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Best Pizza Dough

This Homemade Traditional Italian Pizza Dough Recipe, is the only Pizza Recipe you will ever need. Make it by hand or in your stand mixer. No need for take out, it will make your pizza night even more special. Any topping goes!

Some of our favorite topped pizzas are an Italian Sausage and Artichoke Cheese Pizza to one of the Italian’s favorites, Grilled Zucchini Pizza. But if you want to try something different why not give this Potato Pizza a try!

Three pizza doughs on a parchment paper.


 

Authentic Italian Pizza never tasted so good. Everything you need to know to make this your family’s new favourite Pizza Recipe. In your house what day is pizza day? If you are like us it could mean any day!

Why you will love this pizza dough recipe

  • Easy – the recipe can be made the same day or left to rise overnight in the fridge, the longer it is left to rise the more delicious it is. Perfect either way. Make a Fresh Tomato Pizza or a popular Pizza Bianca, and of course you can make your preferred thin or thick pizza crust!
  • Versaitile – the dough is perfect for making a traditional pizza, mini pizzas or calzone, some readers have even used it to make bread!
  • The Best – I can and so can everyone that has tried it say that it is the best pizza dough they have ever tried!

Pizza Recipe Ingredients needed

  • Water – Always use lukewarm water, make sure the temperature is between 98-105F (36-40C). Never use hot or you will kill the yeast and with cold water the yeast will take forever to rise.
  • Yeast – I like to use active dry yeast but you could also use instant yeast, for every teaspoon of active dry yeast substitute with 3/4 teaspoon of instant.
  • Sugar -It is considered food for the yeast, which converts it to carbon dioxide and alcohol. It also helps enhance the flavour of the pizza. 
  • Olive Oil – It helps to tenderize the dough and add a wonderful flavour. 
  • Flour – I usually use all purpose or bread flour, you will need a flour that has at least 12% protein. Bread flour will produce a chewier crust. 
  • Salt – Is necessary to add flavour to the dough.

How to make the Best Pizza Dough recipe

This is a very simple recipe that can be made by machine or by hand, scroll down to the bottom of the page for the to find the recipe card.

In the bowl of your stand up mixer (or a large bowl if you knead by hand) add the warm water and sugar, sprinkle the yeast on top, let sit, then stir to combine. 

Add the olive oil, flour and salt, with the hook attachment start to combine on low speed #1, scrape the hook and then raise to medium speed #2 and knead until you have a smooth elastic dough (scrape the hook halfway through kneading). Or if making by hand, combine the ingredients with a fork and knead by hand.

how to make pizza dough 4 photos, yeast in warm water, flour and dough risen

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, roll the dough to cover lightly with the oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a large clean kitchen towel, leave in a warm draft free area until doubled in bulk.

Pre-heat oven. Punch the dough down a few times and divide into 1-3 balls, let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Place the dough in the desired prepared pizza or baking sheets and shape the dough into the desired shapes. Top with your favourite toppings, bake until crust is golden and cheese has melted.

Can The Dough Be Made In Advance?

The dough can certainly be done in the fridge, overnight works perfectly. Prepare the dough, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator, leaving the dough to rise in the fridge from 12-24 hours is considered the best amount of time. Although the dough can remain in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

If the dough smells sour it has probably gone bad and should be discarded. Remove the dough from the fridge and bring it to room temperature, about 30-60 minutes, punch it down, then divide it into 2 or 3 parts, again let it rest for about 20 minutes, form into your preferred shape and top as desired.

Variations

With this Pizza Dough Recipe I made two large and one small pizza. Sometimes I will make an all veggie one, with fresh, halved, cherry tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and onions. Or I will sauté a couple of Italian sausage (casing removed) with sliced mushrooms, peppers and a small onion and place the mixture on a pureed tomato sauce (with just a few spices and a little olive oil). For the third pizza I top with chopped fresh tomatoes and sliced black olives and of course all the pizzas are topped with shredded firm mozzarella.

toppings for best pizza dough, stir fried veggies, fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce

In Italy it is so easy to get a good pizza dough. Sometimes I would stop at my local bakery (forno) and pick up a pound or two of dough. But when I tasted a pizza made with this dough, I thought no matter how good the bakery dough was, it was now a thing of the past for me. That pizza made me determined to make my own pizza dough from then on.

Needless to say this pizza dough was one of those recipes that was passed down for I can’t tell you how many years. And trust me it is the best Pizza Dough. You can make it thin crust or thick crust whatever suits you, then you can top it with whatever fresh ingredients you want.

Recipe Tip

Be sure to let the dough rest before forming it in the pan, resting will keep it from springing back. And use your hand to gently stretch the dough to fit the dough in the pan and not a rolling pin, using your hands preserves the gas bubbles formed during fermentation and keeps the dough from deflating.

Since there are very few ingredients in Pizza Dough it is important that all the ingredients are good quality and active.

Baked potato pizza.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best flour for making pizza dough?

To tell the truth some people will swear by bread flour, but I always use all purpose (11% protein or higher). It’s not necessarily the flour but how you go about making the pizza that counts! Although if you prefer bread flour then by all means use it! Lately I even started to combine leftover flour that I have in bags, from 00 to even a little pastry flour, because flours will absorb water differently sometimes more water is needed.

How to flavor the dough

If you like to give your dough a bit of extra flavour then you can certainly add a couple of dashes of garlic or onion powder, or even oregano, thyme, Italian seasoning or basil or if the Italian had is way a couple of good pinches of hot pepper flakes. Whisk them into the flour before adding to the yeast mixture.

How do you know when the pizza dough has risen enough?

With your knuckles or a couple of fingers make an indentation in the dough, If the indentation disappears, the dough needs more time to rise. If the dent remains, the bread is ready to bake.

What weight should the pizza dough weigh?

If you are looking for a pizza such as pizza Napoletana then I would go with 250-255 gram (9 ounces) dough ball if you want a thicker crust then 280-285 grams (10 ounces) would be the weight, this if for a pizza approximately 28-32 cm (12 inches).

Pizza dough on a black board.

How to freeze and store the pizza dough

Let the dough rise before freezing, then divide the dough into your desired pizza portions, place in airtight freezer bags and freeze. Dough will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Thaw the frozen dough overnight (8 hours) in the refrigerator. When ready to use, remove it from the fridge and bring it to room temperature, approximately 30-60 minutes on the counter will do. Continue with the recipe from step 4. 

Or remove the frozen dough from the bag or container, then place it in a bowl with enough room to allow it to expand, cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit for a couple of hours, giving it time to thaw and rise. Then it is ready to use.

Any leftover pizza, as long as it hasn’t been left out for more than two hours, should be placed in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap or foil and placed in the refrigerator, it will last up to four days in the fridge. Cold pizza for breakfast anyone?!

More Pizza Dough Recipes you can try

So however you like your pizza, thick crust, thin crust, double cheese, vegetarian or with pepperoni, I hope you make it with this Pizza dough recipe! Buon appetito.

Pizza with olives in the pan.
Three pizza doughs on a parchment paper.

Best Pizza Dough

Rosemary Molloy
Best Pizza Dough, an easy, homemade pizza dough recipe that will become your favorite go to for pizza night.  Thick or thin crust you decide.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings
Calories 266 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cups all purpose flour or bread flour
  • teaspoons salt

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of your stand up mixer (or a large bowl if you knead by hand) add the warm water and sugar, sprinkle the yeast on top, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then stir to combine. Continue with Machine or Hand.

MIXING BY MACHINE

  • Add the olive oil, flour and salt, with the hook attachment start to combine on low speed #1, scrape the hook and then raise to medium speed #2 and knead for approximately 5-7 minutes or until you have a smooth elastic dough (scrape the hook halfway through kneading).  

MIXING BY HAND

  • Add the olive oil, flour and salt, then with a fork mix until the dough starts to come together. On a lightly floured surface remove dough from the bowl and knead until dough is smooth and elastic approximately 10 minutes (if dough is really sticky add a little extra flour). 

NEXT STEPS

  • Place in a lightly oiled bowl, roll the dough to cover lightly with the oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a large clean kitchen towel, leave in a warm draft free area until doubled in bulk, approximately 2 hours.**
  • Pre heat oven to 450° (250° celsius). Punch dough down a few times and divide into 1-3 balls, let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  • Place the dough in the desired pizza or cookie sheets (lightly oiled) and shape the dough into the desired shapes (using your clean hands).  
  • Top with your favourite toppings, bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and cheese has melted. Enjoy!
  • **At this point, dough can also be refrigerated, place in plastic bag, remove air and tie securely up to 24 hours.

EASY PIZZA SAUCE

  • In a medium bowl add a can of diced or pureed tomatoes, add 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, a sprinkle of salt, tablespoon or two of olive oil and stir to combine. Top pizza dough.

FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

  • Chop fresh tomatoes (15-20 grape or cherry or 3-4 roma tomatoes)if you use roma tomatoes then remove the seeds, toss with 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil (or even 5-6 fresh basil leaves chopped) 1-2 pinches salt and a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil.

STIRRED FRIED VEGGIES & ITALIAN SAUSAGE

  • In a medium frying pan add Italian sausage (casing removed and chopped) and fry until starting to brown, add thinly sliced, onion, pepper and mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste, cook on medium for approximately 10 minutes. Use as topping for pizza (on the sauce and then bake).

Notes

My MIL would bake the pizza for about 12-13 minutes then add the shredded mozzarella and bake again for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted. If you prefer your cheese baked less then this is the way for you. 
If using instant yeast instead of active dry use 3 teaspoons of instant yeast. In the bowl of the mixer add the flour, yeast and sugar and combine, then add the water and oil, start to mix with the dough hook and add the salt, continue to knead for about 8-10 and continue with the recipe. When using active dry yeast your dough may rise a little quicker so keep your eye on it.
Depending on the type of flour you use, flours absorb water differently, therefore in order to reach a compact dough more flour may be needed. 
If you have a fan-assisted oven, then you can lower the oven temperature by 50 degrees F (or 20 degrees C).
The dough can rise in the fridge, overnight works perfectly. Prepare the dough, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator, leaving the dough to rise in the fridge from 12-24 hours is considered the best amount of time. Although the dough can remain in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Let the dough rise before freezing, then divide the dough into your desired pizza portions, place in airtight freezer bags and freeze. Dough will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Thaw the frozen dough overnight (8 hours) in the refrigerator. When ready to use, remove it from the fridge and bring it to room temperature, approximately 30-60 minutes on the counter will do. Continue with the recipe from step 4. 
Or remove the frozen dough from the bag or container, then place it in a bowl with enough room to allow it to expand, cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit for a couple of hours, giving it time to thaw and rise. Then it is ready to use.
Any leftover pizza, as long as it hasn’t been left out for more than two hours, should be placed in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap or foil and placed in the refrigerator, it will last up to four days in the fridge. Cold pizza for breakfast anyone?!

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin C: 0.002mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 3mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

Republished from January 6, 2016.

893 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The best. Soft inside with a crunchy bottom. Got lots of praise for it from my friends. Will be using this recipe over and over again. Thanks

  2. 5 stars
    I stumbled across this recipe when I was researching making mini pizzas for my boys, they love it! Won’t be using any other recipe again.

  3. 5 stars
    We buy frozen pizzas a lot. I “doctor them up” but obviously it’s still frozen pizza. They’re also expensive when you buy any half decent. I also often buy little frozen pizzas for lunches. Again, not that good OR cheap. Lol. Just quick to make. I have really bad ADHD even with meds and I struggle to remember things and with motivation. I gravitate towards easy/quick stuff when I’m actually going to eat though I can have amazing hyperfocus when I’m baking. Lol.

    This was so easy to make, it’s less money than I was spending on frozen pizza, and I even split it up for little pizzas for lunches.

    I like that you can freeze it. Is there a way to roll it out and freeze it or make my own pizzas up to freeze? So I can just throw it in the oven to cook while still frozen? Just like a frozen pizza? Lol. It’s still pretty easy as is. I was just curious. Then I wouldn’t have to remember to take it out ahead of time. My brain is Swiss cheese. 🤣

    1. Hi Erin, thanks so much, I am so happy I could help out. So I have done a bit of searching and some recommend pre baking the crust for 5-6 minutes at 425-450F, let it cool then add your toppings, then wrap well, plastic wrap and foil, then place in a freezer bag and freeze, or some say you can form your dough, add your topping then freeze, again well wrapped, if you do it this way you should probably place the unbaked pizzas on a baking sheet until firm. Either way they can be baked from frozen. Of course they will need a bit more time to bake. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. I hope that helps. Take care!

  4. 5 stars
    This is, in my opinion, the best pizza dough recipe I’ve come across, so far. I won’t be looking for a better recipe, though. Since, I love the taste and structure of the dough! I do, however, find my dough always too wet. Maybe it’s because I’m somehow doing the math, incorrectly, converting the US measurements into metric measurements (I’m in The Netherlands). But that’s no biggie, at all. Once I knead the dough after it has risen for a couple of hours I add just enough flour to make sure it’s no longer sticky. In case the dough is a bit sticky, after it has risen again, for the recommended 20 minutes, when I’m shaping the pizza dough, I sprinkle a bit flour on top of the pizza shape, just enough so it isn’t sticky, anymore.

    Oh, and our kids love this dough, too. Even far better than pizzas from the well known pizza franchises. Them saying that, I consider that a big compliment! So, a big thanks from us!

    1. Hi Jesse, thanks so much, lucky you being in the Netherlands! So glad you and of course your kids like it. You can actually get the metric conversion, where it says US custom click the metric beside it and it will convert. Take care and have a wonderful week.

  5. 5 stars
    There seems to be a mistake in calculation of water in “US Customary” version of ingredients list. “Metric” variant lists 480g to 685g = 70% water to flour ratio, but “US Customary” lists 2 to 5+1/4 cups = 38% . “Metric” is obviously correct one, we are talking Italy here 😉

    Thanks for the recipe, made it for kids today and let everyone do their own topping. Both entertaining and delicious, thanks !

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe, turned out perfect! Can I cut this recipe in half, and if I do, will the results be the same?

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious and very easy to make. Tried other recipes and was not happy with the results. My family loved the taste, said it was better then the store bought dough I had been using.

    This dough recipe is a keeper!!

  8. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe!!! Finally! I’ve tried multiple recipes, this one made crazy good pizza! Thank you ever so much!!!

  9. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! The crust turned out soft on the inside, perfectly crisp on the outside. It was simple to both prepare and bake, as well as easy to work with. Just lovely, thank you!

  10. Hi
    Going to make this pizza dough and I read “1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast” is that correct? I have usually used a teaspoon as a unit to measure out yeast.

    Thanks, great recipes1!

    Dave

  11. 5 stars
    Have made this recipe many times now. I make is 3x each time so I can freeze the dough for easy pizza prep! Great for pizza and calzones. For pizzas we do neapolitan pizza size and style, therefore we cut the dough into 5 balls. We also use 00 flour and the instructions for 00 flour are perfect!

  12. 5 stars
    So far, so good. This is a very supple and soft dough. It was so easy to make and rose beautifully.
    My question is this…..can I refrigerate my dough if I plan to use the remainder tomorrow? If yes, do I put it into the fridge after the second rise or before?
    Thanks so much….from this great granddaughter of a Sicilian Italian in my kitchen.

    1. Hi Mary, thanks glad you like it. If you are going to use it tomorrow it should go in the fridge before it rises, so it will have the first rise in the fridge. If you use half then half put to rise in the fridge and half use now. If you have already let it rise, then I would refrigerate it until tomorrow then bring it to room temperature for about an hour then you can place it in the pan and bake. I hope that helps. 🙂

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