Pizza Dough Master Recipe

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

As you may know, we’re artisan pizza experts around here. Alex and I have spent the past 10 years researching the best way to make pizza at home, including several trips to Italy. So it’s with great pleasure that we unveil our latest greatest best pizza dough recipe! Our previous best dough was published in our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking. Since then we’ve made some adjustments to our base recipe to make it even better and more next level, if that’s possible. You don’t need any special equipment: just your bare hands and a passion for pizza. Keep reading for all our secrets on how to make pizza dough⁠—and a video!

Video: How to make pizza dough

Before we start: here’s a video we put together to show you the entire process of how to make pizza dough, from kneading to stretching! Making great dough is all about getting your hands dirty, so watch the video and then scroll down to the recipe to try it yourself.

Kneading pizza dough

Best flour for pizza dough

Before we start, what makes best possible homemade pizza dough? Using great flour. Over the years, we’ve found that if you want the perfect texture, use the flour that professional pizzerias use! It’s called Tipo 00 and it’s a special Italian style of finely ground flour. We order ours online and use it only for our pizza dough. But if you prefer, you can absolutely use all-purpose flour here: the dough still comes out next level.

Order it! Tipo 00 flour $15

Best homemade pizza dough recipe

How to make pizza dough

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

Tip 1: For best flavor, refrigerate the dough 2 to 3 days prior to baking (optional).

Alex and I have interviewed some top rated pizzeria chefs in America and they all agree. For the best pizza dough flavor, “ferment” it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days before baking. Letting the dough sit in the refrigerator helps it to naturally ferment and brings a nutty, complex flavor.

If you think of it, it’s helpful to make this recipe 2 to 3 days in advance. However, this is a totally optional step. You can make the dough the day of and it’s still incredible. (Promise.)

Tip 2: You can hand knead the dough, or use a stand mixer.

Contrary to popular belief, 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.)

Tip 3: The dough requires a 45 minute rise, so plan ahead.

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. So make sure to start the recipe about 1 hour before you’d like to eat your pizza. (Or make it in advance and refrigerate, as noted above.)

Tip 4: Stretching the dough takes a bit of practice.

The only other part of how to make pizza dough that requires a little bit of finesse is shaping it! Do you need to throw it into the air like in your favorite pizzeria? No. The key here is to pat the dough into a circle, then drape it on your knuckles to stretch it. If at any time the dough resists stretching, set it down and let it rest for a minute. Once you pick it up again, the gluten will have relaxed and it will be possible to stretch. Scroll down to our video to watch the process.

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

Video: How to stretch pizza dough

Because this process is so tactile, we made another video just about how to stretch pizza dough! The key is to not pull or tear the dough. Any time the dough starts to resist stretching, put it in down for 30 seconds or a minute and then resume. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax a bit and stretch into a perfect circle.

Pizza dough
Pizza dough doubled in size after the 45 minute proof

Dough variations

We have a few dough variations if you’re looking for other options. Our Thin Crust Pizza Dough is similar to this recipe, but results in a thinner crust! This is also slightly healthier because there is less crust per slice. We also have a KitchenAid Pizza Dough Recipe that is customized for using a stand mixer for the kneading.

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!

Also, see the “More pizza resources” section under the recipe for topping ideas and other notes.

Best Margherita pizza
This pizza dough makes the BEST margherita pizza

This pizza dough recipe is…

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

Print
Homemade pizza

Pizza Dough Master Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (53 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

  • 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.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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)

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:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.

34 Comments

  • Reply
    Karl
    April 7, 2019 at 4:33 am

    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

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 7, 2019 at 8:53 pm

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

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    April 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 9, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Hi! Sorry for the confusion, Instant or Active Dry yeast will both work for this recipe!

      • Reply
        Vanessa
        April 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm

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

        • Reply
          Sonja
          April 22, 2019 at 9:22 am

          Please let us know how it turned out!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    June 1, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    What is the serving size for this?

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 2, 2019 at 10:02 pm

      Hi! The nutrition info is per slice.

  • Reply
    Charlene
    June 6, 2019 at 7:14 am

    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?

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 6, 2019 at 9:15 am

      You still let the dough rise before refrigerating! Thanks for clarifying :)

  • Reply
    TJ
    June 6, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Hi! No, your bread should rise just fine!

      • Reply
        TJ
        June 6, 2019 at 6:37 pm

        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!

        • Reply
          Alex
          June 7, 2019 at 4:37 pm

          We never activate the yeast for our breads and have never had an issue.

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 8, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    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???

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 8, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      I haven’t tried it. Sorry!

  • Reply
    Karin
    June 9, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Can I leave it to ferment for 5 days. I want to make on a Sunday for a Friday event

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm

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

  • Reply
    Jimmy
    June 28, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 30, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      It will keep rising for the 3 days, but as long as it’s refrigerated it only doubles in size.

  • Reply
    Nyx
    July 11, 2019 at 4:18 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Alex
      July 11, 2019 at 7:43 am

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    MS
    August 8, 2019 at 6:03 am

    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,

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 8, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Hi! I’ve used both to good effect. Just allow to rise until doubled in size!

  • Reply
    MS
    August 8, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Also, why does your video mention 450g of flour and your written recipe 500? That’s quite a difference.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 8, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      Sorry about this, we recently updated the recipe card to 500 grams because it makes 3 perfectly sized rounds. The method from the video still applies!

      • Reply
        Cookie
        October 11, 2019 at 9:20 am

        Hi, do you punch the dough after the first rise and before putting it in the fridge right? So it’s like sexond rising and you do a third one on the counter again when you take it out?

        i use exactly the same recipe for years with the same amount of yeasts but never tried the cold fermentation and i want to let it rest in the fridge 10-12 hours before putting them in the oven.

        Thanks!

        • Reply
          Alex Overhiser
          October 11, 2019 at 10:33 am

          Hi! I shape them into balls and place in separate containers in the fridge. Once they come out and reach room temp, they basically stretch themselves.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    September 28, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Hi! Love your recipes and plan to use the dough and sauce. We are having a make-your-own pizza party for our daughters birthday. We have peels and a pizza oven. With so many pizza’s to make, we were wondering if there are any advanced steps we can take? We can make and refrigerate the dough ahead of time as you suggest but what about rolling out the dough into individual pizzas ahead of time and storing in the refrigerator? Or freezing? My husband does the pizza but hard to be inside rolling out dough and outside manning the pizza oven at the same time. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 30, 2019 at 10:03 am

      That sounds so fun! Unfortunately, we haven’t tested any methods for pre-rolling out the doughs. Generally, I’m running back and forth between stretching and the oven while Sonja does the toppings :)

      We’ll look into this for the future though!

  • Reply
    Celina Marie Schneider
    October 4, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    This is the best recipe we have tried for grilled pizza! One question: instead of refrigerating, can we freeze until we want to use? We only used 1 of the 3 balls and won’t make pizza again for at least a week.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 4, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      Awesome! We love this recipe :)

      To freeze: Place each dough ball in a freezer proof bag and put in the freezer. The morning that you are going to use the dough, remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw. About 30 minutes before making the pizza, take it out of the baggie and allow it to relax on the counter, covered with a towel.

  • Reply
    Tonya Kistner
    October 4, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    We have absolutely loved your recipe. I have never used my Cuisinart so much in my life! Got Farina00 flour as a gift from my niece and her boyfriend from their trip to Italy. We already had a pizza stone for the grill so it seemed like a perfect fit. Thank you so much for your recipe, it has changed my pizza life. It will be around for the kids and grandkids I am sure:). We make it for Friday pizza night and make our own dough, sauce and fresh basil and mozzarella for a beautiful Margherita pizza. I honestly love it more than any other pizza I could ever order for take out:). Thank you so much!!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 4, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      This is the best! So glad you love the recipe and much as we do! :) Pizza Fridays forever!

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