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 (438g) 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

1131 Comments

  1. Holy cow. I wish I could post a picture. This turned out amazing! We do have a pizza stone, so we used that. All out of cornmeal so we used flour. Otherwise followed instructions to a T and turned out amazing! crispy, chewy, flavorful… broiled it at the end for 30-60 seconds to get darker cheese and crust and it’s AMAZING

  2. I have all purpose bleached flour instead unbleached. Can I still use.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vickie, Yes you can use that. Enjoy!

      1. just pointing out you need to add the flour as an ingredient in the first step, Preparing the Dough! It might be obvious but at first I was stumped. Just a simple edit goes a long way. Thank you

      2. Mary-Ann it actually goes in step 2 not step 1! It is already in the recipe.

  3. First time making this recipe and my family and I love it!

  4. Omg!!!

    This is it!! For months during the pandemic I’ve searched for the best pizza dough recipe. None really cut it.

    This is easy, delicious, moist yet crispy and sooo flavorful.

    Thank you!!!

  5. Thanks Sally. I followed your recipe to the T – it turned out amazing. It is goodbye to ordering pizzas now

  6. Love this recipe. I’m new to using yeast, and this turned out great the 2 times I
    I’ve used this recipe.

  7. Thank you!!!!! I have been searching for years

  8. Loved it, easy and delicious.

  9. SO GOOD!!! And SO EASY! Thank you for another perfect recipe!

    1. Can I keep dough in fridge for 2 days? Want to make today for dinner Monday?

  10. This is the first time that I made this dough. What a delight to make it. It’s so easy. I weighed the flour to 440 grams it all mixed together very nicely. It’s still rising but I’m sure it’ll be delicious when I make the pizzas.

  11. How long does it last in the refrigerator my kids love it and would like to eat during the week for lunch.

  12. I’ve made lots of pizza dough in my day but I had forgotten the amount of flour, water, etc. So I tried this one. Easily made and produced a nice crisp , delicious crust. Making it again tomorrow!

  13. Seriously some of the most delightfully soft but chewy crusts ever, finally found my go-to after trying out several recipes. Only difference I made was adding about 3tbsp of dry milk powder which I believe contributed to its fluffiness. I also smeared it with the roasted garlic from Sall’s spinach pizza, so good!!

  14. I am SO grateful for this careful recipe, with valuable notes and tips!! But more than that, IT WORKED!! I have always been not good with dough, and have avoided it. But your encouragement spurred me on to try it, and it turned out perfect. Normally I would never make a crust, but our daughter can’t have corn, and almost every pizza crust has corn in some form. Now she can have pizza without the massive cost of only certain restaurants!!!
    This is epic!!!

  15. My go-to pizza dough recipe. So easy and delicious 🙂

  16. Great recipe, thank you!

  17. I followed recipe verbatim and the dough was so runny it ran off cutting board. I’ve had better luck with chef boyardee pizza crust mix than this mess.

    1. you made a mistake then! Dont blame the recipe

    2. Oklahoma Jeff says:

      Own the user error Patrick. We made it tonight and it was perfect and super delicious. This recipe is outstanding!

    3. I’ve tried a few pizza dough recipes in the past. This was, by far, the easiest, most precise recipe, along with a great video. Patrick if your dough was runny, an error occurred somewhere. Maybe to little flour, or to much water. I myself, had 1 3/4 cps. of warm water ready (why, who knows, lol). Because I watched the video, I knew immediately I messed up and caught it in time. Try the recipe again, double check each measurement, and I think you’ll be very happy.

  18. This was my first time making dough and it came out wonderful. This is my new go-to recipe!

    1. I have made so many pizza dough recipes and this by far is the very best I have ever made. It ended up crispy on the outside but soft inside. This will be my go to recipe from now on. I will stop looking. My husband even raved about it saying it was the best homemade crust he has ever had and I’ve made a lot of pizzas. Glad I found it. Thanks

  19. Hi! Just made this and appreciated the explicit instructions and videos! A question that this recipe brings up but is a bit more general- how does halving baking recipes work? Can I halve this? I see the freezing instructions but would love to be able to make a single pizzas worth at a time.

    Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi NT, Thank you for trying this recipe! Yes, you can simply divide each ingredient in half to make half of this recipe.

      1. Why would you not edit to add flour in the first step? I wouldn’t say it’s *that* confusing but usually recipes don’t omit anything?

  20. I made the dough and used it to make two large calzones. It was great.

  21. forgot to say that I added garlic and basil to the dough itself. Some say garlic interferes with rising. Garlic powder does not. As I said it was great. Maybe rose a tiny bit too much actually so part of the calzones were a little “bready”

  22. Shosh Silverman says:

    We made two batches of dough which actually was enough for 4 pizzas, but we made 3 pizzas and used the last dough to make cinnamon buns. The pizza crust was crispy and so delicious. But the cinnamon buns were off the charts. I rolled the dough into a rectangle brushed with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, roll into a log and cut in 2” sections, arrange in buttered pan, brush tops with butter bake at 375 for 25 min.

  23. I’m not too picky with pizza dough. I enjoy pizza in most ways. Except my family is super picky. They want pizza crust like the restaurants. Whenever I make pizza, the crust is too puffy. Not enough crispy. So while I little this pizza crust – I can’t seem to make my crust chewy and crispy. What an I doing wrong? Not kneading it enough? Over kneading? Something else?

    By the way, love all your recipes I’ve tried.

    1. Hi Anna, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay responding to you. This is an easy fix for next time. Reduce the rise time to just 45-60 minutes and roll it out thinner. The thinner the crust, the crispier it will bake. Or you can try my flatbread pizza dough instead.

      1. Thanks so much! I will have to try the flatbread recipe too. I’ll give it a try next time I make pizza.

  24. Christopher J Wells says:

    I like thin and crispy crust can I use this but make the crust thin?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christopher, For a thinner crust, I really love using the recipe for Homemade Flatbread Pizza.

  25. Oh man! this was my first time, and it was incredible. Why do people make the dough making process look so difficult? Great post, and much appreciated.

  26. Just tried this and it turned out amazing. Thx for sharing

  27. Can I refrigerate this dough in the fridge for 1-2 days instead of freezing?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sonali, Up to 8-12 hours in the refrigerator is best. Freeze if storing longer than that.

  28. I wish I could give this recipe 6 stars! So yummy and delicious! I even swapped out the all purpose flour for bread flour and the instant yeast for active dry yeast. Definitely recommend this recipe!

  29. Analise Catania says:

    Hi I would like to make this pizza for my husbands birthday. Can I make the dough and use the same day or should I do it the day before? Thankyou

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can definitely make it in one day. It takes about 2.5 hours from start to finish – just follow the numbered recipe directions (not the overnight directions in the recipe notes).

      1. Analise Catania says:

        Thankyou So Much I Cant wait to make it

  30. Winner! First time doing home made pizza and it worked out great.
    I didn’t have a large enough ziplock bag for freezing the other half so I just used a lot of saran wrap and parchment paper. Really hope that works.

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