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 made homemade bagels for the baking challenge this month, 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.

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 or 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 homemade cinnamon rolls and dinner 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, 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.
  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

229 Comments

  1. I’ve always been intimidated by working with yeast and dough in general. I’ve made pizza dough once before using a different recipe, and it didn’t come close to this one! This recipe made the fluffiest dough, with great flavor. I don’t have a mixer so I did it by hand, and I didn’t split the dough because I like my pizzas large, but it still turned out great. My husband said it was one of the best pizzas he’s ever eaten!! This is now my go-to pizza dough recipe! Thank you Sally!

  2. Hi Sally,

    First of all, thank you the beautiful recipes! It is such a pleasure to discover them every week. Back to the recipe: here in Switzerland, I am unable to find the same yeast as you have in the US (tiny brown granules). We either have white powdered yeast, or fresh yeast, also called cake yeast. I tested the recipe with the white powdered yeast but it didn’t raise properly. Any idea to substitute instant yeast with cake yeast?

      1. A warm thank you for your reply, i’ll give 2 and 1/4 of powdered yeast a shot. If it doesn’t work out, i’ll go with the cake yeast conversion from red star yeast 🙂 have a great day!

  3. Regarding your Homemade Pizza Crust: you mention a video several times, but I can never find it. Where is it located. Thanks.

    1. Hi Joseph! It’s under the title Video Tutorial located in the middle of the post after I summarize the steps. It’s a little rectangle with a play button in the center.

      1. Sally,
        For some reason it’s not showing up on the webpage. I’m not sure why, but I’ve made bread before so your recipe shouldn’t present any problems. Thanks anyways.

    2. Hi Joseph – I had the same problem and discovered my ad blocker blocked the videos on all of Sally’s posts. I would see the header but no video! Simply pausing my ad blocker then refreshing the page made the video appear. Hope this helps!

      1. I had the same issue. The video never loads to my page, especially when using Chrome. Thanks for the tip on checking the ad blocker!

      2. Hi Rebecca B.,
        Thanks for the tip about pausing the ad blocker and refreshing the page. I was able to view the video with no problems.

  4. My husband and I were just talking last night about making homemade pizzas for the superbowl! What incredible timing! Can’t wait to use your recipe 🙂

    1. Very easy! Just use the same amount of active dry yeast. The only difference is that the dough will take a little longer to double in size during the rising step.

  5. Thank you for this recipe. Would like to use Italian 00 flour. Any additional suggestions other than to add a couple extra tablespoons of water? I am a recent subscriber, and really enjoy receiving your e-mails. We loved your chicken soup.

    1. Thank you so much for subscribing, Beth! Happy you’re enjoying the emails. I use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour in my pizza dough, which has similar levels of protein to type 00 flour. Use the same amount of 00 flour, no need to add extra liquid. This is a great question, thanks for asking it.

  6. I am very excited to see this pizza crust recipe and will be trying it very soon! Yum! Your bagel recipe is AMAZING and they have been getting rave reviews from my family!! I have been wanting to do more yeast baking so your recipes have been very timely. Thank you!

  7. Just a little suggestion when making a video. Not everyone knows how to knead dough. Slow the video just a bit at the beginning so we can see your kneading technique, then you can speed it up. Thank you.

  8. I have a pizza stone, would I transfer the pizza onto the stone after I’ve put the toppings on? The pizza stone is supposed to be super hot. Thanks! I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Hi Connie! If using a pizza stone, make sure it’s preheated in the oven according to its instructions. Transfer the shaped/topped pizza to the hot stone. Using a baker’s/pizza peel dusted with cornmeal helps transferring it.

  9. I could not find the video either. There was nothing under the video tab. Also, do you have a recipe for homemade pizza sauce? I would love to find a good, simple sauce recipe.

    1. Hi Carol! If you have an ad blocker installed on your device, the video will not show up. You can temporarily pause it and refresh the page. I hope this helps!

  10. I’m going to try this recipe today. I always use frozen pizza dough and it never occurred to me to make it and freeze it myself! This dough would also be perfect to make calzone. Thanks Sally for always inspiring me.

  11. This recipe is what really got me into baking. It’s so much better than delivery and is pretty easy! I’ve also done the whole wheat version, which is also amazing and makes this a healthy meal we can have weekly! I sprinkle garlic on the crust before adding my toppings. Even when I overcooked the wheat one slightly, it was still way better than delivery.
    On the videos, one thing I’ve noticed is that if I switch to the desktop view in chrome they show up.

  12. For a crispy crust, bake crust only in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes – the crust will just begin to Brown. You will hear the crust crunch as you cut it. Yum!

  13. Hi Sally!
    You use so little flour to knead. I think I add too much. How should the dough feel? Should it still be a little sticky? Moist? Dry?
    I hope you answer! Thanks

    1. The dough should feel soft and a little sticky. Not wet and definitely not dry. How about I add that to the recipe instructions so it helps others too!

  14. This recipe has been posted on the inside of my cabinet door for years. It is the only recipe I’ll use for pizza dough. We make it at least two times per week. It is foolproof, rolls out like a dream, and tastes great. My daughters love customizing their own pizzas using this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Hi sally, I was wondering – if I want to use mushrooms as a topping, do they go on raw or should I fry them first? I’m worried that if I put them on raw, they will release a temendous amount of water and make my pizza soggy. Any tips on this would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Jessica! I recommend cooking down the mushrooms in a frying pan with a little olive oil or butter for a few minutes before adding to the uncooked pizza. Think of them like meat (not from a raw standpoint, but from a texture standpoint)– definitely pre-cook beforehand because they won’t cook down properly in the oven.

    1. Hi Cheryl! I include the proofing step in case readers swap active dry yeast instead. The 5 minutes does no harm to the instant yeast, but I do find the sugar dissolves a little better during that time.

  16. This was my first time making pizza dough and it was so easy to make!I made this for my mom’s birthday dinner and it was so tasty and so delicious! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! It made my moms day!

  17. I was super excited about trying a new pizza recipe, but this is the exact one I’ve used for years through another blogger/YouTuber. :/

    1. Hi Samantha! This pizza crust recipe was originally published on my blog in 2013 after I spent several weeks (or months, I can’t remember now!) working on it. I’m unsure how old your video was but it’s a recipe that’s been on my site for a long time. I hope you enjoyed it when you tried it! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Sally, I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious! We baked it on our pizza steel and the crust was crisp on the bottom and the edges, but super soft on the inside! Our combo of BBQ sauce with bacon and pineapple was the favorite 🙂 We tend to do thin crust pizza because of the shorter rise time, but this was perfectly easy and worth the extra little bit of time. A great recipe that we will definitely put in the rotation!

    1. Yes, I’m aware of the glitch and I’m so sorry about that! It’s actually on the queue to be resolved today, so check back. So sorry for the inconvenience.

  19. Hi Sally, I was always intimidated by making pizza dough, but you have cured me of that! This is my go to recipe when making pizzas.

    On another note, I was subscribed to get your daily posts, but all of a sudden I am not receiving them (they are not in my junk folder). I tried entering my email address again, and still am not getting them. I am very upset as I look forward to daily seeing new recipes! I am a devoted follower of you, and have even turned my niece (who just got into a culinary program in high school!) on to you. Any ideas??

  20. Hi Sally. Any suggestions for pizza sauce? I always do my homemade sauce but I was wondering if you have a tip on that. Thank you

    1. Hi Oksana! So, if I can admit, I usually buy pizza sauce but when I have more time, I really like this one. I’ve made it a few times with no changes to the recipe.

  21. Hi Sally,
    Just made this pizza and crust was delicious! Any tips on getting the crust a little crispier on the bottom?
    Also your Peanut Butter Cup Cookies were a huge hit over Christmas.
    Thanks in Advance.

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