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.
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
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.
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.
Here are a few variations on this pizza crust recipe if you’re looking for other options:
- Thin Crust Pizza Dough is similar to this recipe, but with a thinner crust! It’s slightly healthier because there is less crust per slice.
- KitchenAid Pizza Dough Recipe is customized for using a stand mixer for the kneading, instead of by hand.
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.Print
- 500 grams* Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour (3 1/3 cups)
- 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 7 grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
- 338 grams warm water (1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons)
- 13 grams olive oil (1 tablespoon)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- **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.
- 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.
- 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.
*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:
- What’s the Best Pizza Oven?
- Mushroom Pizza with Fresh Herbs
- What’s the Best Pizza Stone?
- Homemade Pizza for Beginners
- Best Margherita Pizza
- Pesto Pizza Recipe
- Best Ever Taco Pizza
- Homemade Cheese Pizza
- Mediterranean Pizza
- Breakfast Pizza
- Veggie Supreme Pizza
- Artichoke & Cherry Tomato Pizza
- How to Make Artisan Pizza
- Spicy Vegetarian Diavola Pizza
- Perfect Neapolitan Style Pizza Recipe
- Homemade Pizza Sauce
- Veggie Pizza with Avocado
- Our Best Vegan Pizza
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.