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

1095 Comments

  1. This is the recipe I’ve been looking for!! Crispy underneath yet soft on the edges!!

  2. Would this recipe work to make pizza pockets? My kids love them and I hate the store bought junk.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely! You may love this recipe for Ham & Cheese Pockets (uses the same dough).

    2. Experimented with 3 different pizza dough recipes before this one and I wasn’t happy with any of them. This one though….was awesome! I can’t wait to share this with my girlfriends.

  3. I make this every other week (we then have pizza twice that week). Absolutely the best. For some reason it gets better the more I make it, lol. I love using King Arthur flour, I think it enhances the flavor and chew.

  4. Can I substitute olive oil with avocado oil?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amanda, that shouldn’t be an issue.

  5. Holy rainy day goodness! I didn’t have time to bake yesterday so I mixed it up and let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight as suggested. It doesn’t get any easier than this to make a delicious dough. Thank you!

  6. Hi Sally,
    Sorry if this is a dumb question but can I make the dough in the morning and just put it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it for dinner time?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure can! See the Overnight/All Day Instructions in the recipe notes.

      1. I have made the dough, and It has already risen at room temperature , doubled in size. I will use it tomorrow. Can I keep the dough which has already risen in the refrigerator?

  7. I’ve made this dough twice now and it is super sticky. What am I doing wrong? Also, I made it last night and put in fridge overnight for dinner tonight. How long before I make pizza do I need to take it out of the fridge?

    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elizabeth! There are a lot of variances that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency. I usually let mine thaw in the fridge overnight for 8 hours or so. Though it may not need that much time – just until it’s thawed through!

  8. I make this pizza dough every Friday for our pizza night. It turns out perfect every time, and also freezes well. I find leaving it to rise in the fridge gives it a delicious taste. Thanks you for such an easy to follow, fool proof recipe, and for saving us a lot of money on takeaway pizzas!

  9. Jennifer Moynihan says:

    This is the best pizza dough I’ve found, and I’ve tried quite a few! We make homemade pizza a couple times a month using this recipe. I usually make one pizza and use the leftover dough to make Italian style pizza fritte the way my husband’s grandmother used to make. So good!

  10. Making it for the 3rd time. This is so easy to make and taste so much better than the store bought dough. Never going back to store bought.

  11. Hi Sally, I have just found you and love what I see. Do you send your blog to email addresses and if so, would you mind putting me on your list please. Many thanks.
    Suzanne (Australia)

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Suzanne, we’re thrilled to hear you’ve been enjoying our site! You can subscribe to receive our emails here Happy baking!

  12. After taking out of the freezer, how long is it ok to sit in the fridge for?
    Would it be ok if I don’t use it for a couple days?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tanya, we recommend taking it out of the freezer and allowing it to thaw in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. It’s best to use it soon after.

  13. Hello – just trying to clarify, for the ‘overnight’ method, whether you really mean to complete through Step 3 all the way, just through part of Step 3, or if it’s just steps 1 and 2 only. Thanks – can’t wait to try it!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jeff, Instead of allowing the dough to rise at room temperature, allow it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Hope you enjoy it!

  14. My go to pizza dough recipe! Easy to make and really takes the homemade pizza to the next level.

  15. Great tasting Pizza dough, although I found it very sticky and had to add more flour before I was able to make it into pizzas.

  16. Hi there! Just wanted to know if its okay to – and how long should the pizzas be baked for, if I make them into mini pizzas?

  17. Love this recipe! Do you think I can sub white flour with whole wheat?

  18. Great pizza dough. Turns out perfect every time. I’ve shared this with so many friends. Thank you.

  19. Nina chudasama says:

    I have made this twice now and each time it is getting better, my family will not let me buy or order pizza anymore. Thank you Sally.

  20. We’ve been doing thin crust for years and I was just totally bored with it. I trust your site’s recipes for anything baking and you didn’t steer my wrong. Best rising crust pizza dough recipe out there! Light but with a little chew and a nice crisp crust. Just perfect.

    Thanks so much for another great recipe!

    (Can’t for the life of me remember if I left a review earlier, so apologies if this is a repeat.)

  21. I love this recipe, quick and easy..I normally freeze part of the dough I smaller balls so I can make personal pan pizzas when I make my husband something that I am not fond of. It gets better each time I make it. Thanks for the recipe !

  22. I am a baker and only recently started with pizza dough. This is an amazing recipe. So easy and delicious. Thank you so much. Two finicky teenagers and the husband give it two thumbs up

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy this pizza dough was a hit for you, Dela!

  23. I am making it now. The dough has risen but I’ve realised I need to go out and won’t be back for the next 4-5 hours. Can I leave the dough still rising or should I roll it and refrigerate?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ania, we’d recommend covering the bowl with the rising dough and placing it in the fridge until you get back home. The additional slow rise in the fridge will give a wonderful flavor! Then, proceed with shaping and baking when you’re ready. Enjoy!

  24. Can I bake the crust and freeze baked crust for later uses?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Meena! For the best flavor and texture we recommend freezing the dough and baking fresh instead. See recipe notes!

  25. This used to be my go-to pizza dough recipe. Such great flavor and super easy, but lately whenever I make it it turns out HORRIBLY. It either doesn’t rise and I have to use the oven at a low temp, and afterwards it becomes incredibly sticky and unusable. If I don’t use the oven, it rises fine but it becomes incredibly thin and I can’t do the stuffed crust that my husband loves. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but this last time I babysat the heck out of it and it’s still super thin and basically raw (it’s currently baking in the oven). Maybe my oven just sucks? I dunno but I’m at my wits end with this recipe, I don’t think I’ll be using it again. I love your baking recipes, but this pizza dough is insanely difficult for me for some reason and it makes me feel like a failure ☹

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily! It’s so strange that the recipe would start coming out differently for you. Have you made any changes? If the dough is too wet you can add more flour one Tbs at a time until it becomes more workable. One thing we love to use to prevent baking headaches is an in-oven thermometer. Unless you have a brand new or regularly calibrated oven, your oven’s temperature is likely inaccurate. Hope these tips will help!

  26. Lena Sirsiris says:

    Love this pizza recipe. We have pizza weekly every since I discovered your recipe. Tonight I will make for the first time and let it rise overnight. So to clarify, once I mix everything together, does it go straight to the fridge to rise? How does it rise with the cold temp? Also, I will not use it until the next day at dinner time? So essentially it will be in the fridge for over 16 hours. Is that ok? Thanks .

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lena! Yes, straight into the fridge for a slow rise. If it will be in the fridge for longer than 12 hours, use cooler water in the dough which will slow the dough’s rise and allow for more time. Enjoy!

  27. Hi Sally, How can I double the recipe. Does double all the ingredients including yeast?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rakhee, for best results, we’d recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling. This will help ensure that the ingredients are properly incorporated. Hope this helps!

  28. Can this crust recipe be par baked and frozen? If not, what modifications would need to be done.

    Should this crust be par baked, when fresh, for a few minutes before topping, to be a little crispier.

    1. Hi Andrew, par baking before freezing is completely fine. Let it thaw before topping and baking. You can also par bake before topping (and not freeze it). I would par bake for 5-8 minutes. Make sure you roll the dough/flatten thin as it will puff up without toppings on.

  29. Thank you for a solid go-to pizza crust! I only have 2 questions:
    1. Any suggestions for using this dough as a calzone? My DIY attempt was…edible.
    2. If this is a “beginners” recipe, what’s the next step? I’m ready to tackle the next level!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amma! These Ham and Cheese Pockets are similarly shaped to calzones – you can reference them for shaping. Have you tried our Stromboli recipe? It’s made with the same dough, but shaped in a fun swirl. Happy baking!

  30. Haven’t tried the recipe yet but looking forward to it. I am curious as to why you hand kneaded the dough though instead of using the mixer since that’s how you mixed it.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elayne, 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.

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