Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
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This Easy Pizza Dough Recipe makes a soft and fluffy pizza crust that’s beyond irresistible! It’s the best homemade pizza dough that has been passed down through generations. It takes 10 minutes to prepare and can be made by hand with 6 simple ingredients!
Best Pizza Dough Recipe by Hand
This pizza dough recipe creates a fresh pizza crust that’s fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside! You might feel that working with yeast is intimidating, but I’m going to show you some very simple techniques to make your own perfect fluffy pizza dough at home. Say goodbye to your delivery guy!
Easy to make with no fancy ingredients required (it’s made with all-purpose flour or bread flour) and no need for a mixer or food processor!
What is the Best Flour for Making Pizza Dough?
It depends on what type of crust you want.
- Bread flour is often recommended for making pizza dough because its high gluten content will make a more elastic dough. It will give you a crisper texture that’s great for New York-style pizza.
- Italian Tipo ‘00’ flour is the best flour for pizza dough because it’s milled finer than normal flour, making a super-smooth texture. It also puffs up more around the rim, ideal for Neapolitan-style pizza.
- All-purpose flour is my favorite as it yields a softer, thicker and fluffy pizza with a chewy texture. It’s great for making Chicago deep-dish pizza.
I’ve tested this recipe with all 3 types of flour, and the photos below show the differences:
How to Make Pizza Dough from Scratch
- Combine dry yeast, sugar and warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Mix together flour, salt and yeast mixture. Mix for a few minutes and add oil.
- Beat and knead until the dough is soft and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased mixing bowl.
- Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Stretch the dough by gently flattening the dough ball into a 12-inch (30cm) circle.
How to Make Fluffy Pizza Dough?
The secret to fluffy dough is the right technique, not the ingredients! The rising (proofing) process makes your pizza fluffy when the yeast starts to produce air bubbles and fermentation occurs. To make sure the yeast is working properly, you need to use WARM water (105-110°F or 40-43°C).
After the dough has doubled in size, AVOID kneading it again. Also, try to use less flour when you stretch your dough.
Step-by-step Photos for Making Pizza Dough
How Long Do You Knead Pizza Dough?
Generally, knead your dough for 10 minutes by hand or about 8 minutes in a mixer. It’s very difficult to over-knead your dough by hand, but if you don’t knead it enough, it will be dense and hard.
You need to knead until the dough is soft and elastic. It can still look fairly rough on the surface and could be a little sticky on the bottom. If the dough slowly bounces back when you poke it with your finger, it is ready to rise.
How Do You Stretch Pizza Dough?
If it’s freshly-made dough, gently turn the bowl upside down onto the board. If it’s frozen or refrigerated dough, bring it to room temperature first. I like to press it out with my fingers, where I can control the pressure and not destroy too many bubbles. This is called “knocking back” the dough. (I don’t recommend stretching it in the air like pizza chefs when you’re a beginner.).
Alternatively, you can lightly dust your working surface with flour, and gently roll it out with a back-and-forth motion with a rolling pin.
For a thin crust, roll it to about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. For a thicker crust, make it 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick. The dough should be fairly even in thickness. Some people pinch the edges to get a chewy cornicione (an Italian term for the edges around the rim), although it’s optional.
For the dough, you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour (or bread flour): Unbleached flour works better as it can better absorb the water and yeast.
- Yeast: I use active dry yeast. You can also use instant yeast, which doesn’t need to be proofed first.
- Warm water: make sure your water is about 105-110°F (40-43°C).
- Sugar: it helps the yeast to grow faster.
- Salt: it’s not absolutely required, but the dough will taste too flat without it.
- Olive oil: it helps with the proofing process while adding flavor to your dough.
Then grab some pizza sauce, cheese and other toppings for the pizza!
How to Make Pizza at Home
The dough is the foundation of a great pizza, as everything else comes together so easily when your dough is ready!
Just poke holes in the dough with a fork, brush with oil and then add your favorite toppings. Bake at 450°F (232°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and becomes golden brown.
Ways to Use Pizza Dough
You can use the dough to make all kinds of pizza recipes:
You can also use it to make desserts such as Cinnamon Rolls, donut holes and monkey bread.
Top Tips for Making the Best Pizza Dough
- To achieve the super light and fluffy pizza, ADD OIL LAST to the mixture. It’s best to mix the flour with other ingredients first before you add oil, allowing the flour to hydrate properly. This is critical to making FLUFFY pizza dough!
- DO NOT knead the dough after rising, as it’ll destroy the air bubbles and create flat/dense dough.
- The best way to stretch out the dough is by pressing it out gently with your fingers in order to preserve the air bubbles that make pizza fluffy.
- Use a fork to poke holes across the surface of the dough crust so it doesn’t develop large bubbles while baking.
Some frequently asked questions:
Do you have to bake pizza dough before adding toppings?
It’s a good practice to par-bake your dough first before adding your toppings, especially if they are wet or moist. Baking for 5-8 minutes will make it just firm enough to stand up to additional moisture. But you can skip this step if your toppings are relatively dry.
Do you need to knead your dough after rising?
No. Just gently press with your fingers to stretch the dough out. Avoid kneading at this stage.
What temperate to bake homemade pizza?
Bake at 450°F (232°C) for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. A thin crust pizza takes less time, while a thicker crust takes longer.
Can I freeze pizza dough?
Yes. You need to let if rise completely and divide into portioned pieces for single pizzas before freezing. Wrap tightly in separate pieces of parchment paper. Then place in freezer-safe bags and squeeze out the air. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using it.
How long does pizza dough last?
Homemade pizza dough can last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator if it’s tightly wrapped. It can last for about 3 months in the freezer if you store it in a sealed freezer-safe bag.
How do you make pizza dough without yeast?
If you don’t have yeast handy or are short of time, you can use baking powder instead of yeast. Once you mix all the ingredients, the dough is ready to go and you don’t have to wait for the dough to rise.
NO YEAST pizza dough is quick and easy to make, but won’t taste as soft and fluffy as yeast dough.
Can I flavor my pizza dough?
Yes, you can add flavors to this basic pizza dough recipe. Some popular additions include garlic powder, dry mustard, dried thyme, etc. Simply mix the seasoning with the flour before adding the yeast mixture.
Homemade Pizza Dough
- 1 packet active dry yeast, (2-1/4 teaspoons, or 8g)
- 1 cup warm water, 105-110°F (40-43°C, 250ml)
- 1 teaspoon sugar, (8g)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, (312g)
- ½ teaspoon salt, (3g)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, (14ml) plus extra for greasing and brushing
- Activate Dry Yeast: In a small bowl combine yeast, sugar and lukewarm water (105-110°F (40-43°C). Let it sit for 10 minutes until bubbly foam forms on the surface.
- Prepare the Dough: In a large bowl mix together flour and salt. Then create a well in the middle.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the well. Bring the flour in gradually from the sides with your hands to blend into the liquid.
- When everything is slightly mixed, add the oil. (It’s important to add oil last as this allows the flour to hydrate properly)
- Knead the Dough: Keep mixing and when everything starts to come together, knead your dough by hand for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic (You will need about 8 minutes if you use a mixer. See notes below). You need to knead until the dough is soft and elastic. If it slowly bounces back when you poke it with your finger, it is ready for the next step.
- Let the Dough Rise: Grease another large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl and rub with oil all over.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. (After rising, you can wrap and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use, or if you use it immediately, continue to the next step).
- Preheat the Oven: When the dough almost finishes rising, this is the time to preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). It usually takes about 15 minutes to heat up.
- Shape the Dough: Place the dough on a floured surface and stretch the dough by gently flattening it into a 12-inch (30mm) circle with your fingers. Stretch it out to about 1/8-inch (3mm) thick for a thin crust, and 1/4-inch (6mm) thick for a thick crust. (Avoid kneading the dough at this stage)
- Transfer it to a nonstick pizza pan or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Use a fork to poke holes across the surface of the dough, so it doesn’t develop large bubbles while baking.
- Add Toppings and Bake: Brush your crust with olive oil and add your favorite toppings. Then bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Slice the pizza and serve warm.
- This recipe yields one 12-inch (30mm) pizza with a relatively thick crust.
- Storing Instructions: Let the dough rise completely and divide into portioned pieces for single pizzas. Tightly wrap each piece with parchment paper and place into a sealed ziptop bag, squeezing out the air. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Yeast: This recipe uses active dry yeast. You can use instant yeast, which doesn’t need to be proofed first.
- Stand Mixer Instructions: Fit your stand mixer with a dough hook. Then add flour and salt to the bowl along with the proofed yeast mixture. Beat on speed 2 for 1 minute. Then add oil and beat for another 7-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
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