Would you like to learn how to make pizza dough? It's actually very easy to do and homemade pizza dough is so much better than store-bought. This guide will show you exactly how to do it and also recommend some really nice pizza recipes.
* This Pizza Dough Recipe will produce 2 medium-sized bases.
I have always really liked Pizza but over the past couple of years, it has become a passion. In the summer I enjoy inviting friends and making homemade pizzas in the garden whilst enjoying some wine or beer. At first, I would always use store-bought dough, this was until I started making my own pizza dough. (Once you try it, you won't go back to the store-bought!)
I am going to show you how to make pizza dough at home and I am sure you will be surprised at just how easy it is. I have tried a number of different pizza dough recipes and had mixed results, this one has worked every single time.
How To Make Pizza Dough - The Easiest Recipe
There is something really nice about making your own pizza, using fresh ingredients for the toppings and just experimenting. It's funny how I and probably so many other people will add fresh toppings and make our own pizza but still use store-bought dough. I have had some great store-bought bases but the homemade really does taste so much better.
If you are going to make pizza dough, you will want to make sure you give yourself time for the dough to rise which usually takes 60-90 minutes. The first thing you need to do is to make the yeast liquid, the yeast is essential as it is this that makes it rise. Personally I prefer to get the sachets of Easy Bake Yeast, they come in 7gs and have never had any problems with them.
I have seen many Pizza Dough Recipes where you put the yeast in the flour, however, I like to give it a head start before adding it. In a bowl placed 150ml of lukewarm water, it's important that the water is lukewarm and not too hot or too cold or else the yeast won't react. I also like to add some sugar and olive oil to give it a little additional flavor and sweetness. Add the yeast and then give it a gentle whisk by hand and then leave this for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes you should see that the yeast has started reacting with the water and has started foaming on the surface. Get a large bowl, add the strong white flour with a pinch of salt. I like to then create a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour the yeast liquid into the center. With a wooden spoon you want to begin to mix the flour and yeast liquid, I like to start from the edges and then give everything a gentle stir.
Once it has begun to combine, I then use my hands to continue mixing. The reason I use a spoon first is that it tends to be fairly sticky, to begin with. Continue to mix the dough together until it is fully combined.
On a floured surface you want to start kneading the dough, you want to do this for around 10 minutes. This Pizza dough recipe is pretty forgiving so if you are not too experienced with kneading, you will still be able to produce a really tasty pizza base. You don't want to over-knead it, so 10 minutes it's normally plenty of time. If you find it starts to get a bit sticky, just add a little more flour to the surface.
Now you need to give the pizza dough time to rise, place it into a bowl and cover with some cling film or a tea towel. Place this somewhere warm as this is needed for it to rise, however it should not be somewhere that is too hot. I put it into an airing cupboard or on a shelf above the radiator. (but not on the radiator)
Leave it to rise, this will normally take 60-90 minutes. The dough should have doubled in size. Give the dough a knock (basically, punch the dough), this removes some of the air in the dough. On a floured surface, you then want to gently knead again for a final 5 minutes.
This homemade pizza dough recipe does make 2 pizzas, so you want to split the dough into two dough balls. You then want to gently spread out the dough from the middle to the edges to flatten it into a pizza shape, continue to rotate the dough and continue to add flour to the surface if it begins to get sticky. Don’t worry too much about getting a perfect circle and I’d try to do it with your hands and not use a rolling pin as this does reduce the air and makes it not as light.
Get your pizza base as thin as you want it, I normally go for around 0.5cm. Don’t forget it will rise when it's being cooked. I would then leave the pizza base for 20 minutes prior to putting toppings on.
Common Mistakes Making Homemade Pizza Dough
There are a number of common and easy mistakes that can happen when trying to make your own homemade pizza dough. By learning what these mistakes are, you can avoid them the next time.
1. The dough won’t stretch
When your dough doesn't stretch, this is normally caused by not giving it enough time to proof. You can simply leave it at room temperature for 60-90 minutes and this will be more than enough to give it the elasticity it needs. If you are in a rush or eager to get your pizza done you may skip this step, don't! Proving the dough is vital if you want a nice and stretchy pizza dough.
2. Using a rolling pin
It’s so tempting when making a pizza base, to get the rolling pin to help get the base to the right shape. The problem is, a rolling pin will overwork the dough which results in the little air pockets from popping, this reduces the lightness of the pizza. I would always recommend not using a rolling pin and aim to stretch it with your hands.
3. Stretching the dough to thin
I love a good thin crust pizza but it’s important when making your own base that you don't stretch it too thin. Just think about the weight it has to hold with the sauce, cheese, and all those toppings. If it's too thin then it might split, I would go for a thickness of at least 0.5cm/1/4 inch.
As mentioned, many people are put off from making their own pizza dough. This is a shame, as it is very easy and really does taste better than store-bought. Below are the most common questions I have gotten.
Can You Make Pizza Dough Without Yeast?
Yes, you can make pizza dough without using yeast, you would simply replace this with baking powder. When not using yeast, the pizza will not rise as much but will taste just as good. With the baking powder, you may also want to include some lemon juice for additional flavoring.
How Long To Prove Pizza Dough?
It is very important that you give plenty of time to prove the dough, normally 60-90 minutes is more than enough. The dough should have doubled in size when finished proving. It’s also very important that it proves at room temperature.
How Long Does Pizza Dough Last?
When you have made pizza dough, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can leave it uncovered for 2 days but to avoid it from drying out, you should cover it with clingfilm.
Can Pizza Dough be frozen?
Yes, Pizza Dough can be frozen for up to 3 weeks, so you can make more and keep it in the freezer. I would normally break it up into individual balls and then freeze these individually, this is even more important if you are making the dough in bulk.
What do I do when pizza dough is too sticky?
When you are kneading the dough, you might find it starts to get a little too sticky. This is because there is too much water, to prevent this you should add a little more flour. I would also recommend putting flour on your hands to prevent the pizza dough from sticking to your fingers when mixing and kneading.
Why pizza dough didn't rise?
There are two very common reasons as to why the pizza dough didn’t rise. The first is simply because the room that you are proving the dough in is not warm enough. If this is the case then you should move it to somewhere that's a bit warmer IE near a radiator. The 2nd reason is that the yeast is dead, this can happen if the water is not lukewarm.
Now you know how to make pizza dough at home, you might want some inspiration of what toppings to put on. Below you can find my favorite Pizza Recipes.
There you have it, a complete guide on how to make pizza dough. Hopefully, after reading the guide, you can see just how easier it is to actually make. The main things I would focus on are starting off the yeast in a combination of lukewarm water and olive oil, using enough flour on the surface of the worktop to avoid it being sticky. I would also advise you to use your hands to spread the pizza base instead of using a rolling pin.
As I said before, I have never gone wrong with this pizza dough recipe and I am sure you will find it just as easy regardless of your experience levels within the kitchen. Please do comment below on what you think and share it with any friends that you think would benefit from this guide.
- 150 ml water lukewarm
- 7 grams Active Yeast
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 250 grams Strong White Flour
- 1 pinch salt
- In a bowl place the water, sugar, oil and yeast. Whisk until mixed and leave for 10 minutes
- In another bowl place the flour with a pinch of salt and form a well in the centre
- Pour the liquid into the well and mix the flour with your hands until the dough is combined and sticky.
- Pour out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes
- Put into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and place in a warm spot of the house for 90 minutes
- Once the dough has risen, empty out onto a flour surface and knead again for another 5 minutes.
- Roll the dough out into your pizza shape and at the thickness you want (usually the side of a pound) and leave for another 20 minutes.
- Top with your sauce and favourite toppings