Ever since I created my own homemade pizza dough recipe, take away pizza has become a thing of the past. It’s tasty, it’s easy and it’s also super quick.
A great pizza starts with the best pizza dough. Whether you like your pizza thin and crispy or thick and soft, this recipe will cover all the bases.
Customise your pizza just as you like: roll it to the thickness you like, add the toppings you like and make pizza night a great night in.
Basic pizza dough ingredients;
This basic pizza dough only needs only a handful of ingredients and you possibly have them all right now.
- Flour: This recipe uses bread flour for a chewier crust (since bread flour has a higher proportion of protein). You can swap the bread flour for plain / all-purpose flour with no other changes.
- Yeast: Don’t be scared of using yeast. Instant yeast, the type used in this easy pizza dough recipe, is nearly fool-proof. It can be purchased in a tub or in envelopes of 7g / ¼ oz each. NOTE: Once batch of this pizza dough = 2 pizza bases and only uses half of one envelope of yeast.
- Water: The water should be warm – not hot and not cold, certainly not boiling. Warm water assists the yeast to begin fermentation.
- Sugar: Don’t be tempted to leave the sugar out. Sugar feeds yeast and is the second component to help the yeast start the fermentation process.
- Olive oil: While this is a lean bread dough (as opposed to a rich dough that you might use for cinnamon rolls that has fat in it) a little olive oil will add flavour.
- Salt: Not too much is added as it has the opposite effect of sugar. Salt can actually kill the yeast so just adding a little adds flavour but keeps the yeast safe to ferment.
How to make homemade pizza dough
Keep your eyes peeled for a video coming soon but in the meantime here’s some simple step by step instructions so you can get started making pizza at home from scratch.
- I find a stand mixer with dough hook attachment best but you can do it by hand (see more below). Mix the flour, yeast and sugar to combine, then add the salt, oil and water.
- Turn the mixer on low-medium (I set my kitchen aid to #2) and let it knead for 5-7 minutes. When it’s ready the pizza dough will be smooth and elastic.
- Rub some oil around a deep bowl and place your ball of dough inside. Flip it over to coat it in oil on all sides, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise in a warm spot for ½ an hour or until doubled. In summer, the kitchen bench will likely be fine but you can help it along with the use of a warm lamp or next to a window in winter.
- Once risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cut it into two pieces and cover with a clean tea towel to ‘prove’ for 15 minutes.
- Gently roll each ball out into a circle (you can also use your hands to gently pull it into shape) then top it with whatever you like.
- Bake your pizza in a fairly hot oven for 12-15 minutes.
Many bread recipes will tell you to punch down the dough after the first rise. It’s important to note that punching the dough should not be done as violently as it sounds.
For this pizza dough recipe, as it is only enough for two pizza crusts, punching down is not required. Excess gases will be released simply by turning the dough out onto your floured surface, then cutting and shaping it.
Tips & tricks for best pizza dough results
- Doubling the recipe: This recipe can be doubled easily. Double all ingredients, however use just one full envelope of yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons).
- Kneading by hand: You can knead the dough by hand too and is very therapeutic but please resist the urge to add flour. It will eventually firm up and stop sticking to your hands and bench top. It should take around 10 minutes to get smooth and elastic.
- Rising time: Normally half an hour to 45 minutes will be enough for the dough to double in size (especially if you place it under a warm light or lamp) but it may take up to an hour or longer in winter. Just make sure it doubles in size.
- Slow rise: For a more delicious and intensely flavoured pizza crust, leave it to rise overnight in the fridge.
Can you freeze pizza dough?
Yes, pizza dough freezes well. After the first rise;
- turn it out onto a lightly floured surface
- cut into two pieces
- shape each into a ball
- coat with a little oil all over
- place in separate zip lock bags
- Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To thaw frozen pizza dough, place it in the fridge overnight. Take it out of the fridge ½ an hour before you’re ready to make pizza.
Making pizza at home is so, so much more enjoyable than buying your pizza. It makes a great family meal, easy for feeding your friends and kids can have so much fun designing their own pizza.
I promise it’s incredibly simple and I just can’t order pizza out anymore.
Need some pizza recipe ideas?
The pizza shown in the picture is topped with tomato paste, leg ham, mozzarella, cherry tomato halves in that order, then seasoned with salt and pepper.
More pizza recipes
- Meat Lovers Pizza
- Pesto Chicken Calzone
- Homemade Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza
- Tandoori Chicken Pizza
- Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
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Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
Pizza Crust (Makes 2 x 10-12 inch bases)
- 260 g bread flour (2 cups / 9.1oz)
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon warm water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, combine the dough ingredients in this order – flour, yeast, sugar – give a quick stir – then salt, olive oil, warm water.
- Mix on low-medium speed for 7-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. See notes for kneading by hand.
- Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside, flipping until it's lightly oiled all over. Cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size – see notes.
- After it has risen, remove the plastic wrap and gently turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 2 pieces, shape each into a ball and cover with a dry tea towel. Allow them to sit for another 15 minutes to prove.
- Preheat oven to 230C / 450F / 210C fan forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll and gently stretch each ball of dough out into a circle roughly 10 inches in diameter and 5mm thick.
- Transfer to a pizza tray, add toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
- SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: dough scraper, pizza tray, stand mixer, pizza cutter.
- FOR BEST RESULTS: you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop)
- FLOUR: The bread flour can be swapped for plain / all purpose flour. Bread flour gives a slightly chewier texture to the baked pizza base.
- YEAST: You can use instant or active dry interchangeably. If you have rapid rise, the dough may rise quicker than this recipe states.
- KNEADING BY HAND: You can knead the dough by hand but it is a little sticky. Please resist the urge to add flour. It will eventually firm up and stop sticking to your hands and bench top. It should take around 10 minutes to get smooth and elastic.
- RISING TIME: Normally half an hour will be enough for the dough to double in size (especially if you place it under a warm light or lamp) but it may take up to an hour or longer in winter. Just make sure it doubles in size.
- SLOW RISE: For a more intense flavour to the pizza dough, leave it to rise overnight in the fridge.
- FREEZING DOUGH: You can freeze pizza dough after the first rise. After turning it out onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball, coat with a little oil all over and place in a zip lock bag. Place it straight in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- TO THAW: Place in the fridge overnight. Take it out of the fridge ½ an hour before you’re ready to make pizza.
- PIZZA RECIPES: The pizza shown in the picture is topped with tomato paste, leg ham, mozzarella, cherry tomato halves in that order, then seasoned with salt and pepper. You could also try Meat Lovers Pizza, Tandoori Chicken Pizza or Pesto Chicken Calzone.
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