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

899 Comments

  1. Rod clifford says:

    Well I followed the instructions (hard for a bloke) but ended up with the best pizza I’ve ever had so I’m about to make my second lot so much better than the takeaway pizza’s I used to buy I’m sold on this recipe so many thanks for sharing

  2. Aubrey gaston says:

    I have active yeast is that still ok to use?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aubrey, absolutely. You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be at least 90 minutes, but no other changes to recipe are necessary.

  3. An observation: If placed on the stone in a dedicated pizza oven, this dough will be next to impossible to turn with a pizza paddle. It sticks like glue to the stone – even with a generous coating of cornmeal or rice flour. The hydration for this dough is 67% which is quite high – this is not bread.

    I suggest using 468g flour with 297g water for 64% hydration; or even 480g flour with 297g water for a hydration of 62% resulting in a dough that won’t stick to everything and still be quite extensible.

    If already prepared dough is frozen (like mine), thaw, work in 62g more flour for 64% or work in 77g more for 62% then shape and finish.

    If baking on a pan or a stone or on parchment, in the oven where it does not get turned, hydration is not as critical as it is in a pizza oven with an open front.

    1. Dave, this really helped – thank you! First time I made the dough, it was too wet and made the dough really ‘fluffy’. Used these adjusted measurements the second time and it came out great.

      For anyone living in a hot & humid climate like I do (Singapore), I think the adjusted measurements will work better.

  4. can you make this without sugar? I’ve tried a few times and the dough comes out great but very sweet. No dough flavor when cooked at all. If I can and do cut the sugar how much longer should l leave it to rise?

    PS – you’re recipes are my go-to. They are easy to follow and taste great!!!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pat! The sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, we don’t recommend skipping it. You could use honey instead. If you try reducing the sugar, please let us know how it goes!

  5. Hi my dough is so sticky. What can i do?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Oona, the dough can certainly be sticky, depending on lots of variables like even the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. Feel free to add additional flour, about a tablespoon at a time, to help the dough come together. Generously flouring your hands will also help when handling the dough.

  6. This is the best pizza dough recipe ever! Such a huge hit in the family (especially the little ones)… I have scrapped all of my other pizza dough recipes as this ones a keeper! I also tried your pretzels and they were amazing! Thank you so much for posting such wonderful recipes 🙂 I have bookmarked your website.

  7. Worked great! Thanks!

  8. Came out really nice. This is my new go to pizza dough. Thanks a lot.

  9. I LOVE this pizza dough recipe!! Before this recipe, all the other recipes I’d tried resulted in a super floppy, and soggy crust (one recipe was even super salty), but this recipe is PERFECT!!! I usually mix the ingredients for 1 minute to combine, and then 7 minutes kneading in my kitchenaid, or by hand. It is a super fun, and easy recipe to make for dinner, even for an 11-yr-old (like me). Thank you soooo much Sally for this recipe!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you loved this recipe, Oona!

  10. Delicious! great recipe. thank you sally.

  11. Hi Sally I have made this dough tons and I was wondering if I could substitute 00 flour for the all purpose and add a little semolina? Would it work?
    Thanks Amber

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amber, yes, you can. Use the same amount of type 00 flour instead of all-purpose flour. Hope you enjoy this pizza dough!

  12. This is a wonderful recipe. My first time making the pizza from scratch, I was looking for a quick and easy recipe when I found this. What a discovery !! This came out awesome and tasted so good. I am trying the cheesy breadsticks today and I am confident they will be delicious too 🙂
    Thank you Sally.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this pizza recipe, Swapnil!

  13. Hi Sally,
    If I want to make the dough in the mid morning but not prepare the pizza itself until 6:00pm ish, what is the best way to store it? I don’t want to try and time it so close to dinner.
    Thanks,
    Pamela

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pamela, you can prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. See recipe notes — “Overnight/All Day” instructions — for more details!

  14. Hi Sally, I am planning to try this recipe today! And i have a concern. My oven’s maximum temperature is 230 celsius but the recipe calls for a 246 celsius. What should i do?

    1. Hi Priya, bake it at your highest oven temperature and extend the bake time by a few minutes. Enjoy!

  15. Hi Sally,

    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I am still trying to a great recipe for my pizzas. Is there a substitute for cornmeal? Can I use semolina instead? Where I come from we don’t have cornmeal.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Delimahe, You can skip the cornmeal if you don’t have any, no need to substitute it with anything else.

  16. Hello. I am thrilled to try this recipe. However, I would like to ask a substitute for corn meal? Mine just gone bad, sadly. Thanks in advance.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Trish! You can skip the cornmeal if you don’t have any, no need to substitute it with anything else.

    2. You can substitute with semolina. Tastes awesome!

  17. Hi Sally! I don’t know how many times I have made this recipe ! Each time it tastes just amazing!!!! My father who hates cheese started eating it so that he can have this pizza. I tried many variations with toppings. Today I tried a sweet version with chocolate chips and peanut butter. Tasted real good. Also I leave the dough in the fridge overnight to rise so that we can have the pizza for breakfast. This pizza is our healthiest, tastiest and easiest breakfast meal so far! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful and easy recipe ! Greetings from India !!!!!

  18. Hi
    Its the middle of winter for me and my first snow outside – not much but a reminder that snow exists – and i fancied pizza
    well – i am a 200km round trip to my nearest pizza place so that wasn’t happening
    i had heard of the SR flour and yoghurt trick – but alas no yoghurt
    so tried the net and hey presto your recipe came up
    Got stuck in and made the dough – worried it would turn into the usual brick dough – this happens to me very often – i have issues in my kitchen – i think it is a love hate relationship – i love food but it hates cooking for me – and that turns out to be not a good weight loss plan either – i raid the biscuits or some prepped easy foods instead
    so i sat down and had a come to Jesus talk to my oven and explained the ins and outs of what i expected from it
    made the pizza cheese sticks first and while they were cooking prepped up the pizza
    well – blow me down with a feather – they are awesome – amazing and oh so delish
    even my hubby who hates garlic with a passion is tucking into the cheese sticks
    thank you for saving me in a moment of pizza craving
    i am in love with this dough
    liz

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this dough recipe, Liz! Thanks for reporting back.

  19. Hello, Sally
    question: can I use 00 flour instead of regular flour for this recipe?
    Thank you in advance!!
    Ps., We love all your recipes 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, you can. Use the same amount of type 00 flour instead of all-purpose flour. Hope you enjoy this pizza dough!

  20. Can I use gluten free bean flour instead?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

      1. I couldn’t taste test it but my neighbour (who are brutally honest) said it was the bomb. I did have to add about 2 tbsp of oil to the dough once it rose though, as it was very cakey. You can’t roll it out. You have to press/mould it into the shape and thickness you want. It was like working with play-doh hahaha. Apparently it was really yummy though so that makes me really happy. Now I have to make 25 of them and freeze them lol.

  21. This recipe is amazing – first time making pizza dough and it was so easy and delicious! I’m planning on using it for an event we have coming up so will make the dough and let it rise for the 8hrs in the fridge as recommended. Just wondering if there’s then any limit on how long the bases can sit once they are rolled out on the trays?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Niamh, the pizza dough will be fine left out for a short bit while you are preparing the toppings. You can cover them with a clean towel to prevent them from drying out, or you can stick the prepared pizzas back in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Hope they’re a hit at your event!

  22. Love this recipe! So few recipes use cornmeal in them. I believe that cornmeal is pivotal for great pizza dough..
    reminds me of my favorite pizza place where I grew up in Ohio.
    Is there anyway I can make the dough taste a little more yeasty?

    I love the taste of a yeasty pizza dough.

  23. Hi Sally,
    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now and it tastes great but the pizza dough is always very sticky, even when I reduce the amount of water. Is it meant to be like that or am I doing something wrong?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jay, the dough can certainly be sticky, depending on lots of variables like even the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. Feel free to add additional flour, about a tablespoon at a time, to help the dough come together. Generously flouring your hands will also help when handling the dough. Glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe!

  24. i love it

  25. Phyllis Drum says:

    I just made this recipe for the first time and will make it again! Easy and delicious!!!
    Sally’s recipes always work for me.
    Thanks very much.

  26. First time making this, or any pizza dough from scratch actually. Was so simple and came out great!!! Even my super picky kiddo loved his cheese pizza. I love all your recipes!
    Thanks for baking
    -Ashley, NH

  27. Hello from Alberta, Canada.
    I made this recipe this morning and it worked beautifully. The dough is coming with on my weekend camping trip, for our Pizza Saturday!!
    It turned out so well I made 2 batches
    Take care.

  28. Belem Hernández says:

    I like pizza and I have to make this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing.

  29. Looking forward to making this! I have a life threatening corn allergy and upon further digging found that substituting the corn meal for direct semolina or semolina flour is a great alternative! Also, in Italy, they don’t use corn meal at all on the pizza pans, they use semolina flour so through what I’ve found online, it’s a great way to make this a more authentic pizza experience.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Julia, many readers have reported success using semolina flour to dust the pan — hope you love this pizza dough recipe!

  30. Douglas Owens says:

    The baking temperature is way to high, should be more like 375 for 20 minutes.

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