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Simple Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

I make homemade pizza dough on the regular. Whenever we have Movie Night with Mommy, they ask for pizza and popcorn as part of the ritual. Besides, it’s easier than you think! Some links are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you buy from them.

Pizza is a go to dinner. My kids love to customize their pizzas with their favorite ingredients.

Homemade pizza dough ready to roll out on a wooden board.

What kind of pizza can I make with homemade pizza dough?

Right now, Mister Man is going through a phase where he loves mushrooms on everything. Little Miss usually likes her dairy free pizza with tomatoes or bacon, but she loves when I have pepperoni in the house.

Me? I like plain cheese with hot sauce (try it!) or I go all out with spinach and feta and tomatoes and kalamata olives.

My husband eats anything, lucky me. We can make pizza as flexible and different as our personalities.

My flat out favorite right now is this asparagus and goat cheese pizza. Of course, I may also make extra dough just so I have enough to enjoy a s’mores dessert pizza, too.

Can I use this homemade pizza dough for anything else?

You absolutely can use this dough for other recipes. It makes a delicious chewy crust, and the dough is stretchy enough to work for other purposes, too.

I love to make different kinds of pizza inspired “cinnamon rolls” with it. Both pizza rolls ups and pork cinnamon rolls using leftover pulled pork are delicious with this dough.

I use this same dough to make homemade calzones, too.

While I wouldn’t use it to bake a loaf of bread, there are plenty of things you can make with pizza dough if you don’t want traditional pizza. You saw me mention my dessert pizza above, right?

What kind of sauce do I use on homemade pizza?

A smooth tomato sauce is the traditional sauce for pizza, and I love this pizza sauce that’s ready in about 15 minutes. I make it while my dough rises and I prep the toppings, and the timing works perfectly.

It’s simple enough that the wee ones can make it themselves, but you know I always end up with this job anyway! The sauce stores well in the fridge if I have any left over, so I can make spaghetti or lasagna or another meal, too.

You can also use pesto, oil and chopped garlic, buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, or alfredo sauce. Depending on the toppings, there are plenty of options that work well as the sauce for your homemade pizza.

I also save my dough sometimes and make a breakfast pizza where I use almost fully cooked scrambled eggs as the “sauce.” (They cook the rest of the way in the oven.)

What kind of flour should I use?

When I make my homemade pizza dough, I use the same all purpose unbleached flour I use for most of my cooking and baking. It works just fine, and it’s nice to not have to swap buy something special.

This works well with bread flour or whole wheat flour, too, though you may need to adjust how much water you add. I’ve had readers email me to tell me that they make it this way all the time, so go for it.

However, do not use cake flour, as it doesn’t have enough protein in it to form the gluten strands you want. I have never experimented with gluten free flour alternatives, so I can’t speak to how well they work, but I’d love to hear your experience if you try it.

Can I freeze pizza dough?

Absolutely! Pizza dough freezes great. Just place it into a plastic bag, push out all the air, and seal it. Pop it into the freezer once you finish mixing it.

The dough lasts in the freezer for about a month, so you can make big batches and save the dough for later. Make sure you separate the dough into the amount you want for each pizza before you freeze it though!

How hot should water be to make pizza dough?

Whenever you use yeast, you want warm water to ensure the yeast activates quickly. However, if you use water that is too hot, it will kill the yeast, and nothing will rise.

Ideally, you want the water warm to the touch but not so hot that it’s uncomfortable to hold your hand under it. Most homes have the maximum tap temp set to 120 degrees, and that is more than warm enough.

If you get above 130 degrees, you run the risk of your yeast no longer being viable, and you definitely kill it at 140 degrees.

If you use cooler water, your yeast will still rise, but not as quickly. I’ve done a test with cold water from the tap, and it worked but the rise time was far longer.

Want more info about yeast? This article shares everything you ever wanted to know about working with yeast.

How do I thaw frozen pizza dough?

To use the frozen dough, place it in the fridge the night before you want to use it. It will thaw and start to rise just a little bit. 

Alternatively, you can defrost the dough in an hour or two by using cold water. Keep the frozen dough in its sealed bag and submerge it completely in a bowl of cold water. Check it, and once it’s pliable, you’re good to go.

If you need to defrost your dough faster, you can use warm water and change it every 10 to 15 minutes, but be careful that you don’t cook your dough by accident. If you really need it quickly, you’re probably best off making a fresh batch of dough!

Use your thawed pizza dough exactly the way you would fresh pizza dough.

Need some more pizza ideas? Check out some of my favorites at the end of this article.

Round of pizza dough sitting on a wooden board.

Pro Tips to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

This recipe makes enough for two pizzas, three if I make them smaller and really thin crust pizzas. Once the dough is ready, simply roll out on a well-floured surface.

Place dough on a pizza peel topped with cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking or on an oiled baking sheet for a chewier crust. Add sauce, toppings, and cheese, then bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, depending on how heavily you add toppings.

You can, if you choose, refrigerate your homemade pizza dough. If you do so, make sure to remove it a half hour before making your pizzas to make it easier to stretch out.

Alternatively, you can also place it in a plastic bag and freeze it for up to a month. This is perfect to prep ahead.

My favorite way to use pizza dough in the summer? I grill it. Yes, you heard me right, and that includes making an amazing dessert s’mores pizza.

How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

Start with warm tap water and yeast in your mixing bowl. You want it to be warm to the touch but not uncomfortable so.

If the water is over 120 degrees, your yeast won’t live. Let it proof for five minutes, especially if you haven’t used it lately. When it gets foamy, this verifies your yeast is good to go.

Add olive oil, salt, and flour. Turn your stand mixer with the dough hook to low. You can also make this by hand with a wooden spoon to mix.

Once the dough comes together, it should be sticky but not so wet that the dough sticks thickly to your fingers. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time.

Mix well between additions to ensure the dough incorporates the flour fully. Adding too much flour is tempting, so add it slowly.

Let your stand mixer go for seven or so minutes, or knead by hand for 10-15 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and soft like a baby’s bottom and spring back a little when you poke it.

Once it’s well kneaded, remove the dough hook or return the dough to your bowl if you kneaded by hand. Cover with a damp towel in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.

After rising, remove from the bowl and divide into two equal size pieces. Either store in the fridge for two to three days loosely covered (let some air in so the yeast doesn’t die) or use immediately.

Have you ever made homemade pizza dough?

Check out some of my favorite pizza ideas:

Round of pizza dough sitting on a wooden board.

Homemade Pizza Dough

Yield: dough for 2 pizzas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes

This simple homemade pizza dough recipe is perfect for any toppings you can add. It makes enough for two delicious pizzas, enough to feed a family for Pizza Night. This simple and forgiving recipe is a great introduction to working with yeast.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

Instructions

  1. Add warm water to bowl with yeast. Let proof for five minutes. Continue if yeast turns foamy, or toss and start over with new yeast if it doesn't.
  2. Add olive oil, salt, and flour. Combine in stand mixer with dough hook on low. If too sticky, add additional flour one tablespoon at a time. Let knead seven minutes.
  3. Turn off when dough springs back a little when you poke it. Cover with a damp towel in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.
  4. After rising, remove from the bowl and divide into two equal size pieces. Use immediately for your favorite pizza recipe or store in a loosely covered container in the fridge for up to three days.

Notes

  • You can freeze this in plastic bags for up to month if you make ahead. Let defrost in the fridge for a day, then let warm up from the fridge for a half hour before stretching for your pizzas.
  • To bake, add sauce and toppings, then bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes, depending on how heavily you top your pizza.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 triangular slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe above and save it on Pinterest so you can find it to make again and again. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think about it, too!

Collage of two images showing pizza dough rounds with text Simple Homemade Pizza Dough.

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  1. […] house, too. My kids love when we make pizza, and it turns into a fun family activity. I make my own pizza dough, which makes enjoying pizza regularly more economical than ordering them in. We love having fun […]

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