A good Pizza Dough Recipe is the backbone to pizza night at home. This pizza dough is basic and easy with only the simplest ingredients including all-purpose flour. With tips and tricks to make the dough on your schedule once you learn this recipe you will be having at home pizza night regularly!
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This post was updated with new photos and more in-depth instructions, the recipe while clarified remains the same.
Best Homemade Pizza Dough
Call me crazy but at some point homemade pizza nights became an easy dinner option for me…
I call this crazy because if you haven’t made pizza at home before or not regularly it can sound very very intimidating, I know it did to me many years ago when I started my journey in the kitchen.
Flash forward to now I think of it as an easy 4 (or more counting toppings) ingredient dinner, but that is because I have a secret, you guessed it this easy pizza dough.
This pizza dough is basic, no extra ingredients that can throw off a good dough. Just water, yeast, salt, oil, and flour along with some kneading.
The best part is that homemade pizza dough like this one can actually be pretty flexible in the way that it is stored and risen so that you can work it into your schedule.
To make this pizza dough you will find the following helpful:
- Stand Mixer (Kitchenaid)
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Large Bowl – bonus if it has its own lid, a lot of ‘batter bowls’ will come with one
- You might find an oiled spatula helpful for transferring the dough to the bowl but it isn’t necessary
So what if you don’t have a stand mixer but you still want to make this dough?
No problem, just hand knead it together. Sure it will take a little longer but there is no reason why it wouldn’t work. Just start by combining everything in a bowl and mixing with a spoon until the dough comes together enough to transfer to a clean floured surface to knead. Knead with your hands until smooth and then continue to rise.
- Water – Just hot tap water will work, if you want to get particular you are probably looking for a temperature around 110ºF
- Yeast – you may use active dry yeast or instant yeast here, just note step one will be slightly different for each in the directions, I personally use active dry yeast for this recipe
- Salt– I highly recommend using kosher salt
- Olive Oil– the better the olive oil is the better this pizza will be, I am a big fan of California Olive Ranch (not an ad, just a fan)
- All-Purpose Flour– more on flour types below…
For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.
Can I use other types of flours like Bread Flour, “00” Flour, or Semolina Flour?
Yes! BUT note that you will likely use a slightly different amount. You will just have to watch the dough closely and stop when it seems ready (it sounds intimidating but just trust your gut). I quite often like adding in “00” Flour (usually 50/50 with all-purpose), when using these other types of flours the protein contents will be different which is why you might need less or more of it.
Using these other types of flours in is no way necessary but might yield a more crispy yet chewy crust due to the fact that the protein and gluten contents are different than your average all-purpose flour. If you want to get real nerdy about flour and on what makes them different this quick article How do you choose the right flour? From King Arthur Baking covers the quick basics of flours and protein content.
How to make Homemade Pizza Dough
Add the warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. If you are using active dry yeast let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can bloom. If you are using instant yeast proceed to the next step.
Add the salt and olive oil to the bowl. Stir a few times to combine.
Now add in the two cups of flour to the bowl. With the dough hook attachment start mixing on a low speed, mix until combined.
Add another ½ cup of flour to the mixer and mix on a low speed to combine.
Continue to mix on a low speed adding more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball and is no longer sticking to the side of the bowl. Do this step slowly as you don’t want to add too much flour. You are looking for a dough that is soft, springy, and slightly sticky, it might stick slightly to your finger but when the mixer is mixing it won’t stick to the sides anymore (although if it sticks to the bottom still that is okay). The amount of flour you add in total might be different each time you make it, on average I probably end up using about 3 ¾ cups but on extra humid days I might end up using much more. The dough will also continue to smooth out as it kneads.
When you think you have the dough right bring the mixer up to a medium speed. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. If you have time to knead the full ten minutes I recommend doing that to build up the gluten, this will result in a better and easier to work with crust.
Once the dough is done kneading grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough into the bowl and cover. Place in a warm non-drafty area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
If you don’t have a great place for your dough to rise try this. While prepping the dough, turn your oven to WARM. Once the dough is in the bowl and ready to rise, turn the oven OFF and add the covered bowl to the warm but off oven. Keep an eye on it but your dough should be rising in no time.
Once the dough has at least doubled in size use the dough immediately. Or feel free to refrigerate, or freeze (more on that below)
A Little Bit on Making Pizza Dough Ahead of Time…
Prepping your dough ahead of time is one of the best ways to make pizza night a success. You can do this one of two ways. Refrigerating the dough or freezing the dough.
Can Pizza Dough be Refrigerated?
Yes and you can do this one of two ways.
Rise the dough in the fridge. Skip the hour long warm rise and take advantage of the fridge instead with a cold long rise. This can be done any time the day before up to the morning of when you want to make pizza. Simply mix, knead the dough, and add to the oiled bowl. Place the covered oiled bowl into the fridge and let it do its thing. You will want to take the dough out with some time for it to come back to room temperature before you start working with it. So take advantage of the night before or morning of and get the dough made then!
Store in the fridge after rise. Did the dough rise too quick or you need to hold off on making the pizza for a bit? You can place the risen dough in the fridge to slow down the rising.
Can Pizza Dough be frozen?
Yep. Are you someone who likes to make big batches so you are always prepared? Well lucky for you, this works very well for pizza dough.
The pizza dough can actually be frozen after it is kneaded before it rises or after it has risen. Either way keep it in an airtight container, I recommend a freezer bag. Once you are ready to use place in the fridge the night before to thaw, and if the dough still needed a rise make sure you give it time to do that.
Pizza Dough Trouble Shooting
Why Pizza Dough didn’t rise?
Two common reasons are, bad yeast or not suitable environment. If you are hoping for a quick rise ensure that your space is warm enough.
Why Pizza Dough Tears?
This is likely because you didn’t knead the dough long enough. If you knead the dough for ten minutes until it is nice and smooth this shouldn’t be an issue. Kneading builds up the gluten which is what gives the dough it’s stretchiness. This is why many pizza dough recipes that are ‘no-knead’ fail.
Why Pizza Dough is sticky?
Pizza dough should have a slight stick to it but dusting with flour should make that problem go away. If the dough is still too sticky to work with you didn’t add enough flour.
Once you have your pizza dough ready to go make sure you check out my complete post on How To Make Homemade Pizza.
You will also find my 5 Minute Pizza Sauce very handy.
And you might also like:
- How to make the BEST Grill Pizza at Home
- Pesto Pizza with Prosciutto, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
- How to make Heart Shaped Pizza with Cheese Stuffed Crust
- Loaded BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pizza
- Weeknight Personal Pizza Recipe
- 1 ½ cup warm water*
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (instant yeast works too)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 to 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. If you are using active yeast let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can bloom. If you are using instant yeast proceed to the next step.
- Add the salt and olive oil to the bowl. Stir a few times to combine.
- Add two cups of flour to the bowl. With the dough hook attachment start mixing on a low speed, mix until combined.
- Add another ½ cup to the mixer and mix on a low speed to combine.
- Continue to mix on a low speed adding more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball and is no longer sticking to the side of the bowl. Do this step slowly as you don’t want to add too much flour. You are looking for a dough that is soft, springy, and slightly sticky, it might stick slightly to your finger but when the mixer is mixing it won’t stick to the sides anymore (although if it sticks to the bottom still that is okay). The amount of flour you add in total might be different each time you make it, on average I probably end up using about 3 ¾ cups but on extra humid days I might end up using much more. The dough will also continue to smooth out as it kneads.
- Bring the mixer up to a medium speed to knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. If you have time to knead the full ten minutes I recommend doing that.
- Once the dough is done kneading grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough into the bowl and cover. Place in a warm non-drafty area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Use dough immediately, refrigerate, or freeze. Makes two 10-12 inch pizza crusts.
*Just hot tap water will work, if you want to get particular you are probably looking for a temperature around 110ºF
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Serving Size:2 cooked slices
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 785Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 161gFiber: 6gSugar: 1gProtein: 22g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife
Who doesn’t love pizza? I honestly have never meet a person who has said they hate pizza. We have pizza at our house at least every other week. Pizza is so incredibly easy to make and you can make so many different types, there are different toppings, crusts, sauces, the possibilities are truly endless. In the summer I love to experiment more with grilled pizzas or low carb/veggie crusts but once the weather starts getting chillier I crave my carbs in the form of my classic Pizza Dough.
Pizza Dough is so simple, it takes about 13 minutes to mix together, an hour of rising and you have yourself dinner. It is as simple as letting the water and yeast bloom, adding the oil & salt, and kneading in the flour. Then cover and wait an hour. You can choose to get stuff done during this time, like do the dishes, sweep, play with your kids, or sit on Facebook and Instagram, the choice is all yours 😉 Once the dough has risen, you will divide the dough into 2 large or 3 medium pizza. Roll out on a floured surface. Add your favorite toppings and bake on a pizza stone in the oven at 450º for 10-15 minutes.
The difference between fresh pizza dough like this and any take out or store bought pizza is absolutely astounding. The dough is so light and airy on the inside but the bottom gets crunchy, my mouth is drooling thinking about some homemade pizza right now. Once you see how easy (and cheap) it is to make your own homemade Pizza Dough I guarantee pizza night will become a part of your weekly meal rotation. Your family will thank you and you will save a ton by not ordering out, it’s a win win! Enjoy your pizza!