How to Make Pizza Dough


I love pizza! But first of all, there is no pizza delivery in the country. There’s takeout pizza at the little store in town, but with three hungry children (two of them being teenage boys), that can get pretty expensive. And seeing as how it takes me about 20 minutes to get to the little store in town, and another 20 minutes to get back, I might as well make it at home.

Homemade pizza is actually a great busy-day dinner. You can shortcut the sauce, either with some Basic Italian-Style Tomato Sauce you might have onhand, or with a jar of storebought sauce. Shortcut the cheese by keeping some pre-shredded mozzarella onhand, too. All it takes after that is slicing up your toppings. The pizza bread itself? That’s the last place you should cut corners because it’s the very foundation of your pizza. Great pizza bread makes great pizza. And you can make great pizza bread in one hour, from starting the dough to sliding the prepared pizza into the oven with this easy pizza dough based on the one-loaf recipe for my Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly
How to Make Pizza Dough:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine water with yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil. Let sit for five minutes before beginning to add the flour.

Stir in flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Add flour a little at a time. The amount of flour is approximate; exact amount may vary slightly. Knead dough until smooth and elastic–-just a few minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl; cover. Let rise until doubled. (Using rapid-rise yeast, unless your house is very cold, the rise time should be approximately 30 minutes.)

After dough has risen, roll out directly onto a greased pizza pan, sprinkling flour on top of the dough to keep it from sticking.

I like to use a small plastic cup to roll out pizza dough instead of a rolling pin because the smaller size is easier to manage with the raised edges of a pizza pan.

Before adding any sauce and toppings, bake pizza bread at 400-degrees for about 8 minutes. Take out pizza bread. Add sauce and toppings as desired. Put completed pizza back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. If I’m baking two at a time, halfway into the baking time I switch the pizzas on the oven racks.

For dessert pizza, use melted butter and a mix of sugar and cinnamon, or add fruit!

Another of my favorite ways to fix pizza is to skip the sauce entirely. I sprinkle olive oil on top of the prepared, pre-baked pizza bread (in place of sauce) then add my toppings. I like to use Swiss cheese, crumbled bacon, and onions and/or peppers. Yum! How about you? What’s your favorite pizza?

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. kacey says:

    we do a garlic & olive oil instead of sauce on ours quite often. With whatever we have around for toppings. I’m particularly fond of chicken pizza made this way. The boys call this “white pizza”.

  2. Dani says:

    Is it a south thing to put your ingredients on top of the cheese? I live in Indiana and have always seen and ate pizza with the cheese over the rest of the ingredients. Your pictures are so tempting. Might have to make some myself.

  3. Ann from Montana says:

    Ingredients on top…I used to do it the other way, cheese on top, but most pizza places do the reverse and I finally noticed and now cheese on the “sauce” with just a sprinkling of parmesan at the last. I’m not a southerner…

    I like olive oil, Italian seasoning and very thinly sliced Roma tomatoes instead of sauce, then a mix of mozzerella/provolone, then…

    artichokes, spinach, sausage
    mushroom, spinach, bacon

    I make my own crust usually, but I also keep “Mama Mary’s” thin crusts on hand for a quick pizza.

    Suzanne, those pizzas are making my mouth water, though!

  4. Lora says:

    I love pesto as a base…some chicken,sun-dried tomatoes, diced red onion, parmesan cheese, yum!
    Taco pizza is tasty too.
    A little salsa as a base, taco meat, corn, cheddar cheese, jalepino peppers, chopped tomato and after it’s cooked, some sour cream and shredded lettuce.

  5. julie says:

    I would really love for you to do a post on making dessert pizzas (especially the cherry fruit ones). These are my all time favorite pizzas and although I am an experienced cook, I can’t seem to master these. Thanks is advance!!
    grace and peace,

  6. Kathryn says:

    My favorite is “girlie pizza”, a name given it by my sweet Himself. A little melted butter spread on the halfbaked crust, thin-thin slices of brie topped with thin-thin slices of pear, and then a little more melted butter (just the tiniest bit) spread on. A couple minutes before it is finished, add a sprinkling of blueberries, and back in the oven to finish. Heaven!

  7. Jillybean says:

    I am from the south and this is not something I have ever thought about but I do think most places here put the toppings on top of the cheese. Of course living in the south all my life it isn’t something I would think odd I guess.

  8. Donna says:

    Oh Suzanne, I wish you were my chef. LOL
    Those look sooooo good. I could eat a big ol slice right now, this morning! :mrgreen: :fryingpan:
    I love pizza combos such as: goat cheese and tomato, basil and olive oil, or I like say vegies and Jalepeno peppers and even anchovies!!! I think the only two things I DON’T like are hamburger on it or sausage, that much.
    Usually, if I order one, I’ll tell them “light on the black olives” because one place here uses alot of them. If I have pepperoni, I like it paper thin and crunchy!!! Is rapid-rise the same as active yeast or are those two different things?

  9. Donna says:

    I just noticed your top pizza – I LOVE banana peppers on them. I liked Sabarro’s pizza in NY (not AS good down this way)..but they used fresh things on it and I just love that. I have had ham/pineapple once and that was good..but for some reason, I am not really into alot of meat on my pizza.

  10. Carolyn A. says:

    Always like the toppings on top … that’s why they’re called TOPPINGS. My fav is ham, onion and pepperoni together. Once in a while maybe add some mushrooms to it. I know it’s not that healthy, but it is SO good. Thanks for the crust recipe. Now I have a good base for an excellent pizza. Suzanne, you are the best. xxoo

  11. jaq says:

    I make my own pizza too, but I don’t make the dough from scratch-I buy the dough already pre-mixed, just not rolled out from the Supermarket. It’s about 2 dollars per bag, and each bag is enough to make 2 medium sized ‘thin-crust’ pizzas. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making the dough from scratch, so thanks for the recipe/instructions. Oh, and I can totally see myself making a apple & cinnamon dessert pizza! Yum!

  12. Julie says:

    I love homemade pizza. My Favorite is carmalized onions and goat cheese. I still use sauce and mozzerella. Other favorite toppings are smoked bacon from a local farm, mushrooms, roasted garlic and pineapple. I too would love to see you do some dessert pizzas.

  13. Jennifer Robin says:

    I’d never thought about rolling it out directly on the pans before. Cool tip! I’m a half hour away from the nearest pizza, so we make our own too.
    My favorites are bacon and pineapple (yum, love the contrast of salty and sweet!) or cheeseburger pizza, which starts with a crushed tomato base, ground beef, a mix of mozzarella, jack and cheddar cheese, topped off with crumbled bacon and black olives.

  14. Karen B says:

    :hungry: I’m ready for pizza!

  15. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Rapid rise is a form of active yeast, yes! Just look for “rapid rise” on the package.

    Hmm, I see a dessert pizza post coming. 🙂

    I like to put the toppings on top of the cheese. I’m not sure if it’s a southern thing or not! I just think it cooks up better that way.

  16. Amy Addison says:

    You can also add some parsley, oregano, and basil to the dough (1/2 t dried of each) and a few tablespoons of finely shredded paremsan, and it adds another dimension of flavor.

    I love making homemade pizza dough. Yum, yum, yum.

  17. Cindy Smith says:

    Hiya – way back in far yonder years ago I worked in a pizza place. We used coarse corn meal for the non-stick effect and it worked brilliantly. We greased the deep dish, don’t know why the difference, but that worked,too.

    We also added sugar to the yeast bloom, so I’d add 1 to 2 teaspoons (we used 6 or 8 oz to 25 lbs of flour).

    Did we use a different dough recipe for the deep dish? Don’t remember, but it was very good.

    The big secret really was cooking them at about 550 degrees on stones. You’ve got the second rise covered.

    Thanks a lot for your blog. It’s my first daily stop. Just love chickens and goats a bunch.

  18. Estella says:

    I can tell it is lunch time here,
    you made me hungry. The pizza looks good!

  19. We Are Never Full says:

    I love my pizza thin-crust. Roll it out till you think you can’t roll it out anymore! and not sure if you’ve ever tried cooking it on a pizza stone, but, after many tests, this is the best way to achieve the most deliciously crispy, blistered bottomed homemade pizza. the key is to heat your pizza stone in a 500 degree oven for about 20 minutes and then put your rolled out dough on it for about 2-3 minutes to cook, then take it out and top it. back in the oven for your cheese to melt (another 2 to 3 minutes, if that) and you’re done! i highly recommend the pizza stone!

  20. Susan says:

    I love homemade pizza! My favorite is White Pizza with veggies. :hungry:

  21. Debbie from Iowa says:

    Canadian bacon & sauerkraut with a mixture of mozzerella & provolone on top! Yummy!

  22. catslady says:

    Am I the only one who loves anchovies :mrgreen:

  23. Marcia in Wyoming says:

    Two favorite pizzas – grilled chicken, red onions and goat cheese with a homemade pesto base and a Rueben – home-cured corned beef sliced thin, sauerkraut, shredded swiss cheese with a dijon mustard base I also put fresh herbs and garlic powder in the dough

  24. Remudamom says:

    Oh my mouth is watering. I like beef and cheddar best, with maybe a little onions.

  25. Kathryn says:

    Catslady, we adore anchovies around here. There are always tins of them in the cupboard. I especially like them sauteed for breakfast, when Himself decides that a particular Sunday is perfect for a fry-up.

  26. Fannie M Wiggins says:

    If it says Pizza on the box, I’m there. :shimmy: Put everything but the kitchen sink on it, I’m there. Bet you couldn’t tell I like pizza could you? 😆 I don’t make my own because it is too wasteful. I go to the pizza place and get a personal pan and that is just right for me. No left overs. (pizza place is 5 min. away) Have a great evening and :hug: to all.

  27. Christine says:

    Oh, WOW does that ever look good. Would you just stop with the fattening stuff though? I never thought I’d gain 20 lbs from reading a blog. 😆 :fryingpan:

  28. Cindy Smith says:


    catslady – no you’re not!

  29. missyakamelissa says:

    I’ll give you goaties if you give me pizza!

  30. Tina L says:

    Ohh, that looks yummy. I usually make my pizza crust from a mix. I love green olives on mine. I make my husband and I each a pizza the way we like it so we have left overs for the next day. He eats his for breakfast and I eat mine for lunch.

  31. Pat says:

    I love Grilled pizza with thinly sliced tomatoes, mozzerella and artichoke hearts with extra garlic. We often make individual ones for the kids and everyone gets to make their own with their favorite toppings.

    In out house toppings have always gone on top of the cheese. I grew up in the north. The cheese helps hold the toppings on.

    Love your site!

  32. jaq says:

    catslady, I love anchovies (tomatoes, pineapple, onion, peperoni, black olives, capers, banana peppers, and cheese)

  33. catslady says:

    LOL I’m glad to see others who enjoy them. My family gives me such a hard time. I’m not even allowed to have it put on half because they say it ruins the whole thing. I do put my own on sometimes but that doesn’t seem to be the same. I will order an individual one when we go out sometimes :yes:

  34. cyndi says:

    I’ve used this recipe for years, only I add a little cilantro to the dough. It makes it absolutely delicious!

  35. Fern says:

    Suzanne, where do you find all the time to do the things you do?…the pizza looks great. Just came back from W.Va last night…we enjoyed the weekend with my family that lives there…way way back in the woods but beautiful. When will your next book be out?
    :heart: Fern from Ohio

  36. TeresaH says:

    mmm…as usual I come here and get hungry! :hungry: I’ve lived in the south, and in the west, and now up north and everywhere I’ve been, except Godfathers, puts the toppings on top of the cheese. Its good both ways!

    I like pepperoni and onions. I am a cheese fan so I usually put mozzarella cheese on, a little sprinkling of cheddar cheese and parmesan (spelling?)then add the pepperoni and onions, then add more cheese on top of that. I like a thin crust too. Papa Murpheys here makes a d’lite pizza crust that is practically paper thin, I love it! It is one of those places where you go in, they build your pizza for you, then you take it home and bake it.

    Hmmm…think its going to be pizza for lunch now!

  37. Carole says:

    That looks delicious! And you make it look so easy. I just wish I knew how to cook :no: .

  38. Charlene says:

    Yum! I’m always on the lookout for a successful pizza dough recipe, since I can never get it right at my house!

    My favorite pizza is a garlic basil while sauce, with italian sausage and pineapple. Oh, yum! For decadant pizza, I add red onion. Simply divine!

    I’m ready to try your recipe out for tomorrow night. Wish me luck!

  39. Tanya says:

    Hello! I made your pizza dough recipe the other day – besides being easy, it was kinda fun! Anyway, I have a question. The dough poofed up quite a bit more than I would have liked. Should I have poked holes in the dough before baking, or did I perhaps not roll it out thinly enough?

  40. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Tanya! I’m not sure what size pizza pan you used. One recipe will make a 16-inch pizza, so if your pan was smaller, the pizza dough might have been too much for it? I don’t usually poke holes in it, though I have done that, so you could try that next time, too! I’m glad you had fun with it!

  41. Katrina (Callapidder Days) says:

    Oh, this looks delicious! I came here via Amy at Humble Musings, and will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks!

  42. Linda A. Pombriant says:

    This site is a breath of fresh air..Just loved it. Good job on all the work. I am a food writer for several newspapers and I was very impressed. Have Fun..Snappycook in Maine..(Linda)

  43. MaryLundShu says:

    Suzanne, We don’t have a pizza pan so I used a jelly roll pan (approx 15′ by 10′-ish)and the crust turned out more bread-like than crust-like. I wonder if my pan was too small or is that the way the crust should be. Also, do you know what temp the warm water should be?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      It does sound as if the pan was too small for the dough if it came out very bread-like (French bread pizza-ish).

      The correct water temp for making bread is 110-115 degrees. You can use a thermometer to test your water if you need to.

  44. CindyP says:

    YUM!! I made the crust tonight and it was the best crust I’ve ever had!! I tossed it like I was taught at the pizza shop and baked on a stone with cornmeal at 500 degrees! (I like it better than the crust we made at the shop….shhhhh, she’s still my best friend) One recipe made enough for 2 14″ pizzas for me.

    I also used the Basic Italian Tomato Sauce, so I have lots of sauce!

    Thanks, Suzanne for this great pizza recipe! :hungry:

  45. pattygrass says:

    I LOVE YOUR RECIPES! I have tried many a pizza dough in my time, and none of them are this good…I divided the dough into four personal pizzas yesterday and made breakfast pizza for today and tomorrow…no sauce, just par-scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese, then baked till they were done. My children thank you!

  46. josie9395s says:

    Pizza night was a great success! My guys loved the crust and I even made homemade pizza sauce. I am a yeast killer but with your recipes and instruction I am getting better. No more frozen pizza here but there will be some ordered. Koreans put stuff on pizza I would never have thought about and my kids love them.

    But for me I have found a keeper.

  47. Linda in San Diego says:

    Love the idea about using the cup to roll out the dough. I tried a small glass jar and was very successful getting the dough all rolled out. My family was quite impressed.

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