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


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 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


  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.


  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


  1. So I grew up as a kid eating those Chef BoyArDee Pizza kits, and sometimes I would use them in a pinch, and my guy would always say to me “why don’t you make your own pizza dough?” As someone who sometimes like quick and easy I never would, but today and since Covid, being at home I have far too much time on my hands. I tried your recipe, but used Fleishman’s yeast, as I am in Canada. The dough rose ALOT, even though my yeast was 3 months expired (note you can still use it past expiry to a point), and I didn’t have to stretch my dough thin putting it in the pan like I do with the kits. I cooked my pizza for 13 minutes, and the crust puffed up beautifully! It was light and crisp, and I even put garlic butter on the crust once it was done. WOW, guess I will be making my own pizza crust from now on. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Just made it tonight! So easy and delicious!

  3. This is my go to recipe for crust. I have literally made this dozens of times and always had great success. I do mix in a bit of garlic powder and Italian seasonings with the other dry ingredients. We’ve used this to make a variety of pizzas, philly steak pockets, cheesy breadsticks, and even pigs in a blanket. It’s such a versatile easy clean lean bread. <3 it!

  4. What else can I use to dust my pan before baking the pizza? I don’t have cornmeal and don’t want to buy the whole box just for one use.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  5. Another great recipe!

    I always buy the pizza dough at Trader Joe’s. With covid I’ve been avoiding shopping very often and don’t often go there and this pizza dough is excellent and super easy with a Kitchenaid. I make a double batch and freeze half. It’s much better than even good store bought dough!

    I like doing a pear pizza, I sauté onions and garlic in olive oil and use that as the “sauce” and then add mozzarella, goat cheese, pears that I thinly slice and sauté, prosciutto and then some walnuts or pine nuts on top with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Sometimes I brush it with a balsamic reduction.

    My husband likes a more basic pizza with tomato sauce, sautéd bell pepper and onion, black olives, mozzarella and goat cheese and prosciutto and salami.

  6. This is excellent pizza dough!!
    I am so glad I tried it! I normally buy my pizza and decided to try to make my own. So glad I did, I am saving so much money! I normally spend almost 60.00 for pizza every week!
    Thank you!

  7. can you use this same dough for a calzone?

    1. stefan e smith says:

      yes, it is very versatile. another commentator says she “We’ve used this to make a variety of pizzas, philly steak pockets, cheesy breadsticks, and even pigs in a blanket” enjoy!

  8. Love this EASY recipe!!! Plus, love the fact it makes two pizzas!! No more store bought pizza dough for this family!!!

  9. I didn’t know that you could freeze pizza for later. I want to eat BBQ pizza every day. I’ll have to take a bunch of pizza home from the restaurant.

  10. Bonita Strasser says:

    Just made this dough for the first time tonight what a great dough to work with ! Thanks for sharing

  11. Hi Sally!

    I had a quick question about this recipe. I followed the instructions very carefully, including measuring the ingredients with my kitchen scale, and using a kitchen thermometer to make sure the water temp was correct, and using fresh ingredients. My dough is rising now, but it was EXTREMELY sticky! To the point where it took a lot of work to get it off the mixing bowl for kneading. I used my kitchen aid stand mixer on 2 with my dough hook. I felt pretty bummed out. I added some flour while kneading to make it form, hopefully it turns out okay.

    The only thing I can imagine I did wrong was I only had Robin Hood all purpose flour which I just bought at Christmastime. It doesn’t say bleached or unbleached on it so I’m worried that is my issue. It is probably bleached. I also used extra virgin olive oil.

    Any ideas if that could be my issue? It’s my first time using yeast so I read your yeast guide first and watched your video a few times.

    Love your recipes btw- I’ve made your pie crust multiple times with great success, your apple pie, your lemon bars with shortbread crust, and I’m making your lemon meringue pie tomorrow!


    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kendra! Nothing you did wrong – sometimes dough will need extra flour to come together. Next time you can simply add flour 1 Tbs at a time until it is more workable. Happy baking, we love that lemon meringue pie!

      1. Thank you! That’s good to know.

        It still turned out great, by the way! I’ll definitely be making it again.

  12. Easy to make, tasted great, family loved it. I added a mix of Italian herbs into the flour before mixing the dough. Will definitely become my go-to pizza crust recipe.

  13. I have been cooking in restaurants and at home for over 40 + years. I want to thank you, when I need a recipe you are my go to person. Everything from desserts to doughs to entre`s. Your recipes always deliver for me and are easy to format for my needs. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  14. Amazing! My first time making pizza dough. Just amazing

  15. Great pizza dough recipe. I used Platinum Yeast. Used my KitchenAid stand mixer to beat in flour and knead dough, did about 5 minutes and then gradually added some flour to form a more cohesive ball. Put my dough in greased bowl and put it over my instant pot on yogurt setting, dough doubled in about 60 minutes without need for heating oven. Placed in fridge for a few hours, brought it to room temp for an hour before stretching.
    The dough has a better texture the next day after one night in the fridge if you have time to make ahead.

  16. I have Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast (fast acting). It says to add the yeast directly to the dry ingredients. It’s not in a packet, it is in a 1lb vacuum sealed bag. It say’s there is no need to rehydrate in water. Should I just ignore that? Looking forward to trying the recipe. Thanks! – Scott

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Scott, you can use that yeast as directed in this recipe. Hope you love it!

  17. I followed this recipe with switching out the plain flour for semolina flour. It turned out really well and the kids ate everything even the crusts which I was not happy about because I wanted them. Great recipe and is now our Friday night pizza night in the time of Covid. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Excited to try making this! One quick question — would it work to cook this in a cast-iron skillet? Or would it be better to use a baking sheet?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      In a 10-12 inch skillet, definitely!

      1. Thank you so much!!!

  19. I love pizza and I’m a pretty good cook. But, my homemade pizzas always bomb. This was the best DAMN pizza ever. Thank you

    P.S No more store bought for me

  20. My go to recipie for pizza

  21. This pizza dough produced the best pizza crust that I have ever tasted. Just follow the recipe. Use your favourite instant yeast. Rating 12/10.
    My dough was in its rising container for 90 minutes because I went to the store to buy toppings and put the toppings into separate bowls before applying to the top of the pizza. As a result, my dough quadrupled in size. Don’t worry. Just punch down the dough and keep going.
    My 7-yo grandson’s pizza dough exploded in the oven with lots of big bubbles and expansion. Don’t worry. This made the crust like beautiful, crispy, Danish pastry. Yum-Yum! His was better than my 5-yo granddaughter’s pizza crust where I pricked the pizza dough on the cookie sheet before applying the olive oil.
    HINT: If you don’t have cornmeal, use Panko bread crumbs or your favourite bread crumbs instead.
    Summary: A terrific pizza dough. Simple to make (10 minutes max in my daughter-in-law’s large stand mixer). Tastes out of this world.
    Eat straight from the oven. After cutting the cooked pizza on a cutting board with a pizza cutter or dough cutter, let it cool on the plate in front of your eater.

  22. This is my go-to recipe for pizza dough as well. Since we are living on my unemployment I find that home made pizza is very economical as as better than anything we can get from the local pizza chains.
    This is also the website I check first when looking for a new recipe for just about anything. Thanks Sally!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy you love this recipe, Laurie. We agree, homemade pizza is the best!

  23. Ashleigh Simonton says:

    This was so yummy!! I live in The Turks and Caicos Islands where there is no such thing as pizza delivery so this was an extra special treat! The best pizza I’ve had in a long time. The cornmeal is a must too! THANK YOU!!

  24. Yummy dough, thank you.
    Quick question though, can I make extra dough, add the toppings when ready and freeze? I’m trying to avoid wasting food/make quick lunch.

    Many thanks, Adeline

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Adeline! We don’t recommend freezing assembled pizza. See recipe notes for make ahead instructions for the dough!

  25. So far so good, as far as easy. I will let you know how it turns out.

  26. Well, I’ve got to say that it took three tries but I finally got it right. This is an extremely easy recipe to make and an equally tasty treat to eat. This is definitely a do over and over and over.

  27. I love this recipe but I’ve always had trouble using the frozen half of the dough. I follow all of the instructions but when I cook it, the dough is raw on the inside! Any tips to help?

  28. Well, I have to say that this recipe produced the most delicious crust I’ve ever eaten. My family LOVED it. I made it in my stand mixer, and I let it knead for me for about five minutes.
    The dough seemed a bit wet and sticky at first, but I added a couple of tablespoons of flour, as advised – and – PERFECTION!!! Thank you so much. This recipe is a keeper!

  29. Just made this and it was so easy to follow and it was finally a recipe that turned out great! Will def keep using this one! Didn’t realize until after it was for 2 pizzas so that was even better to feed the family!

  30. I’ve never even tried to make my own pizza dough. I buy it from the grocery store. But it was so easy and it turned out perfectly! Easy to stretch to fit my pan. The corn meal on the bottom was a game changer. Now I’m ready to make more yeast recipes! Thanks so much for giving me confidence.

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