal so we didn’t have that ingredient and everyone still loved it! Can’t wait to try it again with the cornmeal. Thanks!! I wish I could attach pictures!!

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Alyson! And congrats on your new kitchen aid – can’t wait to hear what else you make with it!

  5. Sally! Wow! I experimented with your dough recipe today. Despite being a pretty experienced baker, I’ve never made pizza dough. I think it’s because I’m worried I’ll mess it up and it will ruin the meal I attempted it for. This crust is so easy to come together, and well worth the overnight proofing in the fridge. I will not be ordering pizza again! It was a huge hit with kiddos home on winter break. I am for to make pizza for New Year’s Eve now. Love your recipes in general! Thank you for one more that is yet again my go to!

  6. I’ve been wanting to make this for sometime now. I made it for New Years Eve and it was a hit. Thank you again for an amazing recipe. I never make a new recipe without test driving it first. I can honestly say that I don’t need to do that with your recipes Sally

  7. Wonderful recipe! I have made this many many times and it always turns out great! I’ve made this by hand, as well as in a bread maker and it turns out great both ways 🙂

    Thank you so much for the quick video too to go along with the recipe–super helpful when making dough for the first time!!

  8. I would like to use my bread machine to make this dough. Are all the measurements the same except I should use instant/bread machine yeast? And since my dough cycle includes a rising time, should I let it rise again (maybe in the fridge overnight)? Thank you!

  9. I would like to try your recipe. But I want to double it. Can I just double everything? I feel two packets of yeast would be too much. Thanks

    1. For best results, I recommend making two separate batches of dough rather than doubling. This helps the ingredients to incorporate better. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

      1. Omg! Absolutely love this dough recipe. Super easy to make and tastes amazing. I used vegetable oil, because i forgot to grab more olive oil. Made pizzas tonight, but I believe this dough would work for calzones, strombolies as well.

    1. Hi, Karen! I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  10. Hi Sally –
    I’m going to make one pepperoni and one cinnamon with icing like a cinnamon roll! I’ll let you know how it turns out! Dinner and dessert in one recipe! Win-Win! (And then I’ll jump on my recumbent bike).

  11. Sally: I plan to make this tonight. I’ve wanted to make pizza for a long time, so I’m going to jump in. I made your sandwich bread yesterday and it was fabulous. So easy and almost no “hands on” as the mixer did all the work. I’m going to make another loaf but with cinnamon and raisins to see how that tastes. Thanks for all your wonderful and easy recipes.

    1. Hi Sara, I don’t recommend much more than 12 hours in the refrigerator for the dough. Although you can certainly follow the freezing instructions in the recipe notes to make it further in advance!

      1. I can’t see the video either and my ad blocker is disabled.
        The words “video tutorial” do not appear to be a link, and the only photos on the page are still photos. There is no video!

      2. Hi Beth– the words “Video Tutorial” are not linked. The horizontal photo right below it (of pizza) has a play button (a triangle)– press play. 🙂

  12. Hi, I made this and used an over thermometer to make sure that the temperature was correct, but it actually ended up burning the cheese on top. I had it in for only 10 minutes. I saw a recipe on another website that has the oven temp at 425. Is it possible that 425 would be a better temp for this?

    1. Hi Katherine, I recommend moving your oven rack to a lower position so that the top doesn’t cook quite as fast. You can also try lowering your oven temperature to 450 if you still need to.

  13. Well, thank you Sally, for the response, but really and truly, there is NO video on the page for me. And my ad blocker is definitely turned off.
    Hmm … I now see it has something to do with the anti-tracking software I have. I finally see the video when I whitelist your site there.
    OK, I guess there is no escape. I’ll do it, so I can watch your video!

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