How to Make Perfect Pizza Dough From Scratch

Let the Taste of Home Test Kitchen teach you how to make pizza dough from scratch—then start dreaming up your toppings.

Just learning how to make dough from scratch is enough to make your pizza the talk of the neighborhood. (It doesn’t hurt to know a couple tricks from a pizza chef, either.) This make-ahead dough is extremely flexible. Use it to make pizza, of course, but also for egg pockets, stromboli and calzones.

How to Make Pizza Dough

Note: This recipe uses whole wheat flour, which provides extra flavor as well as added nutrition. It makes 3 pounds of dough, enough for 3 pizzas.

Ingredients

  • 3 packages (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Step 1: Prep the Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, salt and whole wheat flour; set aside.

Step 2: Prep the Wet Ingredients

Woman's hands showing how to make pizza doughKozak/ShutterstockIn a small saucepan, heat water and oil to 120°-130°; stir into dry ingredients.

Then, stir in enough whole wheat flour to form a soft dough. (The dough will be sticky.)

Step 3: Knead the Dough

Woman's hands preparing fresh yeast dough on wooden tableKozak/Shutterstock

Turn the dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; shape into a ball. Fold top of dough toward you. With palms, push with a rolling motion away from you. Turn dough a quarter turn; repeat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Add flour to surface only as needed.

Step 4: Let the Dough Rise

Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Punch the Dough Down

Ball of pizza dough with flourKozak/Shutterstock

To punch dough down, make a fist and push it into the center. Gather the dough to the center and shape into a ball. Place on a floured surface—and you’re done!

You can use the dough immediately to make one of our best homemade pizza recipes. You can also refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 1 month.

Bonus: Expert Tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen

  • Make sure you use the type of yeast called for in your recipe. It’s got to be quick-rise yeast for this pizza dough.
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your water. If it’s too cool, it won’t activate the yeast; if too hot, it may kill the yeast.
  • Don’t use too much flour. Always start with the minimum amount and add more only until the dough reaches the consistency indicated in the method.
  • Use only enough flour on your work surface to keep the dough from sticking when kneading.
  • Continue kneading until dough is no longer sticky, has a smooth, satiny texture and springs back when pressed with your fingers.
Use Your Dough to Make One of Our All-Time Best Pizzas
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Elizabeth Harris
Liz is an unapologetic homebody who loves bowling and beers almost as much as food and fitness. The highlight of her week is making cheesy popcorn for her family on movie night. She's been hooked on Taste of Home since interning for the magazine in 2010.