Making a great pizza at home isn’t hard when it all comes down to being prepared. Making pizza dough is no harder than you might think. The secret is following a few steps that make the dough work for the kind of pizza you want to make. Forget about your toppings, since that’s the last step you will deal with. Here are some tips that make a pizza dough recipe easy and simple.
Pre-measure all your ingredients before you start. Line them up like little soldiers in the order they will all be mixed. After a while, you’ll remember the order they go in the mix and will be second-nature to you. Be patient, since time is on your side; so use it to your advantage. While most homemade pizza can be cooked in the oven on a baking stone some of these will work fine on using a simple cooking tray. The recipes below will indicate the types of pizza dough will respond well enough using a cooking tray. We have also spent endless hours collaborating the best pizza ovens for home use which you can consider if you don’t own a dedicated oven. See our top picks for indoor ovens here, and you can check out our complete roundup of backyard ovens here.
Don’t skip or cut corners here. This is the process where yeast gets to feed on the sugar in the flour and magically transforming them into CO2 and, well beer, or alcohol if you would. This process is what gives dough its pliability. Without it, we’d be brick makers instead of amateur pizza chefs. Here’s how we like to approach this process.
The traditional method of proving dough goes like this:
Here’s the method we came across on PizzaDough101.com and it works well, if you have the extra time, go with this method:
Follow the exact ingredients with the right measurements, the difference between a teaspoon and tablespoon can be disastrous. Always have fresh ingredients. Aside from packet yeast, these can go bad so be sure to have newly bought reserves on hand. Don’t rush the rising process, let it do its’ thing. Over-baking means you’ll get a burned pizza, and nobody likes eating burnt-up pizza -ever! Good luck.
Servings- Up to 2 to 4 people
While the traditional pizza in Italy is renowned for being so crispy, they will use old-fashioned ovens to make it crispier. Convection ovens don’t work so well unless you have air-circulation to bake it properly. Be sure to follow the instruction that will ensure your crust is just like the ones made in Italy.
Baking pan, silicone-coated baking sheets, pizza roller, pastry brush, silicone pastry matt
If you are using yeast powder the important thing to remember is the water needs to be warm. Fresh yeast mixing is different than dry yeast mixing. Get a small cup and add 3 tablespoons of warm water. Add your packet of dry yeast (about 2 teaspoons) and a decent pinch of sugar. Mix it until it starts to dissolve. It the yeast good it will start to cloud-up and get foamy. Then add the olive oil and mix a bit more and add this to the 2 cups of water. Stir them well.
Dump your flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl and mix them to get air-in helping break-up clumps the flour. Then- on a silicone pastry sheet carefully dump the flour onto the sheet forming a little mountain. Make a hole at the top (about fist-sized) for the water mixture to go in. Slowly pour the water mixture into the top of the flour pile.As this begins to wet-out the flour, then go to your original oil bowl. Take the flour bowl you used previously and with a pastry brush swab the remaining oil and wet-out the flour bowl. Once or twice is good. The flour dust will help the oil to stick to the bowl better. This is used later to put for your finished dough- now it won’t stick.
Then back to your flour and water mixture, start to mix in the remaining flour and get it blended until it starts to become a dough-like texture. This is when you can begin kneading it to make it smoother and more refined. Once you have it elastic enough, it should be rolled into a ball. Use a light dusting of flour nearby to keep your hands from sticking too much.
Put the ball into the oiled bowl and give it a couple spins to coat the ball. Now you cover the bowl and let it sit. It will need 4-5 hours at room temperature to be truly authentic!
Take your dough ball and cut it in half. It can make 2 pizzas (one 12 inch pizza per half). The dough will have risen and will be much stiffer than before. Roll it out with your roller to about 12 inches in diameter. If you are making pizza alta this is 12”, while pizza bassa is 10-11” based on thickness. It will puff up while baking.
Pre-heat your oven to 400F and go back to your pizza dough. Slice a long cross along the inside up to 1 inch inside the dough edge. This is very traditional for Italian thin crust. Transfer the dough to the baking paper inside the oven baking sheet. Add your tomato sauce in the center and work outwards to the edge up to 1” of the very edge. Then finish-off the dough by brushing the exposed edges of the dough with some olive oil.
Cook for 10 minutes with the circulating fan on. This will help to cook the dough first. After that, add your toppings and grated (or sliced cheese). Cook until the cheese is golden brown. Top it off with fresh basil, slice and enjoy.
Servings- up to 2 to 4 people
This is a fun classic that kids love and parents will make nearly weekly. It works because the yeast makes a dough that’s soft and chewy. If you are careful you can master some real fluffy pizzas that are 12-14 inches in diameter. The trick to this is having a warm room to let the dough rise. Give it time and you’ll be pleased with the results.
Baking stone, upturned cookie-sheet, silicone baking paper, mixing bowls, silicone pastry matt
Start with your yeast to make it activated. Never add oil to the yeast until it has had a chance to start foaming. Get a small cup with three warm tablespoons of warm water and add 1 packet of the dry yeast. Add a pinch of sugar and start to mix. It will bubble and then start to foam-up. It is has expired it will not be good to use, so have extra ones on hand. This is when you may add it to your 2 cups of water and add the olive oil, remaining sugar and salt. Mix well!
Pour your yeast-water mixture into a large mixing bowl and then slowly add the first half of the flour. This mixture will be like pancake batter, so then begin to add the rest of the flour to thicken it up. When you can’t stir anymore it’s ready for kneading. Scrape the dough onto your pastry matt that is dusted with left-over flour. You might need to add more flour to control the stickiness.
When the dough is nice and smooth you can then put it aside to let it rise. The bowl you used for flour can work if it’s all empty and cover with a kitchen towel. Be sure to let it sit in a warm area for one hour to have the maximum fluffiness you are looking for. Even up to 2 hours is always better for a very puffy crust. It depends on the warmth of the room too so 72-75F is best.
The yeast will have done its’ job well when you see the top of the towel is bulging outward from the bowl. You can then cut the ball into half to make two pizzas from this. Keep in mind this will be prone to collapsing so you need to carefully stretch the ball from the center. Use the dough over your knuckles to stretch the shape to a large disc, it will be pliable enough. When it reaches 12” in diameter or so, you can lay it onto the baking paper.
Preheat your oven to 500F and place the dough and the baking sheet onto the upturned cookie sheet. Add your pizza sauce and selected toppings and cheese at this time. You don’t need to poke or score the dough since it needs to keep all that fluffy-dough density. When the oven is hot, transfer the pizza carefully to the baking stone; sliding the pizza off the cookie tray. Be careful as the oven is very hot!
Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the pizza cheese is golden brown. Remove the pizza the same way you put it in with the cookie tray. Slice and then serve!
Servings- 4-8 people
While most people have never been to NYC, every local there knows this is the ultimate pub-crawl snack in between beers. It folds exceptionally well since slices are usually cut in one-quarter pieces (two slices in one). Toppings are from your wildest imagination and great for super bowl feasting. Follow this recipe to make friends for life.
Baking stone, upturned cookie tray, silicone baking paper, mixing bowls, silicone pastry matt, a digital scale
Start with getting the dry yeast ready in a small cup. Add 3 tablespoons of warm water to one packet of dry yeast. Let is dissolve and then add a generous pinch of sugar. Let it mix until it reacts. Until it starts to foam you know the dry yeast is still active otherwise try a new one. Then this goes into the separate water, then you add the rest of the sugar and salt.
Your flour should be in a large mixing bowl at this point. Start to pour your water into the flour. Until it gets mixed, continue until you have a paste that is ready to start kneading. At this point, you can now add the oil to the dough mixture. Start kneading it adding bits of flour as you go. It should be soft enough to reach a stretchy smooth mixture.
After it’s done, check the temperature of the dough to see if you have 70-80F in the dough itself. Then divide your dough into four equal parts and use the digital scale to measure exactly. Each ball should weigh 326 grams each roughly. Then store each ball in a greased olive oil bag for the next 2-3 days in a refrigerator. Three days is the best.
When you are ready to make your pizza this is where the real New York touch comes in. Take each ball and place it into a deep dish pan. Have a separate bowl filled halfway with flour. Take a ball and press it into the flour for both sides. Your silicone matt should have generous flour dusted on it too.
First lightly flatten the ball to get a round disc. Using your thumb and forefinger starts to form a lip around the edges. It will start to look like a Frisbee. Then continue to slowly stretch the dough at the outer edge to gain a thinner rim. Be sure to cover your hands with flour since the next step is critical to making a real NYC pizza.
Take the disc-shaped dough and using your knuckles at the edges of the dough rim, slowly pulling the dough. This should be every 2 inches. Repeat this until it gets gradually larger. You will need to put the dough down on the pastry matt from time to time to correct the shape. Once you have a size that is 12-14 inches you are ready for making pizza.
Pre-heat your oven to 550F and allows the baking stone to get hot. Place the dough into your baking sheet the upturned cookie tray and start to add your pizza sauce. Use a spoon or soup ladle and radiate from the center outward to the rim edge. It shouldn’t be too thick but saucy enough to be coated with 1-2mm of sauce. Then add your toppings and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Transfer the pizza to the oven edge and slide the pizza using the edges of the baking paper into the oven. Don’t get burned, 550F can make instant blisters.
Bake for at least 10-15 minutes or until the pizza cheese is not burning. It should be golden brown but not burned on the crust end. Slice into one-quarter pieces and serve on paper plates to soak up extra olive oil. Game On!
Servings- Up to 8 people
Unlike the Italian thin crust recipe, this version only takes just 10 minutes to make a delicious thin pizza crust. This one is foldable and tasty but nowhere near to the New York version either. You’ll see why this pizza dough recipe will be one that you make more often than not. Most people who don’t like crust will love the crunchy tasty texture too. Check it out.
KitchenAid mixer with dough hooks, silicone pastry mat, pastry brush, mixing bowls, upturned cookie sheet, silicone baking paper, pastry roller
Start with the critical part since this has a higher yeast percentage than other recipes. In a cup with 6 tablespoons of warm water (90 grams of water), empty two packets of yeast. Also, add a teaspoon of sugar and mix. After 10 minutes it will be foamy. Then add salt and olive oil to the mixture.
Take your KitchenAid mixer and add it into the small mixing bowl mixing your flour. Follow this with the contents of yeast and olive oil water. Start the mixing on low and then add the cup of water as well. Then set the mixer to medium. The flour will start to thicken-up quickly and the dough hooks will blend and pull the dough. Let this mix for 3 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Now your dough is finished.
Take the dough out and decide if you will use it that day or store half for later. Roll it into a ball and slice in half. Each half can make 2 separate (10-12 inch) pizza bases. The dough will rise faster even though it has only been sitting for a few minutes. The stored dough will continue to rise, the longer you let it sit. Put away the other half in a freezer to slow this process down.
Place one half of the dough on the pastry sheet sprinkled with light flour. Use your roller start to make the pizza base. Add flour if it gets too sticky, so sprinkle it further when needed. Make sure the thickness is about 1cm all around. A smaller 10″ pizza will be naturally thicker. Transfer to the baking paper and put onto an upturned cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to 450F. Add your favorite pizza sauce keeping the edges clean around 1.5 inches.
Place the pizza dough into the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Now begin your garlic butter mixture. In a cup, add the 2 tablespoons and warm in a microwave until it melts. Add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and mix with a pastry brush. Take out your pizza and place it on the stovetop carefully.
Use the garlic mixture to coat the dough along the exposed edge not covered by pizza sauce. Then add your favorite toppings and shredded cheese.
Place it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to let the crust become crispy. Check to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn too. Take out for the oven, slice into 8 pieces evenly and it’s ready to serve. Easy as pie!
Servings- up to 4-8 people
The taste of the crust is a refreshing change since this recipe uses semolina flour and cornmeal sprinkled under the pizza. You don’t need to be a professional pizza chef to make this Artisan recipe win some rave reviews. Based on what you put on the pizza itself, this dough will be a hit with your family and friends.
Baking stone, fork, mixing bowls, silicone pastry sheet, upturned cookie sheet, pastry roller
This dough does not contain much yeast which makes a very fool-proof crust that has character. Start with taking a packet of dry yeast and measure teaspoon (or 2.5g) and put aside. With 1-2 tablespoons of warm water add the yeast with a pinch of sugar. It will get foamy in a couple of minutes with rapid stirring. After that, you can add the olive oil to that mixture.
Put your flour into a large mixing bowl and add the yeast and oil mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon by adding the remaining cup of water. It will be a runny pancake mix until you add the semolina flour. This is where the nutty flavor comes in. Scrape the contents onto your silicone pastry sheet. Be sure that it’s sprinkled with flour to prevent sticking.
Roll and knead the dough until it has a uniform texture and is highly elastic. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then separate into two halves. These can make 2 pizzas that will measure 10-12 inches. Put the other half of your dough aside until you use it.
Pre-heat your oven to 450-500F to let the baking stone warm-up properly. Then take one half of the dough and place onto your silicone pastry sheet that’s been dusted with flour. Start to roll out the pizza dough with your roller, flip and roll again. It needs to be thin but no more than 1-1 mm thick.
Put the dough onto an upturned cookie sheet that has been dusted with flour to help it slide-off easier. Using your fork, poke lots of holes around the entire surface of the pizza. At least 30-50 are sufficient to keep it from rising too much. On your baking stone sprinkle some cornmeal over the surface.
Slide the dough onto the baking stone and close the oven. Let it bake for 3 minutes and then use the cookie sheet to retrieve the dough. It needs to be flipped to bake the other side. Try using another spare cookie sheet to flip it. Bake again for another 3 minutes. At this time you can take it out to add your pizza sauce and toppings.
The more creative you are the better! Return to the baking stone and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes. When it’s ready- slide back out, slice, and serve! Who’s the master now?
Servings- Up to 4-8 people
The secret to a pizza dough that is thin and crispy, yet has a wonderful semi-puffy crust is not so hard. This recipe relies on cold fermentation that few people understand how it works. What you will learn from this dough recipe are some serious mastered skills that will please even the pizza pros.
Baking stone, KitchenAid mixer with dough hooks, large Ziplock kitchen bag, olive oil spray, metal dough scraper, mixing bowls, digital thermometer, digital scale, shallow casserole pan, baking paper
There will be an after-process that comes after the dough is mixed since this recipe is very different than others. Be patient and don’t rush this one. It might sound odd but yields amazing pizza crust as a result.
In your KitchenAid mixer using the large bowl and dough mixers, you can then add your ingredients. First add the flour, salt, and dry yeast. Then pour in the water and oil and set the mixer to medium until the flour absorbs the liquids. After that, it will take about 5-7 minutes for the mixer to make a nice stretchy, blended dough. Turn off the mixer at that time.
If the dough is still a bit sticky you can add a small dusting of flour to help it not stick to the mixing bowl. Remove the dough from the mixer using the dough scraper. It should have an ideal temperature of 50-55F. Deposit the dough onto a large sheet of baking paper that is sprayed with olive oil.
Using the dough scraper, you then cut the dough into 6 individual pieces. Use water to keep the scraper clean in between cutting. They should all weigh about 170g per piece.
Lightly dust the pieces with flour afterward so you can form them into balls. Put them into the casserole pan and spray generously with the olive oil spray.Put into the Ziplock bag and then into the fridge for three days. If you intend to freeze them place them in smaller bags sprayed with oil. These can be stored up to 3 months but no longer than that. After three days have passed you are ready to make a pizza base.
Take your pizza dough out of the fridge. The counter must be sprinkled with flour and then spray oil. Put the pizza dough on that surface and sprinkle with more flour. Flatten them with your hands into small discs. They should be about 5 inches in diameter. After that sprinkle with flour and spray again with oil. Cover with loose cling wrap and let them sit for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven 45 minutes before the end of the 2 hours. This will be 1 hour and 15 minutes. The baking stone needs time to warm up plenty so set the temperature to 500F. Now dust your pastry sheet with flour and start shaping the pizza dough. Now pick up the dough and use the back of your hands close to your knuckles to slowly stretch out your pizza dough.
If you are careful and use flour on your hands, the dough will not stick. If the dough is not warm enough it will need time to relax. Give it a couple of minutes (or more) to allow the gluten to settle down. It will still be stretchy, even after three days in the fridge. Continue shaping the pizza base until you have a 10-12 inch rounded form.
Transfer this base to an upturned cookie sheet that has been dusted with semolina flour or cornmeal flour as a slide. This helps it transfer to the baking stone easier. Add your pizza sauce and favorite toppings. Lastly, put the shredded cheese on top. Now take it to the oven.
Depending on your oven you might need to rotate the pizza or set it to a higher or lower shelf to improve cooking conditions. If you already know your pizza settings, this will be easier to determine. Transfer your pizza onto the baking stone and allow it to bake for 5-8 minutes. If the top cooks sooner than the dough, move the pizza to a lower rung. Remove pizza when it’s done and slice into 8 serving slices. That’s all there is to it!
Servings- up to 4-8 people
We didn’t forget that many people are looking to stay healthier with a gluten-free diet. Though to be perfectly honest, there is no proof that our ancestors were living from a 100% panacea diet. But for the die-hard vegetarians living out there, we do offer this lean-and-mean vegetarian pizza dough. Check this one out below, as well as our very own AIP Paleo Pizza here!
Large mixing bowl, baking stone, silicone pastry sheet, pastry roller, parchment baking paper
You might decide what kind of sauce or topping to use so prepare them beforehand. Paleo cheese made from nuts like almond or cashew cheeses is good as alternatives. Sauces made from beet and sweet potato flavored with plenty of oregano and basil can simulate tomato flavors. Feel free to experiment with your sauce mixtures.
Take the large bowl and add all of the dry ingredients first mixing them first. Then add the liquids to that bowl using a wooden spoon until it gets too difficult to mix. Now you can use your hands to knead the mixture on the silicone pastry matt. Use a bit of cassava flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands and roll into a ball. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to firm-up.
Now cut this Paleo-dough into two pieces to make two individual pizzas. Roll them out with the roller to a 10-inch disc is fine. Be sure to add more flour if the roller is still sticking. It also helps to slide the dough onto your parchment paper.
Pre-heat your oven to 425F and allow the baking stone to warm up. Slide dough an upturned pan and add your vegan pizza sauce. Slide the paper onto the cooking stone and close the oven.
Now bake the dough for 10-12 minutes at most. Remove the cooked dough and place it onto your cookie sheet again. Add your favorite veggie toppings and shredded alternative cheeses. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted. A golden-brown surface is best. Take out of the oven and let cool a bit. Then slice it up and enjoy it.
Servings- up to 8 people
Most people don’t like to wait around for long when it comes to food. Mothers, in particular, will love this pizza recipe that allows a 15-minute prep-time for quick pizza for the kids. It’s fool-proof and fast and doesn’t contain yeast. Those who are yeast intolerant will certainly have something to look forward to when it comes to freshly baked pizza.
Whisk, silicone baking sheets, upturned cookie tray, baking stone, rolling pin, non-stick pastry matt, large mixing bowl.
As mentioned before, this recipe for pizza dough is great for busy Moms who are already thinking one step ahead. This dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours before using it. Wrap it up in cling wrap, so no air gets inside. Even left-over pizza is great for sending kids off to school put inside a locking plastic container
Take the large bowl and put in the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk it to blend all the components. Put the oil and water into a left-over soda bottle (make sure it’s clean) and shake them together. Slowly start to pour the liquid into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon at first and then switch to your hand when it gets thick enough.
If you don’t need more of the water/oil mix, then don’t overdo the dough. It should be pliable and stretchy. Then scrape it out onto a pre-powdered pastry sheet.
Start to work the dough to blend it all into a smooth paste-like texture. Use added amounts of flour to firm-up this dough further. Roll into a ball and cut that in half. You can have one pizza for the kids and one for the adults.
Roll out the dough onto the pastry sheet using a powdered rolling pin. It can easily make a 10″ to 12″ pizza or two smaller (personal pizzas) if you cut the ball in half again. Place onto the non-stick baking matt and lightly dust with flour on both sides. Be sure to place the dough onto the non-stick cooking sheet. Now you can add the pizza sauce and toppings.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F and start putting the toppings and sauce. Radiate the sauce using a tablespoon and bring it close to the edge, but not over it. Pizza needs a clean edge to hold. Add the toppings as you like and then a generous amount of mozzarella cheese.
Put onto the upturned cookie tray and slide onto the baking stone. This will take 15-17 minutes depending on how many topping you put on. Adjust the pizza by pushing the paper with a fork so it gets even baking. When it’s ready to be removed from the oven on the same cookie sheet and let cool down. Slice and serve to your family or friends. Super easy and fun!
Servings- up to 2-4 people
This is not an easy recipe for beginners, or is it? Believe it or not, there are higher notes to this recipe that was developed some years back. It uses food science to make excellent pizza dough that will impress major pizza critics. It’s a little bit more involved than other pizza dough recipes but it is worth the wait. Here’s why we love this one!
Food processor with metal blade, baking stone, silicone baking sheets, cookie sheet, rubber spatula
This dough needs to be stored in the fridge 24 hours before the actual pizza is made. The big secret is how the yeast changes the flour to create the gluten. This recipe can create both fluffy and thin-crust pizza dough. It is a cold-yeast method that changes the flavor of your normal fast-rise yeast-based pizzas.
Put sugar, yeast, and flour into the food processor and blend them for a couple of seconds. Be sure that the lid is on. Run the machine again and pour the chilled water into the liquid opening on the top. Let it continue to mix further for about 10 seconds. Then allow it to sit for 10 minutes. After that, add the oil and salt and mix for another 30-60 seconds.
Take your spatula and scoop out the mixed dough and plop it onto the pastry matt to knead it a little bit. When it becomes smooth, you can form it into a ball and then separate it into two halves. After that, the dough is finished!
Take a baking sheet about the size of any standard LP album. Put one ball onto the center of the sheet and cover it with another identical-sized sheet. You can then use the roller to squash it into size. The baking paper will not stick to it and help keep a uniform shape to your pizza dough. Now store this in the fridge on a cookie tray for the next 24 hours, or even up to 3 days too.
The next day you can take the dough out from the fridge to start making your pizza. You can then decide how you want to further form your pizza base. The dough will have risen a bit so you can flatten it to make a thin-crust or fluffy one. At this time you need to pre-heat the oven to 500F. Now you can start your toppings and sauce combinations.
Place the pizza base onto a baking sheet supported by an upturned cookie sheet. Add the sauce and choices of toppings with lots of mozzarella cheese. When you are ready to put the pizza into the oven be careful sliding the pizza off the cookie sheet and onto the baking stone. Do not get burned.
This pizza will cook in 10-12 minutes tops. You should rotate the pizza using a fork to push the paper along the side for a more even bake. Remove your pizza when the cheese is nice and light brown. Let it cool off for 5 minutes. Slice into divided pieces and serve. Enjoy.