Ultimate Pizza Dough Recipe
This is the ULTIMATE Pizza Dough Recipe! This easy pizza crust recipe can be made thick, thin, or personal sized with whole wheat or gluten free flour. You can make a baked pizza crust or a grilled pizza recipe. Top it with whatever you like for the best dinner, or make a dessert pizza!
If I have one downfall in life, it’s carbs. If I was stranded on a deserted island and all I had was a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, I’d be happy.
You know what would be even better? CHEESE. Bread and cheese, and wine. And maybe a square or two of brownies. No joke, I could live on those few things at every meal every day for the rest of my life and then I’d die fat but happy.
You know what you get when you add bread + cheese? PIZZA. I don’t even require sauce, but that makes it even better.
When I was growing up we lived up the street from the BEST pizza joint in the whole world. (Seriously, at random times my mouth waters thinking of it. Like now.) At least once a week my dad and I would con my mom into getting a pie and we’d devour it. As an adult, I try not to eat pizza every week but I crave it that often (and more, like every day almost).
Until I started blogging, I was terrified of yeast and making my own bread and pizza dough. It was so much easier to buy a tube of dough or a packaged already baked one, but those never tasted as good as take-out so I was always left wanting MORE. One day I tried making my own pizza dough and OMG >> life changing.
Making this pizza dough recipe is so much easier than you think it will be.
Get over your fear of yeast, okay? Once you have this recipe down, the world opens up. Pizza, flatbread, cheese breadsticks, homemade soft pretzels…you name it, you can make it with this pizza dough recipe.
Plus, if you make your own pizza at home YOU control the ingredients. There will be less calories than the pizza joint down the road, so you won’t feel as greasy and guilty afterward.
Because you know you’re gonna go for that 4th slice. Don’t lie to me and tell me you can stop at just one…or two.
Why is this crust the ULTIMATE pizza dough recipe? Because it’s SO versatile.
Want a whole wheat pizza crust? Sounds good! Use white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, or go half and half, using all purpose and regular whole wheat flour.
What it gluten free? Great! Use a one-to-one gluten free flour that you can substitute for all-purpose.
Want to make a thick crust pizza? Gotcha covered – this pizza dough recipe makes one 12″ puffy chewy crust.
Wait, you like thin crust? Okay, perfect. Cut the dough into two pieces and make two 12″ thin crusts.
Oh, hey, kids coming over for dinner? Cut the dough into 4-6 pieces for PERSONAL pizzas!
Want breadsticks? NO PROBLEM. Flatten the dough then slice into sticks.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT with this pizza dough.
What will YOU make with this pizza dough recipe??
Okay, so let’s talk some recipe particulars:
- YEAST. I use active-dry yeast. It’s important to get the water temperature right so your yeast will bloom, but not too hot it kills it. I like using an instant read thermometer to ensure it’s just right.
- You don’t have to use a stand mixer. I included directions for by-hand as well. When you’re kneading the dough (with or without a mixer) it’s done when it’s a bit sticky but not enough to totally coat your hands. 3 cups of all purpose flour is perfect and what I always use.
- If your house is super cold it might take longer to rise, just for planning sake.
- If you’re making this gluten-free, know that the dough is not going to rise. I let mine sit, but the gluten doesn’t form, because, obviously. So instead you just press the dough into the pan instead of rolling it out. The end result is more like a crunchy crust/chewy cracker.
- On baking: if you want that crunchy bottom crust it is SUPER IMPORTANT that your oven be HOT HOT HOT (450-500°F) and that you preheat your pan. Put the pan in the oven to preheat while the oven heats. Make your pizza on a parchment paper then carefully transfer it to the hot pan (on the parchment). It’ll sear the bottom to give it a browned and crunchier feel than if you just put the dough on the pan and bake it.
Check out my video to see how easy this pizza dough recipe is to make! If I can make it, so can you.
The ULTIMATE Pizza Dough Recipe
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2-3 hours
This is the ULTIMATE Pizza Dough Recipe! This easy pizza crust can be made thick or thin or personal sized with whole wheat or gluten free flour. It can be baked or grilled and topped with whatever you like for the best dinner (or even dessert).
1 cup warm water (between 100°-110°F)
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 normal sized packet) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour (approximate), see notes for alternative flours
- Measure water in a measuring cup, then add the yeast and sugar. Stir gently, then let sit until it’s active and foamy. This will happen within 5 minutes. If it doesn’t, your water may have been too hot or cold or your yeast may be old. It is important to use a thermometer to measure your water temp. An instant read thermometer is best but in a pinch a meat thermometer will do.
- Stand mixer preparation: add salt, oil, and 2 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Stir the flour mixture gently while adding the proofed yeast mixture. Run the mixer on low speed until the mixture is combined and wet and then add the third cup of flour. The mixture should come together into a ball that is just a bit sticky.
- By hand preparation: stir salt, oil, and 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl, stirring in the yeast mixture as you go, using a wooden spoon. Add the third cup of flour and then stir until you can’t anymore. Remove the spoon and then use your hands to work the dough into a ball that is slightly sticky.
- Spray a second large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, add your pizza dough ball, then spray the top lightly with cooking spray and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area of the kitchen and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
- Note: this pizza dough can make 1 thicker crust or 2 thin crust 10-12” pizzas, or 4-6 small personal sized pizzas.
- When ready to make pizza: turn out dough onto a lightly floured cutting board or a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with more flour if needed so you can stretch and flatten the dough into your desired size.
- Cut parchment paper to fit the pan you’re using, hanging over just about an inch on all sides our circumference. Preheat oven to 500°F. Place pizza pan in the oven while the oven is preheating. Place your pizza dough on the sized parchment paper and top as desired. Once the oven is up to temperature, carefully transfer the pizza to the hot pan (be careful – pan is HOT). Cook until the cheese is melted and crust is slightly browned.
- White Whole Wheat Crust: use 2 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour. The dough will be more dense.
- Whole Wheat Crust: use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour and about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. The dough will be more dense.
- Gluten Free Crust: use 2 cups of one to one gluten free flour (the kind that you can substitute one to one for all purpose, such as Bob’s Red Mill – light blue package). The dough is not going to rise. I let mine sit, but the gluten doesn’t form, because, obviously. So instead you just press the dough into the pan instead of rolling it out. The end result is more like a crunchy crust/chewy cracker.
- One 10-12 inch thicker crust pizza
- Two 10-12 inch thin crust pizzas
- 4-6 mini personal size pizzas
- Baked pizza: Heat pan(s) in a 500°F oven while you roll out the dough. Place each crust on parchment paper to easily transfer to the hot oven.
- Grilled pizza: Heat grill to 500°F. Place pizza stone on the grill. Before pressing out dough into desired size and shape, coat the cutting board with cornmeal and press out the crust on top, to help it keep from sticking. Transfer the pizza to the hot stone using a flat pizza peel or slide it off the parchment paper.
To freeze pizza dough: wrap it well in plastic and ziploc bags and freeze up to one month. Pizza dough can be made and baked or grilled (without toppings) and frozen between parchment paper in ziploc bags for easy dinners.