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

908 Comments

  1. Rewa Malhotra says:

    Thank you so much!! My family really loved this recipe. It was really simple, but so delicious
    and cheesy. thanks so much

    1. Hi there.

      Currently in a lockdown so was keen to try this for dinner tonight but hubby could only find Bread Machine Yeast? Is this a totally different thing or can I use this instead of the instant yeast? Please advise! Thank you! 🙂

      1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Dev! We haven’t tested it but you should be able to use bread machine yeast interchangeably with instant yeast.

  2. Hello, I had a question. I only have active dry yeast on hand, can I use it to make the pizza?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lina, 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. Hi, I don’t have a stand mixer, but can I just use a spatula and a mixing bowl to make the dough?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily! You can make this dough by hand – use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix the dough ingredients together before kneading by hand.

  4. Made this tonight and it turned out perfectly! It rose in an hour, and baked in 10 minutes. The only thing I did differently was sprinkle garlic powder on the crust after putting on the olive oil. Since I am on a very reduced low-sodium diet, this added a little extra flavor. I used no salt tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and topped with shredded Italian cheeses, red, yellow, orange, green peppers, red onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pepperoni. Delish! Thanks for a great and easy recipe!

  5. This has become my “go to” recipe as have many of Sally’s recipes (thank you Sally!) I want to make several pizzas for a party and would like to make all of the dough on the same day. Can the recipe be doubled or tripled as is or do I need to alter any of the measurements?
    Many thanks!
    Jo

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jo, for absolute best results, we recommend making each batch separately. This ensures the ingredients are incorporated properly and not over / under mixed. If you’d like to get a head start, see recipe notes for freezing and make ahead instructions. We’re so glad to hear you’ve been loving this pizza dough recipe!

  6. This is the first pizza dough recipe I have made that actually tastes like pizza! The topping I used was a mixture of leftovers I had in the fridge – red pepper, tomato, home cooked ham, homemade passata with basil, cheese and pineapple. It was delicious

  7. Tanell Fisher says:

    Great recipe!! I’ve made it three times now. Quick question, I making this for a cabin weekend. And I was going to freeze the door after it rise (which I have also done before) but this time I accidentally went to bed and let it sit on my counter overnight. Oops! Can I still break it into, freeze it, and use it when needed?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tanell, that should work just fine. Glad to hear you enjoy this recipe!

  8. Hello Sally, how are you doing. I had a question in the first step where you whisk the yeast, sugar and warm water, let is sit for 5 minutes what should the consistency look like?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren! It will be slightly bubbly on top. You can watch the video tutorial in the blog post above for a visual that should be helpful!

  9. Hello. I had a question after you made the dough and let it rest for 60-90 minutes, do you rest it at room temperature or somewhere warm? Thanks for the answer in advance.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kylie, we let it rise at room temperature, but see step 3 for details on a warmer rising environment that may be helpful. Enjoy!

  10. Hello. I didn’t had olive oil on hand right now but can I use avocado or regular cooking oil to make the dough?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, that shouldn’t be an issue.

  11. connie munoz says:

    so i used my kitchen aide and put in exact measurements and let it do a slow knead, yeast proofed well, my dough was tough with the 4 minute still, was it too much flour? or not enough kneading?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Connie! Sounds like there may be too much flour in your dough. How are you measuring? Make sure to spoon and level to avoid packing too much flour into your measuring cups.

      1. connie munoz says:

        wow thank you for responding so fast, ugh first time i tried just using finger, thats why i figured too much flour, so i have it trying to rise now, its only been 30 mins, i probably just bag and start over…i should know better, she preaches it in all her recipes..i knew it was error on me, i use nothing but sallys site and never an error on her part, always me….but im learning by my mistakes thank you

  12. This pizza dough recipe was so easy to make and tastes amazing! I loved the yeasty taste it has! This was my first time making pizza dough and using yeast and you made it so easy. Thank you for this recipe, it will become my go-to.

  13. Love this recipe thank you!!!
    My dough was quite thin though. How to make it thicker? Would i use more of the dough? how would this impact the baking time? Thank you sally!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa! For a thicker dough, simply roll the dough out less thin. The baking time may be a little longer. We’re so glad you love it!

  14. Just wanted to say, thank you for sharing your recipes.
    Your recipe is GOLDEN!!
    I followed many of your pizza recipes and they all turned out PERFECTLY!

  15. My bf thinks I’m too picky when it comes to pizza but finding the perfect balance of taste and texture to meet one’s preference really isn’t that easy. I had a craving for pizza a couple nights ago and it was too late to make my go-to recipe that requires a 24-hour rise in the fridge. Little did I know when searching for a quick rise dough I’d find my new and super improved go-to. With the previous recipe I was using, just like all the rest I’ve gone through, there was always something in taste and texture with the final result that was less than perfect. Unacceptable to a pizza nut. Then along came Sally. The dough was SO soft and workable I got a thin crust with barely any effort and no rolling pin required. I baked mine on one of those pizza pans with the holes in it at 500F, and voila! Crispy on the bottom, and soft fluffy breadi-deliciousness everywhere else. I was shocked that a pizza dough with barely any rise time yielded such a light and fluffy result. No more planning ahead for my frequent pizza cravings. Excellent excellent excellent! Thank you so much for this!

  16. Hi
    Can I use a Low-sugar instant dry yeast?

  17. Tracey Demboski says:

    Recently we purchased a Bertello pizza oven. Can i blind bake this crust before topping it and placing in that oven? The oven cooks the topping in less than 1 minute and the crust won’t be done. Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tracey! We haven’t tested that method but let us know if you give it a try!

  18. Agnieszka Stachowiak says:

    Hi Sally
    I can’t see how much flour to use

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Agnieszka, see the gray recipe box at the end of the blog post for the full recipe and list of ingredients. You’ll need 3 and 1/2 cups (438g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface.

      1. Thank you so much I can see now

  19. Nicole Burgoyne says:

    This crust was delicious and crispy!! My new favorite

  20. Thank you so much for this delicious pizza recipe!!!
    It was the best one I’ve made ever!!!
    Delicious dough!!!!!

  21. Cindy Tsujimoto says:

    My favorite take out is pizza….greasy, not enough toppings, and expensive. Decided to give this recipe a try..keywords were “for beginners”! Easy to follow. The result? Oh my!! It was delicious! Got a thumbs up from my mom and boyfriend! I will never buy pizza again! Thank you!

  22. We love this pizza dough and it has been our go-to Friday movie night recipe for a long time!

    Quick question: would it work to freeze the actual uncooked pizza and then cook it later? I’m looking for ways to get dinner out quicker, and was hoping to be able to roll our the dough, top it, cover it and freeze it.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

    2. Hi can this recipe be used for a pizza oven? Thanks

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Vicky, we haven’t had a chance to test this pizza dough in a pizza oven, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. We would love to hear how it goes!

  23. Great recipe! Can I swap for Whole Wheat flour?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi NS! Here is our whole wheat pizza crust recipe. Enjoy!

  24. Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes! Do you have a recipe for pizza sauce that you like?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ellen, You can find homemade pizza sauce in the post for this deep dish pizza recipe. We do use canned crushed tomatoes however you can crush your own if you would like!

  25. Can this be made in a bread maker on dough setting?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chris, We don’t have a bread maker to test it out, but many of our readers have had success using a bread maker! Let us know if you try it out.

  26. Can I cut the recipe in half and if so, how much yeast?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lila, our recommendation is to make the full dough recipe, then use half of it. You can freeze the other half for another time — see recipe notes for details.

  27. Pizza Lover in Charlotte, NC says:

    You saved me from starvation! I’m a single guy and I hunted this on Google as I am tired of going broke buying pizza from the national brand pizza delivery places. I spent a total of $40 on all the ingredients and toppings. In addition I spent approximately $25 on the pizza pan and other needed utensils. I ordered the Yeast on Amazon so I could get exactly what you recommend. Anyhoo I was able to make a 14″ pizza perfectly with pepperoni, ham, red onions, and banana peppers. I am beside myself that I actually learned to cook this and at all the money I’m going to save by not ordering out anymore. If you are a single guy and you can barely cook you really need to try this!

  28. A super simple, crazy delicious recipe – my 15yo daughter made pizzas for us tonight and they were perfect!

  29. If I want to make this dough tonight for dinner tomorrow (18-20 hours in the fridge to rise), how cool water should I use? Can I adjust the recipe for this? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karishma, you’ll just want the water about room temperature or slightly cool to the touch, but not cold. The dough will take longer to rise as noted in the recipe notes. Enjoy!

  30. This recipe is a rockstar and so are you Sally!! I can’t even think of making pizza with store bought base now after having made such perfect base at home. My family went crazy over the pizzas. Thank you!! Love from India

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