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.
  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 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 (450g) 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. 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 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. 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: 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 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

988 Comments

  1. Your my ‘go to’ website! Fantastic recipes and video’s to make sure I get it!

    Thank you Sally!

  2. I have a bunch of pizza flour to use up so here I am. This recipe is incredibly easy and quick to make other than waiting for the dough to rise, can’t rush that. I did everything by hand in one large bowl and it turned out amazing. Rather than doing two pizzas I divided the dough and first made breadsticks brushed with garlic butter and dusted with parmesan. Baked those off while I assembled the toppings on the pizza. Those were incredible, the pizza was better! Thanks I will be making this again and already have some other ideas from the comments to help me use up this flour.

  3. Moresugoithanyou says:

    Hi Sally, I’ve made this recipe about 6-7 times now, everyone loves it here. I have always doubled this recipe, and each time I’ve struggled with a very sticky dough which lead me to add more and more flour, is there anything I’m doing wrong ? Or is it too much water ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      For best taste and texture– and so you don’t overwhelm the mixer with excess dough (and since the added volume of dough would take much longer to rise), we recommend making 2 batches of dough separately.
      That said, 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.

  4. RACHELLE WELLBORN says:

    hello I would like to try this recipe tomorrow. instead of making 2 12 inch pizzas could I make one large pizza? I would juat like to make a large rectangle pizza that fits into a cookie sheet type size. would that work?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachelle, Yes you can make one large pizza. Enjoy!

  5. Greetings from India !!! Thank you so much for this recipe, everyone in my family just loved it !

  6. Simple and fool-proof recipe. Delicious. Proofed it overnight and nothing collapsed. Thanks Sally, your site is my go-to source.

  7. If I use bleached flour do I need to make any alterations to this recipe? Also, I thought that you didn’t use sugar with instant yeast. Please advise.

  8. Do you happen to have nutrition information available for this?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ashley, 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

  9. Hi, Can I please know the yeast quantity in grams?

    1. Hi Arfa, 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast is about 7 grams.

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night, it was amazing crust! I’ve never been able to make crust before. This was so good. The cornmeal on the bottom of the crust is genius! I melted butter and mixed it with garlic, italian seasoning and basil and spread on the crust once it came out of the oven..mmm mmm. You are a miracle worker-thanks again.
    Cathy

  11. This recipe was so precise and simple. I needed to go out so I measured out the ingredients and my daughter mixed the dough while I was away. When I came back two hours later, it was all risen and ready to bake. It turned out great. Thanks.

  12. Hi there. I made this recipe with good results in the crust and then months later I halved every thing as I wanted a smaller dough. Like before, I rested the dough in the frig for about 18 hours and then rolled it out. This time I wanted a thinner crust so I rolled it really thin. I usually ore bake my crusts so I prebaked the thin crust too for only 5 mins in a really hot oven. Domestic ovens don’t usually go beyond 450*f. The crust, when we finished the toppings and baking, was too chewy and not crisp at all. Where did I go wrong do u think? As in the original recipe I weighed out all the ingredients, everything!

    1. Hi Bharati, I wonder if there was an error when halving the recipe. Likewise, the rest period could have been too long for such a small amount of dough. If you remake the dough, try using the full recipe and freezing the extra half. Above all else, though, keeping the crust in the oven for a few extra minutes could help crisp it up.

    2. Thank you so much for your response. I will stick with the original recipe now on, and freeze extra dough if required. Just one more question, is it OK to pre bake the bases for 4 or 5 minutes as I did? That way, it’s easier to handle dinner.

  13. Amazing, amazing recipe! Since discovering, I make pizza once a week! I was wondering if it is possible to double the batch, the two pizzas never seem to be enough my kids are always asking for more lol.

  14. I have tried making pizza dough from on line recipes, but your recipe is by far the best one! I just tried it today. Super easy, super delicious, thick, chewy and crispy crust. Thank you, thank you, finally a keeper!

  15. Okay to use a packet of dry active yeast instead of instant?
    Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ben, You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be up to 2 hours. See the recipe notes for details!

  16. Excellent recipe! Thank you! I’ve tried a few different pizza dough recipes and this one was definitely the best.

  17. HANDS DOWN THE BEST EASIEST PIZZA DOUGH EVER!! FINISHED IN ONE SIT

  18. Hi, thanks for the good recipe, I want to use this recipe in my restaurant. Only if I want to use sourdough, how many grams should it be? Is the rest period different?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Neda, We have not tested this dough with a sourdough starter but let us know if you try it!

  19. i love your website Sally and have made many of your dishes! thank you!

  20. I tried this recipe today. It is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much! My husband said to tell you he thinks it’s delicious, too:)

  21. I’ve been making pizza crust for 30 years. For some reason we tried this recipe a week or so back. It looked interesting because of thr hints added. I say this because the ingredients in crust recipes hardly varies at all. Our first attempt was very impressive. We loved it. Because there are only two of us we froze the pizza and had left overs twice. It reheats perfectly, however frozen recipes need a little more sauce and dough added right on top before cooking. Just as good reheated. Tonight we finished the last of our second batch. This is the finest recipe we have ever used.

  22. Great recipe! We are HUGE pizza lovers in our house! Always looking for more ways to perfect homemade pizza. Would have to try vegan toppings but love a good crust recipe!

  23. This was my first try at using yeast. It worked beautifully! The only lesson learned… my husband put more on his half of the pizza that I did, and the crust on his side was a tad less done than mine. Not sure there’s a way around that, other than making personal pizzas!

  24. Made this recipe today and we were very happy with the results. Light, tender crust with enough crispness on the bottom. Had a quick rise in about an hour. Wouldn’t change a thing.

  25. I don’t typically write reviews but Thank you — I have been trying various dough recipes since we built a pizza oven. This was absolutely perfect. Just what I was looking for — delicious! Very very happy with our results, we did use 00 pizza flour and mineral water but the ratios the same. Fabulous.

  26. Can I subscribe to this website to get emails with recipes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elle, Yes! Use this page to sign up for emails!

  27. Hi love this pizza dough recipe comes perfect every time! can we use this dough to make Stromboli? If so what would be the baking time

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Munshifa, Yes you can! I’m unsure of the exact bake time needed as it would really depend on what size you make them, how full they are, etc.

  28. Malcolm Aldridge says:

    A famous musician once said, “You’ve Got The Right One Baby, Uh-Huh!”….We absolutely enjoyed the taste and texture.

  29. Hi Sally,

    I used your easy baguette recipe with my (virtual) 3rd grade class to HUGE success. I wanted to use this pizza dough recipe as well. My question is: if we make it around 10 in the morning, where should the kids put the dough after it rises, before dinner? Should they leave it on the counter? Refrigerate it? Should I find a different recipe instead? Thanks for making such yummy and accessible recipes!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, What a fun project for your class! You can follow the recipe notes for the all day instructions. You will prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. I hope everyone enjoys it!

  30. Hi Sally! I am thinking of making this tonight, but had one quick question – I see other recipes use honey instead of sugar, could I replace the 1 tbsp of granulated sugar here with some amount of honey instead? Thanks!

    1. Hi Maria! That’s no problem at all. You can use honey instead of granulated sugar. It won’t make a huge difference in the dough, but you may need an extra spoonful or so of flour.

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