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This homemade pizza dough recipe really is the best! Here’s how to make pizza dough with the perfect fluffy, chewy texture—every time.
Ready for next level pizza dough? Here at A Couple Cooks, we’ve spent the past decade becoming homemade pizza experts. We’ve interviewed chefs, done endless research, and even made a few trips to Italy to taste the real thing. So it’s with pleasure that we share our very best pizza dough recipe! You don’t even need special equipment: just your bare hands and a passion for pizza. Here are all our secrets on how to make pizza dough!
Best flour for pizza dough
What makes best possible homemade pizza dough recipe? Using great flour. Our top choice is the flour that professional pizzerias use, called Tipo 00. But you can use other types of flour if you have them on hand or can’t find Tipo 00. Here’s what to know about types of flours for pizza dough:
- Tipo 00 flour, a finely ground flour used in Italian cuisine, is the best choice for pizza dough. Its strength and elasticity make a light and airy crust with a crispy exterior. The high gluten content lets the dough stretch easily without tearing, creating a fluffy, chewy texture. Tipo 00 is becoming more widely available at American grocery stores, or you can order it online.
- Bread flour, a type of flour that is high in gluten and protein, can also be used for pizza dough. The high protein content helps to create a nice chewiness in the dough. The main disadvantage of this type of flour is that it’s not as light and airy as Tipo 00. But if you have it on hand, it’s preferred over all-purpose flour.
- All-purpose flour also works for this homemade pizza dough recipe. The main advantage is that it’s widely available and inexpensive. However, the gluten content in all-purpose flour is not as high as Tipo 00 or bread flour flour, making the pizza crust slightly more dense and crumbly. However, all-purpose flour still makes for an excellent homemade pizza dough!
How to make pizza dough
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 know about how to make pizza dough: or simply go right to the recipe!
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. You can knead it by hand! We love the tactile nature of hand kneading and it comes out great. However, 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.
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.” Set each dough ball on a floured surface, dab with olive oil, cover with a damp towel, and allow them to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. So, make sure to start making the recipe about 1 hour before you’d like to eat your pizza. You can also make it in advance and refrigerate: keep reading!
Refrigerate the dough 1 to 3 days prior to baking (optional!).
Here at A Couple Cooks, we’ve interviewed some top rated pizzeria chefs in America and they all agree. For the best pizza dough, make it in advance and refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days before baking. This naturally ferments the dough, infusing a nutty, complex flavor. Of course, thinking ahead by 2 to 3 days is not always possible! You can skip this step and the dough still tastes incredible. (Promise.)
Tips for stretching the dough
Do you have to throw homemade pizza dough into the air like in your favorite pizzeria? While it looks fancy, this type of stretching is not required for homemade dough! It’s easiest to learn by watching: watch our How to Stretch Pizza Dough video before you start. Here are a few tips for stretching pizza dough:
- Prep the dough: Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour.
- Pat into a circle: 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.
- Drape the dough over your knuckles: 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. If it resists stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for a few minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily.
Can you freeze pizza dough?
Yes! You can freeze any pizza dough balls you don’t plan to use the day of. After it rises, place it in a freezer proof bag and remove extra air with a straw. Freeze for up to 3 months. Go to How to Freeze Pizza Dough for more about how to defrost the dough when using it.
Pizza dough variations
This homemade pizza dough recipe produces a deliciously fluffy pizza crust that’s crisped on the outside and chewy on the inside. It’s perfect for a standard, artisan-style pizza. But if you’re looking for something different, here are a few variations on this pizza crust recipe:
- Thin crust: This Thin Crust Pizza Dough is similar to this recipe, but with a thinner crust! It’s slightly easier to make because you can roll the dough out instead of stretching it.
- Pan pizza: Try Perfect Pan Pizza, with a thicker crust made in a cast iron pan.
- Focaccia pizza: This Focaccia Pizza is simple to make with an extremely thick, fluffy crust.
- Sheet pan pizza: Make a big Sheet Pan Pizza, the equivalent of 3 medium pizzas.
- Pizza oven dough: This Pizza Oven Dough is optimized for an outdoor pizza oven (though the recipe below works as well).
- Gluten free dough: This Gluten Free Pizza Dough is stretchy and satisfying, perfect for those with special diets.
This pizza dough recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.Print
- 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)
- 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 at room temperature until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- The dough can be used immediately: go to Step 6. For next-level flavor, you can 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. (We 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.) You can also freeze pizza dough you don’t plan to use that day.
- **If you’re using the dough after refrigerating: The day of serving, remove the dough from the refrigerated 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. (This is not required if you’re using the dough immediately after proofing.)
- 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 a few more of our best pizza resources and recipes on A Couple Cooks: