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

  • Looking for pizza dough recipe, after failing numerous times, but I gave it another go. Thought, Jenn has never failed me, will try hers. Sure enough, she always makes me look like a genius in the kitchen. Great directions, photos easiest dough to roll out, delicious!

    • — Mary on March 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • Always so good! And it freezes very well too — an added bonus for me

    • — Lyne H. on March 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • What a wonderful website you have created. First time after many try’s that my dough turned out correctly. Thank you! (Also used to live in the dc metro (Alexandria), now in cold MN). Looking forward to trying more recipes! Thanks!

    • — Om on February 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Has anyone used whole wheat flour and if so did you make any other modifications?

    • — Heather on February 14, 2021
    • Reply

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