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This is the ULTIMATE Easy Pizza Dough Recipe! This easy pizza crust recipe can be made thick, thin, or personal sized with whole wheat or gluten free flour. Learn how to make pizza dough so many different ways!!

The ULTIMATE Pizza Dough Recipe - this easy pizza dough makes the BEST soft pizza crust. Make white, whole wheat, or even gluten free pizza with this recipe.


Why You’ll Love This Pizza Dough

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.

Get over your fear of yeast, okay? Once you have this recipe down, the world opens up. Pizza, flatbread, cheese breadsticks, dinner rolls…you name it, you can make it with this pizza dough recipe.

Making this homemade pizza dough recipe is so much easier than you think it will be. Plus you can control the ingredients – make it deep dish or thin crust, whole wheat or gluten free – I’m showing you ALL the ways to make the best pizza dough in the world!

ingredients in pizza dough

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • Yeast – You can use Instant Yeast OR Active Dry Yeast but the directions vary so read below the difference.
  • Water – We’ll need to heat this according to the yeast you’re using.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour is what I normally use but see below for other flour options.
  • Salt – For flavoring
  • Sugar – Helps activate the yeast
  • Olive Oil – a little fat makes adds flavor and texture to the dough.

What kind of yeast do you use for pizza crust?

There are two kinds of yeast you’ll find at the grocery store and you can use either one BUT the recipe is different for each.

  • Active Dry Yeast is what I’ve used for years. This yeast requires being “bloomed” before you make your dough. In essence, you’ll mix the active-dry yeast with hot water and some sugar and let it sit and ferment for a few minutes. Then you’ll add the bubbly mixture to your dry ingredients and oil. Active dry yeast dough requires a rising time – usually and hour or two – so that the dough doubles in size before baking with it.
  • Fast Acting Yeast (aka Rapid Rise Yeast or another name dependent on brand) is just that: it works faster. There is no need to proof the yeast with the hot water; when using fast acting yeast you just add it to the dry ingredients. You then add the hot water to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Another plus of fast-acting yeast: little or no rise time. Most of them just need to rest for about 10 minutes before rolling out.

Instant yeast (aka Rapid Rise Yeast, if you’re using Fleischmann’s) is my FAVORITE to use because it takes all the guesswork out of it. I HIGHLY recommend using Instant Yeast in this recipe.

How to make Pizza Dough

flour and yeast in mixing bowl.

Instant Yeast

Instant yeast does not need to be bloomed so we mix it with the dry ingredients then add the hot liquid. The liquid needs to be between 120-130°F.

proofed yeast in measuring cup.

Active Dry Yeast

Active Dry Yeast needs to be bloomed before adding it to the flour, so add the yeast and some sugar to hot water (100-110°F) and let it sit until bubbly.

dough on cutting board.

Once you have the dough kneaded and into a cohesive ball, the Instant Yeast allows you to let it rest for just 10 minutes before baking.

dough in bowl with plastic wrap.

With Active Dry Yeast you must allow it to rise until doubled after kneading. Cover with plastic wrap in a greased bowl for at least an hour or two.

Stretching Pizza Dough

After the dough rise or rest, then you roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface. I usually use my hands to stretch it as much as I can. If you’re having trouble you can use a rolling pin but I like using my hands best. Place the dough on parchment paper and add your toppings.

The ULTIMATE Pizza Dough Recipe - this easy pizza dough makes the BEST soft pizza crust. Make white, whole wheat, or even gluten free pizza with this recipe.

How to make Pizza Dough with different types of flour

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

You can swap out the all-purpose flour for the 1:1 gluten-free AP flour. Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite kind, it’s a light blue bag.

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.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

  • Use the same amount white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.
  • Use 1 cup whole wheat flour and the rest all-purpose.

You can also make this wtih bread flour – equal amounts to all-purpose.

Different Types of Crust

  • 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. (I love cheesy ranch breadsticks!)
  • You can also season the crust by adding oregano or garlic powder.
  • I sometimes dust my parchment paper with cornmeal when stretching out my dough so that the bottom gets a little extra crunch.
The ULTIMATE Pizza Dough recipe.

Favorite Pizza Recipes

Expert Tips

  • It’s very important that you have your oven preheated very hot, and that you preheat your pan, especially if you want a crunchy crust.
  • Put the baking sheet or pizza pan in the oven to preheat while the oven heats. Make your pizza on a parchment paper then carefully slide 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.
  • Make thin crust pizza by cutting the dough in half to make TWO pizzas.
  • Make thick crust pizza by using the dough for just one pizza.
  • Store pizza dough in the refrigerator tightly wrapped with plastic wrap for up to 24 hours before using. You can also store it in the freezer for up to a month, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
pizza dough rolled up on a cutting board

Best Pizza Dough Recipe

4.03 from 358 votes
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).
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 slice

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup (237ml) warm water (temperature depends on type of yeast)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active-dry or fast-acting yeast (1 normal sized packet) see instructions for different baking directions
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • 3 cups (372g) all-purpose flour (approximate, see notes for alternative flours)
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Instructions

If using ACTIVE DRY YEAST:

  • Measure warm water (between 100°-110°F) 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.

If using FAST-ACTING YEAST:

  • Mix 1 cup flour with salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside. If doing this by hand, just mix it in a large bowl.
  • Measure warm water (between 120°-130°F) in a measuring cup. Add the oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with dough hook, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until a wet mixture forms. Add one more cup flour and continue mixing, then add as much flour as you need for the dough to come together in a ball (about 3/4 cup – 1 cup). If doing this by hand, use a wooden spoon until you can’t anymore then get your hands in the bowl.
  • Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead for just a few minutes, or until the dough comes together and springs back when pressed with two fingers. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

When you’re ready to bake:

  • 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, 10-20 minutes depending on thickness, size, and toppings.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Whole wheat pizza crust: Use white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, or go half and half, using all purpose and regular whole wheat flour.
Gluten free? Great! Use a one-to-one gluten free flour that you can substitute for all-purpose. The dough won’t rise and will have a slightly different texture.
Thick crust pizza: this pizza dough recipe makes one 12″ puffy chewy crust.
Thin crust: Cut the dough into two pieces and make two 12″ thin crusts.
Cut the dough into 4-6 pieces for PERSONAL pizzas!
Breadsticks? NO PROBLEM. Flatten the dough then slice into sticks.
Fast acting yeast is called by different names depending on brand. Fleischmann’s Yeast calls it Rapid Rise, for example.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 285mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
thermapen

Instant Read Thermometer

This helps make sure your water is the correct temperature. I love Thermapen but you can also find cheaper options on Amazon.

red stand mixer

Stand Mixer

A stand mixer makes the dough come together easily when you use the dough hook. Using a stand mixer just means you’ll have less kneading time by hand.

pizza stone cutter and peel

Pizza Stone

I love using a pizza stone for my pizza to give it that crunchy bottom. But you can also just use a cookie sheet or a pizza pan (with or without holes). A pizza peel makes it easy to remove from a hot oven.



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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255 Comments

  1. Hi Dorthy. First I want tell you I absolutely love this recipe, I make it all the time, and it always turns out perfect.This time I would like to make it the night before, to save on time the next day. I wanted to know which yeast would work best, and if you let the dough rise before putting it in the fridge . Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes. Julie. P.S just made the smores rice crispy treats, everyone loved them.

    1. When I make it ahead I usually use active dry yeast and cover it with plastic right before letting it rise and place in the fridge. The fridge will slow down rise time – then let it come to room temp and finish the rise just before using.

      1. Dorothy. Thank you so much for your quick response. I will be making several pizza’s this weekend, so prepping the dough the night before will really help out. Also your no cook pizza sauce is awesome. I will be making that as well. Only addition to that is I add a little anchovy paste. Thank you again. Julie.

  2. Thank you for this great recipe! I have been gluten free for about 40 years. The item I have missed the most is being able to have bread and pizza with a crunchy crust. This recipe produced the pizza of my dreams. I will also try it for bread. Marvelous!!

  3. Amazing recipe! Instructions were followable and dough was easy to work to work with. My sis and bro in law loved the pizza!