Good pizza starts with good pizza dough. This homemade pizza dough makes the best crisp pizza crust that is soft, airy, chewy, and flavourful. It is a perfect recipe for beginners to make because it is so easy with just 5 simple ingredients and 15 minutes of actual hands-on prep work. Once you try homemade pizza dough, it will be hard to go back to store-bought dough or even pizza delivery.
This recipe seriously makes the best yeast-based pizza dough. If you bake sourdough and have a batch of sourdough starter going, you can also try our sourdough pizza dough and make some pretty amazing pizza too.
To make homemade pizza dough, you will need the following pantry staples:
- all-purpose flour
- yeast - I used instant yeast but active dry yeast works as well. You just have to let it sit in the water for a few minutes to activate it first.
- all purpose flour
- water - use lukewarm or cold water. Hot water will kill the yeast.
- salt - adds flavour.
- olive oil - adds flavour.
How to Make the Best Homemade Pizza Dough
- Make the dough. Whisk together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine water, yeast and the olive oil in a small mixing bowl and pour it into flour mixture. Stir well with a silicone spatula to combine until no dry flour is visible in the bowl. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula.
- Knead the dough. Transfer the dough mixture onto a clean and lightly greased surface. The oil will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands initially. You can even lightly oil your hands too. Knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and not sticky at all, about 5-10 minutes.
Tips for Kneading Dough
- How to knead dough: Knead the dough by pushing it down and outward using the palms of your hands. Fold the dough in half toward you and press down. Repeat this motion by pushing the dough down and outward, and then folding over towards you. This helps build up gluten strength in dough that is responsible for making the bread fluffy.
- How to test if dough is well-kneaded: A well-kneaded dough is smooth and can hold its shape. You can test the dough by giving it a firm poke with your finger. The indentation should bounce right back. If it doesn’t bounce back and stays like a dimple, keep kneading for a few more minutes.
- Shape the dough. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Lightly brush some oil over a large glass container and place each dough spaced apart. Lightly brush oil over the dough ball to prevent from being too sticky and losing moisture.
- Let the dough rise. Cover the glass container and let the dough rest and rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. You can leave it in the refrigerator up to 2 days before use. However, you might find the dough starts to smell like alcohol from over fermentation but it's still edible. The dough balls will almost double in size.
How to Use Pizza Dough
You can use this homemade pizza dough to make any pizza that you can think of. Once you are ready to make your pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it onto a floured surface. It is unnecessary to bring the pizza dough to room temperature before cooking because cold dough is much easier to handle and shaped into pizza.
Transfer pizza dough onto a floured surface. Gently press the pizza dough with your fingers into an 8-inch circle. Sprinkle some flour if needed to prevent stickiness. Place the flattened dough onto an iron skillet or baking pan. Stretch out the dough a bit more to let it spread over the entire skillet.
Some of my favourite pizzas to make are Easy Skillet Neapolitan Margherita Pizza, 30-Minute BBQ Chicken Pizza, Mushroom and Arugula Skillet Pizza, Butter Chicken Pizza, Salami and Mushroom Skillet Pizza and Classic Roman Herbed Potato Pizza.
How to Scale Up or Down (Baker's Percentage)
If you are planning to make more (or less) pizza dough, the easiest method to find out how the quantities of each ingredient that we need is what is known as baker's percentage. It's a quick way to helps us to immediately understand the type of dough or bread that we are working with, and to adjust quantities to easily scale the recipe up or down.
Each ingredient in a formula is expressed as a percentage of the flour weight, and the flour weight is always expressed as 100%. Simply multiply the total amount of flour to the percentage of each ingredient to get the amount you need for each ingredient.
The Baker's Percentage for this homemade pizza dough is as follows:
- 66.6% hydration
- 1% yeast
- 2% salt
- 3% oil
Storing and Freezing Instructions
- How to store pizza dough: Store the dough balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- How to freeze pizza dough: To freeze unbaked pizza dough, store each dough ball into separate freezer bags. Push out any air in the bags and seal. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough in your refrigerator overnight or for 10-12 hours.
More Pizza Recipes
- Skillet Neapolitan Margherita Pizza
- Homemade Calzones
- Salami and Mushroom Skillet Pizza
- 30-Minute BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Butter Chicken Pizza
- Mushroom and Arugula Skillet Pizza
- Classic Roman Herbed Potato Pizza
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.