How to Make Pizza Dough Homemade

How to Make Pizza Dough Homemade

Pizza Dough Homemade

This is how to make pizza dough homemade by hand and without a bread machine and without a mixer or dough hook. If you do have a bread machine, here’s the recipe for making pizza dough with that. Otherwise, we’re going to proceed here for making a fantastic, homemade pizza dough. You’ll see every single step and pics included. Read more because there are plenty of tips and solutions for issues that others have experienced when making pizza dough. It’s good to know in advance how to handle or avoid problems as you embark on how to make homemade dough for pizza.

This is the perfect 14 to 16-inch pizza dough recipe made from scratch and no bread machine. There are a few options for some flexibility. In less than 2 hours from starting to make the dough, you'll be ready to roll or shape it out for pizza. Or, to store it in the fridge or freezer for future pizza making.
Dough being rolled

Pizza Dough Homemade 3 Pics
Pizza Dough Homemade Process

Dough being rolled

Pizza Dough Homemade

Jeff Baygents
This is the perfect 14 to 16-inch pizza dough recipe made from scratch and no bread machine. There are a few options for some flexibility. In less than 2 hours from starting to make the dough, you'll be ready to roll or shape it out for pizza. Or, to store it in the fridge or freezer for future pizza making.
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Prep 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 8 slices
Calories 207kcal


  • cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder optional
  • tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten optional for extra chewiness
  • 1 cup water warm from tap
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp active, dry yeast can be quick rising, instant, or bread maker yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (for coating mixing bowl)


Making the Pizza Dough

  • In a bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, salt, and any options of garlic powder and vital wheat gluten.
    In a measuring cup, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Stir together a bit.  Wait about 10 minutes (it might foam a bit).
    Stir in the olive oil into the water solution.
    Gradually pour the water solution into the flour mixture bowl, mixing it in as you go.  When done mixing it thoroughly (by hand), you should have a slightly sticky consistency (if needed, add a little water or flour). It MUST be slightly sticky.
    Coat an empty mixing bowl, using about 1 Tbsp. oil.  Then, place the sticky dough in it, seal top with plastic wrap for about 1 hour, in a warm area.  It will double in size.
    Dry Ingredients mixed together

Shape into a Dough Ball

  • After the hour has passed, mildly punch the dough down, remove it from the bowl onto a heavily floured countertop surface. Move the dough around to coat all of it in the flour.
    Dough put onto floured surface
  • Lift and stretch out the left side 2-3 inches and fold it over a few inches past the center. Press and pinch it downward to secure it. Repeat for right, top, & bottom sides.
    Lift and stretch right side
  • Turn it over and cover it with a towel. Let it rest for about 12 minutes.
    Storage Option: You have the option to now store it in fridge or freezer, using a food storage bag. Otherwise, continue to the next steps for shaping the dough for pizza.
    Covering dough ball with a towel

Getting Ready to Shape the Pizza Dough

  • You can either roll it out, press it out by hand (intermediate), or (advanced) stretch it out by lifting and turning while stretching (or draping and manipulating it across the backs of your hands).
    If it shrinks back or snaps back too often, it needs to rest. Try again in about 30 minutes.
    When you continue, shape it round or rectangular to fairly match the shape of your pizza pan (or baking sheet, pizza stone, or pizza steel).
    If you want a Border Crust: As you're shaping the dough, use the excess to make the outer edge much thicker. Keep this in mind while rotating and expanding the entire dough. You'll want about ¼" to ½" edge. The thicker the edge, the softer and chewier the outer crust will be.
    Dough being rolled

How to Shape the Pizza Dough

  • You can switch between using your hands to using a rolling pin at any time. Using your hands, from the center, press down and outward as if you're collapsing excess air bubbles from the dough. Rotate the dough and continue repeating this process. At times, turn the dough over. Another way is to use one hand to hold down the center, and use the other hand to lift and stretch away an outer area. Repeat this many times as you rotate and occasionally turn over the dough. Also, use the rolling pin when desired, until you have the desired size and shape to match a fit to your pizza pan, baking sheet, stone, or steel.
    Folding over and pinching right side
  • Option for Medium to Thicker Pizza: If you want a medium to thicker pizza, and you notice it's a little too thin, finish your size and shape. Then, cover it with a towel and wait 15 minutes before adding toppings, as it will rise slightly.
    15 minutes timer
  • Your pizza dough recipe is done! Follow any pizza recipe to put it to good use.
    In summary, you can now add your sauce and toppings. Bake it in the 2nd from upper shelf in a preheated oven at 500°F. The duration is until it's at a desired golden brown crust. Here are some guidelines: pizza pan or baking sheet (21-23 minutes), pizza stone (16-20 minutes), ¼" pizza steel (12-16 minutes).
    Bake Oven set to 500F


Include all optional ingredients.
The flavor is still very good if made ahead and stored overnight in the fridge.  Place the dough in a food plastic bag and store either in a refrigerator for up to about 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you flatten it a bit, it won’t take as long to get to room temp or thaw out when ready to use.
If you coat dough a little in oil and expel air from the bag, it will last and taste better.
TO USE (after storage):
When taken out of refrigeration or frozen storage, it needs to approach room temperature.  For out of a refrigerator, it takes at least 30 minutes; out of frozen, at least 1 hr.


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg


Ingredients for Homemade Pizza Dough

These ingredients for homemade pizza dough are based all on having a pizza dough from scratch recipe. It starts with the basic minimums for an Italian pizza. There is a reduction of sugar from most Americanized pizza recipes. I looked at eliminating it completely but it did impact the flavor significantly so it remains at a small amount. One of the key ingredient differences from other Americanized pizza recipes is the amount of yeast. It’s been reduced also because it enables the preparer to have a true thin or medium crust. If a thicker crust is desired, then it can just be increased by 50% to give that result.

Dry Ingredients mixed together

Start with Dry Ingredients

There is one optional culinary ingredient shown and it’s vital wheat gluten. It’s really good for adding a perfect texture to the finished pizza crust . There is a simple optional consideration of adding garlic powder in a very small amount. This gives the Italian enhancement throughout the entire crust so that no added flavors are required to add onto the crust’s edge when shaping the dough. This saves a big step and is unique to this recipe.

Scratch Pizza Dough Recipe

This is a scratch pizza dough recipe. Without the use of even a mixer or dough hook, it’s a pure scratch made pizza dough. Quite often, you’ll be using your hands but mostly just to shape the dough to match what you’re going to use to cook your pizza on.

Easy Recipe for Pizza Dough

What makes this an easy recipe for pizza dough is that the added steps found in some other recipes have been removed. However, there are some steps in this one that aren’t used in other recipes so, I suppose it’s a balance. There are countless ways to make pizza dough. This entire recipe is to focus on reducing time and maintaining a high level of flavor for both taste and texture. I even reduced the yeast to 1/4 teaspoon to test it out and put it back up to 1/2 teaspoon because it was a noticeable improvement to both texture and flavor.

Pizza Dough Recipe Italian

There are many, many Italian recipes for pizza dough. And some of the more popular ones have been named. Those recipes also include particular techniques used to shape the pizza dough, e.g., “Neapolitan”. Here are some popular Italian pizza types as mentioned by the culinary Cardamom Magazine.

This recipe is based on more than one Italian type of pizza. And the methods used to roll, pull, push, and stretch out are also portions of various Italian methods used. I met a gentleman in an Italian Pizza restaurant recently and saw him making dozens of pizza dough spread out on the massive work station he was using. I was surprised because sometimes I saw him use a rolling pin. I asked him and he replied that sometimes he and other Italians will use a rolling pin to speed up the process when there are a lot of doughs to make. Also, sometimes it helps even out the thickness of the dough or when there’s no time to let the gluten develop. He can use it to be more forceful of expanding the dough out when in a hurry due to a sudden volume of customers. Otherwise, he said, most of the time we press the dough out, lift up and stretch, and when it becomes large enough, to use the backs of our hands and let gravity do the work.

Pizza Dough Recipe Thin

This recipe accommodates up to a 16-inch thin pizza. When I make a thin 14-inch pizza, I’ll trim off the excess dough and sometimes use it for bread sticks. To ensure you have a thin pizza dough, it’s assumed you rolled or stretched it out to become thin.

Dough put onto floured surface
Dough put onto floured surface
Lift and stretch right side
Lift and stretch right side
Folding over and pinching right side
Folding over and pinching right side

There are three key techniques to having bread machine pizza dough thin crust. Here they are.

  • First, very specifically, follow the recommended amount on this recipe for the yeast. It’s just a small amount and less than a packet. It has been tested repeatedly in order to be able to produce either a thin crust or a medium crust. To have it thin or medium, you control it next by how thick you have created the final, shaped dough.
  • Second, in order to have a thin crust (after you’ve shaped it into a thin dough), ensure you do not par bake it. That one was easy!
  • Third, as soon as your dough has been shaped thin, proceed immediately with the sauce and toppings, and put it into the oven. No waiting whatsoever! As soon as you stopping shaping the dough, it will slowly but surely begin to rise so, you’ll want to execute these final steps quickly. If you discover you’ve had a little delay before putting on the sauce and toppings, you can easily press or roll the dough one last time to expel any air that might have caused any rising. Problem solved!

FAQ on Homemade Pizza Dough

Here are some of the more common pizza dough questions people ask. If you have a question, just send it as a comment and we’ll get back with the answer.

Can you refrigerate homemade pizza dough?

Yes, you can refrigerate homemade pizza dough. I do it quite often. The recipe steps lets you know when you can stop and put it in the fridge. Just take your dough, oil it a little, and put it into a food storage bag. Press it down to get rid of excess air, and toss it into the fridge. Max time frame is about 3-4 days. When ready to roll it out to use, just set it out for at least 30 minutes (still enclosed in the bag).

Pizza dough you can freeze

You can freeze this recipe for homemade pizza dough. I do it a little bit myself. The recipe steps lets you know when you can stop and put it in the freezer. Just take your dough, put it into a food storage bag, press it down to get rid of excess air. Don’t forget to label it “ Pizza Dough” (LOL or just “Pizza Dough”). It can stay in the freezer and still be good for up to about 3 months. When ready to make your pizza, just set it out for at least 1 hour (still in the food bag). To save thawing time, you can opt to mash it down a little bit so it won’t take as long to thaw out.

Why does pizza dough shrink?

Why does pizza dough pull back or shrink when you start to roll it out or stretch it out? That’s because the gluten in the dough hasn’t yet developed enough. It takes a little handling of the initial dough mixture in addition to resting time to start the activation and development of the gluten. Fortunately, this recipe advises you of the point to which you will need to pause and let the dough rest a bit more before continuing. This is probably the number one problem with people who start to make their own pizza dough. When I experienced it the first few times, I eventually just allowed an extra 1/2 hour in planning the pizza completion time.

What temperature to cook homemade pizza dough?

Bake Oven set to 450F view small
Bake Oven set to 450F

Temperature Homemade Pizza

Bake Oven set to 500F
Bake Oven set to 500F

When people ask me what temperature homemade pizza needs to be, I explain the differing scenarios. If you’re talking about just pre-baking (aka par baking) the pizza dough, it’s at 450°F for about 5 minutes. If you’re talking about the temperature to cook the entire homemade pizza, it’s at 500°F or higher.

Most home ovens are limited to 500°F so, all my recipes are geared towards that. If I had a specialized pizza oven, I would reference that as well as they can have pizzas baked around 850°F in just a few short minutes, like what the pizza restaurants use.

You try this Sausage Pizza recipe to experience our homemade dough.


In conclusion, this is the best way to make pizza dough homemade. It has the fewest steps, no kneading is required, and there is no need for a mixer. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. So what are you waiting for? Try this recipe today!

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