Cooks everywhere agree: this is the best pizza dough recipe! It’s a trusted resource for how to make pizza dough with the perfect chewy texture—every time.

How to make pizza dough

Are you ready for next level pizza dough? Alex and I spent the past 10+ years becoming homemade pizza experts. We’ve interviewed chefs and researched the best way to make it at home, with a few trips to Italy. So it’s with pleasure that we share our very best pizza dough recipe! The base recipe was originally published in our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking, but we’ve made a few adjustments to make it even better. You don’t need special equipment: just your bare hands and a passion for pizza. Here are all our secrets on how to make pizza dough⁠!

Video 1: How to make pizza dough

Here’s a video we put together to show you how to make pizza dough, from kneading to stretching! Making a great dough is all about getting your hands dirty. Watch the video first, then scroll down to the recipe to try it yourself.

Best flour for pizza dough

What makes best possible homemade pizza dough recipe? Using great flour. Over the years, we’ve found that if you want the perfect texture, use the flour that professional pizzerias use! The best flour for pizza dough? Tipo 00, a special Italian style of finely ground flour! We order ours online and use it only for our pizza dough.

Tipo 00 makes for the perfect chewy and fluffy texture, but it’s not a requirement. If you prefer, you can use all-purpose flour here. The pizza crust still comes out next level: crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside!

Order it! Tipo 00 flour $15

Kneading pizza dough

How to make pizza dough (4 tips)

Making homemade pizza dough is a fairly simple process. The only part that requires some skill is the stretching. There is also some proof time involved, so make sure to factor that in to your pizza night! Here are some things to note about how to make pizza dough:

1) Refrigerate the dough 1 to 3 days prior to baking (optional!).

Alex and I have interviewed some top rated pizzeria chefs in America and they all agree. The best pizza dough is made in advance and sits in the fridge for 2 to 3 days before baking. This helps it to naturally ferment and brings a nutty, complex flavor! If possible, make this recipe 2 to 3 days in advance of your pizza night. Of course, thinking ahead that much is not always possible! We often don’t, either. You can skip this and the dough is still incredible. (Promise.)

2) Knead the dough by hand, or use a stand mixer.

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need any special equipment for pizza dough. Simply knead it by hand! Alex and I love the tactile nature of hand kneading. But if you do have a KitchenAid or stand mixer, it does a fantastic job and is totally hands off. The kneading time in both cases is 8 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also use our food processor pizza dough recipe. (It’s still tasty, but not nearly as perfect as this recipe.)

3) Allow the dough 45 minutes to rise.

Kneading takes only 8 minutes, so most of the time required for making pizza dough is letting it rise or “proof”! This recipe requires 45 minutes to proof. That means, start making the recipe about 1 hour before you’d like to eat your pizza. (Or make it in advance and refrigerate, as noted above.)

4) Stretching the dough takes a bit of practice (see the video)!

Do you need to throw the pizza dough into the air like in your favorite pizzeria? No. Pat the dough into a circle, then drape it on your knuckles to stretch it. If the dough resists stretching, set it down and let it rest for 1 minute. Once you pick it up again, the gluten will have relaxed and it will be possible to stretch.

Kid kneading dough
Even kids can help with this pizza dough recipe!

Video 2: How to stretch pizza dough

Because the stretching process is so tactile, we made another video about how to stretch pizza dough! Remember, avoid the urge to pull or tear the dough. Any time the dough starts to resist stretching, put it in down and let the gluten in the dough to relax a bit. This lets you stretch it into a perfect circle! See below.

Dough variations

Here are a few variations on this pizza crust recipe if you’re looking for other options:

Best homemade pizza dough recipe

Ready for the recipe?

And that’s it! Head down to the recipe below to follow our detailed instruction on how make pizza dough. Then let us know what you think in the comments below. See More pizza resources under the recipe for topping ideas!

This pizza dough recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.

Best Margherita pizza
This pizza dough makes the BEST margherita pizza
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How to stretch pizza dough

Pizza Dough {Master Recipe}


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 medium pizzas (about 11 inches in diameter) 1x

Description

Cooks everywhere agree: this is the best pizza dough recipe! It’s a trusted resource for how to make pizza dough with the perfect chewy texture—every time.

For the best possible pizza dough, we recommend this pizza stone. Here’s why we love it.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 grams* Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour (3 ⅓ cups)
  • 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 7 grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 338 grams warm water (1 ¼ cups + 3 tablespoons)
  • 13 grams olive oil (1 tablespoon)

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and olive oil and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  2. Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  3. After the kneading is finished, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Using floured hands, gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Set each boule on a floured surface and dab the dough with a bit of olive oil to keep it moist. Cover all boules with a damp towel and allow them to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. The dough can be used immediately. However for the BEST flavor, transfer the dough to separate sealed containers, large enough for the dough to double in size again, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (Alex and I don’t always do this, but we try when possible because it makes for a noticeably nutty, unique flavor that truly is the best homemade pizza dough you’ve ever had.) 
  5. **If you’re using the dough after refrigerating: The day of serving, remove the dough from the containers, place it on a lightly floured surface covered with a towel, and allow it to come to room temperature before stretching, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. To stretch the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and gently press it into a circle, flipping several times and adding a pinch of flour if it is too sticky. Once you have about an 8-inch circle, pick up the dough and gently drape it over the knuckles on both of your hands. Slowly rotate it around, allowing gravity to stretch it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Do not overwork or fold the dough. If the dough starts to resist stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for a few minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily.
  7. We bake our pizzas at 500F and use a pizza peel to transfer it to a preheated pizza stone in the oven: the bake time is around 5 to 7 minutes. See our pizza recipe posts for baking instructions.

Notes

*Using a food scale will ensure you have consistent results every time! We use this one.

  • Category: Essential Recipes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: How to make pizza dough, Best homemade pizza dough, Best pizza dough recipe, Making pizza dough

More pizza recipes & resources

Here are our best pizza resources and recipes on A Couple Cooks:

Last updated: January 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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119 Comments

  1. That’s the secret I don’t think I leave mine long enough also do you have to let it come back to Rome temputure or can you use it straight out of the fridge

    1. Hi! You do need to let it come to room temperature before cooking, otherwise it’s too hard to stretch!

      1. Hello, I absolutely love this recipe. The only change I make is that I use whole wheat and I lil dab of honey I always make 2-3 days ahead of time and the reward is AMAZING!
        Thank you so much for all the tips.. oh I should add that I pre bake for 2-3 minutes then top and bake for 7 minutes at your recommended temp of 500°. oh I just can’t say enough how great it is!

  2. Quick question! The recipe in your book uses instant yeast, and this one uses regular active dry yeast… what is the reason for this difference?

      1. Thanks for the quick response! Making the dough today to have pizza on Friday – will update you on how it goes!

  3. If I am to refrigerate the dough do I still need to cover it with a damp towel and allow it to rise before putting it in the refrigerator or I just put it in directly?

  4. I just mixed my dough following your instructions, and did not activate the “active dry yeast” which was against my instincts. I haven’t done a slow ferment before though so thought it’d be best to follow the instructions. Now I see graduals of yeast on my dough… do I need to start over? If so, it’s be helpful to make it clear to people that it needs to still be activated first!

      1. It is rising! Thank you, and sorry for the spelling errors (autocorrect!). I’m shocked and stoked, I had no idea it would still work without activation. Should I have activated it first for the most optimal results? Thanks!

          1. Hello! When I clicked on the Tipo 00 link you provided, it took me to Amazon with a listing of a brand called Antimo Caputo soft wheat flour. Is this the brand you use for your pizza dough? There seem to be so many different brands out there. I want to make sure I use the same one you use. If you can send a screenshot of the exact one that would be great. Also, I tried your pizza sauce recipe and love It! Sad to say I am not very good in the kitchen, but I like your simple recipes and the pizza sauce was a hit! Thank you for providing such wonderful tried and true recipes that are easy enough for me to try.

          2. Hi! Yes, the Antimo Caputo brand is the one that we usually buy. We’ve tried several brands and they’ve all worked well. If you try the Tipo 00, definitely do the slow rise in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, it makes a HUGE difference on flavor.

            Happy cooking!

  5. Have you tried making pizza using a GF flour? Costco makes a really good all purpose GF flour and there are also several other specialty kinds as well. Curious how this would turn out with GF flour???

    1. Hi! I’ve not tested five days, but I think it maybe end up overproofing a bit and could expand beyond your containers…

  6. I’m excited to try this recipe. I have one concern though. The amount of yeast is 8 grams, where most recipes I’ve tried require much, much less. Will this amount have any affect on the taste of the dough? With so much yeast, will it just keeping rising through the 2-3 days of fermenting?

  7. I tried this recipe, due to the simple calzone recipe. I did not let it sit a day or more in the fridge but I did start it early and let it sit in the fridge for 6 hours. This was the first time i have ever made pizza dough at home and it turned out perfect texture/feel wise. I had only wished I had tried adding some flavor into the dough like garlic powder, basil flakes, and a bit of extra salt maybe. Next time I try to do calzones again and I use this recipe for the dough I may experiment. I didnt even taste salt from what was listed in the recipe. Was just flavor of plain dough and of course what was added inside. But I loved how when I followed the directions it came out perfect to work with. I’ve tried different bread recipes and even when following directions stuff doesnt seem to turn out as great. A lot of messy recipes had me staying away from anything online for a good while. This one was perfect and easy to work with. Thank you so much for sharing it and glad i took a chance on it.

  8. Thank you for your recipe,
    I will be using fresh yeast instead of instant or active dry, so I am wondering about the conversion.
    You mention 8 grams of either active dry or instant. Now for active dry I would need to use twice as much fresh yeast, and for instant four time as much. Therefore could you tell me which one you used?
    Thank you,

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