Easy Pizza Dough
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New to making pizza crust from scratch?
I’ve got you covered. Follow this step-by-step guide for perfect results every time.
A tasty six ingredient and wholly practical homemade pizza dough is simpler than you think, using all-purpose flour, and the ‘need to knead’ for only under a minute. Homemade pizza is fantastically delicious and can be a fun ‘all hands on deck’ dinner by including the kids.
There is not much glam surrounding pizza dough, but if you are the one eating it, you know what you want, and you know what you don’t want.
This easy pizza dough recipe is great for beginners and produces a soft homemade pizza crust, and a truly extraordinary pizza. Nix the delivery because this dough recipe needs only 6 basic ingredients to begin…
I spent years experimenting with numerous dough recipes for myself. By process of elimination, I knew what recipes did not work for me because of how ‘flour-y’ they tasted or how limp their texture turned out. But by process of incorporation, I knew which ingredients made sense to focus on for a really great crust.
This is my go-to simple pizza dough recipe. This homemade pizza crust has it all, soft & chewy yet deliciously crisp and amazing flavor.
It only makes sense to have a dough recipe which specifies all-purpose flour. Not everybody knows of or has access to “Tipo 00“.
And then there’s sugar. You need sugar to feed the yeast. In this recipe, adding a bit more sugar lessens the taste of the otherwise dull flour.
Olive oil plays a key role, too. Olive oil imparts so many subtle notes, remarkably similar to wine, so using a quality olive oil is chief among the instructions in this method.
Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients
- Olive Oil
If you want to get creative, infusing the olive oil ahead of dough prep can be done via stove top with a branch of fresh rosemary, muddled with the back side of a spoon, and quality olive oil.
Heat over medium for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely before removing the rosemary branch and discarding. The same can be done with cloves of garlic.
I almost ALWAYS flavor the oil I plan to use for this dough recipe with one rosemary stem and one garlic clove, muddled. It’s entirely worth the extra step.
If you were visiting Italy, wouldn’t you look forward to the freshest street food you could get your hands on? So, why are you not already doing this at home?
As for building your favorite pie, I leave that up to each of you. I am only here to coach you on the foundation. Whatever you plunk atop this masterpiece will be delicious I am sure.
As for my house and my family, we go old school all the way. Homemade San Marzano sauce topped with roasted vegetables and a ton of assorted chopped herbs. Maybe some prosciutto, but only a smidge. For cheese, homemade ricotta is easy enough to make, and then again sometimes just a store-bought low moisture mozzarella will do.
In general, ingredients for homemade pizza is pretty economical, even when making your own cheese. And I promise these things do not require an entire day in the kitchen either.
Are you kind of getting hungry for a slice?
Once you have prepared and rolled out your dough, add your favorite toppings and bake in a 425F oven for about 15 minutes. If you add a lot of toppings, your pizza will likely require a longer bake to ensure the crust is not soggy in the middle.
Really, LESS IS BEST.
If you have a pizza stone, by all means use it. My pizza stone is the BEST housewarming gift my Mom gave to me. I allow mine to heat along with the oven heating to temperature, and then for an additional 15 to 20 minutes to make sure it is HOT.
Easy Pizza Dough
** Ideally your water should be between 105° – 115°. Make sure that your water isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast.
- 2 to 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons quality olive oil, plain or flavored if using
- ¾ cup ** warm water ** 105° – 115°
- 2 – 3 tablespoons cornmeal for dusting
- Combine 1 cup of the flour, the envelope of yeast, both tablespoons sugar, and the salt in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir very well.
- Gradually add another cup of flour. Stir until the dough is forming into a cohesive, elastic ball and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will still be slightly sticky but still should be manageable with your hands.
- In a large clean bowl, generously oil the inside of the bowl. Form the pizza dough into a round ball and transfer to the oiled bowl. Use your hands to roll the pizza dough along the inside of the bowl until it is coated in olive oil, then cover the bowl with a dampened dish towel and place it in a your oven. If your oven is equipped to proof bread, set the oven. If your oven is not equipped to proof bread, just leave the covered bowl in the OFF oven where it will not be subject to drafts.
- Allow dough to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Sometimes, if I am looking for a higher rise, I let my proofing go for 40 minutes.
- Once the dough has risen, remove the covered bowl from the oven. Preheat the oven to 425° and place your pizza stone, if using, into the oven to heat at the same rate as the oven. Once the oven has reached temperature, allow the pizza stone to continue to heat for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use your hands to gently deflate the risen dough. Use the remaining 1/3 cup flour to flour your hands, your counter top, and your rolling pin. Transfer the dough to the lightly floured counter top and knead for 1 minute.
- Use either your hands or a rolling pin to work the dough into 12" circle.
- Transfer dough to a cornmeal dusted pizza peel and either pinch the edges or fold them over to form a crust.
- Drizzle an additional tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the crust and use your your fingers or a pastry brush to brush the entire surface of the pizza. Use a fork to poke holes all over the center of the pizza to keep the dough from bubbling up in the oven. Add desired toppings. Go lightly. A pie can become heavy fast. It will cook unevenly if it's too dense, too heavily laden with toppings Less is best..
- Once the oven/pizza stone is hot, gently shimmy the crust onto the hot stone quickly. The more cornmeal you have used to dust, the easier this step will be. Use a large spatula if your crust is not transferring quickly and easily. Expect to lose the shape and a topping or two in this step. Remember, this is deliciously yet imperfect street food in Italy.
- Bake in a 425° preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until toppings are golden brown. Carefully remove the HOT pizza from the stone or if it makes more sense, the stone from the oven. Allow the pizza to rest for 5 full minutes before slicing.