Homemade pizza dough is surprisingly easy to make. A great pizza starts with a great dough. See step by step how to make and form your own pizzas.
Everybody loves pizza, don’t they?
For years I made a pizza dough that was very stretchy and dense. I used bread flour and kneaded the heck out of the dough thinking I had to have a really elastic dough for a good chewy crust.
But, as with almost all of my breads, I’ve gradually changed the way I make the dough. I’ve learned to use a lighter hand for a better bread.
Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make homemade pizza dough:
Tips for making great pizza dough.
- All-purpose flour will create a bread dough that is chewy yet light.
- Pre-mixing the water, yeast and some of the flour will give the gluten time to develop before the salt and oil are added. Both salt and oil will inhibit gluten development.
- Once the dough comes together, knead it just enough to fully develop the gluten.
- After the dough has risen, handle it gently to keep some of the air bubbles. This creates a more interesting texture and lighter crust.
- You can replace about 1/3 to 1/2 of the flour with whole wheat flour to make a whole grain crust.
- After the dough has risen 1x you can freeze it to use later. Defrost the dough then proceed to roll, add toppings and bake.
- Use fresh summer tomatoes with basil and mozzarella to make a classic Margarita Pizza.
- Bake your pizza in a very hot oven, 450-500F.
- If you’ve got a grill, click here to learn how to make charcoal grilled pizza.
Adapt the recipe to use your favorite toppings. The possibilities are truly endless.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review!
- 1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300 ml) warm water
- 1 packet ((2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) instant dry yeast
- About 3 cups (15 oz, 420g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a mixer bowl combine the water, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix until it looks like pancake batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook.
- Add the salt and olive oil. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour 1/4 cup at a time. The dough will begin to clear the sides of the bowl and gather on the hook. If mixing by hand continue with a spoon or spatula until the dough becomes too thick then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and finish kneading in the flour by hand.
- Increase the speed to medium and knead for 3-4 minutes or knead by hand for 5-6 minutes. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn it over to coat the surface. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- If you're baking the pizza in the oven, preheat it to 450° F. If you have a pizza stone preheat that too. Alternately, try grilling the pizzas for a special smokey flavor.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface, do not knead out the air. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces.
- Gently form each piece into a ball by tucking the sides under the dough. Using the tips of your fingers, gently flatten and press the dough into a disc.
- Drape the dough disc over your two fists and pull from the edges to slowly enlarge the disc to about 12-14" around. Alternately, you can roll the dough with a rolling pin but I think the texture is better if you form the dough by hand.
- Place each pizza round onto a wooden peel, pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled heavily with corn meal.
- Finish with your choice of toppings and proceed to bake or grill.