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.
Every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust. Some like it thin and crispy, while others prefer a thick and soft crust. This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft & chewy with a delicious crisp and AWESOME flavor. It’s my go-to pizza dough recipe and just a glance at the hundreds of reviews in the comments section tells me that it’s a favorite for many others too!
Easy Dough for Bread Beginners
This is a no-fuss dough recipe for beginners. You need just 6 basic ingredients, plus a little cornmeal for preparing the pan. (You can skip that if needed.) Most of the time is hands off as the dough rises. You might wonder… why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is certainly convenient, but from-scratch crust has unbeatable flavor and texture that only comes from fresh dough. And you can use the dough for cheese breadsticks, too!
Reader, Andy, commented: “Super easy, super fast, super good! I don’t like doughy thick 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! ★★★★★“
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. If you love whole grain bread, try this whole wheat pizza dough instead.
- 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.
- Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
- Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.
- 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!
You could also add 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and Italian seasoning blend to the dough when you add the flour.
Reader, Shane, commented: “Excellent pizza dough. I add about 1 tbs of garlic powder and Italian herbs to give the dough more flavor as well as 40 grams of cornmeal for a little crunch. It freezes well and makes a nice thin crust. ★★★★★“
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, homemade breadsticks, and overnight cinnamon rolls require fat to yield a “rich dough,” which creates a softer and more dessert-like bread.
Overview: How to Make Easy Pizza Dough
- Make the dough: 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.
- Knead: Knead by hand or with your mixer. I like doing this by hand.
- Rise: Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover tightly, and set aside to rise for about 90 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Punch & shape: Punch down risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide in 2. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Cover and rest as you prep the pizza toppings.
- Top it: Top with favorite pizza toppings.
- Bake: Bake pizza at a very high temperature for only about 15 minutes.
Young 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? 🙂
Favorite Pizza Pans
Let me share my top choices for pizza pans just in case you’re shopping for a new one. I use and love (affiliate links) this one and this one. If you like baking your homemade pizzas on pizza stones, I’ve used this one before and it’s wonderful.
If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a regular sheet pan. Grease it with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal as directed below, and then press the dough into whatever shape that will fit. Make sure the dough is about 1/2-inch thick. For a thinner pizza, stretch the dough out more.
FAQ: How Can I Make The Dough Ahead of Time?
Prepare the dough through step 3 below, 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.) As a bonus, the slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 5 in the recipe below (the shaping step). If the dough didn’t quite double in size when rising, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before shaping.
FAQ: How Do I 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.
FAQ: How Do I 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.
Uses for Homemade Pizza Dough
Here are the many uses for this homemade pizza dough:
- Extra Cheese Pizza & Stuffed Crust Pizza
- Pesto Pizza (pictured above)
- Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets
- Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
- Spinach Artichoke White Pizza
- Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Garlic Knots
- Margherita style: For 2 pizzas, when it’s time to top it in step 6 below, top with the following. (Feel free to halve for only 1 pizza.) Make a homemade tomato sauce by blending 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt, and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Spread on shaped doughs. Top each with 2-3 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. Bake as directed, and then sprinkle each hot pizza with 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese and a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil.
- Apple gorgonzola pizza is a favorite: For 1 pizza, when it’s time to top it in step 6 below, top with 1 and 1/2 cups (6oz or 168g) shredded mozzarella cheese, 8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese, thin slices of apple, then sprinkle with chopped fresh or dried rosemary before baking.
- Or any other pizza topping you love: pepperoni, crumbled sausage, black olives, onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, etc
Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.Print
Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
- 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. Close to 2 pounds of dough total.
- 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, plus more for pan and brushing on dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/2 cups (about 450g) unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
- sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan
- 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.
- 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 5 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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, about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly for 5-10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped 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.
- 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 pizza, Hawaiian pizza, pesto pizza, spinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
- Top & bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 4. 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).
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer | Dough Scraper | Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
- 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.
- 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 Comments & Reviews
I’ve tried other pizza dough recipes but this recipe is the best. Delicious!
This was delicious! I made a different crust recipe a couple weeks ago but it didn’t have as much flavor. Love this and will use again!
Great texture and flavor, easy to make, and best of all, a very forgiving recipe. I ended up using a tiny bit less yeast than the recipe called for, more flour (my dough was really sticky, probably due to humidity), let it rise a little longer than it was supposed to… All these little inaccuracies and it still turned out completely wonderful. Can’t wait to make it again–hopefully the right way next time! 🙂
My first Pizza crust! It was so easy and my Family loved it! Thank you for the recipe..I will definitely be using it again.
How long can you let the dough rise at room temp? I made my dough around 8 this morning and I plan to make the pizza for dinner. I have had the dough sitting on my kitchen counter, letting it rise since this morning. Is that ok?
Hi Liz, The dough should rise about 60-90 minutes at room temperature. You can allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. See recipe note #2 for details!
I just made this for a friend who wanted it to eat later tonight, but now will be eating earlier than originally planned. Did the all day method but it will only be in the fridge for 4 hours. Any tips? When to take out to let rise at room temp?
Hi Michelle! You can take it out of the refrigerator any time to let it rise at room temperature and continue with the recipe.
this is a perfect recipe. Every. single. time.
Also made it in a cast iron skillet for 12 minutes, it was perfect. Rave reviews.
I’ve tried a lot of pizza dough recipes, but this is officially my go-to as of today. I added a little roasted garlic, and it was fantastic.
I’m 66 years old, having cooked for a living since 1972. Many different cuisines, including Italian, but never got around to the pizza thing (which I LOVE). Researched many doughs, online and with friends in the business. Bottom line, YOURS is the base recipe from which I expound upon. The holy grail, ground zero, baseline! Thanks for publishing a notably GREAT recipe for dough, and giving me a basis, from which to work.
Can this dough be used in a cast iron skillet?
I’ve made this into a pizza and cheesy bread. Oh my goodness, it was amazing! This is my new go to recipe now.
I’m a 60 year old guy that decided to learn to bake. You do such a great job instructing that i have made this a half dozen times now and even my lifetime baker wife is impressed by this dough! Never had a problem, have made hot pockets as well and frozen the dough a couple of times and used later with no problems. Don’t skip the cornmeal, it’s a difference maker
I like my pizza crust to be a bit crispier than the one pictured on the video. Is there any way to do this?
Hi Debbie! For a crispier crust, feel free to bake the pizza a little longer.
Lady, you changed my whole entire life and that of my whole entire family with this recipe.
Baking beginner here…I’ve tried this dough a couple times and it always comes out wet (which leads to soggy, undercooked pizza when I cook it). What caused this? How do I fix it? Thx!
Try adding just a touch more flour next time until the dough comes together!
My crust came out perfect! Put on the bottom oven rack to get nice and crispy.
This is a perfect recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!
Never in my entire life have i ever made dough and I made this recipe. Never will I buy a Premade pizza crust again. It might take a little time to prep. But the results are amazing. This will make a soft yet nice cripsy crust on the edges. It rises quite a bit, so this isn’t a thin crust recipe. Next time I’m going to be creative with the crust edge and add some garlic butter and parmesan cheese.
I love making (and eating!) pizza and this is my go to recipe. Easy and delicious!
This was such an easy and delicious dough!
I’ve made this wonderful recipe multiple times now and it’s never disappointed. It also broke the ice for me in terms of working with dough. which I was grateful for. But I made this yesterday and was left scratching my head. I made sure temp (105degrees) and yeast was good and for the first time, the dough did not rise. It as also was very sticky. I’ve had the issue with sticker vs. none sticker dough but that it did not rise was a first for me. Could I have not beaten it enough this time around? Would love your feedback as I’m really curious to know why this might have happened. Thanks in advance.
Hi Eva, I’m so glad you have been enjoying this recipe! If it didn’t rise at all I’m guessing that it was a bad packet of yeast. After step one was your bowl foamy/bubbly to indicate that the yeast was active?
To be honest, I don’t believe I checked which I will do from now on :-). Newbie mistake. It did rise somewhat but it took hours versus the normal 1 1/2 hours. On top of that it was bubbling along the way. It just wasn’t right and I agree with you Sally, I think it was a bad packet of yeast :-(. I ended up tossing it …scary it was…LOL. Thanks again.
I have been making homemade pizza for about 25 years. For a single pizza, I add about 11 ounces of unbleached flour, and about 1 ounce of white whole wheat flour. In addition to olive oil, I’ll add some honey.
The best trick to a flavorful dough is to place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. The yeast will consume all the sugar from the honey and really flavor the dough.
I have a few other tricks, but these will greater improve the quality and flavor of your pizza dough.
Your pizza crust recipe really works. It is very easy to make. We can now say goodbye to expensive delivery pizza. Making the pizza also provides good bonding moments with my children. Save money, safe family!
My goodness, I’m such a pizza dough skeptic but I gave this a whirl using bread flour and the extra water. And this was sooo easy and the BEST recipe i have come across (as far as something turning out perfectly) in a long time! This is 100% going in my rotation. It was truly wonderful and my husband gobbled it up like he was straight outta San Quentin or something! Thank you for making this so easy to do.
Can’t wait to try this we do pizza & games every Friday! I love the extra details you provide about each ingredient, wondering if I can ask you to expand on the bit you mentioned about the flour. I grind my wheat for bread and have pretty much always substituted it in for white flour, accepting it would change the consistency of whatever I’m making just a bit. But your note about the difference in protein affecting the take up of water makes me think I could, perhaps, adjust the water according to the flour I’m using. Is there a rule of thumb for adjusting the liquid when subbing in whole wheat flour?
Hi Rachel! I don’t really have any rule of thumb, but if you’d like to make this into whole wheat dough, I have a whole wheat pizza crust you may enjoy.
What are your heating instructions for the frozen cooked pizza slices? I’d love to try that as an option for an easy made ahead meal.
I simply reheat frozen pizza slices in the oven!
I’ve got dough rising right now, using this recipe. This is the second time I’ve made it. Turned out perfect. I don’t have a stand mixer, I just mixed the dough by hand and still had great results.
The best pizza dough I have ever made at home, and I have tried quite a few! My family loved it and I enjoyed baking it.
Hi Mae, Since it’s not actually in the dough you can skip it. Your crust won’t have the exact same unique texture but it will still taste great!