Homemade Pizza Crust 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 crust

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 less 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 dough

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!

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.

  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!

Homemade pizza dough 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

How to Make Easy Pizza Dough (for bread beginners!)

Watch my pizza dough video tutorial below. It’s really that easy!

  1. Mix the dough ingredients together by hand or use a hand-held or stand mixer.
  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? 🙂

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

Recipes Using Pizza Dough

Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

PS: If you’ve already tried my pizza dough recipe before, let me know what you think!

Homemade pizza dough

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.


  • 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 (440g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan


  1. Prepare the dough: 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 by hand with a wooden spoon 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 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. 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.
  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 up to 2 hours. 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

Homemade pizza crust


  1. My husband doesn’t like pizza very much. But he are three slices (after he picked off some of the the toppings ). I will make the other half dough maybe a little more to his taste. Thank you for the great! Recipe!!! I mixed/kneeded it by hand and it was VERY doable

  2. I don’t have any unbleached flour, would regular bleached all purpose flour be ok?

    1. Hi Patti, yes that would be OK.

      1. Can I use cake and pastry flour instead ?

  3. I made this today and it came out so perfectly, I was hoping to replicate a pizza I had previously tried at an awesome pizza shop and it came out even better. Thank you!

  4. Hi Sally,

    It looks like the video is missing and I’m not finding it on youtube. Can you help?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jesse! If you temporarily pause ad blocker, the video comes right up. 🙂

  5. Karen Parker says:

    Making the dough was easy and it turned out awesome. Was wondering if you could use this dough to make Kolachis? (I didn’t spell that correctly.)

    1. I’m not familiar with how to make them! If you want it to be more of a bread-like pocket, you can certainly try to use this dough. If you want it to be more of a pastry try my pastry dough: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/danish-pastry-dough/

  6. Lisa Curtiss says:

    Can you use whole wheat flour?

  7. Christine stevenson says:

    My family loves pizza. I make this dough all the time, and it always turns out perfectly. I have m.s. And even with hands and arms that tremor this dough is easy. It is also versatile. I add Italian seasoning, or roasted garlic. Thank you again for the recipe.

  8. Hi Sally,
    I’ve been experimenting with different pizza dough recipes and plan to try yours next! I do have one question though.. would it be possible to halve the recipe to yield one ball of dough? I am interested in the difference between the slow rise in the refrigerator versus the shorter rise, so I would like to try both for comparison. I’m not sure if it would be better to halve the recipe or cut the dough in half a step 3? Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Jeanna! My recommendation is to make the full dough recipe, then use half of it. You can freeze the other half for another time.

      1. Donna Dumenko says:

        Great recipe!!! First time it’s ever worked for me.

    2. Melissa Downie says:

      We love this pizza dough recipe! I’ve used it at least five times now and it’s so easy! Your flatbread dough is amazing too! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

  9. Can I use cornflour instead of cornmeal?

    1. Hi Maria! Cornflour and cornmeal are different. I recommend cornmeal on the bottom of the crust. You can leave it off of the pan if you do not have it.

  10. Nice blog. Excellent for me to have some more ideas.

  11. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for sharing this EASY & DELICIOUS pizza dough recipe! I make two batches, one for my family and one for my neighbors 😉 Both friends and family thought this crust was better tasting than their favorite local pizzeria. So, we have turned our Friday’s into “Family Pizza Night @ home”. Your recipe will make 5 good sized individual round pizza’s; the family loves to put their own favorite toppings . Thank you again, it’s so delicious!

  12. Can you use the dough setting on a bread machine to make the dough?

    1. I don’t own a bread machine so I haven’t tested it out – but I’m sure it could!

    2. Made this recipe for the first time-it was easy. Used pizza dough setting on the bread machine, needed to add a little flour as it was a very humid day. The dough cooked up much better than the recipe included with the machine. I don’t have a standmixer.
      Thank you Sally!!

      1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. The recipe was super easy to follow and made a delicious pizza crust! Thank you for making yeast less intimidating!

    1. I’m so glad you tried it, Maddie!

  14. Well first time I ever made pizza dough I used yours I tweaked just a bit I used 1.5 cups bread flour and rest self rising other than cooking a little to long being my first fresh pizza it was super soft inside crisp out side to much do to my ears will use it again

  15. Hi Sally, quick question…after the dough has risen could I assemble the pizzas and leave them in the fridge for a few hours if I don’t want to cook them right away? Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Helen! The dough will continue to rise after you shape and apply the toppings. Cover and refrigerate, but don’t wait a few hours to bake– 1 hour max. 2 hours is pushing it a little!

  16. Stephanie Chui says:

    I tried the Bread flour version since I didn’t have enough APF. also followed the add 1T water. my dough turned out to be very sticky so I ended up adding more than a half cup of bread flour. I worked with a very soft dough(I was already worried about the amount of additional flour) I made it and I loved the taste. the downfall? my center dough was a bit raw even though my toppings were quite toasted already. I think it would be best to par bake the dough just to decrease the likelihood of it coming out raw and soggy. plus not too crazy with the toppings. my pizza was bacon in bechamel sauce. I went carbonara on my pizza so I guess it contributed to the underbaked center. apart from those errors, I think the recipe’s a keeper. will be making a new batch to store in the freezer for quick snacks. thanks

  17. Hi Sally! I’ve made this a few times before and its been great. Just a quick question – can I double the recipe rather than making two batches? I’m having guests over for a pizza party so will need more than the 2 pizzas one batch produces. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Paulette! It’s best to make separate batches of the dough as extra volume could lead to over-mixing or over-rising.

  18. Amy Stansberry says:

    Just like all of Sally’s recipes I have tried, this pizza crust is awesome!! Comes out perfect each time with minimal effort. I always double the recipe and freeze half for use in the next couple of weeks. Never buying store bought pizza crust again!!

  19. Can i replace olive oil with cooking oil?

    1. What type of cooking oil?

  20. Hi Sally. Can’t the instant yeast be added directly to flour?

    1. It sure can! I include the proofing step just in case users use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. It doesn’t hurt to proof instant yeast, though. But yes– you can skip that step.

  21. I’ve been using your recipe since I discovered it in 2015 when I started making home made breads of various types. This is my go-to recipe for pizza dough. I have shared it with my family and friends. My daughter has become quite the artist in handling pizza crusts and finds your recipe easy to handle.

  22. Carrie Morrow says:

    I made this dough for my family tonight and the pizza was wonderful! I cut it into 3 so we could each top it the way we like. Everyone loved it and I will be making it again very soon I am sure. Thank you so much!!

    1. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it!

  23. Had never made homemade pizza til this recipe. So easy and so good! Why buy out when you can make your own!!!

  24. Hi I have been making this recipe for years but wanted to try calzone today. Would this dough work for that ?

    1. Yes, definitely! It’s a wonderful multi-purpose dough.

  25. Babs Rowell says:

    This is absolutely perfect! I’ve made it many times, my husband (who loves pizza and considers himself an expert, lol) calls it the best crust he’s ever had….Thank you!

  26. I have been using this recipe forever! Love it!
    Because I’m lazy I just bang it all in the bread machine (water, flour heaped on top, oil sugar and salt to the side then yeast on top of the flour). Works a treat

    Thanks heaps Sally 🙂

    1. Jane Garcia says:

      Hi Sally,
      I made the pizza dough but added 1/4 cup powdered milk. How to may the crust golden brown especially the sides it still looks very white as if uncooked.

  27. Hi Sally,

    So excited to try this recipe. Could you please suggest the flour quantity for above recipe?
    Thanks !

    1. You will need 3 and 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose flour, plus more for hands and surface

  28. Christine L says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! This is a “make ahead” question. Is it possible to put the dough (after it’s risen) in the refrigerator and then make the pizzas the next day?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Christine! You can, yes, but the assembled pizzas will continue to rise a bit. Cover them tightly in the refrigerator– that will help.

  29. Best dough recipe ever absolutely superb

  30. I have made this dough many many times! It always turns out wonderfully and is delicious! I’ve kneaded it in the mixer and by hand as well. Our favorite is to make bbq chicken pizza, I use bbq sauce for the sauce part and a mix of mozzarella and cheddar. Then we throw on some homemade bbq chicken! So good!

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