How to Make Pizza Dough

Make pizza night a homemade affair with a sensational recipe that starts with whole wheat flour for extra flavor. Let the Taste of Home Test Kitchen teach you how to make pizza dough from scratch—then start dreaming up your toppings.

By Elizabeth Harris, Contributing Editor


How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

This make-ahead dough is extremely flexible. Use it to make pizza, natch, but also for egg pockets, stromboli and calzones. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Note: This recipe uses whole wheat flour, which provides extra flavor as well as added nutrition. White flour pizza dough uses the same techniques—find recipes below.

Prep: 25 min. + standing

Makes: 3 pounds (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 white whole wheat flour

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

Mixing dry ingredients for whole wheat pizza dough in a large bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, heat water and oil to 120°-130°; stir into dry ingredients.

Heating water and oil to 120°-130° before mixing into dry ingredients for whole wheat pizza dough.

3. Stir in enough white whole wheat flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Stirring in white whole wheat flour for pizza dough.

4. Turn 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.

Kneading homemade pizza dough for 6-8 minutes on a floured surface.

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

Covering pizza dough with plastic wrap before letting rest for 10 minutes

6. Punch 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.

Punching pizza dough down before shaping into a ball.

Use immediately, refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 1 month.

Expert Tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen

  • Make sure you use the type of yeast called for in your recipe: quick-rise yeast for this quick 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.
  • Note: Dough made with whole grain flour requires less kneading and will appear less smooth than dough made with all-purpose flour.

  • How to Make Pizza

    Once you have a dough, homemade pizza becomes a quick weeknight-worthy meal. Have your toppings ready to go and preheat the oven so it gets nice and hot—the key to a crisp crust.

    Coat a 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. cornmeal. On a floured surface, roll one portion of dough into a 13-inch circle. Transfer to prepared pan. Build up edges slightly. Top as desired. Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

    If using frozen dough, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Proceed as directed.