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.
- 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
Kozak/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
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
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.