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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. This now a permanent fixture on a Saturday Night.
    I use Honey instead of the Sugar and add a teaspoon of Garlic Granules ….WOW ……Thanks Sally

  2. Great Recipe! I have used MANY of your recipes, but this is one of the best. I’ve always had trouble with pizza crust not being cooked in the middle, but not with this recipe! The high heat makes all the difference. And I’ve frozen some of the dough and, when thawed, it still works perfectly! And using a mixture of mozzarella and provolone cheese is amazing – better than what you get from most pizza shops. Thanks!!

  3. This is such a great recipe. I used a rolling pin this time for the first time and with a lot of patient rolling was able to get the crust really thin. Best pizza ever!! I think this is good with a lower amount of cheese (4 oz) and small amounts of various toppings scattered around. We used bell pepper, red onion, marinated artichoke hearts, anchovy and olives.

  4. I used this for my birthday party a few weeks ago and wow! Is it amazing. The crust was light and it tasted amazing and it was easy for my 6 year old sisters to spread out and add their own toppings (I did individual pizzas)

  5. This is hands-down the most flavourful, crisp, and easiest recipe for pizza dough I’ve ever made! Love it!

  6. Hi Sally. I’ve only just discovered your site and immediately signed up. I’m keen to try out your pizza dough recipe for beginners. I recently purchased a cast iron pizza tray as some sites suggest heating that up first in the oven and then placing the dough on that. I notice you use an unheated tray, which to me looks a whole lot easier than trying to.spread the dough on to a very hot surface. Maybe I could still heat my cast iron yrau and place a metal pizza tray on that in the oven.for more heat. I’d be interested to gather your thoughts on this,and the advantages/disadvantages of placing dough directly onto preheated stone/cast iron. Thanks in advance. Cheers, Robyn

    1. Hi Robyn, If using a pizza stone, we recommend that you place it in the oven to preheat as well. Hope you love this pizza dough!

    1. Hi Kathy, We recommend making two separate batches of dough instead of doubling.

  7. This is a really good base recipe. Could use a bit more salt, and some garlic powder. I would recommend pre baking the dough. If you don’t it can come out pretty doughy with browned edges. Be prepared to add plenty of flavor with toppings.
    The dough is so easy to make. I do it by hand. For a family of 5 I double the recipe and cook on 2 large cookie sheets. Don’t skip the cornmeal! It really adds to the authenticity of delivery type pizza. Brush oil on the crust the last 5 min. So good!! Our fav pizza crust recipe. Freezes well too

  8. Rather than making two 12-inch pies, I used the entire recipe to make one 16-inch thick crust pizza. I prebaked the dough for about 6 minutes before adding my ingredients. I did put the olive oil on the hot dough, which I wouldn’t do again as I think it made it a little soggy like butter on hot buns. After that I topped it with a really good pizza sauce and then covered it with loads of sweet Italian sausage cooked with chopped red and green bell peppers along with sweet onions. I used lots of shredded mozzarella cheese and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Hubby said it was one of my best pizzas and I’ve been making them for him for more than 30 years. Thank you Sally for the wonderful tutorial and recipe! It’s a keeper.

  9. I made this recipe last night. I only used 1 ball of dough and put the other one in the freezer. I added roasted garlic powder, a little bit more salt and Italian seasoning to the dough. I brushed olive oil on the top so it wouldn’t be too much. After cooking the dough, I used fresh mozzarella, cheddar, and a mix of Parmesan-Reggiano.

    This dough recipe is a good one to start with because it’s so easy! Thank Sally for the tutorial also.

  10. I’m not very experienced at all at making pizza dough but this recipe turned out amazing!!! The dough was cooked all the way through and was the perfect texture. Will always use this recipe from now on.

  11. This is our favorite pizza dough! We pair it with homemade pizza sauce and now make it this way instead of ordering in. Love it!

  12. I’ve made your recipe multiple times for my husband and I and loved having another dough in the freezer ready to go! This time, we are making it for company and don’t want to have 2 pans. Would I use a full recipe for a 9 1/2×15 cookie sheet?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Janie, doubling might be just a bit too much for that size pan, but you could use any leftovers for a smaller flatbread on the side (or freeze for later!)

  13. Made this tonight. This dough was fabulous. Your instructions were perfect. Thank you

  14. This recipe never works for me and I have no idea why. I just made another dough and it rose just fine. I’ve made this dough before, along with a third different recipe, and it (the other) rose fine. I’m guessing it’s because I’m not using the same yeast brand but… that just doesn’t seem right.

  15. Great pizza dough recipe!! Love to freeze the other half for some delicious cheesy garlic bread. I even split the other part into two batches since I am only feeding three folks 2 are light eaters. I have been making this for about a year. I use my stand mixer. The trick is getting the dough shaped to fit the pan and pinch the sides to look professional like Sally’s. Practice, practice, practice. Love that you include videos to show us the way. I am greatly improved on my crust shapping. I have even ventured into kneading for myself if time permits. I find kneading relaxing. Thank you.

  16. Dough had a good rise, but even in an oiled cast iron pan the crust came out dry and flaky like pie texture.

    May try a second time. But not super impressed.

  17. Another great recipe. I started coming to your site many years ago when I made the brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip recipe. Best cookie ever imo. Get tons of compliments and requests for them all the time. Now whenever I’m looking to make something I always check to see if you have a recipe for it first. Best baking site on the internet imo. You should be proud.

    1. Thank you so much for this kind and positive feedback, Billy — we truly appreciate it!

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