This Easy Homemade Pizza Dough is made with simple ingredients, and works perfectly for everything from thick crust to thin crust, breadsticks, or even grilled pizza. We’ll walk you through everything step-by-step so that you'll be making delicious pizzas like a pro in no time.
Easy Make-Ahead Pizza Dough
We don’t call this recipe Easy Homemade Pizza Dough for nothing. It uses just 6 ingredients, no fancy flours, and comes together in a snap.
You can even make the dough a day in advance - all it takes is a few minutes out of your day, and a little refrigerator space. Making it ahead of time actually improves the flavor of your dough because the yeast has enough time to sit and do its thing
If you don’t have time for a slow rise, no worries. Go ahead and let the dough rise for about 15-30 minutes at room temperature before shaping and baking.
Or, you can make the dough first thing in the morning and throw it in the fridge to use later on the same night. There isn’t really an exact timeline for how long the dough needs to rise. We’re telling you, this recipe turns out great every time!
And, if you want an even quicker pizza recipe try this french bread pizza recipe.
Ingredients in Homemade Pizza Dough
- Flour - we use all-purpose flour but you can also use bread flour.
- Salt - salt is important for the flavor and for the structure of any bread, so don’t forget to add it!
- Water - warm water is best because it helps to wake up your yeast. It should be between 95-110 degrees F.
- Yeast - we use active dry yeast in this recipe, which needs to be proofed. (check out our Homemade White Bread recipe for more info on activating yeast). If you use instant yeast, you can skip the proofing step and just mix the dough together, knead and then let rise.
- Sugar - we use regular granulated sugar, but you could also substitute honey.
- Oil - olive oil, or else any other cooking oil that you’d like to use. It’s best to use something with little flavor, like avocado oil.
Homemade Pizza For Beginners
- Proof the yeast. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast and mix well. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy and bubbly.
- Mix the pizza dough. Once your yeast has “proofed,” add the olive oil, salt and about 1 ½ cups of flour. Using a paddle or dough hook, mix until all the ingredients are completely combined. Add in the rest of the flour, about a ¼ cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
- Shape into a dough ball. Mix on low speed for another 1-2 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a ball.
- Let the dough rest. If you are making the dough ahead, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm place for about 15-30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Spray a large baking sheet or a round pizza pie pan with non-stick cooking oil. Place the dough in the middle of the baking dish and use your flat palm to stretch and shaple the pizza dough to the edges of the baking dish. If your dough is tough to work with, simply let it rest for a minute or two and it will relax enough to work with.
- If you're wondering how thick your dough should be after you spread it, I would say somewhere in the range of ¼" and 1'3 inch in the center and the edges, the crust can be closer to ½". If you're wanting more of a chicago Style pizza. You can make your pizza in a pan with higher edges and make the crust up to ½" in the center and ¾ on the edges. You will just need to bake your crust longer if you prefer a thicker crust.
Sauces for Homemade Pizza
We usually use marinara sauce or tomato sauce from a jar. Or, you can often find pre-made marinara sauce in the deli area at your grocery store.
When you have a bit more time, these recipes would all make amazing sauces and spreads for your homemade pizza recipe:
- Make your own Homemade Marinara Sauce. This takes a little time but the results are phenomenal.
- Spread a thin layer of Garlic Butter over your crust before adding cheese and any toppings.
- Use Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce to make a white pizza.
- Try using the Homemade Pesto from this Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe.
- You can also use tomato sauce as homemade pizza sauce. Just add an even thin layer of tomato sauce to your dough and then to season, add some garlic powder and italian seasonings like you would if you were salting your food. A little seasoning goes a long ways.
Best Cheese to Use
- To get that amazing cheese pull we all love, use a pizza cheese blend or make your own. Pizza cheese is a mixture of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. This will give you the best result for a classic cheese pizza.
- You can use lots of other varieties of cheese too. You can use a smoked cheddar or smoked gouda along with some mozzarella for a smokey flavor. (This is incredible on a BBQ Chicken Pizza)
- Pepperjack is a great addition to a spicy pizza. (You can add this to a buffalo chicken pizza and the flavor is amazing.)
- If you want to try another type of cheese, start by adding half mozzarella and and then half of whatever kind of cheese sounds great. Mozzarella is a great base and has such a mild flavor. Experiment away!
Pizza Flavors & Topping Ideas
Our family is a pepperoni and cheese family all the way. But it’s also our humble opinion that there are no bad pizza toppings. Yes, we even support pineapple or jalapenos on pizza - whatever floats your boat! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing...
- Meat Lovers with cooked sausage, diced ham, and grilled chicken
- Margherita-style with fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella
- Spinach and Artichoke with artichoke hearts, cooked spinach, and mozzarella cheese
- BBQ chicken with grilled chicken, BBQ sauce, onions and mozzarella cheese
- Veggie pizza loaded with your favorite fresh veggies, thinly sliced red onions, and mozzarella cheese
- Mexican pizza with refried beans, corn, cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and a Mexican cheese blend
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza- You can use a white sauce or an alfredo sauce for the base, mozzarella cheese and then some chicken, covered in buffalo sauce. Top that baby with some green onions, blue cheese crumbles and some jalapenos and you've got yourself a party.
How to Freeze Pizza Dough
Whenever you make pizza dough, you might as well double (or triple) it. It’s no more difficult to make extra, and it is super simple to freeze for another day.
Before you freeze your dough, let it rise completely, then shape into rounds and transfer each dough ball to a freezer bag. Press gently to remove any air from the bag and flatten the dough slightly, then seal it completely. It can remain frozen for up to 3 months.
It also works to freeze dough that has risen slowly in the fridge, so don’t worry if you’ve made your dough and then plans have changed by the next day. Just toss it in a freezer bag and save it for a rainy day.
How to Thaw Pizza Dough
To thaw your dough, pull it from the freezer the day before you want to use it and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. The next day, remove the dough from the cooler and let sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes, then use however you’d like.
How to Make Homemade Pizza
- Make your dough.
- Preheat the oven to between 450-500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes ahead of time.
- Choose your pan. If you use a pan, you can shape and build your pizza directly in the pan. If you are using a pizza stone, you’ll need to shape and build it on a baking peel.
- Stretch and shape the dough. If your dough was in the fridge, let it come to room temp for about 15 minutes so that it will be more pliable and easier to work with. Lightly flour your hands, then stretch, pull and press your dough to the size of the pan, without forcing it too much. If it starts to resist, let the dough relax for a couple of minutes and then continue. You can also try using a rolling pin, or check out this video (around the 6:15 mark) from our Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza post to see how to stretch and toss a pizza dough like a pro!
- Add your sauce, toppings and cheese.
- Optional: Brush the edges with olive oil or butter.
- Bake pizza between 450-500 degrees. The time will depend on the size of your pizza, pizza baking temp, thickness of the dough, etc, so keep an eye on it and once the edges are golden brown and your cheese has melted, it’s good to go!
The short answer to what temp to cook pizza dough is hot! Those brick oven pizzas at your favorite pizza place can get up to 600 degrees, just to give you an idea.
Overall, our pizza baking temp recommendation is between 450-500 degrees F. Go much lower and you’ll find yourself with a pizza crust that is tough, soggy or both.
For a pizza with a thicker crust, or for something like
Stuffed Crust Pizza, you’ll want to reduce the pizza baking temp down to around 400 degrees. This gives the dough a chance to bake all the way through before the outside gets too dark.
Did you know that you can also grill pizza dough? It’s such a great way to cook a pizza without having to heat up your house on a hot day. You can find our recipe for Grilled Pizza Dough here.
Pizza Pan- You can really make do with whatever you have on hand. A large baking sheet, a round pizza pan, or a pizza stone will work great.
Pizza Cutter-You can use any pizza cutter, if you don't have one, a large, sharp knife will be fine too.
Stand Mixer- If you have one, great, it does make the homemade crust a little easier but if also only takes 5 extra minutes to make the crust by hand.
Tips for Making Pizza in a Convection Oven at Home
Be sure to preheat your oven. This is an important step in making great pizza. This will help your crust cook as evenly as possible.
- Adjust the racks in your oven so you have a rack on the two lowest racks in the oven.
- Bake your pizza on one rack up from the bottom.
- Check the bottom of your crust after it has baked for 10 minutes. If your crust looks a little soggy or it's not baking at the same speed as the top of the pizza, move your pizza to the lowest rack.
- If your pizza crust is already golden brown and the top isn't done baking, slide another baking sheet or pizza rack under your pizza so it cools the baking process down a little until the top is golden brown.
More Pizza Baking Temp Tips and Tricks
Here are a few more tips to help you bake a perfect homemade pizza every time:
- Let your oven preheat for a minimum of 30 minutes before you bake your pizza. If you are using a pizza stone, let the stone preheat along with the oven so it’s piping hot when you transfer your pizza onto it.
- Try to minimize the number of times that you open the oven door and let the heat escape.
- Check your crust after it has baked 10 minutes and move your pizza up or down a rack if needed.
- Bake your pizza at 425-450 degrees.
- If you have a convection oven, you can probably achieve an even higher temperature. This is the time to test the limits of your oven!
Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
- 1 cup Water warm (95-110 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2.5 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or any cooking oil
To Make the Pizza Dough
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast and mix well. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy and bubbly.
- Once your yeast has “proofed,” add the olive oil, salt and about 1 ½ cups of flour. Using a paddle or dough hook, mix until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Add in the rest of the flour, about a ¼ cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
- Mix on low speed for another 1-2 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a ball.
- If you are making the dough ahead, wrap it tightly and store in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm place for about 15-30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
To Bake Your Homemade Pizza
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- With lightly floured hands, stretch and shape your dough into desired pan. If it begins to resist, let the dough relax for a couple of minutes and then continue.
- Add your favorite sauce, toppings and cheeses, and brush the edges with olive oil or melted butter.
- For a thin-crust pizza, bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- For a pizza with a thicker crust, reduce the oven temp to 400 degrees so that the dough has a chance to bake all the way through before the outside gets too dark.
Here are some other recipes made we pizza dough that we love!
- Pizza Monkey Bread
- Pull Apart Garlic Bread
- Homemade Cheesy Breadsticks
- Homemade French Bread Pizza
- Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza
- Grilled Pizza Dough
- More Easy Dinner Ideas
- More Bread Recipes
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This Easy Homemade Pizza Dough is made with simple ingredients and can be used for everything from thick crust to thin crust, or even grilled pizza. Whether you make it a day ahead, freeze it or use it right away, this dough works perfectly every time!