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How to make Pizza Dough

You may have wondered how you can make pizza dough at home. I bet you have your favorite pizza recipe you have been dying to make.  It is a lot of fun to make homemade pizzas from scratch and it isn’t difficult to do at all. Armed with a food processor or a good pair of hands and you can make wonderful recipe of pizza dough.
CopyKat.com's How to make Pizza Dough

I think one of the largest misconceptions about making your pizza dough from scratch is that it is difficult to do, it really isn’t difficult to do at all. If you have a refrigerator on hand, which we all do, you can make this ahead of time and pull it out when you area ready to make your own pizzas. I have always hated the pizza dough you can get in a can, it plain tastes weird, making food from your kitchen is always better than buying something that is pre-made.

I personally really like to replace pre-packaged and processed foods with homemade alternatives. You can save a lot of money by doing this. You also know exactly what is in your food, so you don’t have to worry about ingredients that you have no idea what they are. Pizza dough is so easy to make. Once you have your dough made you have three options for when you want to use the pizza dough. You can use it immediately, you can use it within a couple of days, or you can freeze this.

Personally I love the storing the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I had a pizza party recently and we grilled up all sorts of pizzas. I didn’t want to have to work a lot on the day of the party so I made my dough ahead of time. So right before the party I just needed to slice up a few ingredients and we were able to enjoy making up pizzas.

Using Pizza Dough Later
So after you have prepared your dough you can store it to use later. You can either freeze your pizza dough, or you can put it in the refrigerator. Which method should you choose? It depends when you are going to prepare your pizzas. If you are doing to use your dough within 3 days the refrigerator should be fine. If you want to use is later, you can freeze your dough for up to a month.

Refrigerate
Once the dough has been kneaded simply place in a large sealable plastic container with a lid that has been sprayed with some non-stick spray. You will need to let the dough warm up for about 15 minutes before using this. The longer you leave the dough on the container, it will expand, you may need to punch down the dough. Some pizza parlors think this slow rise process is where the dough really gets the flavor.

Freezer
Divide out dough into the desired portions, this recipe will make three medium sized pizzas and place the dough into a zip top bag that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Seal bag, and freeze for up to a month. You will need to allow the dough to thaw for 30 minutes before using.

Additional Pizza Dough Making Tips
Try to use bread flour, it will give you a more chewy and crispy crust. You can use regular all-purpose flour, too, but if you happen to have bread flour on hand use this instead for better results.
To really get your dough to stretch out well while rolling it out, let it rest a couple of times. This will let the dough relax and then you can continue to stretch it out even more.
Fingertips and hands to a better job in rolling out your dough than a rolling pin, if you use a rolling pin the dough may become tough, if you process it too much. Ideally touch the dough as little as possible when stretching it out.
Resist the urge to add extra flour in the dough when working with the dough. It is ok if your dough is sticky.

Questions
I get a lot of questions. Let me answer them.

Do I have you use yeast?
Yes, you must use yeast. Do not use baking soda, or baking powder, it will not make pizza dough.
I am going to freeze the pizza dough, do I need to let it rise first
No, knead it for about 30 seconds, then wrap it and freeze the pizza dough.

Pizza Dough

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Baking, Breads
  • Prep time:2 hours
  • Cook time:20 minutes
  • Serves: 3
Pizza Dough

You don't need to buy prepackaged pizza dough, you can make some from scratch. This recipe will make enough dough for 3 medium sized pizzas.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package of instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups or 22 ounces bread flour plus more for working the dough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • non-stick spray

Instructions

Place the 1/2 cup of warm water and yeast together in a medium bowl and whisk together briefly. Allow the yeast enough time to bubble up and become active, this should take a few minutes. If the yeast is inactive, you may need to replace the yeast and try again. Add room temperature water and oil to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.

Into a food processor bowl pour in flour and salt, pulse to combine. Add yeast, olive oil, and water through the tube of the food processor and process. The dough will form into a ball. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will be sticky if you are going to use the dough immediately or within a few days place into a bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, cover dough with plastic wrap. Let rise until the tough has doubled in size, this may take up to 2 hours. If you are going to freeze the dough you will need to turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds before preparing the dough for the freezer and then wrap it tight for the freezer to use later. You will need to let it rise when you remove frozen dough from the freezer. Again, You do not need to let the dough rise before placing into the freezer. It can rise after you remove it from the freezer.

Directions for the freezer

You do not need to let the dough rise for 2 hours if you are going to place it in the freezer. You do need to knead it th

Print Recipe

This recipe was adapted from Cooks Illustrated Baking Illustrated.

  • james blaine

    The lady in the video needs a few lessons in making a pizza. or is it just laziness

  • Joanne

    I made the dough this morning. Put it in a bucket. In the fridge. I made a double batch. This rose soo much. I got 3 very good sized pizzas. I will never use my go to recipe again. This dough is fantastic. I also made the publix icing. We don’t have a publix, but we have wegmans. And this is spot on. Delicious. Thank you for the recipes. Also, I love Edwards strawberry creme pie. But can’t find a copycat. Can you tell me if you have one?

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

      I don’t happen to have a recipe for the Edwards Pie. I will see what I can do.

  • Caped Crusader

    Great pizza dough! Made pizza last night and used this for the dough/crust and my wife and I, as well as our two girls (ages 4 and 6) liked it. I let it rise for about two hours, maybe a little over (it was at least doubled in size). I also used bread flour (instead of all purpose flour) like you suggested, which made the crust brown and crisp up like it should! It felt like we were eating pizza from a restaurant — seriously!
    This is a keeper!!

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

      I am glad you enjoyed this recipe.

  • Des @ Life’s Ambrosia

    Love making my own pizza dough. I too always thought it was going to be too hard until I gave it a try. Now I rarely buy it!

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

      It’s amazing how easy it is to make some things from scratch.

  • http://www.girlichef.com Heather // girlichef.com

    We like to have a couple of pizza Friday’s every month. Sometimes I buy frozen dough balls from my local Italian deli and thaw it the day before…sometimes I make it from scratch. This is close to the recipe I usually use, but different enough that I’m going to have to give it a try – it really looks like it’s beautiful to work with!

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

      Your pizza Friday’s sound like a lot of fun!

  • http://www.ThroughHerLookingGlass.com Allie R Taylor

    Loved your refrigerator and freezer storing tips. I have been making homemade pizza dough for years, love this recipe. But I wasn’t aware of the storage tips, super important!!! Great recipe and post. Pinned!

  • ALICE DIXON

    can you donate pizza on my birthday?evelyn….send it to berendo church

  • Cookiie Lashae’ Taylor

    My yeast was inactive twice, and this has never happened to me, I found that adding sugar to the yeast and then letting it rise worked better.

  • lia

    would the proportions of the recipe change, if I were to use “00″ flour? thank you

  • will

    Ok so i just watched the video and read the recipe. #1 the worst demonstration on how to make pizza dough in history! #2 you have to let the yeast sit for 10 minutes in 110 degree water. #3 who the hell makes pizza dough in a rotocoupe!? #4 sticky is not what you want. You want a smooth dough. #5 when you make pizza you dont just throw a dough on a board and roll it. You can roll it but then qork it with your hands and make it a perfect circle unless your grilling it or doing a mediteranean style. #6 this chick sucks!

    • stephaniemanley

      If you are doing say I suck, can you do a better job on your spelling. It gives is you more credibility.

    • Caped Crusader

      I’m not sure I follow.
      I, for one, find her recipe to be one of the best things I’ve come across in quite some time.

      At the end, you say that she sucks, but that you’re going to watch all of her videos going forward? Can you please go back to English class, so you can learn to compose a coherent post?

      p.s. – it’s not just your spelling

  • Barry Paust

    Stumbled upon this receipt while browsing the internet. I followed your instructions and found it fairly easy. The dough I now rising and with in about 30 minutes, I will try and finish the pizza.

    Just a couple things. 1) you don’t state what temp to cook at. I have made Somme pizzas before, but never with home made dough. I usually go around 450 on oven and I use a pizza tray with holes in it for cooking. Do you recommend the same temp and do I need to do anything else special as far as placement in oven (like bottom middle rack).

    I love the food processor mixing btw, made it so easy… Thanks

    Below is the Doug right out of processor.

    • stephaniemanley

      I generally cook my pizza at about 450 degrees on the middle rack of the oven. I use either the pizza pan shown in the video or I cook it on the pizza stone that resides in my oven.

  • TJC62

    It is best to use fine ground semolina flour

  • Shaundra Simmons

    I WANT TO TRY THIS IT SEEMS BETTER THEN PIZZA HUT CRUST

    • stephaniemanley

      It’s pretty tasty.

  • Sandra Travaline

    Can I use high gluten flour instead of bread flour?

    • TJC62

      High gluten is what most pizza places use.

  • Namrata Watkar

    I intend to make pizza from scratch tonight. If I finish making the pizza dough by 11am, how should I store it for use in the evening? Should I blind bake it and keep it in an airtight container? Or should I refrigerate it and defrost a hour before using it?

    • stephaniemanley

      I don’t quite understand your time frame. If I was going to make pizza to consume at 6 pm, and I was making my dough 6 to 10 hours ahead of time, I would place the dough in the refrigerator (not the freezer), and I would remove it from the refrigerator about 1 hour before I prepared the pizza.

  • kittyman

    I am confused about a couple steps. The recipe reads: Let rise until the tough has doubled in size, this may take up to 2 hours. If you are going to freeze the dough you will need to turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds before preparing the dough for the freezer. You do not need to let the dough rise before placing into the freezer. It can rise after you remove it from the freezer. After dough rises, what is the next step for making the pizza? And directions read you do not need to let dough rise before freezing, I liked your answer to the question. Why not put that in your recipe instead? My pizza stone is calling out to me. Thank You.

    • stephaniemanley

      Kittyman, I thought my directions were clear when I wrote them.

      I did not include directions for making pizza after this. I will add a pizza recipe in the future, so you will know what you should do with the pizza.

      I hope your pizza turns out.

  • Anahuarque Quintanilla

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to prepare! Thankyou for sharing!

    • stephaniemanley

      I hope you enjoy it .

  • http://julygirl-debsworld.blogspot.com/ queenbizzibee

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks so fun and easy. You do a great job explaining things. So happy to have found your blog. I would love to save my family’s recipes also. Gives me some thoughts. Now… for my question:
    I have been looking for a recipe for a long while now that replicates Mazzio’s Deep Pan Pizza. The dough is quite like nothing else I have ever tried. It is soft and chewy on the edge and under the toppings but the bottom of the crust has the most delightful crunch. It is oily on the bottom but not dripping with oil and I notice cornmeal but the cornmeal is not in the crust but rather on the crust. I am an long-time southern cook and baker and so is my sister. We would love to know your thoughts on making a crust like the one I described.

    • stephaniemanley

      So for breads in trying to duplicate those specific recipes I think they are very difficult. Restaurants have access to different types of yeasts, dough relaxers, and dough improvers that chance the characteristics of dough. So you want to try to play around with some of those. Kingarthurflour.com sells some of these items. I would venture to say something is being added to the dough to change its basic characteristics.
      Their ovens can also be hotter, and they may be using some sort of convection oven that may change how it bakes. I hope this helps.

    • Caped Crusader

      I’ve seem people brush a little olive oil on the bottom and sprinkle some corn meal. It gives it a nice texture and crunch.

  • George

    What temp and do I use a pizza pan?

    • stephaniemanley

      I generally back around 375 to 425.

  • marjo

    When the dough is all done and after an hour still sticky .is tht normal

    • stephaniemanley

      You can always sprinkle on a little flour to make it less sticky.

    • stephaniemanley

      It should be a little sticky, you can add a little flour when you press it out.

  • trixie

    Do you have to put yeast for you dough

    • stephaniemanley

      Yes, you need to use yeast to make pizza dough.

      • Pradhan Deepti

        can we use baking powder n soda power instead of yeat…

  • anime

    can i use all purpose instead of bread flour?

    • stephaniemanley

      You can use all purpose flour instead of bread flour.

    • Caped Crusader

      I read that using all purpose flour will work, but the crust won’t crisp up the same, as it ends up more spongy than with bread flour.

      • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

        I will add a note about the difference in results. I personally use bread flour for whenever I am making a type of bread. It works better.

    • Caped Crusader

      Just buy bread flour. It should only cost a few bucks and is well worth it.

  • booch221

    The best pizza dough recipe I’ve ever found is Cheri’s Favorite Pizza Dough recipe at
    http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/cheri-s-favorite-pizza-dough

    She adds 1/2 cup of semolina flour to the bread flour, to give it a nice crispy crust. Any dough, be it pizza or bread, will improve overnight in the fridge, if you have the time. This slows the fermentation and improves the flavor.

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you for sharing your favorite recipe.

  • Yon

    Thanks for this! Just wondering before I freeze do I let it rise? If not, I let it rise after I thaw it? Thanks!

    • booch221

      You should let the dough rise, before you refrigerate it or freeze it. The yeast needs warmth to start reproducing. Once it gets going (1-2 hours) refrigerating it will slow the yeast replication down, allowing other good flavors to emerge. This is called retarding the dough.

      Let frozen dough come to room temperature, before making pizza.

      • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

        I thought I was clear on that in the instructions, I guess I wasn’t. Thank for your letting me know.

      • Kim Klotzbach-Near

        Thank you :)

  • annette

    I know this might sound stupid, but I am one of those people that need specific instructions or I screw them up. Do you have any blades or anything in the food processor?

    • booch221

      The chopping blade works fine.

  • Fran

    Looks good. Is the pizza pan better than the pizza stone? I keep breaking the stones here so I might have to ship in a pan. Or … maybe pack one in my suitcase. ;)

    • stephaniemanley

      Fran, I cheat, I have a pizza stone in the oven 24/7.

      • Stephanie’s Mom

        Stephanie, you ever think about going to school to learn the English language. It is “rise”, not “raised”

        Also in your recipe it states ” do not using a rolling pin, will make the dough tough”. In your video you are using a rolling pin .

        • stephaniemanley

          Tell you what Mom, you know I have limited spelling skills, I will go back when you go back to finishing school for your manners. I will amend my written recipe about over working the dough.

          love ya Mom ;)

          • myrt98

            Love it!

    • booch221

      The stone is best. I press my dough out on parchment paper (it sticks and doesn’t spring back). Then I slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone and bake it at 450F for 8-10 minutes. The pizza will release easily from the parchment paper. The wetter your dough, the more bubbly your crust.

      • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

        I like the idea of pressing onto parchment paper.

      • D Sills

        How do you slide the parchment paper onto the stone if the dough sticks to the stone?

        • booch221

          You press the dough onto the parchment paper, add your toppings, then slide the parchment paper, with the dough and toppings on to the stone.

          • D Sills

            Lol….I wonder what I was thinking when I read it the first time? It all makes sense today ;)

    • Caped Crusader

      Stone is far better. I still need to buy one. We recently made pizza, one with a stone from a friend and another with our metal pan. Both made on the same night and with same ingredients (sans a few toppings). The pizza cooked on the pan had a better crust, it browned like it’s suppose to, and even the flavor was a little better. Stone all the way.

      • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

        I have had a stone in my oven for more than 10 years now. It’s well seasoned, and makes amazing pizza.

      • Caped Crusader

        I meant that the crust on the ‘stone’ browned and turned out a lot nicer than the crust on the metal pizza pan (even one with small drainage holes). There was just no comparison.

      • Elaine

        If the pizza on the pan was crisper and had a better flavor, why would you day stone all the way?

        • Elaine

          Sorry didn’t read far enough