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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

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.

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 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, but add a couple extra Tablespoons of water since bread flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour. 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!
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 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

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

Scale
  • 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
  • 3/4 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

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. (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. 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 pizza, 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. 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. Hello, I want to try this pizza dough recipe. Can I use wholemeal bread flour instead?

    1. Hi Naeema, Certainly! 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.

      1. If I don’t have the yeast that u use what other kind can I use please

  2. This crust came out great. Very easy recipe to follow. Will definitely replace buying frozen dough.

    1. Great pizza crust!! I usually buy mine at a pizzeria but it was too cold to go out lol. I’ve tried your recipes before and loved every one so figured I’d give it a try. Very easy and the crust came nice and crisp on the outside, soft inside, and much lighter than the pizzeria. Thank you!!

  3. I was worried when I took this out of the oven it was going to be too thick. It rose more than I prefer my crust to be but it was the perfect crisp. I used a combination of ap flour and King Arthur Italian style flour. I made salami, black olive, artichoke cream sauce and mozzarella one one and rueben (swiss, corned beef, horseradish cream sauce) topped with sauerkraut and homemade thousand island after it came out. So good. The crust and rueben will definitely be on my rotation. I did the 8 hour fridge version which is a method I have better luck with when I use yeast.

  4. This dough needed to check a lot of boxes for me if it was going to replace the frozen store bought dough. Thankfully, it went above and beyond my expectations. I used to work for a major pizza chain and this dough held up to all the tests I put it through. Easy to come together, straightforward recipe, not time consuming at all. Even though I was using baking sheets, the bottom was perfectly golden and done at the same time as the crust. The slices held up under weight, and it was baked well throughout: there was no visible gel layer to the dough, which might be from the helpful addition of the olive oil under the toppings. It was flavorful, crisp but chewy, reminiscent of a restaurant pizza but with a more authentic feel. A+

  5. Should I use Pacific fine sea salt or Diamond Kosher salt for the salt called for in the recipe?

    1. Hi Debbie, we use table salt in all of our recipes unless otherwise noted. You can try this with either of those!

  6. Can the dough rise longer than 90 minutes? Fyi – excellent easy recipe for quick pizza dough. Fun for the kids too

    1. Hi Mark, see the second note for all day instructions. Enjoy!

  7. This dough was really easy to make and the texture and crunch was perfect, however, the recipe uses much more yeast than other recipes I’ve tried and the flavor was ruined by this, I guess you can add garlic or seasoning to it to help disguise it but I don’t think I’ll make this again

  8. This is our go to pizza crust about 2 times a month. We’ve played with other recipes and this is it!!! It’s perfectly delicious!

  9. I’ve used this recipe today — half cheesy garlic breadsticks and the other half is for pizza. wooow! It’s superb! It’s full of flavors, crispy and chewy inside! I love how the air pockets were formed just like the ones in pizzas from restaurants. Wish I can show you some photos. This will surely be my go-to recipe.

  10. Super easy, super fast, super good! I don’t like doughy thinck 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!

  11. Can you remove from freezer same day AND leave on counter at room temperature (assuming it will defrost at room temp in 6-8 hours)

    1. Hi Loraine, we recommend thawing in the refrigerator during that time and then on the counter for only 30 minutes.

  12. “Wow! At last I got a blog from where I be capable of actually get helpful facts
    concerning my study and knowledge.”

  13. Thank you so much for posting! I have a recipe for turkey meatballs that I’m trying to make and I could not find oat flour anywhere!

  14. This is exactly the information I needed! I love this! I am looking for options that are lower on the glycemic index, and oat flour is perfect for that. Thanks for this!

  15. This blog is definitely awesome and informative. I have found helluva interesting tips out of this blog. I ad love to go back over and over again. Thanks a bunch!

    1. hello, I have this dough frozen right now. I only have about 6 hours. is that enough time to defrost in the fridge or does it need the 8 hours?

      1. Hi Rachelle! The exact time needed will vary, but we found 8 hours to be just about right.

  16. I just made your easy pizza dough and it was delicious This recipe is a keeper
    Thank you

  17. Crust came out pretty good! Unfortunately 475* seems to be too hot for the mozzarella cheese I used, it was brown and crispy even though the crust was cooked properly.

  18. This is a great recipe…so easy. I love thin, crispy crust pizza and this dough crisps up beautifully. I live alone and don’t want a 12″ pizza. I cut the dough into quarters, rolled them into balls and put them in the freezer. Just perfect. Thank you!

  19. I have just made this pizza and was so happy, the dough is delicious, would definitely recommend it

  20. This is my ‘go to’ recipe for pizza dough (as well as the recipe for stuffed crust). I hope you don’t mind but I shared it with a Facebook group to which I belong.

  21. Came out perfect! Will it be okay to pre make a pizza using these steps, freeze, and pop in oven when ready? Wanting to make more than one for superbowl ahead of time.

    1. Hi Candace! You could par bake the dough for 5-8 minutes, then freeze. Let it thaw before topping and baking. Make sure you roll the dough/flatten thin as it will puff up without toppings on.

    1. Hi Haley, Pizza flour typically has a higher protein level and forms a stronger gluten network. It creates a chewier pizza crust. We published this recipe with all-purpose flour since it’s more commonly used in kitchens, but you can use either with no changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

  22. First time making homemade pizza with Sally’s pizza dough recipe and I’m hooked! The one pizza my 5 year old son helped with and in the process I forgot to press into the dough so 2 very large bubbles formed lol. Then my second pizza I decided to try using my cast iron pan and it was so crispy on the outside but the inside crust was so soft! 10/10

    1. Hi Jane, 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.

  23. This is my go to pizza recipe. It’s easy to make, doesn’t take that much time and is everyone’s favorite.
    Thanks so much for publishing!

  24. Loved this! Going to make it again and wondering if I can double the recipe or if it would be best to just make two batches?

    1. Hi Jamie, for best taste and texture, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling.

  25. First time I made this it was absolutely amazing! Tonight I doubled the recipe and it was real sticky. What can I do to correct this?

    1. Hi Sherry, For the best taste and texture, we do recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling. That said, the dough can certainly be sticky, depending on lots of variables even down to 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!

  26. Made this – wonderful crust – was wondering if you or anyone else has made the completed pizza and before baking froze the completed pizza – want to make a few for company ahead of time. Great recipe!

    1. Hi Betty, You could par bake the dough for 5-8 minutes, then freeze. Let it thaw before topping and baking. Make sure you roll the dough/flatten thin as it will puff up without toppings on.

  27. Hello! I’ve used your recipe and it is incredibly good! I want to add in some sourdough discard. Do you have a rule of thumb?

    Below are the proportions from King Arthur’s SD Pizza. If I sub this for the like kind items in your recipe do you think it will work?

    FYI – I did check your yeast post before commenting here. I thought maybe you would have touched on the sourdough starter/natural yeast.

    I appreciate your advice on using sourdough starter in your amazing pizza recipe.

    From King Aurthurs SD Pizza Recipe:
    1 cup (227g) sourdough starter, unfed/discard
    1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons to 3/4 cup (141g to 170g) water, lukewarm
    2 1/2 cups (300g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

    1. Hi, We haven’t tested this using a sourdough starter, so we are unsure how to guide you on that. Let us know if you try anything!

  28. Sally i almost burned my house down because you said 475 degrees. usually pizzas are at 400

    1. Hi David, 475 is the correct temperature for baking this pizza dough. We always recommend using an in-oven thermometer to ensure your oven is the correct temperature!

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