Pizza Dough Recipe

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This pizza dough recipe yields a crispy, chewy, and flavorful pizza crust.

If you’ve never made pizza dough at home, it may seem a little daunting. But it comes together in just ten minutes, and then all you do is let it rise. I promise, it really is easy and worthwhile. This recipe yields enough pizza dough for two thin-crust 10- to 12- inch pizzas, which will serve 4 people. It can be made up to two days ahead of time, and it freezes beautifully, too.

What you’ll need to make pizza dough

pizza dough ingredients

  • Olive oil adds richness to the dough and help it crisp up in the oven.
  • A healthy dose of salt is added for flavor — this is important, as pizza dough can be bland.
  • Cornmeal is used to dust the baking sheet and keep the dough from sticking as it bakes; it also gives the crust a bit of extra crispiness and flavor.
  • Yeast makes the dough rise. I use instant yeast, which may also be referred to as rapid-rise, quick-rise, or bread machine yeast (this is confusing, but they are all the same thing). Active dry yeast, often referred to as regular yeast, may also be used, but it will take lengthen the rising time by about 50%. You can give it a little boost by rehydrating it in liquid before using (see the recipe for detailed instructions).

Step-By-Step Instructions

To begin, combine the flour, oil, yeast, salt, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  (The water should be warm to the touch — not hot — as anything over 130°F will kill the yeast and keep the dough from rising. It’s not necessary to measure the temperature, but you’re aiming for around 105°F.)
flour, oil, water, and salt in mixing bowlMix on low speed until the dough comes together.

pizza dough just mixedIncrease the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand.)

smooth and elastic doughTransfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl.

dough in bowl

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

There are a number of options that will work as places to let your dough rise: a sunny spot in your house, next to a heating vent (during colder months), or even on top of a kitchen appliance that generates a bit of heat as it runs (like your fridge). If you’re lucky enough to have a proof setting in your oven, use that. If not, but you’d like to use your oven, switch on the oven’s internal light; it will generate enough warmth to provide a good environment for the dough to rise.

dough after rising

After the dough has risen, punch it down.

punched down dough in bowlPlace the dough on a lightly floured surface. If you plan to make one large pizza, leave the dough whole.

dough on floured surface

If you plan to make two pizzas, cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a ball.  If you’re not using the pizza dough right away, lightly coat the dough ball(s) with olive oil. Place into freezer bag(s) and seal shut, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to warm up before stretching.

pizza dough balls

Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

letting pizza dough rest on counterAs you can see, it will rise a bit.

When it comes time to shape the pizza dough for baking, you can stretch it into any shape, size, or thickness you like (just keep in mind that a thicker crust will take longer to bake). Simply press and stretch the dough using your hands, dusting with more flour if necessary.

The recipe will yield:

  • Two 1/4-in-thick 12-in round pizzas
  • Two 1/2-in-thick 10-in round pizzas (or 12×8-inch rectangular pizzas)
  • One 1/2-in-thick 13 x 18-in rectangular pizza
  • One 1-in-thick 9 x 13-in rectangular pizza
  • One 3/4-in-thick 14-in round pizza

General Baking Instructions

Every pizza recipe is a little different, but as a general guideline: Preheat the oven to 500°F and set an oven rack in the bottom position. Dust a 13×18-inch baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Place the stretched dough on the baking sheet, and gently stretch it out again so that it maintains its shape. Spread your sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked. Remove from the oven and scatter the cheese and toppings over the sauce. Slide the pan back into the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 6 minutes more.

To Refrigerate or Freeze The Pizza Dough

If you’re not using the pizza dough right away, after the initial rise, lightly coat the dough ball(s) with olive oil. Place into freezer bag(s) and seal shut, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to warm up before stretching. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 12 hours), and then let it warm up on the countertop for about 30 minutes before stretching and proceeding with your pizza recipe.

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Pizza Dough

This pizza dough recipe yields a crispy, chewy, and flavorful pizza crust.

Servings: 4 (Makes two 12-inch thin-crust pizzas)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus 90 minutes rising time

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled-off, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons instant/quick-rise yeast (1 packet; see note)
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm water (see note)
  • Cornmeal, for dusting the pan before baking

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, oil, yeast, salt, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand.)
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. When the dough has risen, punch it down and place it on a lightly floured surface. If you're planning to make one large pizza, roll the dough into a ball. If you're planning to make two, cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a ball.
  5. If you’re not using the pizza dough right away, lightly coat the dough ball(s) with olive oil. Place into freezer bag(s) and seal shut, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to warm up before stretching. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 12 hours), and then let it warm up on the countertop for about 30 minutes before stretching and proceeding with your pizza recipe.
  6. If you're planning to use the dough right away, cover the dough ball(s) with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes (the dough will rise a bit). Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape. Proceed with your pizza recipe, or follow the general baking instructions below.
  7. General Baking Instructions: Preheat the oven to 500°F and set an oven rack in the bottom position. Dust a 13x18-inch baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Place the stretched dough on the baking sheet, and gently stretch it out again so that it maintains its shape. Spread your sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked. Remove from the oven and scatter the cheese and toppings over the sauce. Slide the pan back into the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 6 minutes more. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Slice and serve.
  8. Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant yeast, however the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can dissolve it in the warm water and let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Following that, add it to the mixing bowl with the flour, oil, and salt and proceed with the recipe.
  9. Note: The water should be warm to the touch — not hot — as anything over 130°F will kill the yeast and keep the dough from rising. It’s not necessary to measure the temperature, but you’re aiming for around 105°F.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi, Jenn, any thoughts as to if this dough could work for individual grilled pizzas? Thanks!

    • — Sue S on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue, Without having tried it, it’s really hard to say — I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! (If you do try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out!)

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2020
      • Reply
      • Well, we just tried this… The recipe works beautifully for the individual grilled pizzas. I followed your instructions but then divided into 4 sections. We grilled the first side over medium /medium high heat. Oiled the grill (canola oil) and both sides of the individual pizzas crusts (EVOO). After grilling on the first side we added the toppings and popped them back on to finish. Now I’m making more and will grill the first side and then freeze so I can pull them out, thaw and then finish topping and grilling later this week. Easy dough to work with – thanks as always. 😊 And, it’s mighty good just grilled on both sides and eaten warm! That isn’t helping my supposed low carb diet, though. 😏

        • — Sue S on July 5, 2020
        • Reply
        • Thanks so much for reporting back – sounds like they worked out great! I’m sure other readers who are considering grilling them will appreciate your detailed follow-up. 🙂

          • — Jenn on July 5, 2020
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!

    This is going to be one of the first recipes we try in our new kitchen when it’s done next week! We have a variety of olive oils, some of which are flavoured, and we were wondering if we used one with a garlic or harissa flavour, would that change the texture or would it only add flavour to the crust?

    Happy Canada Day and 4th of July!

    Tina

    • — Tina on July 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Tina, it shouldn’t change the texture at all — just add a different flavor. Hope you enjoy (and enjoy your new kitchen)!!

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    We tried this and the flavor was really good but we like a very chewy crust. I want it to bend but not snap in half. I got really great bubbles in the crust but they were firm and cracked; I want them to be softer and deflate a little coming out of the oven. How can I tweak the recipe? I thought maybe adding 2 or 3 more tablespoons of oil? I would appreciate any tips because I really like the flavor of this recipe. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Turtle on June 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Turtle, I think adding more oil would actually make the crust crispier, not chewier. If you’re using my baking instructions, when the crust goes in the oven for the first round of baking, I’d cut the baking time in half, leaving it in for about 3 minutes and 30 seconds instead of 7. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Perfect dough. I made it exactly as directed–the pictures and narrative are always such a help on a recipe like this. I’d always made dough in my food processor, so this was a great reason to switch to the KA mixer. Rave reviews from my family! Another keeper! Next time, I’ll double it–with teens, this pizza went fast!!!

    • — Jill T on June 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I’m looking forward to trying this pizza. Would you recommend cooking in a cast iron pan?
    Thank you.
    Jan

    • — Jan on June 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jan – that would work well. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • I enjoyed the pizza dough, thanks. Since I did not have a use for a second pizza crust, I planned ahead to use the other half for rolls. My topping for the rolls was coarse salt and caraway seeds, a combo I rarely have, but have enjoyed since I was a kid. One crust and a dozen rolls.

    The second time I made the dough, I used the other half rolled very thin for crackers with assorted toppings.

    Very easy and delicious.

    • — A Sull on June 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Everything I make of yours has been a hit so far…want to try this pizza dough today. Hungry teenage boys in the house…can this recipe be doubled for 2 large pizzas? Can I make it at one time in the Kitchen Aid and follow your instructions but just divide accordingly?

    • — Jennifer H on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jennifer – so long as your KitchenAid is large enough. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn. After I couldn’t find my dough hook and had to start it with the paddle and finish by hand, I decided to do 2 quick separate batches. Turned out perfectly! Family raved! Now what will I make today…;)

        • — Jennifer H on June 19, 2020
        • Reply
        • Glad it worked out well and that everyone enjoyed! 🙂

          • — Jenn on June 19, 2020
          • Reply
    • Perfect pizza dough! I made garlic fingers and pepperoni pizza.. it was delicious. I made pizza dough by hand, it stretched so easily and never broke.
      Your pizza sauce is lovely too!

      • — Sara on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Beautiful supple dough

    • — Elizabeth on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Perfect dough both fresh and out of the fridge a couple of days later.

    • — Martha on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • My days of buying a pizza at the grocery store to bake at home have ended with this recipe. It was easy and very good. Since there are only two people in my household, half the dough went into the freezer for a later date. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Suzon on June 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Fantastic and easy! Mine wasn’t quite as beautiful as yours, but tasted great! Made two, one with Italian sausage and onion, one Margarita, with salad. Fed 3 hungry teens, hubby and myself, after mountain bike ride…(barely).

    I look forward to making again!

    Jen, another great recipe, every one delicious! Thank you!

    • — Katie on June 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I don’t have much luck with dough. Either they come out too soft or too hard. But this recipe of yours is such an ease to follow and it was perfect! Thank you for sharing this and will be making more pizza in future!

    • — Kelly on June 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello,
    I love your pizza dough recipe!! Do you have any ideas on how to make it gluten free?

    Thanks so much,
    Sasha

    • — Sasha Jordan on June 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sasha, I’ve only made this with all-purpose flour, so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out with gluten-free flour but if you want to give it a try, a lot of readers have commented they have good luck with King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour. Please report back if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Great recipe and so simple to make! My husband said it’s the best homemade pizza we’ve ever had. I have never had success with fresh store-bought dough and find it so hard to shape – stretch, shrink, stretch, shrink, ugh. Not this dough! A cinch in the stand mixer, easy to handle and oil/store/remove from a ziplock bag, easy to flatten/stretch/shape – just easy, easy, easy! Do not be intimidated to try this. I will definitely be making this many more times in the future! I especially love that it’s a relatively short rise time, so I can decide to make pizza for dinner late afternoon and still pull it off by evening. Thank you!!!

    • — Erin on June 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • Do you have some tips for using a pizza stone? I have experimented using one with mixed results. The dough sometimes literally melts when placing on a preheated stone (as directions say), and it’s very difficult not to burn hands and fingers. I tried forming the dough on parchment paper and transferring to the stone, but the bottom didn’t crisp up. Thanks!

    • — Michele Rosso on June 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Michele, The best way to transfer the pizza to the stone is to use a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel. I’m not sure why the dough would melt — are you using a traditional pizza dough?

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • I don’t have an electric mixer. Can I still make this dough by hand?

    • — Amy on June 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Amy, You can definitely knead the dough by hand. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I want to use your recipe for calzones. How many do you think your recipe make? Thanks so much. Every recipe I have made of yours turns out great, with adjustments for high altitude.

    • — Jarol (Jerrie) E. on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jerrie, It depends how big you make them, but I think 4 good-size calzones.

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2020
      • Reply
    • Could you please share your high altitude adjustments? Thank you ☺️

      • — Polly on June 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • If I use active dry yeast, as that is what I have on hand, does the amount differ from the amount of rapid-rise yeast that’s listed in the recipe? Your recipe differs somewhat from the recipe we always follow, but because this one is yours, we’re definitely giving it a go! Thanks!

    • — Sandra on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandra, You would use the same amount of active dry yeast. Hope you enjoy it if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I made your pizza dough using your instructions exactly. I found that the dough was very dry and dense. I will try adding a bit more water next time. I have been putting my dough in the refrigerator for a few days to rise. I find that 3-5 days makes for a better flavor. Don’t exceed 7 days, as your dough, may go bad. You can smell it if it does.

    Thanks for this alternative dough recipe. I look forward to tasting it. It has more oil and salt than I normally use.

    Love your receipies and your work. Thanks again Jenn.

    • — Henning Mortensen on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Hope all is well! We don’t have cornmeal..will that make a difference to the outcome of the dough?

    • — Lisa on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, no, it won’t have an outcome on the dough, but you’ll need to treat the pan to keep it from sticking. You could either coat the pan with parchment paper or a thin layer of oil. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thank you for the recipe. I have been experimenting with making pizza dough for months, as pizza is my husband’s favorite food and he loves it every Friday night. Unfortunately, we cannot find yeast ANYWHERE. And, I’ve looked for several weeks. I’m fearful of buying it online at Amazon and other sites, because I understand some of the yeasts being shipped are dead/and or not good. On top of that, they are not taking returns of it… We are relegated now to using supermarket pizza dough which is not the same, of course.

    • — Shelly on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Should be OK to buy online, and do not accept a no returns policy, in most countries, the goods fall under the sale of goods act. Must be able to be used as described. And Amazon, to be fair are generally pretty good with faulty products.

      • — Sinéad on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
    • Try Waffle Pantry. I couldn’t find yeast either but they have SAF which is an amazing yeast. It’s not too expensive and shipping was fast.

      • — Turtle on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • What temperature and for how long?
    Thanks for a response.
    Pieri

    • — Pieri on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Pieri, I’m assuming you’re wondering about baking temp and time? If so, refer to either my Margherita or Pesto Pizza recipes. Hope you enjoy if you try one!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Is it possible to use the food processor for the dough if we don’t have a stand mixer? Thanks!

    • — Tanya Sehgal on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • Does this recipe work with gluten free flour?

    • — Peggy on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Peggy, I’ve only made this with all-purpose flour, so I’m not certain it will work with gluten-free flour — I’m sorry! If you do try it, please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can you please post directions for those of us without a Kitchen Aid?
    Can this be done in a food processor?

    • — VIRGINIA TATE on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, you can use a food processor for the dough. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • I appreciate the detailed instructions in this recipe for how to make the dough ahead and save it until the next day. I’ve heard that making the dough ahead gives it a better flavor and texture but didn’t know the best way to do it. I’ve been making pizza dough for years, but yours has more salt and oil than I normally use so I look forward to trying this recipe!

    • — Cindy on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • I make so many of your recipes GF with great success. Do you think this would work?? 🤞🏻

    • — Samantha Lueken on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi, Samantha, I’ve only made this with all-purpose flour, so I can’t say for sure how it will work with gluten-free — I’m sorry! I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jen,
      I couldn’t find rapid rise yeast. Would active dry yeast work? If yes, how much?

      • — Janelle on June 15, 2020
      • Reply
      • Sure, however the dough will take longer to rise. To give it a boost, you can dissolve it in the warm water and let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Following that, add it to the mixing bowl with the flour, oil, and salt and proceed with the recipe. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on June 15, 2020
        • Reply

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