A step by step guide for making homemade Pizza Dough. This easy pizza dough recipe is quick and inexpensive and adaptable for thin or thick crust pizza!
This basic Pizza Dough Recipe can make a thin crust pizza dough or a thicker, chewy pizza crust. It makes a flavorful pizza crust that’s perfect for serving with any Pizza Recipe including: Pepperoni Pizza, Garlic Ranch Chicken Pizza, and Barbeque Chicken Pizza. Don’t forget to top it with my favorite 5-minute Pizza Sauce!
Everyone needs a good Pizza Dough Recipe in their collection, and this one is my favorite because it’s so easy and flavorful! Though I recently created a Wheat Pizza Crust that is phenomenal as well!
I’ve been making homemade pizzas with my mom, ever since I was little. Once I got married, my husband requested them just about every weekend! But there was only one problem; I wasn’t in love with the pizza dough recipe that I had grown up using.
SO, I set out to make the best pizza dough recipe out there. Now, for someone who makes homemade pizza on almost a weekly basis, I’ve had my fair share of trial and error, but I can confidently say that THIS IS IT!
How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough:
1. Proof the yeast. Dissolve the yeast in warm water with sugar and let it sit for about 5 minutes, to proof. (If the yeast doesn’t foam up like in photo step 1, then the yeast is no good.)
2. Make the dough. Next, add more water, salt, vinegar, and olive oil. Gradually add the flour as you knead the dough on a medium-low speed for about 7 minutes.
3. Allow to rise. Cover the pizza dough and let it and let it rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
4. Divide the dough into 2-3 balls depending on whether you want to make thin crust pizzas or a thicker, chewy pizza crust. I personally like to divide my pizza dough recipe into three because I like the thin crust pizza.
5. Roll into pizza shape. Spray your work surface lightly with cooking spray, or dust lightly with flour. Use a rolling pin or your hands to roll and stretch the dough to your desired size. Prick all over with a fork.
6. Pre-bake. Before pre-baking my pizza crust, I heat the oven with a pizza stone inside. If you don’t have a pizza stone you could use a baking tray (like a cookie sheet), turned upside down. I then sprinkle cornmeal on my pizza peel and place the crust on top, and then slide the crust onto the hot baking stone. If you don’t have a pizza peel you can place the pizza crust on a piece of parchment paper to lift and set it onto your hot pizza stone or baking tray.
If you are looking for an even healthier pizza dough recipe, check out my perfect and flavorful Wheat Pizza Crust!
Tips for perfect pizza dough:
- Pre-bake the dough. I’ve found that the key to this homemade pizza dough recipe is pre-baking it. It’s absolutely essential to pre-bake the dough for 5-6 minutes before adding your toppings. Once you’ve added Pizza Sauce and all your toppings, return it to the oven to finish baking! This will result in a crust that holds on it’s own and is crispy on the outside, and soft and airy on the inside.
2. Let it RISE! You really need to take the time to let the pizza dough rise. I’ve tried many “no-rise” or “15-minute” pizza crust recipes, but I don’t think any of them taste as good as this one. You can also make the pizza dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge, in an airtight container, overnight, to save time.
3. Check the flour! In the recipe I call for bread flour but all-purpose flour works perfectly well for this recipe . If you’d like to use whole wheat flour, check out my Wheat Pizza Crust Recipe!
4. To add flavor: This is a basic pizza dough recipe, but you can spice it up to make it more flavorful. I sometimes add a couple dashes of garlic powder, dried basil, and oregano at step number 2 below.
5. When rolling out the dough: It’s common practice to roll pizza dough on a floured surface, but I actually like to spray my counter with non-stick spray instead of using flour. That way excess flour doesn’t make the dough tough and its really easy to stretch the dough with your hands. You can also use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, or your desired shape but I find that using my hands is just as easy.
Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:
To make ahead:
Option 1: Make the dough up until the first rise. Place the dough in an airtight container in the fridge to rise overnight, or for several hours, before rolling it out and pre-baking it.
Option 2: Completely make the pizza dough, including pre-baking it in the oven for 6 minutes. Top with desired pizza toppings, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, until ready to bake your pizza.
To freeze the dough: Form a ball with the dough and lightly spray it on all sides. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a ziplock freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the pizza dough in the refrigerator overnight and roll it out when you are ready to pre-bake.
To freeze the pre-baked crust: Make sure the crust cools completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap and tinfoil and store it in your freezer. Only freeze pre-baked crust without the toppings!
Check out all my Pizza Recipes: Some of my favorites recipes using homemade pizza dough include:
Easy Pizza Dough
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 3 ¾ – 4 cups bread flour (bread flour works best, but all purpose works fine)
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer combine ½ cup of the warm water with the sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of warm water, and the olive oil, salt and vinegar.
- Begin mixing on medium-low speed, gradually adding the flour, and knead the dough for about 7 minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that it really sticks to your fingertip when touched.
- Cover the bowl with a dry towel and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in volume–about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Gently punch the dough down and place on a lightly greased or floured counter top. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal pieces (depending on how thick you want your crust/how big you want your pizza. I make three medium size, thinner crust pizzas. But you could make two larger pizzas).
- Roll and stretch your dough to desired size and thickness.
- Allow the dough to rest while you preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone (or want to use a baking tray) place it in the oven while it preheats.
- Brush pizza dough lightly with olive oil and prick it all over with a fork. Pre-bake the dough on a hot pizza stone or in pizza pan for 6 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add pizza sauce and toppings. Return to oven and bake for 8-15 more minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
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Adapted from all recipes.
*I originally shared this recipe March 2013. Updated March 2020.
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