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. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough by hand with a wooden spoon 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.

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. (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 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

718 Comments

  1. I’ve made this recipe 3 times now and it never failed. On my second try, I added some minced garlic. Then on the third I used garlic powder. Either way it gave the crust a little something extra.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. Lisa Hernandez says:

    I’ve tried other crust recipes, but this one comes out really well!! Especially when you let it sit in refrigerator for a few hours. I also think it’s better if you cook the crust for a few minutes before topping it! I really loved it paired with a simple do it yourself sauce recipe. Delicious!! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Hi Sally,
    What’s the differemce between active and instant dry yeast? Can I use active yeast without having to change any other ingredients? Thanks

    1. Hi Nicole, Instant yeast has a faster rise time. You can use active yeast with no changes to the ingredients but your rise time may take longer (see recipe notes). You can reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

  4. Karen Liff says:

    I made this today in my bread machine using the dough setting. I’m disabled so always looking for recipes where I can just put the ingredients in to my bread machine and leave it to do the work on because I can’t stand upright for very long. This looked like a recipe that would work. I followed the usual principles for putting ingredients into the machine, liquids first, then flour and yeast on top and just left it to go through the dough cycle and to rise in the machine. I then came back an hour and a half later (that’s how long my bread machine’s dough cycle setting takes) and rolled out the dough and left it to rest whilst I got the toppings ready. Tonight I made the Caramelized Apple Gorgonzola Pizza, and it came out brilliantly and tasted delicious. I didn’t have Cornmeal but the pizza still came out perfectly cooked through, crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside after 12 minutes in the oven. This is a great recipe, and so easy to make, and will be in my recipe folder for future use now instead of ordering in pizzas.

  5. Tracy Avelar says:

    I love this dough and it is so fun to make. Sooo good!

  6. I normally don’t rate recipes, but after using this recipe again and again, I had to comment. I’ve made some pretty darn delicious pizzas with this crust. Nothing too fancy, and I love that I can make the dough and have fresh pizza in about an hour and a half.

    I have a big family. I double the recipe and let my stand mixer do the hard work. Haven’t had any issues with the motor.

    I like to add garlic powder and Italian seasonings for a little extra oof. I can’t wait to experiment with slower rise times (for a more complex flavor) and crust toppings. A fantastic recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Tangy! I’m thrilled that your family enjoys this recipe so much!

  7. Neha Gaikwad says:

    Can you substitute Corn Meal with Semolina flour or Corn Starch?

  8. I don’t usually post to these recipes…but this one is super easy and the best pizza crust I have had! Thank you!

  9. My first time making homemade pizza crust and it came out perfectly. I used active dry yeast instead of instant, and I made a BBQ chicken pizza which my husband and I loved, it was even better than our typical takeout place! Thanks for the detailed instructions for baking novices like me.

  10. I made this recipe tonight after receiving my order of SAF instant yeast. I substituted a can of my husband’s IPA for the water after watching an episode of DDD. The pizza dough came together easily in my stand mixer. Made 4 10” pies with various toppings. Who needs Domino’s delivery!

  11. I love this dough recipe. It is the best one I tried and found.

  12. How about parbaking the crust before putting on the sauce and toppings? I am still getting that slightly undercooked middle where the crusts are perfect golden brown and can’t bake it any further state. Should I just try it?

    1. My thoughts for Isabelle:

      You need to get a pizza stone or baking steel – trust me, you won’t regret it if you bake pizza or bread with any frequency. That will help to get a crispy crust that is more cooked-through. Also maybe turn up the oven heat to the highest temperature for your oven…experiment with that and see what happens. Pizzerias and restaurants (particularly wood pizza ovens) use a very (or extremely) hot oven for cooking pizza.

      Try coating the dough with olive oil before applying sauce and toppings. That can help to keep the sauce separate from the dough/crust and prevent sogginess.

      Finally, make sure you have given the dough adequate rise time, and try spreading/pulling/rolling (whatever you do) the dough a bit thinner to see if you can find a happy middle ground as far as the crust consistently and cooking level that you’re hoping to achieve.

      I certainly welcome thoughts from Sally and others on this topic. Thanks.

      For Sally:

      Wonderful recipe!!! I stumbled upon this many months ago. Out of all the pizza dough recipes I have tried, I keep coming back to this one as I continue to have the best results with crust and pizza satisfaction. You’ve been a great resource – thank you!!

  13. I woke up one morning wanting to make pizza from scratch, something that has never come to me before. I used this bread recipe and it came out great. I used a hand mixer and the instruction about testing for firmness was the right answer. For some reason, I always find that kneading any bread for the amount of time listed is too much, so I appreciated this recipe giving the tip about how much kneading time by test instead of time. The recipe ended up making two pizzas with too much bread in my wife’s opinion. Next time I’ll cut the ingredients in half and roll out the dough much thinner. Very tasty pizza we ended up with, black olives, green onions in little discs, paper-thin tomato slices and low-moisture mozzarella. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

  14. Didilocks478 says:

    Best pizza crust I have ever achieved baking at home. So easy to do and and delightful. Cannot recommend this enough x thank you Sally, you are an angel x my family adores your pizza crust x

  15. Great outcome even on the first try. Didn’t want a thick crust so we stretched it out a lil more and kept an eye on the oven and turned out great. Was exactly right on the crunch factor and softness. I absolutely love ur blog cuz I never have to worry. I can trust that it’ll be amazing even if I havent made or eaten it before and it promises to get better with each try!

  16. Hi Sally…love this crust, so easy! I made it for the first time yesterday and my husband wants it again on Saturday. I made up the dough but didn’t read far enough to let it rise in the fridge until it was too late. Can I just wrap them really tightly in plastic wrap and put in my fridge until tomorrow? Thank you!

    1. Hi Joanne, If you already let the dough rise you can follow the freezing directions in the recipe notes for longer storage.

  17. This crust was simple to make, and very easy to work with. It made great pizza! I think next time I’ll add some flavor to the crust with infused olive oil and some seasonings.

  18. Over the years I have tried many pizza dough recipes as pizza is my favorite food! When I found this one, I have never tried another. It is soooo good!! I have made this so many times now, every time I make it for guests or friends, I am asked for the recipe. I can’t thank you enough for sharing. I love your site, everything I have made is excellent, my first stop whenever I want to make something guaranteed to be a winner.

  19. First time ever making pizza crust and I picked this recipe because it looked easy. It turned out amazing! It was easy to follow the directions and had a great flavor. Instead of pizza sauce, I used pesto and then topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese. I can’t believe we’ve been wasting money on delivery pizza when we could have had fresh homemade pizza at home. This will be our new go-to treat! Thank you!
    I do have one question, if I were to use a pizza stone, would I have to adjust the cooking temp or time?

    1. I’m so happy you tried and enjoyed it, Melissa! If using a pizza stone, no changes just 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.

  20. I Was looking out for pizza dough recipes and tried yours for the first time and it turned out amazing. My family loves the crust. Thank you for sharing your recipes

  21. Have tried twice now and really like this recipe. Would it be possible to substitute all purpose flour for type 00?

  22. I’ve made this pizza crust now 3 times and my family totally loves it. No other recipe comes close to this one . An absolute delight to make.
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  23. Love this recipe. Let the kids make their own the first time. This time I added a generous amount of oregano. Next time will brush with an infused oil!! I will never order pizza again!!

  24. I have been making this crust for a few years now, without fail! It’s always been my go-to recipe. However, for the past 6 months every time I make it, the dough turns out really sticky. I try adding more flour and it doesn’t seem to help. Any ideas why? The only thing I’ve changed is the olive oil brand I’m using (I use Red Star Platinum and King Arthur Flour).

    1. Hi Alli, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this pizza crust. And I’m glad to help. There are a lot of variances that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.

  25. It’s a very easy recipe and also very tasty.
    I got two pizzas out of this and the first time it wasn’t so great. I think I over-loaded it with toppings (turkey sausage, onions and other veg) and the wrong kind of sauce, etc. The second time, I changed the sauce and used shredded mozzarella instead of the balls. Another pizza all together.

  26. This is a great recipe, I’ve used it thrice and my pizzas come out perfectly every time

  27. I made this dough twice, and the second one turned out better. It is very good, and tastes awesome considering That I don’t have bread flour. Thanks for sharing. I am going to make focaccia from your recipe as well.

  28. Caitlin Stanton says:

    I’ve never commented on a recipe before but I just have to say how much I love this recipe. I have it bookmarked and have used it over 5 times. Perfect pizza every time. Thank you so much!

  29. Hey Sally! I love this recipe and make it every couple of weeks. I was wondering if I made the dough and left it on the counter for 2-3-4 hours if I’d still be alright. I know you have the note to do overnight refrigeration, but wasn’t sure about extending the time at room temp.

    Thanks!

  30. RITU Narain says:

    Hi Sally, I have made the cheese bread. Super recipe. You made the bread twisting look simple! Now I want to attempt Pizza base and Focaccia
    I had 3 questions-
    -The water and flour proportions are very different. Focaccia dough seems to require a lot more water than pizza dough. Is the Focaccia dough much stickier.
    – Slow rising in the refrigerator is recommended in the First rise for pizza base and second rise for Focaccia. Is that correct?
    – If I use instant yeast which does not require proofing, shall I add the sugar and extra fluid that would go in yeast mix to the dough mix ?

    1. Hi! I’m happy to help. (1) Yes, focaccia dough is much stickier. We’re simply shaping it in a large baking pan, so a sticky dough isn’t as much of a problem as it would be for carefully shaped doughs. (2) Correct. (3) If using instant yeast, I still recommend following the quick proofing step. There’s no harm!

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