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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This chef-tested and approved Easiest Pizza Dough Recipe yields a dreamy crust with bubbly, crispy, and chewy texture all from the simple and straightforward instructions. You don’t need to activate the yeast or worry about complicated long-time dough preparation methods. With only a few basic ingredients, you can easily multiply the recipe to make as many pizzas as you need.
Pizza is a universal favorite, enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds all around the globe. And you Bold Bakers have definitely shown me that you love pizza as much as I do!
However, making the Best Pizza Dough Recipe (No-Knead) from scratch can be intimidating for beginners. The Simplest Sourdough Pizza Crust (That’s Perfectly Chewy) is profound in flavor and incredible in texture, but maybe you don’t have time to maintain the starter. Or, perhaps you just prefer a more traditional yeast pizza dough instead of my quick 15-Minute Pizza Dough Recipe (No Yeast) or the keto-friendly and gluten-free Cauliflower Pizza Crust. Fear not and look no more, because I have formulated the perfect recipe to help you make the easiest pizza dough yet!
Table of Contents
What is the Easiest Pizza Dough?
The Easiest Pizza Dough is a traditional yeast-pizza dough with signature lovely airy and stretchy texture BUT made without fuss! Additionally, it can be resized, stored frozen and baked off fresh anytime!
Important Ingredients for the Easiest Pizza Dough Recipe and Why
- All-purpose flour (aka plain flour): All-purpose flour has a protein content of around 11%. It’s widely available and provides just enough protein for a good chew yet is still easy to work with.
- You can substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour. Bread Flour (BF) has 13% protein, more than 11% in All-Purpose (AP) Flour which means BF absorbs more liquid and creates more gluten strands to yield a stretchier texture with more airy bubbles.
- You can also use 00 flour or semolina flour in place of all-purpose flour. Both flours are high in protein but the gluten strands are not so elastic. This makes pizza dough more pliable and crispier.
- Instant yeast:
- Instant yeast can be used directly into dry ingredients without sponging.
- Note to avoid direct contact with salt by mixing yeast with flour first so it won’t get deactivated.
- Salt: Salt enhances flavors and strengthens glutens for a chewier crust.
- Olive oil: Olive oil contributes to a more flavorful pizza with a better texture. I suggest you use extra virgin olive oil.
- First, olive oil imparts a rich, fruity flavor that can enhance the taste of the dough.
- Second, olive oil adds moisture and texture, tenderizing the crust and making it crispier on the outside and chewier on the inside.
- Third, olive oil can make the dough more elastic, making it easier to stretch and shape without tearing.
- Use lukewarm water because yeast needs warmth to be able to produce gas efficiently.
- Warm up the water in the microwave or on the stove top. When you put your finger in the water and you can’t feel it’s colder or warmer than your finger, that’s the perfect temperature for yeast to activate.
- Pizza Sauce
- Pizza sauce not only adds flavor but also prevents the Easiest Pizza Dough from getting dry in baking.
- Make my 5-Minute Pizza Sauce recipe to elevate the flavor of your pizza.
- Fresh mozzarella:
- Mozzarella cheese is a traditional pizza topping and is typically used as the base cheese in most pizzas. Make it at home using my How To Make Homemade Mozzarella recipe.
- Mozzarella melts well and creates a stringy, stretchy texture when it’s heated. It helps to hold everything together, and its mild flavor complements the other toppings, creating a tasty and cohesive final product.
How to Make the Easiest Pizza Dough Recipe for Beginners
Making the dough
- First, mix dry ingredients to evenly distribute yeast and salt in flour.
- Second, add in water and olive oil gradually JUST until the dough comes together and can clean the bowl.
Proofing the dough
- Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl. Coat the dough in a little oil and cover tightly with cling wrap and a kitchen towel. Place the dough in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours.
- Take care NOT to over-proof the dough.
- When it comes to bread fermenting/ proofing, there is no restricted timeline. The telltale sign you use is how your dough looks: if the dough has at least doubled in size, almost feels lighter but still strong and a finger indent doesn’t spring back right away, then it’s ready.
Shaping & Baking the pizza dough
- Pizzas love a hot oven! Preheat the oven to the highest temperature of your oven and adjust the baking time accordingly. Mine can go up to 500°F (250°C).
- Cover shaped pizza dough balls and rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten.
- Lightly flour your work surface to provide enough traction for dough shaping and rolling. Place a rolled out pizza crust onto the floured parchment paper.
- Spread on pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Slide the parchment paper on the hot baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is bubbly and the cheese is toasty around the edges.
Can I Freeze the Easiest Pizza Dough? How Do I Bake a Raw Pizza Dough From Frozen?
- After the bulk fermentation or after final proofing before baking, you can portion and put the dough into oiled freezer bags, seal close to the dough, and pop in the freezer.
- When you need to use the dough, remove it from the bag as soon as possible, then allow it to defrost (in the fridge overnight if it’s warm and humid where you live). Then shape it, proof (until it has doubled in size and a finger indent doesn’t spring back right away), and bake.
- OR you can roll it out on parchment paper and freeze until solid and wrap tight then seal them in a freezer bag. Take the crust out while preheating the oven then assemble it and bake off.
- Alternatively, simply shape your crust as you would for any pizza and pop it into the oven without any topping. Bake at the normal temp BUT only for 3 minutes or so. You want the dough to get cooked but you don’t really want any color at this point. Top your pizza as desired and pop into the freezer to be baked at a later date from frozen.
- Bake from frozen until the dough has well risen and turned golden brown on the crust edge and the cheese has melted.
Can I make the Easiest Pizza Dough in Advance? How Long Can Pizza Dough be Stored in the Fridge or Freezer?
- You can make this dough in advance: after it has risen, divide the dough into four equal pieces, coat each ball in oil, and place in individual Ziploc bags. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- For long-term storage, freeze the Ziploc bag of dough for up to 6 weeks. To use, thaw in the fridge overnight then roll and assemble as directed in the recipe.
- It’s best to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
How to shape pizza dough:
Flour your work surface and place down your dough. First, form the crust around the edges, and then using your knuckles pull the dough over your hands stretching it gently as it gets bigger. Pull into roughly a 10-inch circle. Don’t worry if holes appear, just pinch them closed.
Can I Make this Easiest Pizza Dough Gluten-Free?
- No. This is a yeast recipe that needs to work with gluten to develop the structure, so GF flour won’t work well.
- However, you can use gluten-free flour in my No-Yeast Pizza recipe.
- For most recipes that don’t use yeast as a raising agent, you can substitute GF all-purpose blend flour for all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio (which usually contains xanthan gum as a binding agent) or substitute almond flour starting at 1:1 for all-purpose (white) flour. More resting time before baking will help hydrate almond flour to bind all ingredients better, or using ½ to 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum or cornstarch in each cup of almond flour will also work as a binding agent.
- Note to hold back some liquid by using up to three quarters of the required amount in one go and adjust it accordingly to get the same consistency as the recipe.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- This recipe uses instant yeast.
- If you only have active dry yeast, use active dry yeast in the double amount of instant yeast required by the recipe. Bring the liquid in your recipe to blood temperature and mix in active dry yeast. Let it sit at room temperature for roughly 5 minutes until foam forms on top. Stir it back in and use the mixture in the recipe.
- Use the water required in the recipe for this so you don’t throw off the liquid amount in the dough.
- Don’t use too much sauce or too many toppings as it can weigh the dough down.
- Slide your pizza onto your pre-heated tray in the oven and shut the door. Using a pre-heated tray like this Reversible Grill Griddle to bake your pizza will ensure a crisp crust AND you will get will a lovely bubbly pop on your crust. P.S. Keep that door closed as the pizza is baking for a better crispier, crust.
And don’t miss my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day cookbook featuring all-new bread/dough recipes and more!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Proof for 2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Make bubbly, perfect pizza with this easiest pizza dough recipe for beginners with only simple techniques and less preparation required.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 pizzas
- 4 cups (20 oz/568 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 ⅓ cups (10 ½ fl oz/315 ml) warm water
- ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
- 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) pizza sauce
- 16 oz (450 g) fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup (3 oz/85 g) pepperoni
- semolina , optional, for dusting
Add the flour, yeast and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and stir on medium to combine.
Pour in the water and olive oil and continue to mix on medium speed for 8-10 minutes. You want just enough liquid for the dough to form a ball.
Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl so the surface of the ball of dough gets coated in oil.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and put in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 500°F (250°C). Place a rimless baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
Turn the proofed dough onto a lightly floured surface, knock back and divide into 6 equal pieces (roughly 8 oz/225g) each.
Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes. (At this point you can place the balls into Individual ziplock bags and store in the fridge for up to 2 days or can be frozen for 6 weeks)
When ready to bake your pizza, lightly dust a large piece of parchment paper with semolina and set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out a ball of dough into a 10-12 inch (25-30 cm) circle and place on the parchment. (If the dough pulls back as you are rolling then cover it and allow to rest for 10 minutes before rolling again)
Top the pizza with ½ cup ( 4 fl oz/120 ml) of pizza sauce, followed by 4 oz (115 g) cheese and pepperonis.
Lift the parchment paper with the pizza and place on the hot baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is bubbly and the cheese is toasty around the edges.
Transfer to a cutting board, slice into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve immediately.
Store leftover pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 minutes.