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

752 Comments

  1. Adella Katz says:

    Wow!! We just made two massive pizzas using this dough recipe. Absolutely fantabulous! Didn’t have an instant yeast, so we used an Active Dry Yeast, let it rise for about 75 minutes only, baked for about 13 minutes, and it turned out absolutely scrumptious. Thank you, Sally! Literally have a folder saved with all your recipes! 🙂

  2. Kristin Cruz says:

    This pizza crust is the absolute best and thank you so much for making it double so I can make twice as much at the same time or save one ball of dough for later! You are literally a lifesaver for me! My sons have food allergies, and due to the new FDA rules on labeling, processed and packaged products are no longer safe for them. My youngest son recently had a anaphylactic reaction to a packaged food he had eaten many times before, we had to give him a shot of epi and call 911. He was unable to go to the hospital because of Covid, so we have had to take care of this at home and completely change the way we eat to keep him safe. We are a family of five so I need to prepare large meals three times daily from scratch and your recipes have been so so very helpful and delicious. Thank you so much!

  3. This was a good recipe except it needed more salt. I would add 1 extra teaspoon

  4. If we don’t want two pizzas/have a small mixer, can we split this recipe in half to only make one crust?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jenna! My recommendation is to make the full dough recipe, then use half of it. You can freeze the other half for another time. If all of the ingredients won’t fit in your mixer, you can mix by hand until the dough comes together, then knead it as directed. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. Been using your recipe for years!!! Love it every time!

  6. Can I roll out this dough thinner than what you pictured in order to make a thin crust pizza?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kyra, definitely! Your bake time might be shorter though, so keep an eye on your pizza while it bakes.

  7. Cassandra Hilbert says:

    Can you do half all purpose and half bread flour ?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cassandra, Certainly! Bread flour 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. You can use either with no changes to the recipe, or use a combination of both. I swap between the two when I make it at home.

  8. Amazing. I have tried many pizza dough recipes, but now I have found the perfect one.

  9. This is definitely my go to pizza crust recipe when I don’t want to wait 1 day in advance. For optimal browning of the crust, I reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for 30-40 minutes and my crust browns perfectly. Due to the thickness of the dough I’ve never had success with high temperature baking as it bakes the top fast but the bottom of the crust doesn’t burn.

  10. This recipe looks amazing — looking forward to trying it! By any chance, would you happen to have a great gluten free pizza dough recipe you could share as well, please?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Veronica, We have not tested this with gluten free flour but let us know if you try it!

  11. I make this so often now! It’s really easy and it always turns out. I don’t have a mixer and I don’t have any counter space, so I knead it right in the bowl. It turns out so good! Tasty, crispy and tender. Excellent recipe! Thank you so much!

  12. Hi Sally,

    I’m so keen to make this pizza this weekend for my family. Can the dough sit in the refrigerator for almost a day to rise? Would it over ferment and affect the taste? What’s the longest time it can sit in the refrigerator? Thanks for your help.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stephanie, 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!).

  13. Sally – This is AWESOME! Better than any takeout pizza. But occasionally when I mix it, it gets too gummy and just impossible to mix. I’m 99% sure I put enough flour in. Should I let it rest before mixing?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brodie, There are a lot of variances that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the brand of flour and 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.

  14. This recipe is the best I’ve tried for getting as close as possible to the wonderful Italian pizzas we always have on holiday (I’ve tried more than a few!). My kids are harsh critics but even they give this base a big thumbs up. (I would attach photos but can’t). But yesterday the result was not as good…the dough was still very wet and gooie after proving for about 7 hours…could it be a)I had to use a different brand of dried yeast due to yeast shortage b) I used my brand new food mixer for the first time (maybe i didn’t leave it knead for long enough) or c) I left it prove for too long? Any advice appreciated as we really were on a winner with this recipe. Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Paula, We are so glad you enjoy 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. If it was sticky before letting it rise, there’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency. But 7 hours is too long to let it rise at room temperature. It usually takes this dough between 60-90 minutes to double in size. Next time, if you wish to make it ahead of time you can let it rise slowly in the refrigerator – see the all day instructions in the recipe notes.

  15. Omg! This recipe is MARVELOUS. I didn’t have enough olive oil so I use part olive part sunflower and it worked great. I also used dried activated yeast. I don’t know if my dough overproofed since I proofed at room temp for 90 minutes then left it in the fridge for a couple hours and cooked it when I got home. I had more of a deep pan but it was still delicious! Definitely making this again, couldn’t recommend it enough!

  16. Can I use part whole wheat flour? Like, a third or half of the flour?

  17. Hey I made this once, but with store bought pizza sauce. It was great, but I bet it would be even better with homemade sauce. But I also don’t want to use canned tomatoes like in most recipes. Do you have a recipe for pizza sauce using fresh tomatoes that also tastes kinda like pizza hut pizza sauce? Thanks for the crust recipe!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi, You can find homemade pizza sauce in the post for this deep dish pizza recipe. We do use canned crushed tomatoes however you can crush your own if you would like!

  18. Thank you Sally for sharing your knowledge , I made this and everybody loved it. Thank you so much.

  19. This recipe is a keeper! Super quick and easy. I’ve added garlic powder, dried basil and oregano which gives it a little something extra. I agree w a previous poster that the salt could be upped a little, but it’s still good as is. We started making our own pizza once quarantine started and have probably made this five times now – we won’t use anything else! Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. Dear Sally,

    I have been using this recipe since March 2020 when we went into Covid-19 confinement and lockdown when we couldn’t get any pizza delivered.
    My family loved it and I’ve been making pizzas with it since.

    Thank you for the detailed explanations and tips. It really helps beginners like me.
    Best regards,
    Zeimm

  21. Oh. My. Gosh! This is the best pizza crust I’ve ever had! Perfect platform for my toppings and held up so well with crisp crunch. My 5yo even said, “Mommy, this is the best pizza I’ve had in my entire life!” Thank you Sally! Your recipes never fail me.

  22. Hi Sally, I have learnt so much from your page. I am planning to make this pizza over the weekend, but since we have a small family, can I freeze half of the dough for like 2 weeks or so? Or should I halve the recipe. Thanks

    1. Hi Rabya, you can definitely freeze half of this dough. See freezing instructions in the recipe.

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