This homemade pizza dough recipe is ridiculously easy. Combine water and yeast, and add flour, oil and salt. Give a good stir, knead, let rise, and voilà!
With just a few basic ingredients and simple instructions, you’ll enjoy a thin and crispy pizza crust.
This pizza dough recipe is perfect for beginners. And if you already have a bread machine or stand mixer, I’ll explain how to use these in the process.
What Are The Best Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients?
This recipe covers how to make Neapolitan pizza dough. This type has a very thin pizza crust at the base.
You’ll then find that the pizza dough puffs up around the sides, which makes the pizza crust very light and airy. And all you need to make this very simple dough is flour, yeast, salt, and water.
You can use standard all-purpose flour for your pizza dough. But, if you want a texture that is fluffier and has a bit more chew, use bread flour or 00 flour.
If you opt for whole wheat flour, be prepared that your dough will be very dense and heavy.
A good balance is to use half all-purpose and half whole wheat – but even this will taste heavier than normal, so only go for this option if you like a thicker texture.
Here are some more details on the different types of flour:
- All-purpose flour: a white flour that doesn’t contain all the wheat germ and bran, but just the endosperm of the original wheat head. So it doesn’t have a great nutritional value. But, it’s inexpensive, has a mild taste, and works well in lots of different recipes.
- Bread flour: has a high protein content of up to about 14%. While baking, carbon dioxide gets trapped by the protein bonds leaving you with a stretchy dough and air pockets in the crust.
- 00 flour: a fine flour with a 12.5% protein level that’s designed specifically for making pizza and pasta. It gives a softer texture than bread flour, but will still give you a stretchy pizza crust that also has a snap to it.
- Whole wheat flour: slightly darker flour and contains all of the wheat germ, bran, and endosperm of the wheat head. This will make your dough denser and more flavorsome. But it doesn’t last as long in your cupboard as all-purpose flour does.
You can choose between two types of dry yeast in your pizza dough recipes. These are regular active dry and instant (or rapid-rise/quick rise/etc.) yeast.
Both these types of yeast can be used interchangeably – so go with whichever you have in at home or can more easily source.
The main advantage of instant yeast is that the rising time is about half that of the regular active variety. Plus it only needs one rising – so it will save you time, but won’t give a different result if not used.
When a recipe gives active dry yeast as an ingredient, you can easily substitute it for instant yeast. Simply use 25% less of the instant type.
Because instant yeast is finer, it absorbs moisture more quickly. So it works really fast at converting starch and sugars to carbon dioxide, which are the tiny bubbles needed to expand and stretch your dough.
In my pizza dough recipe, I’ve gone for active dry yeast.
You’ll probably have one or more of the three main types of salt in your kitchen cupboards. These are salt flakes, coarse salt, and fine salt.
I recommend that you use fine sea salt. It’ll dissolve much easier in the water used for making your pizza dough.
If you use flakes or coarse salt, you might find that it doesn’t dissolve that well. Then you’ll be left with gritty deposits in your pizza crust – not ideal!
You need to make sure that the water is just the right temperature. If it’s too hot, your dough will be too sticky, but too cold and the leavening and rising process could be hindered.
For this Neapolitan pizza recipe, the water should be between 40 and 70oF. Keep within these parameters and you’ll be able to make the best pizza dough.
You might also like to follow the ‘rule of 55’ when trying to decide what temperature your water needs to be. Just remember this 55 is oC and not oF.
So, to reach a temperature of 55oC, or 131oF, this needs to be the combined heat from the water, the flour, and the surroundings.
For example, say the temperature in your kitchen is 25oC (77F°) and the flour has been left out to reach this temperature also. We then have 25oC+25oC, so to get a temperature of 55oC, the water needs to be 5oC or 40oF.
The water temperature will also depend on how you’re making the pizza dough. Your water can be hotter, say 70oF, if you are hand mixing the ingredients.
But if you’re using an electric mixer, this will heat the dough up more. So it’s best to go for a cooler water temperature to start with so that the dough doesn’t overheat.
All About Kneading and Rising
A crucial step when you make homemade pizza dough is kneading. This enables air to get into your dough, which is critical for its rise.
A stand mixer with a dough hook will do a lot of this work for you. But if you’re doing it by hand, it should only take about 5 to 7 minutes of consistent kneading.
Here’s how to knead properly:
- Lightly flour your work surface. Put the pizza dough on the surface and fold it onto itself, before giving the dough a quarter turn.
- Push the dough forward using the heel of your hand. Then, fold the now-stretched dough over itself and make another quarter turn.
- Repeat this process, using the heel of your hand to push the dough. Fold and do another quarter turn.
- Continue replicating this process until your pizza dough has some body to it. And it should no longer stick or resist when you push it with your hand.
- Shape it into a dough ball once the texture is firm and no longer sticky.
- You’ll know it’s well-kneaded when it’s smooth, elastic, and shiny. If you press the dough with your finger, there should be no residue left on your hand and the dough should bounce back.
Next, cover your dough and give it a final rest. This should be for up to about 8 hours – the longer you have to let it rest, the better!
But, for my simple recipe, I’ve cut the rising time to about 2 hours. This is still plenty of time for the pizza dough to double in size.
Finally, your dough is now ready to be shaped into a pizza crust.
Tips and Tricks for Making Homemade Pizza Dough
Skip the Pizza Stone
You don’t need a pizza stone to make the best pizza! For those new to making homemade pizza, the idea of putting your dough onto a stone in a really hot oven can sound intimidating.
Instead, try using just a normal baking sheet. And for an even easier and safer cooking process, you can build your pizza directly onto the baking sheet and skip preheating the pizza pan.
You’ll still get crispy edges on your pizza crust as long as your oven is at a high temperature. I recommend that this is about 500oF.
Stretch by Hand
For the best pizza dough made in an authentic style, you should stretch your pizza by hand.
- To begin, shape your dough into a small disc.
- Then, pick your homemade pizza dough up gently. Hold one edge of the dough with both hands – the rest of the mixture should hang down.
- Carefully rotate your dough in one direction. Gravity will help you here as it’ll do some of the stretching for you!
- As the dough is hanging down, slowly pull it from one hand to the other. Finally, stretch the pizza dough until it’s about 12 inches wide.
Homemade dough is even easier to make if you have a bread machine. This will do lots of the work for you but you’ll still end up with a delicious crust!
Look at the manufacturer’s instructions. And then add the flour, yeast, salt, and water in the order that is recommended.
Then select the dough or manual cycle. All you need to do is wait for the cycle to complete.
Next, you can remove the pizza dough from the machine and put it on a lightly floured surface. If needed, you can knead in some extra flour to make the dough easier to handle – i.e., if it’s slightly sticky.
Want to add some more flavor to your homemade pizza dough? Add some of the following options, or a combination of them, into your flour and you’ll get an even tastier pizza dough recipe:
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or chopped fresh herb of your choice
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or another type of shredded cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 diced jalapeno or some crushed chilies
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend or ground seasoning/herb of your choice
- 2 cloves minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
- Prep Time25 min
- Cook Time2hr 15 min
- Total Time2 hr 40 min
- Servings4 parts
- Yield2 pizzas
Resting: 2 hours
- Preheat the Oven
First, preheat your oven to 500oF – or 475oF if that’s as hot as it’ll go. Then, the oven will be fully heated up and ready to use once you’ve finished making the dough.
If using a pizza stone or pan, put this in your oven now.
- Prepare the Dough
To make the dough, first, combine warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Active dry yeast needs to be left to work for 5 minutes.
Or if you’re using instant or rapid-rise yeast, you don’t need to wait at all.
Add your 00 or bread flour (or whatever type you’ve decided to use), olive oil, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to give the mixture a good stir, or use a stand mixer with a dough hook.
If you’re using a bread machine, put the ingredients in there instead and follow how to make pizza dough in a machine as we’ve detailed above.
- Knead the Pizza Dough
To knead your dough, work it with your hands for about 6 to 7 minutes. Or this should take about 5 minutes in a mixer with the hook.
You should have a smooth dough that’s elastic but also slightly tacky and sticky. But it shouldn’t be too sticky that you can’t handle it.
Then, take a clean bowl and drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil. Put your pizza dough in this bowl and turn it carefully until it’s coated in olive oil.
- Allow it to Rest and Rise
The next stage of this pizza dough recipe is all about waiting patiently! Cover the oiled dough in plastic wrap or a clean cloth.
You then need to let the dough rise for at least 30 minutes. Ideally, you should leave it for 2 hours and let it double in size.
Then, you can divide the dough into 2 (or maybe 3 depending on the size) balls for your pizzas.
- Make the Pizzas
For a homemade pizza, use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch the pizza out. It should be about ¼ inch thick – this will ensure that you have the best pizza crust that is thin and crispy.
Top your pizza dough with ¼ to ½ cup of tomato sauce or a pizza sauce of your choosing. Add grated mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings.
Then, put your homemade pizza onto a baking sheet or parchment paper. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
You’ll know that your pizzas are ready when the cheese has melted and the crust is a golden brown color and has crispy edges.
Take out of the oven and allow the pizza to cool a bit before you cut it. Finally, you’re ready to serve your delicious pizza!
Freezing Homemade Pizza Dough
If you want to prepare extra dough or just get ahead, it’s easy to freeze pizza dough and use it on another day. After you’ve followed my pizza dough recipe above – but before baking – prepare the dough for your freezer.
Make sure that your pizza dough has an even coating of olive oil. This will help to prevent freezer burn.
Then, place the balls of pizza dough on a baking sheet. Let them freeze initially for about 3 hours.
Next, take the dough balls from the baking sheet and seal them in a plastic bag. Make sure that you’ve removed as much air as possible from the bag before sealing – this will help to keep your dough fresh.
You can freeze homemade pizza dough for up to 3 months. Aim to use it within 90 days of freezing, as after this point it won’t be as good a quality.
Before using your frozen dough, you must let it thaw completely. This can be done by putting it in your refrigerator for about 10 to 12 hours.
Or, thaw the dough in your fridge overnight. Then, you’ll have the dough ready to make pizza the next day.
Alternatively, for an even quicker thaw, pop the pizza dough still in its sealed bag into some warm water.
- 14.2g Fat
- 45.7g Carbs