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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!

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

Homemade pizza cut into slices with a piece being removed

Every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust. Some like it thin and crispy, while others prefer a thick and soft crust. This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft & chewy with a delicious crisp and AWESOME flavor. It’s my go-to pizza dough recipe and just a glance at the hundreds of reviews in the comments section tells me that it’s a favorite for many others too!

Easy Dough for Bread Beginners

This is a no-fuss dough recipe for beginners. You need just 6 basic ingredients, plus a little cornmeal for preparing the pan. (You can skip that if needed.) Most of the time is hands off as the dough rises. You might wonder… why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is certainly convenient, but from-scratch crust has unbeatable flavor and texture that only comes from fresh dough. And you can use the dough for cheese breadsticks, too!

Reader Andy commented:Super easy, super fast, super good! I don’t like doughy thick pizzas and I find with this recipe that I can make them thin and crunchy, I love how easy it is. I make pizza once or twice a month! Haven’t bought one for quite some time now! ★★★★★”

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.

Homemade pizza on baking sheet

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 Platinum Yeast from Red Star. 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. If you love whole grain bread, try this whole wheat pizza dough instead.
  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!

You could also add 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and Italian seasoning blend to the dough when you add the flour. Reader Shane commented: “Excellent pizza dough. I add about 1 tbs of garlic powder and Italian herbs to give the dough more flavor as well as 40 grams of cornmeal for a little crunch. It freezes well and makes a nice thin 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

  • Make the dough: 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.
  • Knead: Knead by hand or beat the dough with your mixer. I like doing this by hand and you can watch me in the video.
  • Rise: Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover tightly, and set aside to rise for about 90 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Punch & shape: Punch down risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide in 2. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Cover and rest as you prep the pizza toppings.
  • Top it: Top with favorite pizza toppings.
  • Bake: Bake pizza at a very high temperature for only about 15 minutes.

Young 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? 🙂

Favorite Pizza Pans

Let me share my top choices for pizza pans just in case you’re shopping for a new one. I use and love (affiliate links) this one and this one. If you like baking your homemade pizzas on pizza stones, I’ve used this one before and it’s wonderful.

If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a regular sheet pan. Grease it with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal as directed below, and then press the dough into whatever shape that will fit. Make sure the dough is about 1/2-inch thick. For a thinner pizza, stretch the dough out more.

Homemade pepperoni cheese pizza cut into slices

FAQ: How Can I Make The Dough Ahead of Time?

Prepare the dough through step 3 below, 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.) As a bonus, the slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 5 in the recipe below (the shaping step). If the dough didn’t quite double in size when rising, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before shaping.

FAQ: How Do I 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.

FAQ: How Do I 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.

slices of pesto pizza made with mozzarella cheese and fresh pesto on top.

Uses for Homemade Pizza Dough

Here are the many uses for this homemade pizza dough:

Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

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Homemade pizza on baking sheet

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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.


  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) Platinum Yeast from Red Star instant yeast (1 standard packet)*
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, plus more for pan and brushing on dough
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (about 450g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan


  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. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.) 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.
  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, about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly for 5-10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped 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 pizza, margherita pizza, pesto pizza, spinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
  7. Top & bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  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.


  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. Preheat the oven and 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 (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand MixerDough Scraper, Pizza Pan, Pastry Brush, Pizza 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Well first time I ever made pizza dough I used yours I tweaked just a bit I used 1.5 cups bread flour and rest self rising other than cooking a little to long being my first fresh pizza it was super soft inside crisp out side to much do to my ears will use it again

  2. Hi Sally, quick question…after the dough has risen could I assemble the pizzas and leave them in the fridge for a few hours if I don’t want to cook them right away? Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Helen! The dough will continue to rise after you shape and apply the toppings. Cover and refrigerate, but don’t wait a few hours to bake– 1 hour max. 2 hours is pushing it a little!

  3. I tried the Bread flour version since I didn’t have enough APF. also followed the add 1T water. my dough turned out to be very sticky so I ended up adding more than a half cup of bread flour. I worked with a very soft dough(I was already worried about the amount of additional flour) I made it and I loved the taste. the downfall? my center dough was a bit raw even though my toppings were quite toasted already. I think it would be best to par bake the dough just to decrease the likelihood of it coming out raw and soggy. plus not too crazy with the toppings. my pizza was bacon in bechamel sauce. I went carbonara on my pizza so I guess it contributed to the underbaked center. apart from those errors, I think the recipe’s a keeper. will be making a new batch to store in the freezer for quick snacks. thanks

  4. Hi Sally! I’ve made this a few times before and its been great. Just a quick question – can I double the recipe rather than making two batches? I’m having guests over for a pizza party so will need more than the 2 pizzas one batch produces. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Paulette! It’s best to make separate batches of the dough as extra volume could lead to over-mixing or over-rising.

  5. Just like all of Sally’s recipes I have tried, this pizza crust is awesome!! Comes out perfect each time with minimal effort. I always double the recipe and freeze half for use in the next couple of weeks. Never buying store bought pizza crust again!!

  6. I’ve been using your recipe since I discovered it in 2015 when I started making home made breads of various types. This is my go-to recipe for pizza dough. I have shared it with my family and friends. My daughter has become quite the artist in handling pizza crusts and finds your recipe easy to handle.

  7. I made this dough for my family tonight and the pizza was wonderful! I cut it into 3 so we could each top it the way we like. Everyone loved it and I will be making it again very soon I am sure. Thank you so much!!

  8. Had never made homemade pizza til this recipe. So easy and so good! Why buy out when you can make your own!!!

  9. Hi I have been making this recipe for years but wanted to try calzone today. Would this dough work for that ?

  10. This is absolutely perfect! I’ve made it many times, my husband (who loves pizza and considers himself an expert, lol) calls it the best crust he’s ever had….Thank you!

  11. I have been using this recipe forever! Love it!
    Because I’m lazy I just bang it all in the bread machine (water, flour heaped on top, oil sugar and salt to the side then yeast on top of the flour). Works a treat

    Thanks heaps Sally 🙂

  12. Made this recipe for the first time-it was easy. Used pizza dough setting on the bread machine, needed to add a little flour as it was a very humid day. The dough cooked up much better than the recipe included with the machine. I don’t have a standmixer.
    Thank you Sally!!

  13. Thanks for the great recipe! This is a “make ahead” question. Is it possible to put the dough (after it’s risen) in the refrigerator and then make the pizzas the next day?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Christine! You can, yes, but the assembled pizzas will continue to rise a bit. Cover them tightly in the refrigerator– that will help.

  14. I have made this dough many many times! It always turns out wonderfully and is delicious! I’ve kneaded it in the mixer and by hand as well. Our favorite is to make bbq chicken pizza, I use bbq sauce for the sauce part and a mix of mozzarella and cheddar. Then we throw on some homemade bbq chicken! So good!

  15. This was my first time making pizza and it was a huge success, super easy recipe and tasted great!

  16. I’ve made pizza dough from scratch before but it wasn’t as good as this.
    I proved mine for 90 minutes, during the course of the proving I’d peek at the dough to see if it was rising. And it did!
    I did add cornmeal to my sheet pan, I’ve done the same when making deep dish pizza in the cast iron skillet.
    This was so easy to make and it came out awesome, crispy bottom,nice and golden brown.
    I’m definitely keeping this in my rotation, thanks for the great recipe!

  17. I love this pizza dough! I have made it many times at the request of my family! I also use the dough to make calzones! I makes three giant ones! It is easy for me to make having ms. So thank you for the great recipe!

  18. Made this today with bread flour so I added 2 extra tablespoons of water (per instructions) and it turned out perfect. By far the best pizza dough recipe I’ve used with a chewy crust and light fluffy dough.

  19. Can you double the recipe or do any ingredients need adjusting for a bigger batch?

    1. I recommend making two separate batches of dough instead of doubling.

  20. Sally, I love this recipe! I’ve made it severak times and it turns out great, every time! !
    Any recommendations on using the dough for a calzone or pepperoni roll?!

    1. Hi Jessi! So glad you love this dough. A calzone would be so good! I haven’t tried a big calzone, but I have made smaller calzone/pockets. You can see my Ham and Cheese Pockets recipe for how to shape that dough.

  21. Not sure whether to leave this 5 star review for the pizza dough, the stuffed crust or the bbq chicken pizza recipes as my very first pizza ever was a combo of the 3 but OMG! It was soooooo good. Thank you so much! No more frozen pizzas or delivery for us!

  22. Best I’ve tried. Added extra kneeding time as I hand mix (no mixer w dough hook). Have frozen the second ball. Hope it turns out as well.

  23. Made it yesterday!!my whole family loved it..
    Looking forward to try more recipes

  24. Could you use the dough hook to knead the dough for a short time, instead of doing it by hand?

    1. You sure can, but this dough gets a little heavy for the mixer. Keep it at low speed.

  25. By far the best pizza dough I have ever made. I made a focaccia bread with the left over dough the next day, it was great.

  26. Followed recipe exactly and our pizzas came out sooooo good! The dough rose perfectly, and was easy to work with. My husband says he never wants to buy frozen pizzas again, that we should open our own pizzaria lol! He was in love with it, as was I. I rubbed a little olive oil over it as suggested and sprinkled garlic powder on it. Thanks for this keeper dough recipe!!!

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