Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

This recipe for Homemade Pizza Dough turns out a crisp, chewy crust that’s the perfect base for all of your favorite toppings. I have included LOADS of tips to guide you, along with instructions for shaping and freezing pizza dough!

sliced caprese pizza with a bite taken out of one piece

You guys. I have made so many mistakes while making homemade pizza dough. So. Many. Mistakes.

I am not a “natural” bread baker, especially when it comes to yeast breads. While I have some favorite yeasted breads, like this Amish White Bread, Rosemary Olive Oil Focaccia, and Cinnamon Raisin Bread, I am much more comfortable with quick breads.

I say all of this not to scare you away, but to encourage you. I’ve made all the mistakes with pizza dough–water not warm enough, yeast expired, proofed too long, dough stuck to the peel–and I’m still here. I survived, and you can too.

Better yet, you can learn from all my mistakes and make ridiculously good pizza dough on your first try. How amazing would that be? I’m jealous of you.

Homemade pizza crust really isn’t *hard,* but it sure helps to have lots of guidance and tips along the way, especially if it’s your first time using yeast! You can read about my first attempt at homemade pizza dough here, and laugh at what a disaster it was.

Then, you can take these tips and go make some dang good pizza crust!

Ingredients for Homemade Pizza Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 .25 ounce package)
    • Tip: Don’t mess around with the yeast. If it’s expired, throw it out. It’s not worth doing all the work for a dud!
  • 1/2 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
    • Tip: Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of your water. After doing this a few times, you’ll be able to tell by feel, but it’s great to have an accurate temp when you’re starting out.
  • 4 cups bread flour
    • Bread flour gives pizza dough its characteristic chewiness, so while you *can* substitute all purpose flour, it won’t be as crisp on chewy.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

How to Make Pizza Crust

  1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit until it’s frothy and mostly dissolved, about five minutes. If the mixture does not froth at all, your yeast may be too old or the water may be too hot or too cold. Get a new package of yeast and try again.
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly with the beater attachment to blend.
  3. Add the room temperature water and olive oil into the measuring cup with the yeast. With the mixer on low speed, pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides. Switch to the dough hook, then knead on low speed until the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size. On a very warm day, this may only take an hour. Some days it’s closer to 2.
  5. Punch down the dough to deflate it. Flour your hands and a workspace. Transfer the dough to your workspace and divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball.
  6. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it as high as the oven will go (usually 500 degrees).
pizza dough rising in a glass bowl

Shaping Pizza Dough

  • Shape the pizza dough on either a piece of parchment paper or a pizza peel. This is an absolute MUST if you don’t want to be flinging a pile of dough and toppings onto a flaming hot pizza stone with your bare hands. I personally prefer the parchment because it makes the transfer very easy.
  • Sprinkle the parchment with cornmeal. This is optional, but gives the crust a nice crunch!
  • Place the dough in the center of the parchment and use the heel of your hands to gently push the dough out from the center. As it gets thinner, you can use your fingers to continue to stretch it into a 12 inch circle. You can either use your fingers to create a raised crust, or fold over the outer edge to create a thicker outer crust.
    • Tip: If the dough continues to spring back, cover it with a damp cloth and let sit for 15 minutes then try again.
two pizza dough balls ready to shape

Turbo Your Crust

One of the joys of homemade pizza is getting to trick it out any way you want. Jet’s Pizza is famous for their Turbo Crust, which is a mixture of Romano Cheese, Garlic, and Butter. It’s a great choice for almost any pizza!

Other great options include:

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Garlic Salt
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

At the very least, brush the crust with a little olive oil, then add all of your favorite toppings!

Transferring Pizza Dough to a Pizza Stone

To transfer the dough, slide the parchment onto a large, flat cutting board or sheet pan. (If you’re using a pizza peel, you can skip this step).

Open the oven and line up the pan with the pizza stone. Use a couple forward flicks of your hand to slide the parchment off the sheet pan and onto the pizza stone. You’re ready to bake!

Timing Your Dough for Homemade Pizza

One of the more challenging aspects of homemade pizza dough can be timing it so it’s ready to shape when you’re ready to eat. How do I time the rise so it’s ready at dinner time? What if I want to make it in the morning instead of the afternoon? Here are some options for making the timing a bit more flexible.

To make pizza dough in the morning: Reduce the yeast to ½ teaspoon and let the dough rise at room temperature (70 degrees–so not a warm or sunny spot) for 8 hours.

To prolong the rise further: Reduce the yeast to ½ teaspoon and refrigerate for up to 16 hours. Then let it rise on the counter until doubled in size, another 6-8 hours.

Freezing Pizza Dough

To freeze the dough, use the full amount of yeast and allow it to rise as usual. Punch down, divide the dough, and wrap it in saran wrap + a freezer bag.

To thaw pizza dough, transfer it to the fridge the morning you’re planning to use it, and it’ll be thawed by dinner. Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before shaping to allow it to come to room temperature, then shape and top as usual!

slice of caprese pizza taken out of the pizza

Favorite Pizza Recipes:

Now for the fun stuff! You’re ready to experiment with any flavor combo you can imagine! Here are a few of our favorites:

Have fun turning your house into a pizzeria!

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

Yield: 2 12 inch pizza crusts
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Crisp, chewy homemade pizza dough made with simple ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (.25 ounce package)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit until it’s frothy and mostly dissolved, about five minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly with the beater attachment to blend.
  3. Add the room temperature water and olive oil into the measuring cup with the yeast. With the mixer on low speed, pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides. Switch to the dough hook, then knead on low speed until the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size. On a very warm day, this may only take an hour. Some days it’s closer to 2.
  5. Punch down the dough to deflate it. Flour your hands and a workspace. Transfer the dough to your workspace and divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball.
  6. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it as high as the oven will go (usually 500 degrees).
  7. Shape the pizza dough on either a piece of parchment paper or a pizza peel.
  8. Place the dough in the center of the parchment and use the heel of your hands to gently push the dough out from the center. As it gets thinner, you can use your fingers to continue to stretch it into a 12 inch circle. You can either use your fingers to create a raised crust, or fold over the outer edge to create a thicker outer crust. If the dough continues to spring back, cover it with a damp cloth and let sit for 15 minutes then try again.
  9. Brush with olive oil and add any seasonings or toppings you wish. To bake, place the parchment on a flat cutting board or baking sheet. Use a forward flick of your hand to transfer it to the pizza stone. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is puffed and golden brown and toppings are hot and bubbly.

Notes

See the post body for detailed instructions on shaping, extending the rise time, freezing, and thawing pizza dough.

Did you make this recipe?

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7 Comments

  1. When you say “Use the cutting board to help slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone” does that mean that you leave the parchment paper on the stone to bake the pizza? Since I have never tried any baking before, I am probably asking a dumb question.

    1. Not a dumb question at all! You want to slide the parchment paper with the crust on it directly onto the stone. Don’t try to remove the crust from the parchment paper. It’s so much easier to slide when it stays on the parchment and it’ll bake just fine that way!

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