How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough
Skip delivery this week and learn how to make homemade pizza dough. Our Test Kitchen has a foolproof recipe that doesn't require any special ingredients or tools. And you can make it tonight!
Sure, ringing up your favorite pizzeria is a great way to kick off the weekend, but have you learned how to make pizza dough at home?
Believe it or not, you can make a batch of pizza dough in about 15 minutes and have it in the oven after a short proof. It’s almost as fast as your go-to frozen pizza.
How to Make Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
Our Test Kitchen’s favorite easy pizza dough comes from Taste of Home‘s very own Josh Rink. He and the Test Kitchen team swear by this simple recipe. It really does come together in a flash. The best part: You don’t need any special tools or ingredients.
- 1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
- 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose or 00 flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and marjoram, optional
- 1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
Step 1: Proof the yeast
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Start this easy pizza crust recipe by proofing the yeast. To proof yeast, mix warm water (about 110ºF), a packet of active dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl.
After about five minutes, you should notice that the mixture is frothy; that means the yeast is ready to go.
Editor’s Tip: If you don’t want to use sugar, you can also use a teaspoon of honey or agave syrup. To grow, yeast just needs sugar of some kind.
Step 2: Make the pizza dough
Next, whisk together 3 cups of flour, salt, sugar and dried herbs. The herbs are optional here, but they add another layer of flavor that pairs really well with pizza sauce and toppings.
Once combined, make a well in the flour mixture and add in the yeast mix and oil. Stir these ingredients together until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Step 3: Knead the dough
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When the dough comes together into a soft mass, it’s time to knead. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and knead until the pizza dough is smooth and elastic—about 6 to 8 minutes.
Editor’s Tip: Want a hands-off way to work the dough? You can knead the dough with a stand mixer. You’ll only need about three minutes to get the results you’re looking for.
Step 4: Rest
After kneading, place the dough into a greased bowl. Cover and let the dough rise for 30 minutes before shaping.
You can also proof the dough overnight in the fridge. Just cover the bowl and let it chill. When you’re ready to use the next day, let the dough come up to room temperature and then roll.
Step 5: Shape, top and bake
After making this homemade pizza dough, the options are nearly limitless! You can shape the dough as you please on a pizza pan or even in a cast-iron skillet.
This pizza dough is very malleable, so you can easily press it into any pan with just your hands. If you find your hands are sticking, give them a quick spritz with cooking spray.
One of our Test Kitchen’s favorite ways to make use of this easy pizza dough is with this sausage pizza recipe. For this pizza, press the dough into a pizza pan, prick it with a fork and bake it at 400º for 10 to 12 minutes. Then top the crust with pizza sauce (check out our Test Kitchen’s favorite store-bought pizza sauces for a shortcut), plenty of cheese, sausage and veggies. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes.
Uses for Homemade Pizza Dough
While you’re learning how to make pizza dough, know that you can make an extra batch to make plenty of other recipes. Here are some of our Test Kitchen’s favorite ways to use up pizza dough:
- Calzones: Calzones are essentially pizzas folded in half, sealed and baked. That means you can use this homemade pizza dough to make tempting pizza pockets stuffed with your favorite fillings.
- Stromboli: You can also roll up pizza dough with fillings to make stromboli. These Italian-inspired rollups make for a great appetizer.
- Flatbreads: Tomato sauce and mozzarella are just the start when it comes to topping this dough. Roll out pizza dough into an elongated shape and top with fresh ingredients. Get some inspiration with this triple tomato flatbread and grilled elote flatbread.
Tips for Homemade Pizza Dough
This pizza dough recipe is so easy to put together, but our Test Kitchen does have some tips for taking your at-home ‘za game to the next level.
- Use 00 flour: Our go-to pizza crust recipe uses all-purpose flour, but feel free to use 00 flour (sometimes called pizza flour) instead. This will make the dough super smooth and easy to work with.
- Use a pizza oven: Outdoor pizza ovens like the Ooni pizza oven are all the rage. They replicate the atmosphere of classic brick ovens and give your homemade pizzas that perfect crisp edge and gooey, cheesy top.
- Try grilling: Not into the idea of a special gadget just for pizzas? No worries—you can grill pizzas instead. Lay down a pizza stone and place the pizza on top. Some grills, like Spark Grills, have special features just for making wood-fired pizza.