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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.

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.

902 Comments

  1. Really enjoyed the results of your focaccia recipe so will try your pizza one. It looks like you put sauce on pizza without a bit of pre baking the pizza bottom slightly. How do you prevent it from getting soggy?

    1. Hi Helen, I find this dough never gets soggy, I think a temperature and the dough keep that from happening. Also make sure your sauce isn’t too watery. Let me know how it goes. Take care!

      1. Thanks very much for your advice and the pizza dough is fantastic. Can’t wait to try your other recipes. Ciao!

  2. I’m making this now, and all my flour is 6% protein, not 12. I checked my bread flour, all purpose, and King Arthur. I used 5 c. Instead of 5 1/4, and my dough is very stiff. I’m hoping it turns out okay. I measured very carefully, so I know i didn’t mess up there. Where do you get 12% protein flour??

    1. Hi Sue, for this recipe I have used every type of flour and they all work, if you find the dough too stiff then just add a bit more water, if the dough is too wet just add a bit more flour. A higher protein would be bread flour. Take care!

  3. 5 stars
    Second time i made this…following to the T…and it’s so wet that once again i had to make it as sheet pizza not round…it’s delicious but why i can’t get it to firmer dough? Using 00 flour.

    1. Hi Vika, different flours absorb water differently therefore in order to reach a compact dough, more flour may be needed and when using 00 flour it definitely does. Take care!

  4. 5 stars
    Made pizza for dinner using this recipe. Nice size with the three balls. I was able to freeze one for convenience next time or I might make cinnamon rolls.

  5. use to make pizza for a living and was wondering what would be the weight of each dough ball so I can gauge the size of pizzas. Thanks

    1. Hi Brian, well if you are looking for a pizza such as Napoletana then I would go with 250-255 gram dough ball if you want a thicker crust then 280-285 should work, this if for a pizza approximately 28-32 cm. Hope that helps. Take care!

      1. Your recipes sound amazing. I was wondering if I could cut this recipe in half and let my bread machine do the work as arthritis is limiting my abilities these days? The machine has a 50 minute pizza cycle which mixes and rises.
        Thank you so much. Barb L.

      2. Hi Barb, thanks so much, I think it would work with the machine. I haven’t tried it myself, but let me know if you make it. Take care!

  6. Followed the recipe totally but my dough was full of holes when I tried stretching it. I wanted thin crust but it was very thick by the time I finished with it. Also used pizza stone which I have used before no problem,,,lots of flour on my Pizza peel but it would not slide onto the stone….. What did I do wrong. 😔 I need to go to a class on how to make proper crust…so disappointed.

    1. Hi Nan, sounds like your dough was too wet, add more flour to make a compact dough and be sure to let it sit at least 20 minutes to make it easier to form, and be gently when forming, don’t pull the dough. Different flours retain water differently so you may need more flour when making it. Let me know. Take care!

  7. First time making pizza dough. Easy to do in my stand mixer, but dough was very wet. Added a bit more flour but still extremely sticky, however dough did rise well and I made some lovely pizza. Next time I’ll hold a bit of liquid back and add if I need it. One portion now in the freezer.

    1. Hi Maureen, yes it depends on the flour you use, different flours retain moisture differently, if you need more flour you can just add more. But a wettish dough does make a really good pizza and glad you liked it. Take care and have a great weekend!

  8. 5 stars
    AMAZING dough although it was soooo wet i had to use a sheet pizza rather then made it into a round pizza … was as wet as when i mix it first time…BUT it was so fluffy and delicious we didn’t care !!! Why was it so wet?

    1. Hi Vika, it depends on the flour, sometimes I change up the flour or mix different ones and I always need to add more flour to make it a firmer dough. Hope that helps. Take care and have a great weekend!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! I will try to add more flour next time but to be honest loving the sheet pizza and so soft and tasty!

      2. Hi Vika, exactly I love using different flours especially some 00 and also add in a bit of pastry flour, and you are so right, it becomes a really soft and tasty crust. 🙂

    1. Hi Rian, 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. There is more information on the post. :).

  9. I divided the dough in half and froze one half. Made fresh pizza with the other half. Very delicious. We put ham, pineapple, onion, peppers, tomato sauce, jalapeños and once baked per instruction added mozzarella and baked another 3 minutes- turned out wonderfully. Next time I make the dough I will divide it in three and make it a little thinner. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  10. 5 stars
    I’m a novice bread baker but when I found this recipe, I had to try it. As someone who grew up in New York, I have been craving a decent slice since I left to go to college in 1980! I’ve made this recipe 4 times and mastered the techniques I needed to get that crust perfectly thin and crispy with an edge that was soft and chewy. I blasted the oven to 550 with 18” tiles on each rack while waiting for the dough to rise. I like a large (18”) pizza with a very thin crust and this recipe made two perfectly. Getting the pizza onto the tile from the floured pizza plane was challenging but I did it. Speed was key. I did not bake the crust before adding the cheese on my last try. The end result was perfection! After researching types of cheese, I found Galbani’s whole milk mozzarella is what most professional pizzerias use. AMAZING!!!

  11. 5 stars
    This was the best pizza dough I’ve ever made. It’s soft and stretchy. I modified the cooking instructions and it came out perfect. I used an upside down pizza pan as a peel, oiled and dusted with cornmeal. I hand pressed the dough, making my circle a little bigger than the pan to make a fold over crust and perforated it with a fork. I set the oven to convection bake at 550° and preheated a pizza stone. I couldn’t easily slip the crust off the pan, so I chucked the crust in the oven on the pan for 3 minutes. I took the firmed up crust out, topped it, put back in the oven directly on the pizza stone and baked 7 more minutes. It was very comparable to our favorite takeout pizza, and I think real Italians make that one.

  12. 5 stars
    Finally a pizza dough that has met my husbands approval! I have tried to find the right pizza dough, and this one is it! So easy to do. I would suggest having the dough proof in the fridge for about 18 ish hours. We made fired it up in our green egg and it was perfection! Thank you thank you! The ONLY pizza dough I will ever make from here on out.

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