This easy one bowl pizza dough is our go to for family pizza night. We have tried so many pizza crusts over the years, overnight ones, double rise ones, sourdough ones, but I always come back to this easy homemade pizza dough recipe. It never fails to deliver a tender chewy crust with minimal effort. It just results in the best homemade pizza.
I love to make homemade pizza on a Friday night to enjoy on the deck or before a movie or game night when its cold out!
I know the idea of making your own homemade pizza crust can be intimidating and there are plenty of frozen pizza dough options at the grocery store but making your own pizza dough has so much more flavor. We also love being able to pick our own toppings and make individual pizzas when people want different things! The whole family likes to get involved!
This Easy homemade pizza dough only requires a few basic ingredients and can be prepped the day before and left in the refrigerator until you are ready to make your pizzas!
Easy Pizza Dough Ingredients:
yeast: you need 2 1/4 teaspoons or one packet of instant yeast for this recipe. The kind of yeast I typically use is Red Platinum or Fleischman’s active dry yeast.
water: You need what alot of recipes describe as “hand hot water”. This is just warm water, around 100 degrees, which helps keep the rise time short. Anything above 130 will kill your yeast so try to stick in the 100-110 degree range.
olive oil: the olive oil enhances the chewy texture of the crust while also adding flavor and color to the crust. You also want to brush a little on your bowl before rising and on your pan before spreading out the crust!
sugar: a little sugar helps the yeast develop faster and keeps the dough lights and tender.
salt: salt is where all the flavor in the crust comes from.
bread flour: if you like a classic chewy Italian style pizza crust use half bread flour. The high protein content is going to give you dough the elasticity you need to develop a nice chewy crust.
all purpose flour: all purpose flour or all purpose einkorn flour are our go to for pizza because while bread flour provides the chew all purpose flour gives you that crisp bottom. However if you want to sub it for whole wheat flour add more water one tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency.
How to make easy pizza dough:
Mix your warm water, yeast, and sugar together in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Cover and allow to rest while you measure out your other ingredients.
Add the olive oil, salt, and lastly the flour. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. The amount of water you need depends a little on the brand and age of your flour. Just add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until your dough comes together.
Turn your dough out onto a cleaned work surface lightly coated with flour.
Knead by hand, I like doing this by hand because I genuinely enjoy it and I find it easier to know when the dough is done. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If you don’t want to knead by and you can do it in a mixer for 2 minutes using the dough hook attachment.
How do you know when your pizza dough is kneaded enough? Poke it gently with your finger! If the dough slowly bounces back it is ready to go! If the indentation from your finger stays keep kneading.
Place dough into a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrapping. Set aside to rise for about 2 hours in a warm spot. For us the best warm place is in the off oven with the light turned on.
It can also rise overnight in the refrigerator. Letting your dough rise overnight in the refrigerator will actually results in an even more flavorful pizza crust!
Punch down the risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide your pizza dough in 2 even pieces and form them into balls. Rest under a clean dish towel while you prep your pan and toppings.
What if I don’t want to use my pizza dough right away?
Brush with olive oil and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pizza dough will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Bring back up to room temperature before using.
How to turn Easy Pizza Dough into Pizza:
Preheat your oven to 475.
Lightly grease your preferred pizza pan or cookie sheet with olive oil.
Stretch one of your dough balls at a time into pizza your preferred pizza shape. Begin by using your fist to gently punch down the center of the dough ball, leaving a slightly thicker edge for the outside crust of the pizza.
Rotate your pan pushing your dough outward from the center until you have your desired pizza shape. If you want a thick crust pizza leave more dough around the edges.
Lightly brush olive oil on top of the dough for a beautiful golden color and to prevent sogginess. Top with your favorite pizza sauce and toppings. I love sausage with roasted red pepper, mushrooms, and red onion on mine but last week we did bacon with leftover portobello mushrooms and it was so so good!
Bake pizza at 475 for about 10-15 minutes.
How to Freeze Pizza Dough:
Coat your dough ball lightly with olive oil on all sides. Place in a plastic freezer bag, remove as much air as you can, seal, and freeze. Pizza dough is good in the freezer for up to three months.
How to get the kids involved:
My kids love helping making homemade pizzas. I start them spreading the sauce and sprinkling on cheese as toddlers. As they got older I started splitting the dough into four smaller pizzas instead of two large ones so they could stretch out and top their own small pizzas. They love getting to make their own pizza and I love not having to eat their creations!
Why use bread flour in pizza dough:
Bread flour is higher in protein than all-purpose. This higher protein content results in more gluten development which give you a nice stretchy dough that is easier to shape and less likely to tear. This heightened gluten also results in tender but chewy crust.
Do you need a pizza stone or baking steel?
No! Instead of using a pizza stone I like to cook my pizzas in a preheated cast iron skillet! You get a delicious crispier crust on your pizza without having to store a giant pizza stone or steel!