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 don’t have a pizza stone so I baked mine in a cast iron pan, warmed up slightly on the hob and dusted with the cornmeal. Came out beautifully. After many different recipes tried for pizza dough this has given me the best results by far.
Have made this recipe many times and always comes out great – just purchased a bread machine do you think I can use the machine for knead and rise cycle (1 1/2 hrs) then proceed to shape myself
Hi Betty, we haven’t made this dough in a bread machine, but many readers have reported success doing so. Let us know how it goes for you!
My dough doesn’t seem to rise. I don’t have an electric dough kneading machine and am kneading by hand. Is that the reason it’s not rising you think? The first time I made it it never rose but I still made the pizza and everyone loved it.
Hi Oki, Our baking with yeast guide has helpful information including a section titled “What if my dough isn’t rising?” – we recommend reviewing that to help troubleshoot!
I want to make a bacon cheeseburger pie. Will this crust work for it.
Hi Carrie, you can use pizza crust this for a bacon cheeseburger pizza.
Hi, I have a question about the pan to use. I don’t have a pizza pan or a round baking pan, would it be okay to use a flat baking sheet, like the one used for cookies?
Yes, absolutely! Though you may need to change the shape of your pizza to fit.
My 3rd time baking it and it finally came out perfect. I have a convection oven so I baked on top rack at 425°F for 15 mins and it came out amazing.
This came out perfect the first time I made it! I didn’t change a thing and it was so easy. I’ve shared my pizza and calzone pictures on Facebook and everybody “invited” themselves over for some! I’ve shared a link to your page with them so they could make their own.
I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and it’s become a favorite of ours! Always turns out perfectly.
I’m going to try splitting the dough into 4 so we can make our own personal pizzas. How much do you think that would change the baking time?
Not much at all! Maybe a minute or 2. So glad you enjoy this pizza dough.
I did and took 10-12 mins. But I made the crust pretty thin.
I found this recipe before realizing that Sally also has a whole wheat version of the recipe. Anyways, I swapped out the flour for whole wheat and that was the only change I made. It turned out great! I actually enjoyed the whole wheat version more and was pleasantly surprised. Next time I’ll try the whole wheat recipe and see if I can tell a difference, I believe her recipe calls for a little bit more water as whole wheat soaks up more water. I’m so grateful for your recipes Sally, so easy to follow and delicious!
I made this recipe a few times in the last month and I’m obsessed. The crust is light and flavorful. I had to make some adaptations, but complementing the recipe with intuition worked really well every single time.
I have been using your pizza dough recipe for years, it seems. It really is the best!! But I’m wondering what happened to your recipe for Margarita pizza. I made it once or twice, but the next time I went to make it, I couldn’t find the recipe, and it was pretty much perfect to my taste.
I added those instructions to this recipe! You can find it written out above the printable recipe. In the recipe that was on my site, I also added thinly sliced tomatoes on top before baking.
Made this tonight and it’s my new go-to crust recipe. So easy and so delicious!!! But I’ve never been disappointed with one of your recipes so it’s not that surprising 🙂
Made this tonight and it got great reviews! It was perfectly light and crispy. I think i will add a little more spices and salt next time. I do have a question though-I feel like mine came out very smooth, so smooth the cornmeal didn’t stick to the bottom. Is that normal? Any reason why this might have occurred? In no way a deal breaker just curious!
Hi Emily, that’s not really a problem, but if you want the cornmeal to stick a little better, you can moisten the dough a bit by flicking water on it with your fingers. Just to get it a little stickier.
I make this dough all the time. It comes out perfect every time. We use it for pizza and also your wonderful Stromboli recipe! Thanks for sharing!
I tried the pizza base recipe
So easy for a beginner and very tasty!
Thank yoh Sally!
Can I use pizza flour instead of all-purpose flour? Would I do anything differently?
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!
Hello:) I would love to know how I could make this recipe successful without the addition of sugar?
Hi Lynn, The sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, we don’t recommend skipping it. You could try to use honey instead.
Hi Sally. I let the dough rise on the counter and then deflated it and put it in the frig. (Couldn’t finish as I had planned)I wrapped it in plastic and it is rising again. Is that ok to use?
Yes. Just punch it down again before using.
I love this recipe 99% of my baking comes from here. I add garlic powder to the recipie, it’s 1000% perfect. I’m needing to make 10 pizzas next Saturday, can I make double triple batches, I have a 10 qt stand mixer??
Hi Nicole, we haven’t tested batches that big, but let us know if you do!
I’m a new baker and love this site & am going on my 4th weekend of this dough! How much garlic powder are you adding?
Best and so easy pizza crust recipe!! I’ve tried with several types of dough and it turns out great every time. Bread dough is our favorite bc of how fluffy it gets
I never leave recipe reviews, but I had to say that this is a wonderful pizza crust recipe! In the last couple of months, I’ve tried a few different pizza crust recipes. This one is by far mine, and my husband’s, favourite. We had just run out of regular EVOO, so I used a hot pepperoncini EVOO instead. The crust had a great flavour, savoury with a hint of sweetness from the sugar. The crisp and chew of the crust were well balanced. I had to knead my dough about 10 minutes, instead of 5, and allowed it to rest for just over 90 minutes. When the dough finished rising, I realized that I had failed to notice the recipe made enough for two pizzas, which was a happy accident (who doesn’t love pizza leftovers??), and I had enough sauce and toppings for two. Also, I didn’t have cornmeal on hand so I greased my pans, then sprinkled them with a bit of flour. Once I had the dough shaped on the pans, I pricked them all over with a fork because of the air bubbles that were forming. I topped both with homemade sauce, pizza mozzarella, and Italian sausage (cooked at home). On one, I added banana peppers and fresh parm. To the other, tomato, onion, and feta. Both were lovely. I baked the pizzas one at a time, in a 500° oven, with the pan on top of my preheated pizza stone, for about 5-7 minutes longer than the recipe called for. We like our crusts a bit more done than most recipe baking times will achieve; we love a nice, rich, golden brown crust, with a crisp base, and fluffy, soft insides. The pizzas were littered with fresh basil before serving. Absolutely delicious. I know that this recipe will be a mainstay in my home. If you’re unsure, just make it!
This is, by far, the best pizza dough I have ever made!
Followed exactly and holy crap – this is THE most perfect pizza dough I’ve ever had homemade. I’ll probably try flavored oil and other fun things with it now that I have the base recipe down, but seriously… This is perfect as-is. Hubby was astonished, said it tasted like restaurant quality.
I just wanted to know that I found you in the Ooni FB community. All the talk of 70, 78%, 80% hydration, all that stuff, is nothing but confusing. One guy showed up in there saying he “perfected” the crust recipe so I tried it. We couldn’t even eat it. That’s happened several times. I saw your post today telling people you don’t get the “hydration” equations but use a recipe that always works. We just did it. It was outrageously great cooked in the Ooni. I’m pretty good at it usually, but I couldn’t get the thicker crusts to work. Yours does. Thanks so much. Awesome crust.
I don’t have a stand mixer and I have bad arthritis in the heels of both hands making it tough to knead. Can I use a food processor?
Hi Snibb, if your food processor has a multipurpose metal blade or even a special dough blade, and can hold the volume of the dough, that should work just fine. Let us know how it goes for you!
Everything you’d want and youd be making yourself! The most reliable dough ever!!!!! Tried tested delicious and just perfect! Thank you!
This recipe is AMAZING and easy and delicious . Wanted to send a photo but ♀️. ? If I wanted to flavor the dough do I ass the ingredients garlic maybe parmigiana cheese when would I do that after it rises or with the kneading? Thank You so much.
So sorry for the typo. *add. So sorry
This recipe and method makes a banger of a pizza. I used bread flour but nothing else different.
Thank you for this recipe. It was great my family loved it, especially my kids.
Really easy to make and it’s delicious!
Can in use this dough to make cinnamon rolls ?
Hi Susie, can’t see why not, but here’s our favorite cinnamon rolls recipe.
Can this be used for panzos as well?
Hi Giuliana, we haven’t made those before, but it should work!
I made this pizza dough with your spinach and artichoke white pizza recipe. Wow, delicious! I was wondering if you have ever tried to use Gluten-free flour.
Hi Susan, we haven’t tested that substitution so we’re unsure of the results. Although some readers report using an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour in many of our recipes with success, you should expect slightly different results anytime you substitute ingredients. Let us know if you give it a try!