Homemade Pizza Dough
Think it takes hours to make homemade pizza dough from scratch? Think again. Just a couple of ingredients and a few minutes of hands on time will reward you with perfect thin crust pizza dough every single time. Pizza night will now be tastier than ever.
Homemade pizza dough was on my culinary bucket list for years. I tried several variations with a billion types of flour and was always left with a chewy, puffy crust. Not a fan of puffy crust…not a fan at all. I like a thin crust pizza that’s crispy, one with some crunch.
Not like a cracker but it needs to have some substance and it definitely needs to be able to hold a boatload of toppings if I’m feeling especially gluttonous. This Thin Crust Pizza Dough is just what you’re looking for it you want a traditional Neopolitan pizza dough for a true Italian style pizza.
What Is Pizza Dough
Pizza night is all the rage in our house but it can got south quickly if our pizza dough doesn’t live up to our standards. This thin crust pizza recipe is our go-to for perfect pizza every time.
A great pizza dough is the foundation of a really great pizza so you want to be sure you choose a recipe that’s going to make your pizza the best it can be.
Pizza dough is considered to be a lean bread dough which means it contains no eggs or butter. Without the extra fat, the dough can bake into a crispy pizza crust.
What Kind of Flour Makes the Best Pizza Dough
Let’s talk flour for a moment, shall we? Flour is finicky. There are so many types of flour that you could get lost in the dust if you don’t know what to use. Literally.
Whole wheat flour is great but it’s a completely different texture and not at all what we want for a thin, crispy pizza crust. BUT we do love this easy Whole Wheat Pizza dough! All-purpose flour gave me the super puffy crust I highly dislike. Two thumbs down.
The winner was 00 flour….what is 00 flour, you ask? Caputo 00 flour is a finely ground flour with a lower gluten content than most flours. Less gluten means less elasticity. Caputo 00 flour is commonly found in a lot of Italian pasta recipes, it’s relatively easy to find these days in most well-stocked grocery stores. I found mine at an Italian specialty store but you can also buy it online here. If you can’t find it, you can use bread flour in this recipe with good results but the crust will not be quite as thin.
If you’re looking for a gluten free crust, there are a lot of gluten free flours that are a cup to cup replacement. If you have a favorite, you can easily substitute it in this recipe but the results will vary so you’ll just need to test it until you find one you like.
Ingredients in Homemade Pizza Dough
Every pizza dough begins with the same basic ingredients: Flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil and water. It doesn’t get simpler than that.
Using high quality ingredients is key here, as I mentioned before.
- Flour – As I said before, a Caputo 00 Flour is your best bet because of the lower gluten content but bread flour, or even all purpose flour, will work. Your crust will be a little puffier but it’s still chewy, crispy and amazing. Add a couple extra teaspoons of water if using bread flour since it contains more protein than 00 Flour and All Purpose Flour.
- Yeast – I’ve made this recipe with both Instant Yeast and regular yeast. I find that Instant Yeast works exceptionally well and is much less fussy to work with since you can just whisk it right into the dry ingredients without proofing ahead of time.
- Water – As you may have guessed….nothing fancy here BUT be sure you use warm water to cut down on rise time. A temperature of 110˚F is best, anything above 130˚F will kill the yeast.
- Oil – Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds a great flavor to the dough and a brush on top of your dough before adding your sauce/toppings will keep the pizza from getting soggy.
- Sugar – Sugar is used to feed the yeast and increase its activity. It also tenderizes the dough.
- Salt – Flavor….that’s all
You’ll also notice I used cornmeal on the pizza pan. Our local pizza shop bakes all their pizzas in cornmeal to give it a little extra flavor, texture and crunch!
How To Make Pizza Dough
Let’s get started….this simple dough is made in a mixer.
- Dump all the dry ingredients in and start the kneading process on low. Add the water and olive oil. You can also make this by hand if you don’t own a mixer.
- When the dough becomes a “ball” and pulls away from the sides. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm, no drafty place until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half, for 2 14-inch crusts, or in quarters for 4 7-inch crusts. Form the dough into balls and lightly oil the surface if storing for later. Place in a zip top bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How To Freeze
Once the pizza dough rises, divide it up into either 2 balls or 4 smaller balls. Lightly coat the dough in olive oil and transfer to individual freezer bags. Squeeze out the air and freeze for up to 3 months.
To thaw frozen pizza dough, place in the refrigerator and thaw for 8 hours or overnight.
You can make the dough in advance during your weekly kitchen prep session…if you have one. I know lots of people that have a kitchen prep day and I would love to have the discipline to do this…but I don’t.
However, I will always have this dough readily available, as well as, my No Cook Pizza Sauce because even on the craziest, head-spinning nights you can whip something amazing up in 10 minutes flat. Sprinkle with a bit of Pizza seasoning for true pizzeria flavor.
What To Make With Homemade Dough
We also love this California Cobb Pizza with avocado….it tastes so fresh and healthy! But if you’re looking for something a little more hearty, this easy Stromboli is nothing short of amazing and EASY!
This easy dough recipe is also perfect for making our favorite Garlic Knots!!! They come together in just 10 minutes.
If you’re looking for a low carb option….this easy Cauliflower Pizza Crust is top of our list!
We also love this Neapolitan Pizza….it’s so simple and perfect.
Get the Recipe: The Best Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups 00 flour , or bread flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Instant yeast, 1 packet
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup warm water 110 degrees
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
- Slowly add the water and olive oil and continue mixing until the dough forms a ball and has pulled away from the sides. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest and double in size, approximately 1 hour.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and allow to rest 10 minutes before rolling out.
- If storing for later, lightly coat each dough ball with olive oil and store in a zip top bag for up to 5 days.