I have spent the last eight years testing and failing to make the absolute perfect homemade pizza. Originally my motivation was out of pure aggravation because, unless you order a 99-slice of cheese, pizza in New York is actually super expensive. Toppings average at four dollars apiece, and ordering a single pizza would cost upwards of $30. Determined to save some money, I started to make pizza at home. Which turned in over half a decade of testing homemade pizza dough recipes.
When I finally nailed the recipe, I cried. Not even kidding. It felt like a huge win as I cried over my artisinal looking pie. The perfectly crunchy crust. The small air bubbles on the sides. The sturdy bottom that actually holds all of my toppings. It honestly still feels like a miracle to me.
It felt like an impossible feat for so long, but once I finally nailed down the recipe, I tested it multiple times to make sure that this truly was a bulletproof homemade pizza dough recipe that I could share. One that was simple enough that anyone could replicate it at home.
Important supplies for homemade pizza dough
Listen, I’m not going to get too complicated on you—I promise. But if you truly want the best homemade pizza, I highly recommend snagging the following products.
- King Arthur Neapolotian-Style ’00’ Pizza Flour: This fine pizza flour makes for a perfectly chewy crust. If you can’t find it, an unbleached all-purpose flour will also do nicely.
- King Arthur Pizza Flavor: It just gives the dough that extra zing of flavor that makes homemade pizza crust even more special.
- Made In Pizza Steel: Made from carbon steel, this pizza plate has 86 perforations to allow heat to perfectly hit the bottom of your pizza so everything cooks evenly.
- Quick Rise Instant Yeast: We actually have a jar of this on hand so we don’t have to keep wasting packet wrappers. However, this recipe perfectly works with one packet—so just choose what best works for you!
Alright, here’s a quick step-by-step guide.
Prep the first rise
You’ll mix together the water and yeast first before adding in your other ingredients (pizza flour, olive oil, salt, honey, pizza flavor) and let it knead in a stand mixer using a dough hook for five minutes. Brush a bowl lightly with olive oil and place your dough in it, covering it with plastic wrap and letting it rise for one hour—preferably in a warm spot, like near a window.
Shape the dough for a second rise
The second rise will be smaller—15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on a surface and divide your dough into two. Pinch the ends of each dough and roll them into balls. Leave them to rise—I usually place the plastic wrap on top again.
Important tip! You’re going to want to get your oven up to 550 degrees—we’re trying to mimic a pizza oven, which can get up to 900 degrees. So as your dough rises, get that oven preheated to 550.
You can freeze your dough for later.
If you only plan on making one pizza, you’re going to want to freeze whatever dough you don’t use before the second rise. Wrap it up in a plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for up to three months.
When you’re ready to use it, unwrap your frozen dough and place it in a bowl, then in the fridge overnight. The dough will defrost and slowly rise. When it’s pizza time, place the bowl on the counter for 30 minutes to get warm before rolling it out.
Now let’s make a pizza!
Gently roll out your dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Then pick it up with clean hands and gently stretch out the dough into a 12″ diameter. The best way to do this is by grabbing the edges of the dough and working your way around the circumference.
Place the dough on your pizza steel or cast iron skillet and add your toppings! I typically go for a marinara sauce, whatever leftover veggies I have in my fridge (this time I did peppers, onions, broccoli, and kale), a good handful of parmesan cheese, and a light drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil. I also sprinkle on some salt and pepper, as well as an Italian seasoning and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
And of course, we save the best for last—drizzle on some Mike’s Hot Honey.
Spicy honey…on pizza? You better believe it. I first discovered this magical combo when I first visited one of my favorite pizza spots in Brooklyn. Pizzas were served with a small cup of Mike’s Hot Honey on the side so you could drizzle or dip, and it certainly ranks as one of the top magical sensory experiences of my life.
Now I can’t imagine pizza without it, so don’t miss out—snag yourself a bottle.
Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
- Pizza steel/stone, or a cast iron skillet
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast equivalent to one packet
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil plus some extra
- 3 cups '00' pizza flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pizza flavor optional
- Toppings of choice
- In a stand mixer, mix together the water and the instant yeast. Wait for the yeast to bloom—shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
- Add the honey, olive oil, flour, salt, and pizza flavor. Mix on the lowest setting with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
- Lightly brush a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Pinch the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour.
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and divide it into two. Pinch the ends of each dough together then roll the two doughs into balls. Cover with the same plastic wrap and let it rise for 15-20 minutes.
- This is the perfect time to preheat your oven to 550 degrees. Make sure a rack is set at the bottom third of your oven.
- Flour your dough individually and gently roll it out with a rolling pin into a circle. Widen the circle by holding the ends and stretching it into a 12" diameter. If you're using a cast-iron skillet, you won't have to stretch it as much (around 8-10" diameter).
- Place the dough on your pizza stone/steel, or into a cast-iron skillet. Add your desired toppings (I usually do the sauce first, followed by veggies/meats, cheese, oil, and seasonings).
- Place on that bottom rack in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it. The cast-iron skillet will likely take longer, so keep an eye on it.
- Remove and let the pizza sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Need more pizza topping inspo?
Here are some of my recipes you can use with this easy homemade pizza dough!
- Butternut Squash Kale Pizza
- Kale Parmesan Flatbread
- Ridiculously Easy Vegan Pizza Sauce
- Margherita Pizza
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