Is there anything better than pizza? Whether it’s for a quick weeknight meal or to feed a crowd at a party, pizza is one of the easiest ways to please just about everyone. But you don’t have to ring up your local pizza shop to get a fresh pie. (Though we do know the best pizza spot in each state.)
A homemade pizza that’s even better than delivery is made possible with Taste of Home Food Stylist, Josh Rink’s amazing pizza dough. This recipe is easy enough for homemade pizza newbies to pull off without sacrificing flavor or texture. And it’s incredibly versatile, meaning you can turn it into a deep-dish pizza, calzone or pretty much any recipe that calls for pizza dough.
Follow along to get Josh’s recipe, plus some helpful tips.
Before you start, read up on how to make every type of pizza crust, from thin to stuffed crust.
How to Make the Best Pizza Dough
Taste of Home
- 1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose or 00 flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and marjoram, optional
- 1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
Yield: 2 crusts (8 servings each)
Step 1: Proof the Yeast
To start, combine the warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl, then whisk in the active dried yeast. Allow the mixture to develop until a layer of bubbles has formed on the surface, about 5-10 minutes. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, our guide to proofing yeast will take out all the guesswork.
Tip from Josh: “Yeast is what makes the pizza dough rise, creating an airy, pillowy crust. If you don’t want to use sugar to proof the yeast, you can substitute an equal amount of honey or agave syrup.”
Step 2: Mix the Dough
In a large bowl, mix 3 cups of flour, salt, the remaining sugar and dried herbs until they’re well combined. Then, form a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and oil. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, stir until a smooth dough forms, adding more flour as needed.
Tip from Josh: “All-purpose, or AP, flour works in this recipe, but if you want to go the extra mile, use 00, or double zero, flour ($10). The dough will have a noticeably silkier texture and thinner crumb. If you can’t find 00 flour, unbleached AP King Arthur flour ($5) has a similar protein level, making it a good substitute in this recipe.
Also, if you’d like a rustic pizza dough, you can replace 1/4-1/2 cup of the 00 or AP flour with whole wheat flour.”
Step 3: Knead Away
Turn the soft dough onto a floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. It should take about 6-8 minutes by hand. Here are some more tips for kneading dough.
Step 4: Let It Rest
Transfer the kneaded dough to a large greased bowl, turning it over once to coat both sides of the dough. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes in a warm place, like your countertop, then move it to the fridge to chill overnight.
Tip from Josh: “Chilling the dough is a must. Besides slowing the yeast so it can develop more flavor, it hydrates the flour and relaxes the gluten for an easier roll-out experience. Goodbye, spring back!”
Step 5: Use the Dough
After it’s chilled overnight, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Split the dough in two, roll it out on a lightly floured surface and use in your favorite pizza recipes. We like to use it in our Best Sausage Pizza, a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza or in some speedy calzones. Want more inspiration? Take a look at this ultimate guide to regional pizzas for some ideas.
Taste of Home
Tip from Josh: “You don’t have to bake two pizzas every time you make this recipe. To freeze, wrap a portion of pizza dough in plastic wrap and place in resealable freezer bags; freeze up to 1 month.
To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight then cook as directed in the recipe of your choosing.”
Take a look at just some of the ways you can put this pizza dough recipe to work.