This homemade pizza dough for beginners has just a few ingredients. No special flour is needed. I have made this with bread flour and all-purpose flour. While you can use a mixer or food processor to pull the dough together, I just use a bowl and spoon.
If you have 40 minutes, you can make your own pizza dough that will bake up into a perfect crust for your next homemade pizza night in.
Pizza Crust Made with Yeast
I love the smell of yeast baked goods. Especially when they are rising. For me, the yeast has that unforgettable taste and texture that just makes it delicious. If you have never worked with yeast before, a pizza dough is a great way to get started as this recipe uses basic ingredients. Nothing fancy, with scrumptious results.
Best Flour for a Homemade Pizza Dough
If you have looked around for an easy pizza dough recipe, you have probably seen some calling for bread flour and some using all-purpose flour. I have used both in this recipe with success.
The bread flour seems to have a bit crisper crust. Whereas the all-purpose flour is a bit softer. However, if I want more crisp to the crust, I bake it a bit longer.
Using Cake Yeast Versus Active Dry Yeast
I have used both cake yeast and active dry yeast for this recipe. I use the same amount. However, when using the active dry yeast, I will add it to the warm water and let it proof about 5 minutes before adding it to the dry ingredients. However, some folks have had success just adding the yeast to the dry ingredients and not letting it proof.
How do you shape the pizza dough?
While I worked in a few restaurants in my day, I do not have the skills to toss the dough in the air to stretch it out. Therefore, I generally use a combination of a rolling pin and my hands. The rolling pin gets things started and my hands help get the final stretching complete.
This pizza dough can be rolled into a circle or rectangle. It can become any shape you need for your baking pan of choice.
I generally shape the dough on a floured surface and gently place on a pizza pan or half sheet pan that has been brushed with olive oil or sprayed with oil and do a bit of final stretching if needed. (It makes for easy clean up).
If you want to add a lot of sauce or toppings, then you might want to fold over the edge a bit for a thicker crust.
Reheating Pizza with a Crispy Crust
No matter how hard I try, leftover pizza is not the same as when it is first made. However, there are a few options for getting it close.
Some in my family just pop it into the microwave for a minute and think that is great. Well, maybe if I was in a hurry.
But I want that crisp crust and hot melty toppings again.
Therefore, if reheating a lot of pizza, I will put it on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8-10 minutes; until hot and the cheese is melty.
Another way to achieve the crisp crust with the hot melty toppings is to pop it into a pan. I have used a cast iron and a non-stick skillet with success. The key is in not having the heat too high and making sure that there is a lid on the pan.
Just heat the pan to medium place the leftover pizza in the pan, pop on the lid. It will take about 6-8 minutes for the crust to crisp up again and the toppings to get hot.
Make This Pizza Dough in Advance
This is a forgiving recipe to make in advance. Perfect recipe to make the dough on the weekend when you may have more time. When you get home from a busy day, roll it out, pre-bake for 10 minutes. While the dough is baking, prepare the toppings. When the dough is ready, just add your toppings and bake another 15 minutes.
The dough will store up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Freeze this dough too for up to a month. Just allow the dough to thaw before using for pizza crust.
Overview: Homemade Pizza Dough
This pizza dough has basic ingredients: flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Sometimes I will add a bit of garlic right to the dough to give it extra flavor.
Let the dough rise about 30-60 minutes until doubled in size. If you are making this pizza dough and your house is not warm enough, heat up the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the oven off and place the dough in the oven to let it rise.
Once the pizza dough is rolled out and in your baking dish, make sure to poke it with a fork. This is called docking. It helps to keep the crust from bubbling up during the pre-baking process.
I like a crispier crust, so I do pre-bake my dough for 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While that is pre-baking, I prepare my toppings.
Add the sauce and toppings to the crust and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately another 15 minutes. Until the toppings are baked, and the cheese is all melty.
Homemade Pizza Dough for Beginners
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- 1 3/4 cup warm water 105-115 Degrees Fahrenheit
- 1 packet instant yeast 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour OR bread flour and a bit more for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder Optional
- Add the yeast and the sugar to the warm water approximately 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Combine the of flour, and salt in a large bowl. If desired, add garlic powder at this point as well.
- Then add the olive oil and warm water mixture to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir well very well.
- Sometimes, it is necessary to add as much as an 1/3 additional cup of flour. You will know when the dough has the correct amount of liquid when the dough is forming an elastic ball and beginning to pull away from the sides of the bowl. However, the dough will still be a bit sticky yet.
- In a separate large, clean bowl, brush with olive oil. I have also used spray oil for this, and it has worked out well.
- Using your hands, form the dough into a round ball and transfer to the bowl that has been brushed with oil. Hint: lightly dust your hands to minimize the dough sticking.
- Roll the ball around in the bowl a bit to coat it with the oil. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 30-60 minutes (until doubled in size). If you are making this pizza dough and your house is not warm enough, heat up the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the oven off and place the dough in the oven to let it rise.
- When the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to use for making pizza. At this point, you could also store in refrigerator or freezer for later too.
- Deflate the dough and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3-5 minutes until it is smooth.
- Use your hands or a rolling pin, or both to shape into a 12-inch circle or rectangle for a baking sheet.
- Transfer dough to a parchment paper lined pizza pan or a pan sprayed with oil. Sometimes I do a bit of reshaping at this point and brush on some olive oil
- Poke the crust with a fork about one inch apart. Then pre-bake the crust in a preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes. I like to do this for a crispier crust. If you are not a fan of crispy crust, you can skip this part.
- Add the sauce and toppings to the crust and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately another 15 minutes. Until the toppings are baked, and the cheese is all melty.