Homemade pizza dough is surprisingly easy to make. A great pizza starts with a great dough. See step by step how to make your own pizza crust.
Everybody loves pizza, don’t they? Making homemade pizza dough really is easy with just a few basic ingredients and it can be made ahead of time.
- Warm water
- Yeast – I recommend instant or active dry yeast rather than rapid rise yeast for better flavor.
- Unbleached bread flour – You can use 00 Pizza flour or semolina flour to make this dough.
- Olive oil
- Cornmeal – Use cornmeal under the pizza dough to prevent sticking.
How to make homemade pizza dough
- Mix the water, yeast and flour to make a “sponge”.
- Set it aside for 30 minutes. This resting time will help develop the gluten.
- Add the olive oil, salt and remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes. The dough should cling to the hook and clear the sides of the bowl. Alternately, the dough can be mixed and kneaded by hand.
- The dough will still be somewhat sticky. Set the dough aside for the first rise.
- After the first rise the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for several weeks.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Fold each piece of dough into a small packet.
- Flip the dough over and form into a tight ball.
- Set the dough balls aside to rest for 20 minutes before shaping.
- Visit this page to see exactly how to shape pizza dough.
- Sprinkle a pizza peel or pan heavily with cornmeal.
- Place the pizza on a wooden pizza peel, pizza pan or baking sheet.
- You’re now ready to top and bake or grill the pizzas.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Pre-mixing the water, yeast and some of the flour to form a sponge kick-starts the gluten development.
- After the first rise, handle the dough 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. You can also use semolina or 00 pizza flour to make this pizza dough recipe.
- After the dough has risen 1x you can refrigerate it overnight or up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to a month.
- 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.
A timeline for making Homemade Pizza Crust
- Make the dough in the late morning or early afternoon. The entire process will take up 2-3 hours until you’re ready to bake the pizza.
- The dough can be made the day before or early in the morning and refrigerated after the first rise. Let the dough come to room temperature before shaping.
- After the first rise, form the dough into 2 balls and leave them to rest for 20 minutes before shaping.
If you add too much flour or not enough water to the dough the pizza can bake up dry and bready. A wetter dough will make a lighter and crisper crust. Do not knock all the air out of the dough before shaping. If you vigorously knead the dough before shaping you’ll end up with lots of tiny air bubbles and a bready texture.
Yes. Pizza dough can be held in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for several weeks.
There is no need to “punch down” pizza dough. After the first rise gently fold and stretch the dough to redistribute the yeast. By gently folding the dough you retain some of the air bubbles that formed during the first rise and your pizza will have a lighter and crisper crust.
Yes, you can freeze Pizza Dough. Bring the dough through the first rise. Form it into two tight balls, wrap it in plastic and put it into a freezer bag.
You might also like to try making Homemade Pita Bread. It’s surprisingly easy!
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review!
Easy Pizza Dough Recipe
- 10 ounces warm water (1 ¼ cups)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast (1 packet or 7g)
- 15 ounces unbleached bread flour (3 cups, see note)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a mixer bowl combine the water, yeast and 1½ cups of the flour and mix until it looks like pancake batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.10 ounces warm water, 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast, 15 ounces unbleached bread flour
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook.
- Add the salt and olive oil. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the remaining flour. 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.1 teaspoon table salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 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 1½ hours.
- If you're baking the pizza in the oven, preheat it to 450 °F. If you have a pizza stone preheat that too.
- 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. Cover the dough balls and leave them rest for 20 minutes.
- Visit this post to see how to shape pizza dough by hand.
- Place each pizza round onto a wooden peel, pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled heavily with corn meal.cornmeal
- Finish with your choice of toppings and proceed to bake or grill.
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