Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

easy homemade pizza dough

Homemade pizza is one of the most satisfying and delicious dishes to make for your family and it all starts with this amazing, easy homemade pizza dough, which bakes into the perfect crisp and chewy crust. Top it with all your favorites for a family dinner everyone will love!

whole homemade pizza with easy homemade pizza dough

Pizza dough isn’t really complicated, but you can certainly get lost in the weeds of all the advice out there. Working with a yeast dough is a science and there are many variables that can affect the final outcome. So, there are a lot of interesting details surrounding pizza-making, which combines this science with the art that is creating good food.

We’re simplifying it here for an easy pizza dough that has the nuanced flavor that you want from a more sophisticated dough, but without all the extra hassle. It’s perfect for both beginners or experienced cooks!

easy homemade pizza dough

The Ingredients

Bread Flour – Using bread flour with its higher protein content really makes a difference here. You can sub in AP flour and it will still be delicious, but you won’t get quite the same stretch or pliability and your final pizza won’t be quite as good. It’s worth it to grab some bread flour! Our favorite is King Arthur Bread Flour, which has a protein content of 12.7%. (For an interesting article on why protein content matters, read this.)

Whole Wheat Flour and Flax Meal – These additions make up a very small part of the dough, but they do lend quite a bit of flavor. Adding both creates a deeper flavor than what you get with bread flour alone. There’s not enough to interfere with the way the dough behaves but adds slightly nutty, richer notes to the crust.

Yeast (and Honey) – The yeast is what makes the dough rise, releasing gasses that are captured in the tiny spaces created by the flour’s gluten network. We use dry active yeast, which you need to wake up by whisking it into warm water. The honey acts as a little food to get the yeast going. You can use the packets or buy yeast in larger packages. Just be sure to get the right type, and not “instant yeast.”

Salt – Salt is essential for flavoring the dough. We like the crystals and flavor of Diamond Crystal kosher salt with nothing added to it. Careful with the salt, though, as it can kill the yeast if they get mixed together too soon. If you only have table salt, use half as much.

Water – The water is what helps the flour form gluten and become the stretchy, silky dough you want for a pizza. We need warm water here to activate the yeast. If you struggle with yeast, this is likely the culprit. Too cold and the yeast won’t wake up quickly enough; too hot and the yeast will die. You can use a thermometer to make sure you are at that target temp of 110 degrees F, but you can also test it on your wrist. The right temp is not far above the normal body temperature of most humans, and is about the same as a warmed baby bottle.

easy homemade pizza dough made into a large pizza

Mixing Your Dough

This is really so easy. First, wake up your yeast by whisking it with the honey into your warm water. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine your flours, flax meal, and salt. When the yeast looks foamy, pour it over the flour and stir until combined. If using a stand mixer, which is the easiest method, use your dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until the dough comes together.

Once the dough is fully mixed, knead on medium low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is very elastic. Use the visual cues in the recipe to know when the dough is kneaded enough. You can do this by hand, too, on a lightly oiled, clean countertop. (Note that the lightly oiled counter will keep your dough from sticking while preventing the absorption of additional flour into the dough, which may change the texture of your dough and change how it bakes.)

Now that you’ve kneaded the dough, place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over so that it is coated with the oil all over, then loosely cover the bowl and place it in a warm spot on your counter to rise for about an hour.

sausage and pepper pizza

Assemble Your Toppings

Just before your dough is ready, assemble your toppings so they are ready to go when you roll out your easy homemade pizza dough. Use whatever you like best! Try not to use too much, though, or your dough won’t bake as well. No one wants a soggy crust from too much sauce, too many toppings, or toppings that are too wet! Any toppings that need to be fully cooked to eat (like chicken, sausage, or other meats) must be cooked before using them to top your pizza. They will not cook through as your pizza bakes!

Roll and Bake

When your dough is about double its original size, it is ready to roll and bake. Push your (clean!) finger into the dough – it should leave a dent and not spring back readily. If the dent disappears, the dough needs some additional time to fully rise.

You can shape your pizza crust by gently stretching the dough into one large or two small rounds. Or press it into a rectangular baking sheet if you like. Or roll it out with a rolling pin. This dough will make one very large 16-18 inch pizza or two smaller pizzas. Roll it very thin or a little thicker. We like in the middle somewhere and roll it about 18 inches across. It will rise (thicken) a little in the oven.

rolled out pizza dough

Be sure to leave a rim of dough at the edge to keep all of those toppings in place! For an extra special, and amazingly delicious, touch, make some garlic butter or oil to brush onto the crust before baking. Simply place 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil in a small microwave-safe dish and add a crushed garlic clove. Heat on high for 1 minute, then let set while your dough rises. After rolling out your crust, brush the edges with your garlic butter/oil, then sprinkle with a little fleur de sel or fine sea salt. The crunch, salty bite, and hint of garlic is so delicious!

At the end of the baking time, your crust should be golden and the toppings browned in spots. Slide it off of your pizza pan (if possible) and bake for a few minutes right on the oven rack to further crisp up that bottom crust. 

homemade pizza cut into slices

Serving Your Easy Homemade Pizza

Once the pizza has baked, allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving. Leftovers, if you are lucky enough to have any, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days and refreshed by heating for 5-10 minutes in a low oven (300 degrees F).

slice of homemade pizza

Try one of these salads for a tasty side dish!

And don’t forget dessert! Why not whip up one of these delicious options?

Enjoy!

pizza slice on a plate
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easy homemade pizza dough

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza is one of the most satisfying and delicious dishes to make for your family and it all starts with this amazing, easy homemade pizza dough, which bakes into the perfect crisp and chewy crust. Top it with all your favorites for a family dinner everyone will love!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 9 ounces (1-1/4 cups) warm water (110 degrees F.)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 10 ounces (2-1/2 cups) bread flour
  • 3 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole wheat flour
  • 1 ounce (3 tablespoons) ground flax seed
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the warm water, yeast, and honey. Set aside to activate the yeast. Within 5 minutes, the mixture should be foamy and smell like bread.
  • While the yeast wakes up, combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, flax meal, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • When the yeast mixture is foamy, pour it all at once into the dry ingredients and begin mixing with the dough hook on low until the flour is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-low and allow the mixer to knead the dough for 10 minutes. Alternatively, mix the dough in a large bowl, then turn out onto a lightly oiled counter and knead for 15 minutes.
  • When done kneading, return the dough to the bowl (or keep in the mixer bowl and remove the dough hook) before drizzling about a teaspoon of olive oil over the surface of the dough. Turn to coat all sides, then cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rest and rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough is almost done rising, preheat your oven to 450 degree F and spray a large pizza pan (or two smaller pans) with baking spray. Scrape the dough from the bowl; stretch and press (or roll with a rolling pin) into a 16-inch circle on top of your pan (or two smaller circles on two pans).
  • Lightly brush the edges all around with olive oil or melted butter, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Add your favorite sauce and toppings, then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges and bottom are golden brown and crispy. Rotate the pizza halfway through the baking time. At the end of the baking time, slide the pizza off of the pan directly onto your oven rack for 2-3 minutes to further crisp the bottom.
  • Remove from the oven using the pizza pan and allow to rest in the pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

  • The whole wheat flour and ground flax add another dimension of flavor that really elevates this crust. But if you don’t have (or don’t love) them, feel free to substitute additional bread flour (using the weight measurements) for one or both.
  • For a cheese-filled crust, roll out your dough but leave the edges a little thicker than normal. Cut string cheese in half lengthwise and place the halves end to end along the entire outer edge of the pizza. (This will take 5-6 strips of string cheese.) Gently and stretch the dough out and over each piece of cheese to fully enclose it. Press to seal the dough, then finish preparing the pizza and bake as directed above.
  • For an even more flavorful crust, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter along with 1 crushed clove of garlic in the microwave for 1 minute (or in a small pot until bubbling). Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then use this to brush the crust before finishing your pizza. Sprinkle with sea salt before baking for an extra special and flavorful finish.
  • This recipe was inspired by Nancy Silverton’s pizza dough recipe, which can be found in her cookbook Mozza.
Keyword crust, dough, pizza
Tag @mealtimejoy on instagram if you made this recipe

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