How to Make Pizza Dough

Making your own pizza dough is easy, fresh, and super delicious. Our baking master Deb, will show you the tips, tricks, and techniques for amazing homemade dough.See More: Pizza Recipes
See: How to Shape Pizza Dough

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How To Make Pizza Dough In Advance (With Recipes)

As with most foods, it can be nice to be prepared ahead of time so the stress before serving is minimal. Pizza certainly has a few hoops to jump through before you get the dish on the table. Making it the night before or even a few days ahead can make the process much easier and enjoyable.

So can you prepare pizza dough in advance? Yes, pizza dough can be made in advance. After mixing, the yeast in the dough starts fermenting which starts the life span of the dough. By slowing down this fermentation it ensures it will last longer and not become over fermented. Temperature and yeast amount are the main two factors.

To slow down dough fermentation you can:

  • Chill it
  • Freeze it
  • Use less yeast
  • Use more salt

The most common practice is either reduce the yeast quantity in your recipe and allow to ferment at room temperature, or to use a moderate amount of yeast and ferment in cooler temperatures such as the fridge. Longer fermentation develops deeper flavor (a bit like sourdough), so making dough in advance is very common and highly recommended.

Here is a link to my best pizza dough recipe which has detailed step by step instructions, including how to make it in advance.

Alternatively I have added some recipes to this article which you can follow to suit different scenarios and times. Then the following sections go into detail about the different ways you can slow down yeast fermentation, and how long you can store it.


Now or Later Pizza Crust

With a little chew and crunch from semolina, and the flexibility to be whatever style of crust you like, this recipe is a great favorite in our test kitchen. Whether you shape it thin or thick, and make it today or tomorrow, this dough bakes up crisp on the bottom and light and airy inside.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (206g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (206g) semolina*
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (8g) Pizza Dough Flavor, (optional, but delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups (255 to 283g) lukewarm water

*Use 3 cups (361g) all-purpose flour OR 3 cups (372g) Pizza Flour Blend in place of the all-purpose/semolina mixture, if desired

Instructions

For the dough: Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Beat the ingredients at high speed of your electric mixer, using the beater blade, for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 7 minutes the dough should be smooth and quite soft. You can also make the dough in a bread machine set on the dough cycle. If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes this will give the flour a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier.

Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes then refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to 36 hours) this step will develop the crust’s flavor. It'll continue to rise in the fridge, so make sure it's in a big enough bowl.

Divide the dough in half. Note: for thick, Sicilian-style pizza, leave the dough in one piece, and press it into a rimmed half-sheet pan (18" x 13").

Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it into an oval. For a more circular shape, move your hands around the perimeter of the dough as it stretches. Once you've gotten the dough into its general shape, place it onto a piece of parchment to finish shaping. For thin-crust pizza, make a 12" round or oval. For thick-crust, make a 9" round.

Perfect your technique

Now or Later Pizza Crust

Cover the dough, and let it rest while you heat your oven to 450°F. For thickest crust, let your pizza rest/rise for 60 minutes before baking.

To bake: After about 30 minutes, use a giant spatula or pizza peel to transfer the pizzas and parchment to your hot oven stone or place the pizzas and parchment on a pan, and place the pan on the middle rack of your oven.

Bake for 6 minutes (for a thinner, larger crust), or for up to 8 minutes for a smaller/thicker crust. Remove from the oven.

To enjoy pizza right away, top it with your favorite toppings, return to an upper rack of the oven (not to the stone), and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.

To serve pizzas some other time, remove the parchment, cool the un-topped crusts, wrap them well in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 weeks.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the crusts from the refrigerator or freezer. While they warm to room temperature, heat your oven to 450°F frozen crusts should be taken out of the freezer and thawed earlier in the day leave them in the bag, but leave the bag open as they thaw. Top crusts with your favorite toppings and place them on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, then on an upper rack of the oven. Bake the pizzas for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.


Pizza Crust

What a treat — hot homemade pizza, with exactly the toppings you like. And this crust adapts to YOUR schedule: make the dough now, and serve fresh pizza up to 2 days later. Please read this recipe all the way through before starting. It gives you a lot of baking options, and you want to choose the one that best fits your schedule.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 7/8 to 1 1/8 cups (198g to 255g) lukewarm water*
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt

Instructions

If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it, with a pinch of sugar, in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the dissolved yeast (or the instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a soft, smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 4 to 5 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. Don't over-knead the dough it should hold together, but can still look fairly rough on the surface.

To make pizza up to 24 hours later, skip to step 5.

To make pizza now: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it's very puffy. This will take about an hour using instant yeast, or 90 minutes using active dry. If it takes longer, that's OK just give it some extra time.

Take it a step further

The best thin-crust pizza

To make pizza later: Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate the dough for 4 hours (or for up to 24 hours) it will rise slowly as it chills. This step allows you more schedule flexibility it also develops the crust's flavor. About 2 to 3 hours before you want to serve pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator.

Decide what size, shape, and thickness of pizza you want to make. This recipe will make one of the following choices:
Two 1/2"-thick 14" round pizzas (pictured)
Two 3/4"-thick 12" round pizzas
One 3/4" to 1"-thick 13" x 18" rectangular (Sicilian-style) pizza (pictured)
One 1 1/2"-thick 9" x 13" rectangular pizza
One 1"-thick 14" round pizza.

Divide the dough in half, for two pizzas or leave it whole for one pizza.

If you're making a rectangular pizza, shape the dough into a rough oval. For a round pizza, shape it into a rough circle. In either case, don't pat it flat just stretch it briefly into shape. Allow the dough to rest, covered with an overturned bowl or lightly greased plastic wrap, for 15 minutes.

Use vegetable oil pan spray to lightly grease the pan(s) of your choice. Drizzle olive oil into the bottom of the pan(s). The pan spray keeps the pizza from sticking the olive oil gives the crust great flavor and crunch.

Place the dough in the prepared pan(s). Press it over the bottom of the pan, stretching it towards the edges. You'll probably get about two-thirds of the way there before the dough starts shrinking back walk away for 15 minutes. Cover the dough while you're away, so it doesn't dry out.

When you come back, you should be able to pat the dough closer to the corners of the pan. Repeat the rest and dough-stretch one more time, if necessary your goal is to get the dough to fill the pan as fully as possible.

Allow the dough to rise, covered, till it's noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes (if it hasn't been refrigerated) or 2 to 2 1/2 hours (if it's been refrigerated). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Bake the pizza on the lower oven rack till it looks and feels set on top, and is just beginning to brown around the edge of the crust, but is still pale on top. This will take about 8 minutes for thinner crust pizza about 10 to 12 minutes for medium thickness and 12 to 14 minutes for thick-crust pizza. If you're baking two pizzas, reverse them in the oven (top to bottom, bottom to top) midway through the baking period.

To serve pizza immediately: Remove it from the oven, and arrange your toppings of choice on top. Return to the oven, and bake on the upper oven rack for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned, both top and bottom, and the cheese is melted. Check it midway through, and move it to the bottom rack if the top is browning too much, or the bottom not enough.

To serve pizza up to 2 days later: Remove the untopped, partially baked crust from the oven, cool completely on a rack, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. When ready to serve, top and bake in a preheated 450°F oven, adding a couple of minutes to the baking times noted above. Your goal is a pizza whose crust is browned, and whose toppings are hot/melted.

Remove the pizza from the oven, and transfer it from the pan to a rack to cool slightly before serving. For easiest serving, cut with a pair of scissors.

Tips from our Bakers

To add flexibility to your schedule, let the dough rise once at room temperature, gently deflate it, then cover and put in the fridge overnight. Next day, remove the dough from the fridge and stretch it into its pan. Let it rest and warm up until slightly puffy, then proceed with the recipe as written.

If you like pizza with a deep golden brown, crispy crust, bake on a baking stone. Preheat the stone in the middle of the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Shape and top your pizza on parchment paper or a baker's peel and when you're ready to bake, slide the pizza onto the hot stone (parchment and all, if you're using parchment).


Basic Pizza Dough

A nice slice of pizza is one of life's greatest pleasures. Just ask Ree Drummond, who loves pizza so much that she and her husband, Ladd, started their own pizza restaurant, P-Town Pizza, in their hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. P-Town serves dozens of pies with unique toppings, but they all have one thing in common: the perfect basic pizza dough.

You've probably been going to your favorite pizza place for years and maybe you've even wondered how you can recreate their dough. Well, here's some good news: The team at P-Town Pizza shared a version of their basic pizza dough recipe so you can make your own similar pies at home! According to the team, it took about 73 tries to perfect this recipe&mdashso you can trust that it's delicious! Read on for how to make it yourself.

How do you make easy pizza dough from scratch?

Pizza dough is actually a lot easier to make than you'd think. You just need flour, water and yeast, plus a little olive oil and salt. You also need time and patience! Check out the recipe below for specific steps.

Is yeast necessary for pizza dough?

The short answer here is yes. Yeast is the most important ingredient in this basic pizza dough because it is the leavening agent. Without it, the dough would be flat and not rise, and it wouldn't have any of those bubbles that make the crust chewy and crispy. You can find yeast-free pizza dough recipes out there (some people mix yogurt with self-rising flour), but that will give you a very different texture. For the true pizza parlor experience, a basic pizza dough that calls for yeast is recommended.

What is the secret to good pizza dough?

Making great pizza dough is an art, but it all starts with a solid dough recipe, like the one below. Some helpful things to remember when making this recipe: Be sure the temperature of your water isn't too cold (or the yeast won't bloom) or too hot (which will kill the yeast). The sweet spot for the water is about 110˚and you should use a thermometer to check. Also, don't skimp on rising time&mdashthis is key for developing both flavor and texture.

Can I use regular flour for pizza dough?

Yes! The recipe below calls for regular all-purpose flour. Some recipes call for bread flour or self-rising flour, which have different protein levels that contribute to the texture of the dough. It is best to use the type of flour that your recipe calls for to get the best results.


This recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5 in the recipe below.


Authentic Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

We talk all the time about how great homemade food is, not just because we consider cooking to be a relaxing and satisfying experience, but because it’s so much more budget-friendly than going out and spilling all your money at a fancy restaurant.

Plus, it never hurts getting compliments from your friends and family–they’ll be talking for years about that delicious chicken cacciatore.

However, today we aren’t talking about chicken, but we go all in with THE Italian dish. Want a hint? When a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie/ That’s amore.

And if that wasn’t clear enough, here is another hint: we gave you an excellent marinara sauce recipe.

Yep, it’s time to talk about what holds everything together–literally, so today’s article is about an authentic Italian pizza dough recipe.

Needless to say, the pizza is a symbol of Italian tradition, recognized worldwide. Its humble beginnings were as a loaf of bread, enriched with all sorts of ingredients.

This has, of course, evolved over the years, but something that hasn’t really changed is the preparation of the dough itself.

All you need is flour, water, yeast, and salt, which can be used in different quantities and forms, depending on how thin or thick you want your pizza to be.

Our authentic Italian pizza dough recipe will give you a crispy base perfectly suitable to be covered with fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.


Place two-thirds of the water in a large bowl. In a saucepan or microwave, bring the other third of water to boil, then add it to the cold water in the bowl. This creates the correct temperature for activating yeast. Whisk the salt and yeast into the warm water.

If mixing by hand: Place the flour in a large bowl and pour the yeast mixture into it. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough starts to form. Continue mixing by hand until the pizza dough comes together in a ball. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead with both hands for about 10 minutes, until it is firm and stretchy. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.

If using a mixer: Fit the mixer with the dough hook and place the flour in the mixer bowl. Turn the machine on at a low speed and gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour. Once combined, leave the dough to keep mixing to at the same speed for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and stretchy. Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.

When the dough has roughly doubled in size, divide it into 3 or 4 equal pieces, depending on what size you want your pizzas to be (either 12 inches or 16 inches wide). Place each piece of dough in a separate bowl or tray, cover with cling film and leave to rise for another 30 - 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Note: It’s also possible to cold-prove your pizza dough, a technique that allows the yeast to work on the sugars in the flour for longer, thus helping the dough to develop a deeper flavour. To do this, use half the amount of yeast listed in the ingredients, and leave the dough to rise in the fridge for 24-72 hours – basically, until the day you need it. Divide the dough and cover it as described in the main recipe, then set aside (not in the fridge) for at least 5 hours, until it is up to room temperature.

Kneading and stretching the dough: Our top tip is always to start with a perfectly rounded ball of pizza dough as this helps to keep the shape of the pizza base circular during the stretching process. Place the ball on a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and use your fingertips to press the dough into a small, flat disc. Working from the center, push the dough outwards while spreading your fingers, making the disc slightly bigger. Pick up the pizza dough and gently pinch it all around the edge, allowing gravity to pull it downwards into a circle. Neapolitan-style pizza bases are very thin, so you should be able to see through the base when you hold it up to the light. Take care when doing this – you don’t want it to tear.

Once the pizza dough is fully stretched, lightly flour your pizza peel and lay the base on it. If at this point you see any small holes in the dough, gently pinch them back together. Once you’re happy with the base, add your toppings and bake in your Ooni pizza oven as indicated in your chosen recipe.


Recipe Summary

  • ¾ cup warm water - 100 to 110 degrees F (40 to 45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Pour the warm water into the pan of the bread machine, and add the flour on top of the water. Sprinkle with salt and sugar, and top with the yeast. Set the machine on the dough setting, and push the start button. When the machine signals that the dough is finished, transfer to a well-floured work surface.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Roll or stretch the dough out into thin crust about 14 inches across. Leave dough thick at the edge. Place the dough onto a 14-inch pizza baking sheet, and brush the dough with the olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes before removing to top with desired ingredients for final baking.


Paula’s Easy Pizza Dough Recipe

Everyone loves pizza night! Pizza is so much fun to make, and it’s a breeze to customize to everyone’s specific tastes. Bread, cheese, sauce, and endless toppings—is it just us or is it the perfect food? Yeah, we didn’t think we were alone on that one!

Well, if you’re hoping to have your own pizza night complete with homemade pizzas, then you’ve come to the right place to get started! Today we’re sharing Paula’s super easy homemade pizza dough recipe that can serve as the base of any homemade pizza.

While this recipe is for a classic pizza dough recipe, Paula has some healthier options too, like a Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe and a Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe.

First, you’ll need to gather the following tools & ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups warm water
  • 1¼-oz package active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4½ cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • food processor
  • wood board
  • greased bowl
  • measuring cup
  • plastic wrap or tea towel

Now that you’ve got it all together, it’s time for the fun part—making that wonderful homemade pizza dough! Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water, which should be pleasantly warm on your wrist and not scalding hot, and allow the yeast to activate. This will take about 10 minutes.

Next, pour the salt and 2 cups of the flour into your food processor, pulsing 5 times to ensure it’s blended. Pour in the yeast and water, and pulse 5 more times. Now add in the olive oil and the remaining flour, a cup at a time, pulsing until it’s well blended. Be sure to periodically scrape the sides of the bowl at this time to ensure everything is thoroughly combined.

Once it’s well mixed, dump the dough onto a well-floured board. Knead it for 15 turns—be sure not to over-mix it! By the time you’re finished, the dough should be smooth and elastic-like.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides of the dough in the grease, then cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel before placing the bowl in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. The dough should double in size. Lastly, punch down the dough. Voila! Homemade pizza dough in no time!

This recipe yields enough for two 12-inch pizzas, so divide the dough in half before using it. If you’re not making two pizzas, it freezes well in a re-sealable freezer bag. Next time you’re ready for homemade pizza, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. You’ll want to roll the dough while cold, but be sure you let it reach room temperature before adding your sauce, cheese, and other toppings.

It’s easier than you thought to make pizza dough from scratch, isn’t it? The hardest part is just waiting for it to rise, but with a little patience, your pizza will be even more delicious.

If you’re looking for great pizza recipes for using your dough, we’ve included a few below—we hope you enjoy them!

Do you have tips for making pizza dough? Let us know in the comments below!


Semolina Pizza Dough

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 15 M
  • Makes 2 crusts

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1/4 cup warm water [110°F (43°C)]
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup room-temperature water, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon mild olive or vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons fine semolina flour
  • 1 cup plus 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Directions

In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the warm water and the sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast and let stand until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes.

Add the room-temperature water and the olive oil to the foaming yeast concoction. Let it rest for a moment.

In a food processor, combine the semolina and all-purpose flours and the salt. With the motor running, add the yeast mixture in a steady stream and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. (If the dough doesn’t form a ball, sprinkle it with 1 to 2 teaspoons of cold water and pulse again until a rough mass forms.) Let the dough rest in the processor bowl for 5 to 10 minutes.

Process the dough again for 25 to 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn the dough to coat with oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, gently punch it down, and shape it into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky.

Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes before proceeding with your pizza recipe. (You can freeze the balls of dough in gallon-size resealable plasic bags, being sure to squeeze as much of the air as possible out of the bag, for up to 2 months. Thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.) Originally published April 16, 2012.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I was very pleased with how easy this semolina pizza dough was to make as well as with the flavor of the finished product. I’d been interested in trying semolina flour for pizza dough, and after making this, I want to explore it further.

I liked that the recipe yielded enough dough for multiple pizzas. The recipe says to let the dough rise in a warm place. It would be helpful for some people to know where and how to do that. For example, they can turn their oven on to the lowest setting for about 5 minutes, turn the oven off, and then put the dough into the oven. After the dough is made and divided into 2 pieces, the recipe tells you that after letting it rest for 10 minutes, you can use it or freeze it.

I wanted to use half of the dough later that day and then use the other half the next morning. Not having a lot of experience with dough, I was just assuming that it would work to refrigerate the remaining dough overnight. Someone who needs everything spelled out for them might take the recipe very literally and feel that they either had to bake the pizza right then and there or else throw the dough into the freezer.

This dough was incredibly easy to work with and stretch and it held its shape. It makes a fairly thick crust and can stand up to a lot of toppings. We loaded ours up with cooked crumbled sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and plenty of cheese. It was excellent though very filling.

I froze the second crust, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and used it a couple of months later and it was just as good as fresh.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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Comments

Please change recipe to %, like 60% water, 2% salt etc. Nobody likes cups

TonyRoma, we have metrics in the recipe, so everything is dome by weights. Just click the METRIC toggle button at the top of the ingredients list.


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