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The Secret To The Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe

4.98 from 69 votes
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posted: 02/05/19

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

The Secret to the Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough! And if the pictures aren’t enough to help you out, I have a video that shows the whole process. Read the reviews on this recipe, you will never use another pizza crust recipe!

a picture of a ball of dough on a marble counter top with a rolling pin the background

This pizza dough recipe is a family recipe passed down from my mom, and it is an absolute winner. It is one that we use in our house weekly and it always turns out perfectly.

The secret to this recipe is both very simple and very important.

READER REVIEW

“I’m definitely saving this recipe because I just made the most perfect pizza for dinner and it’s because of this perfect crust. Absolutely the perfect balance of tender/chewy/fluffy/crispy.” – Rebecca

The Secret to the Best Pizza Dough Recipe

So here is the secret to making your perfect pizza dough at home, water temperature.

Yup. That’s it.

You just have to make sure that your water is in the zone. I’m not going to tell you how many seconds to microwave it, because water comes out of the faucet/fridge tap at different temperatures and microwaves all work differently.

You really need to use a thermometer. If the water isn’t hot enough, it won’t wake up the yeast. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast. If it is in the correct temperature window, it will bubble up just perfectly.

Believe me, I wasted lots of dough before my mom, fed up with my phone calls to her about why it wasn’t working, just gave me her thermometer. She could tell the correct temperature by touch and after many batch of dough you’ll be able to also.

Temperature to Proof Yeast

In order to proof your yeast, the temperature of the water needs to be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Make Perfect Pizza Dough

Now that you know the secret, we can get started.

two measuring spoons, active dry yeast, a thermometer, and a measuring cup with warm water to make pizza dough

This thermometer taught me the feel of the right temperature for water. For years, I used it every single time I made dough. I doubt you’ll be able to find another just like it, but a candy thermometer will work just as well.

a glass measuring cup with a thermometer to get the correct temperature of water

Once you get it in the temperature window (and sometimes I have had to dump my water and start over), you add 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast and one teaspoon of sugar. You don’t really have to stir, it will work it’s way in.

a small one cup measuring cup with water and yeast to start the best pizza dough

Let it sit for about five minutes until it is nice and frothy on the top.

a glass measuring cup with water and active dry yeast that is starting to grow

If it doesn’t look like the picture below after you let it sit for five minutes, dump it and start over. I would much rather you waste a little yeast, sugar, and water than end up with a bad batch of dough or pizza.

a glass pyrex measuring cup with with yeast that has grown and a bottle of active dry yeast in the background

In the bowl of a food processor, mix together:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt

Now add the water yeast mixture and then 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, and then drop in your dough. (I use this large bowl for about 75% of my recipes I swear.) Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least one hour, but two is better.

a large glass bowl with homemade pizza dough before it has risen

Your dough should have doubled in size. And will ultimately should look like the photo below.

The Secret to the Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe!  Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

Pizza Recipes

This recipe makes two pizza crusts. Rip it half and roll it out for two different pizzas. This recipe also works well for 5 small individual pizzas.

Try some of my different pizza sauce recipes!

  • I have a great pizza sauce recipe that you can use with this. It is a delicious and simple red sauce.
  • If you want to make pizza with white sauce, check out my White Pizza for that sauce recipe.
  • You absolutely MUST make my Taco Pizza! It’s legit.
  • Finally, you could use my BBQ sauce to make BBQ pizza.

In the summer months try making your pizza on your grill! It cooks fast and is a big hit every time we do it.

Storing Leftover Dough

When we only make one pizza, I store the extra crust in the refrigerator and we get to have pizza again tomorrow night too! When pulling the crust out the next day, just make sure to bring it to room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start working with it.

I haven’t personally frozen this pizza dough recipe (we eat it too fast!), but several readers have at the “divide into two dough balls” stage and have had great results.

Perfect Pizza Dough Cheat Sheet

Here are all the tips you need to make sure it comes out perfect every time:

  • Make sure that your water is the right temperature (between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit or between 43 and 46 degrees Celsius). After a while of making this recipe, you will be able to do it without the thermometer.
  • Once you add the yeast and sugar, leave it for five minutes and wait for your yeast to proof. If it isn’t nice and frothy like the picture above, dump it and start over.
  • When measuring the flour for this recipe, make sure to scoop the flour into the cup and level off. If you scoop right from the flour container, you might end up with more flour.
  • If your dough isn’t coming together well (because maybe you did add a little too much flour), add a tiny bit of warm water, just a few teaspoons at a time until it comes together.
close up overhead picture of a pepperoni pizza divided into slices made with homemade pizza sauce

If you make this pizza dough recipe, leave me a comment to let me know how it went and what you topped your pizza with!

a picture of a ball of dough on a marble counter top with a rolling pin the background
4.98 from 69 votes

The Secret To Perfect Pizza Dough

Serves: 2 pizza doughs
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
The Secret to the Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe!  Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 1 TBSP water heated to 110 to 115 degrees
  • 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat water to between 110 and 115 degrees.
  • Sprinkle 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast over the water. Then sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over the yeast. Let it sit until the water has become frothy. If it doesn’t froth as pictured above, dump your water and start again.
  • In the bowl of a food processor add three cups all purpose flower and salt. Pulse for a few seconds to evenly distribute the salt.
  • With the food processor running, add the oil. Then add the yeast water combination with the food processor still running until a dough ball forms.
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Put the dough ball in and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to double in size, about an hour to an hour and a half.
  • Pull the dough apart to create two dough balls for two pizza crusts.

Notes

Serving: 1slice Calories: 91kcal (5%) Carbohydrates: 16.8g (6%) Protein: 2.2g (4%) Fat: 1.2g (2%) Saturated Fat: 0.1g (1%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6g Sodium: 70mg (3%) Fiber: 0.8g (3%) Sugar: 0.3g
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
a picture of a ball of dough on a marble counter top with a rolling pin the background

did you make this

The Secret To Perfect Pizza Dough

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions

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  1. judith judge says

    5 stars
    would the dough come out the same is i used a kitcheaid mixer or is a processor better

    • Lisa Longley says

      I have used a KitchenAid mixer several times with their dough hook attachment. It’s not as quick, but it definitely works.

      • angela kennedy says

        Trying this recipe out for the 1st time. My dough is rising nicely, looks like the photos! Hopefully it comes out good!! (fingers crossed)

  2. rachel frampton says

    I’m planning to serve a Marinara cheese pizza on our Brunch this Sunday, which is why I’m currently looking for recipes online. Thank you for this; I’ll make sure to add a teaspoon of Kosher salt in the 3 cups of all-purpose flour so a perfect dough will be obtained. I’ll try my best to perfect this, but since I’m still not there, maybe it would be better to order from an Italian restaurant first.

  3. Jean says

    5 stars
    Loved the crust. Only issue I had was the crust came out very hard. I baked it on a pizza stone that I preheated as instructed on the stone. Could that have made the edges so hard? Otherwise, perfect– great taste and texture. It rose perfectly the food processor was great way to mix the dough.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Pizza stones and ovens vary for sure. You might want to try another one without pre baking the crust, or cutting back on the time you do it.

  4. Marc says

    5 stars
    excellent recipe the dough was so easy to work with no “pull back ” at all can’t wait to make it again also plan to use it for calzones

    • Lisa Longley says

      I”m so glad to hear this Marc!

  5. Deb says

    Maybe a dumb question, It what temperature do you bake your pizza at and for how long.
    Thanks

    • Lisa Longley says

      Not a dumb question at all. This recipe should be updated with a section on that. We generally do a pizza stone in a conventional oven at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes. Though, I would play with it, and watch your pizza closely because how thick you roll your crust and how much sauce and toppings you use greatly change cooking time.

  6. Hend says

    Thank you for the recipe i will try it today! Just checkin does the dough need to be worked out a bit after the processor or not? Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Nope! The Food processor should take care of all of it.

  7. bistro sk says

    5 stars
    What an awesome dish!!!. Thank you for sharing. I love your recipe very much. I think your dish is very delicious. I will make this recipe for my family and my friend. I hope you have more recipe like this.

  8. Rebecca says

    5 stars
    I’m definitely saving this recipe because I just made the most perfect pizza for dinner and it’s because of this perfect crust. Absolutely the perfect balance of tender/chewy/fluffy/crispy. I dusted my hands with flour while giving the risen dough maybe a minute of kneading and forming it, using an ordinary pizza pan, and baked mine at 475 for about 14 minutes. Let it sit for five minutes, then it sliced beautifully. I think I’ll make some garlic knots with the other half of the dough.

  9. Sherry says

    Hi Lisa, Since I retired, my #1 goal was to learn how to create the fresh baked smells I would get when coming home from school on a cold winter day and our house being filled with those great aromas. I successfully bake bread and dinner rolls, but my pizza dough will NOT stretch or roll out. I have tried dough rolling enhancers, left it sit on the counter for 30 + minutes a couple times, tried rolling it out between plastic wrap, but it always snaps back, then gets tossed in the trash and I start over and still no luck. I am going to make your recipe today and would like to know if you have encountered or have heard from other bakers with this problem. Also, will using Rapid Rise yeast instead of Active Yeast make a difference. I have both. Thank you.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Sherry! I hope this recipe ended up working out for you. I have not had the trouble with this recipe that you are describing.

  10. Kara Fox says

    5 stars
    This recipe saved our Pizza Fridays! We’ve been making homemade pizza every Friday since quarantine started. My crust was always crispy on the bottom and super chewy inside, like couldn’t cut across the stone with a pizza cutter chewy. I made this with water at 115 degrees and sprinkled the sugar on top of the yeast as instructed. Either one or both absolutely made the difference. The yeast foamed in a way it doesn’t when you mix the sugar in the water first. The crust came out perfect. I could tell when rolling it out it was going to be good! Thanks!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Kara, this makes me so happy!! I’m so glad you love this recipe as much as we do.

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