Ultimate Pizza Dough Recipe

4.46 from 53 votes
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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!

Never thought you could make HOMEMADE Pizza Dough? YOU CAN NOW, with this recipe!

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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.

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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 homemade 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, dinner rolls…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. Be sure to use my Homemade NO COOK Pizza Sauce recipe too!

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.

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.

This crust is SO versatile – it’s the ULTIMATE recipe.

  • 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.
  • Want 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. (I love cheesy ranch breadsticks!)

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT with this pizza dough.

What will YOU make with this pizza dough recipe??

The ULTIMATE Pizza Dough recipe.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Most recipes are written for one yeast or the other because the different yeasts require different methods. I’ve saved you some time and am showing you directions for how to make pizza crust from both kinds of yeast!

Make pizza dough with Active Dry Yeast

how to make pizza dough with active dry yeast collage

When you’re using active dry yeast you need to proof it first, so the process goes like this:

  1. Heat the water to 110-115°F and add the sugar and yeast to the water, stir. Let it sit to activate (or bloom) for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir together the flour, salt and oil.
  3. Once the yeast is bubbly, add it to the dry ingredients and mix or knead with a stand mixer (or by hand) until the dough is sticky but not wet.
  4. Knead it on a lightly floured surface, then add it to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Let it rise until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
  6. Then you can make your pizza!

Making pizza crust with Instant Yeast

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.

using instant yeast to make pizza dough

There’s no proofing and less rise time when you’re using instant yeast!

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together (1 cup of flour, sugar, salt and the yeast – no proofing, remember!)
  2. Heat the water to between 120°-130°F and add the oil, then add it to the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix or knead with the dough hook to moisten, then add the rest of the flour and run the mixer until the dough forms a loose and slightly sticky ball.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough forms a ball and, when touched with two fingers, the dough bounces back.
  5. REST for 10 minutes – that’s it!
  6. Make your pizza.

Special tools for making homemade pizza dough

Do you need special tools for making homemade pizza dough? No you don’t, but it can make things go faster. Some things that make it easier:

  • I like using an instant read thermometer to make sure my water is the correct temperature. If you don’t have one, think hot bathwater when you touch it.
  • 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. 
  • I like using a pizza pan or pizza stone for baking my pizza. But you can just use a large cookie sheet as well.

Making 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.

Making Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

To make this whole wheat, you have a few options:

  • Use the same amount white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.
  • Use 1 cup whole wheat flour and the rest all-purpose.
pizza dough on cutting board

Baking tips for pizza:

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 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.

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.

Make Breadsticks by flattening them and using my Cheesy Ranch Breadstick topping!

Pizza Recipes to live by:

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The ULTIMATE Pizza Dough Recipe

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).
4.46 from 53 votes
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 warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons 1 normal sized packet active-dry or fast-acting yeast see instructions for different baking directions
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour approximate, see notes for alternative flours

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.

Nutrition Information

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
Keyword pizza

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pizza dough recipe photo collage

Learn how to make the ULTIMATE Pizza Dough recipe! This homemade pizza crust is easy to make for ANY pizza recipe – you can make it regular, whole wheat or even gluten free pizza! Learn every step so that it’s beyond easy to make your own pizza at home.

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132 CommentsLeave a comment or review

    1. I thought that too when I looked at the recipe so I added extra Italian seasoning to my sauce and garlic butter on the edges before and after baking

  1. At first, in the description, it says to bloom your yeast in hot water.. You NEVER put Yeast in hot water. It kills it, and it wont rise. All yeasts die at 138°F.

  2. This turned out very nice! Just the right thickness for me. It was half inch thick.
    I messed up and didn’t read through the recipe good enough and started my fast acting yeast as if it were active dry. I just went with it and put it into the dry ingredients and oil. It mixed up fine and cooked just fine, too!
    I won’t try that again, though. After I took more time and read the whole article, it had wonderful pointers and information! Thank you for all your hard work!

  3. My, my, my, not only easy but yummy.
    I used rapid rise yeast & baked on my preheated pizza stone. (Yes, I did use the parchment paper) It only needed 10 minutes To bake.

    My hubby said it’s crisp and fluffy. So good!

    Thank you we really enjoyed this.

  4. Loved the recipe! I used regular yeast & the pizza crust was awesome! I have a teenage son in the house, so I liked that it made enough for 2 large pizzas.

    I do have a question for you, though. I’m going to be making 4 large cookie sheet size pizzas for my son’s basketball team meal & baking them at the school, which has a convection oven. I’ve heard that pizzas don’t bake well in those & that I should parbake the crust beforehand. I was hoping to make the pizzas the day before, a Sunday, & then take them to the school the following evening for their meal. If I bake the crust the minimum time to get it done, but not crunchy, put the toppings on & then refrigerate until the next day, do you think the crusts will come out okay. The pizzas would only need to be in the convection oven about 10-12 minutes to get the toppings done.

    Thank you for any advice, & for sharing this great recipe!