I know it sounds cheesy, but pizza really is my favorite food. It has endless possibilities and usually includes my favorite things: bread, tomatoes, and cheese. And when you make your pizza dough from scratch, pizza is one of the cheapest dinners you can make. The best part? All of the ingredients for pizza dough are pantry staples, so you can make this whenever without planning ahead. AND it’s freezer-friendly so you can always have some stashed and ready to thaw on a moment’s notice.
Originally posted 7-2-2010, updated 6-16-2020.
What is in Homemade Pizza Dough?
While there are several styles of pizza dough out there in the world, this particular recipe is super simple and only includes:
- Olive Oil
That’s it! Really! This particular recipe creates a crust that is crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside. If you use a rolling pin to really compact the dough and roll it thin, you’ll get a result that more closely resembles a crispy thin-crust pizza. Toss the dough by hand, gently stretching the dough and leaving some thickness will give you that crispy-yet-tender finish, with a few of those awesome big bubbles.
What Kind of Yeast Can I Use?
The instructions below will work with active dry or instant yeast.
How to Freeze Pizza Dough
After kneading the pizza dough, form it into a ball, coat the dough ball with a little oil to keep it from sticking to the plastic, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place the plastic wrapped dough ball in a heavy duty freezer zip top bag, label, date, and place it in the freezer!
How to Thaw Pizza Dough
To thaw your frozen pizza dough, place it in the refrigerator the night before you intend to bake the pizza. The dough will rise slightly as it thaws. The other option is to allow the dough to thaw at room temperature, which will take about two hours. You’ll want to unwrap the pizza dough from the plastic before letting it thaw. Place the frozen dough in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with a clean towel as it thaws.
Make some homemade pizza sauce to go with your pizza crust!
Homemade Pizza Dough
- 3/4 cups warm water ($0.00)
- 1 tsp yeast* ($0.08)
- 1 Tbsp sugar ($0.05)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.30)
- 1 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Allow the yeast water to sit for about 5 minutes, or until a thick layer of foam develops on top.
- While you’re waiting for the yeast, add 1 cup of the flour and the salt to a large bowl, then stir well to combine.
- Add the olive oil to the yeast water, then pour the mixture into the bowl with the flour and salt. Begin adding more flour to the bowl, ¼ to ½ cup at a time, until it forms a ball of dough that can no longer be stirred with a spoon.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, then knead for about 5 minutes, adding a little flour as you go to keep it from sticking.
- At this point you have three options: use the dough tonight (one hour after kneading), use it tomorrow (allowing it to rise in the refrigerator over night) or within a month (freezing the dough).
To Use the Pizza Dough Same Day
- Place the kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl, drizzle with a little oil, then turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl loosely and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour, or until it is double in volume.
- Once risen, stretch or roll the dough out to a 14 to 16-inch circle, place on a pizza pan, and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake the pizza in a preheated 450ºF oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are brown and crispy.
To Use the Pizza Dough the Next Day
- Allowing the dough to proof (rise) slowly in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours gives the dough even more flavor. Form the dough into a ball and coat with oil. Place the dough in a covered container and refrigerate for 18-24 hours. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before stretching, topping, and baking.
To Freeze the Dough for Future Use
- Form the kneaded dough into a ball, coat it with oil, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag and transfer to the freezer. When you are ready to use the dough, simply place it on the counter for one hour prior to use. The dough should be at room temperature before stretching, topping, and baking.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Pizza Dough – Step By Step Photos
Start by dissolving 1 tsp active dry yeast (or instant yeast) and 1 Tbsp sugar in ¾ cup warm water.
Let the yeast water sit for about 5 minutes, or until a thick layer of foam develops on top.
While the yeast is blooming, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 tsp salt in a mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the yeast water, then pour it into the bowl with the flour and salt. Stir until the mixture is fairly smooth.
Begin adding more flour, about ¼ to ½ cup at a time, until you can no longer stir the mixture with a spoon.
Once it forms a ball that you can no longer stir with a spoon, turn it out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding a little flour as you go to prevent it from sticking. Once kneaded, you should have used about 2 cups flour total, since the first step of stirring salt into the flour. Total flour amount can vary depending on humidity and other factors. At this point you can let the dough rise and make a pizza same day, refrigerate the dough and make pizza with it the next day, or freeze the dough for future use.
To make a pizza same day: Place the dough ball back into the mixing bowl, add just a small drizzle of oil, and turn the dough to coat it in the oil. The oil will keep the dough from drying out as it rises.
Cover the bowl loosely and let the dough rise for about an hour, or until it is double in volume.
Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Stretch or roll the pizza dough out to 14-16 inches and place on a pizza pan. Add your favorite pizza sauce…
And your favorite toppings…
Bake in the fully preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust and toppings are browned.
Slice and enjoy!