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The Secret To The Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe

4.97 from 89 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
4.97 from 89 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 tablespoon 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 flour 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.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll out the pizza dough and place on a pizza stone or pizza baking sheet, add pizza sauce, your favorite toppings, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
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

Video

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. Natasha says

    What are the cooking instructions for this crust?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Natasha! There are several links to pizza recipes within the body of the post. Each of those tells you how to move forward after making the crust.

  2. darrell nicholls says

    A touch of Italian beer in place of a little water works brilliant

  3. Karen says

    What size pizzas do the two crusts make? A 12-inch pizza?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Between 12 and 14 inches depending on how thick you roll your dough.

  4. Shelley says

    5 stars
    What do you store the second crust in? I have a hard time getting it off plastic bags or wrap?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I typically just leave it in the bowl that I let it rise in, covered with plastic wrap. But any airtight container will work. The left over dough should be eaten within 24 hours. I’ve had readers freeze it, but typically we just eat it.

  5. Chelise says

    5 stars
    Followed the recipe as written and it was perfect! We did a cheese pizza and a meatball pizza. I will be using this crust as my go to for homemade pizza nights!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you liked this recipe, Chelise! It’s a favorite in my house too!

  6. Jayne Bloom says

    5 stars
    I divide in 3 and bagmake 1 pizzas and store two in freezer using cling free foil. I place the foil balls in a small plastic plastic (you can’t write on cling free foil) and then mark the bag. Excellent results with this recipe. I use filtered water.

  7. Laurie Volpe says

    Finally a pizza dough that is easy and delicious! I followed the directions exactly- the picture of the yeast mixture really helped-and it worked out perfectly! I did use the entire ball of dough on a large rectangular pan and the crust was crunchy on the bottom, thin and softer on the ends. Also made it with my own pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella,fresh basil and a spritz of balsamic! Excellent recipe- try it!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad to hear this, Laurie! Thank you for taking the time to come and tell me!

  8. Sharon says

    5 stars
    Very easy! Thanks for the tips about water temperature before adding the yeast. Made both grilled pizza and oven baked. Delicious!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad it worked for you!

  9. SwashB says

    4 stars
    Best to weigh flour to get consistent results. 128g = 1 cup

  10. judith judge says

    can i make this with a stand mixer

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes! I’ve made it in my stand mixer before with the dough hook!

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