Get ready for the cheers when you learn how to make pizza dough from scratch. Not just any dough, mind you— authentic, chewy dough that tastes fabulous and cooks up in minutes.
Once the dough is made, it’s portioned out and rolled thin into small pizza crusts that get par-cooked in a dry skillet. Make a batch now, store them in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator, and you’ll have authentic Italian pizza at a moment’s notice throughout the week.
Need Pizza Dough for a giant DIY pizza party? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
How do you make Pizza Dough at home?
- First, you find a bowl. Then you mix the dry ingredients together: flour, yeast, sugar, and sea salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then add water, beer, and olive oil. Can you use white wine instead? Sure. Can you leave out the alcohol? Yep. Just replace it with some extra water.
- Mix everything up with a sturdy wooden spoon. It will get stiff, at which point use your hands to bring it together (it’s easy!) until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Now it’s time to knead. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface that’s been dusted with a little extra flour. Knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and elastic.
- Return the dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm area of the kitchen to rise until it doubles in size. This should take about an hour.
- After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and divide into eight equal pieces (about 4 ounces each). Form each piece into a ball, then cover them with the towel and let stand for about 15 minutes.
- When ready to roll out the dough, dust a work surface with flour and roll out thin using a wine bottle or rolling pin.
- Now you’re ready to par-cook the crusts! Heat a cast iron skillet very hot over medium heat. One at a time, transfer rolled dough to skillet and cook, flipping once and rotating as needed to evenly cook the crust. It should look barely tan and even brown in a few spots. Go ahead and press any thicker spots down to get them cooked, if you need to.
- Move the cooked crusts to a wire rack to cool. Use right away or store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
How do you cook the Pizza Dough?
The beauty of this recipe is that because the dough has already been par-cooked, all you have to do is add your favorite toppings, sauce, or cheese and place the pizzas under the broiler to finish cooking. On a crazy weeknight, especially with picky eaters, this pizza dough recipe is an absolute hero.
- Olive oil, herbs, and Parmesan cheese? Yes, please.
- Tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil? The best Margherita pizza outside of Italy.
- Pepperoni, peperoncini, and garlic? A spicy flatbread that satisfies.
How to make Pizza Dough healthy:
Making your own pizza crust is about as healthy as it gets! No hard-to-pronounce ingredients or preservatives, just an age-old combination of yeast and flour that produces magical results. I can’t vouch for what you use to top your pizza, though, but I bet whatever it is will be delicious.
How to make Pizza Dough without yeast:
Here’s a yeast-free recipe for pizza dough with self-rising flour.
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 8 ounces beer, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
Follow the instructions in the recipe for kneading, rolling, and par-cooking.
Can you freeze Pizza Dough?
Leftover par-cooked crusts store very well in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag. In case you made too many, par-cooked crusts can be wrapped tightly aluminum foil or plastic and frozen for up to 2 weeks.
How to Make Pizza Dough
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting and to finish the dough
- 2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast or instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup water warm
- 1/4 cup light beer room temperature
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 teaspoon to oil the bowl
To make the Dough:
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients with your fingers. Add the warm water, beer, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until everything is too stiff to stir. At that point, mix with your hands in the bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Dust a work surface lightly with flour and turn the dough out onto the surface. Knead gently, dusting the work surface lightly with more flour if needed, for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky.
- Oil a large clean bowl, then add the dough and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, place in a warm part of the kitchen, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough to deflate and turn out onto a well-floured work surface. Divide into 8 pieces (about 4 oz. each); shape each into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand 15 minutes before stretching dough. Or, transfer balls to a floured rimmed baking sheet and chill until cold.
To par-cook the Dough:
- Working one at a time, press and stretch dough balls into 9”–10” rounds, sprinkling with more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking (use as little as you can).
- Using a rolling pin or your hand as a guide, shape a slightly thicker rim around edge. If dough resists or shrinks back as you shape it, let it rest a minutes before proceeding; do not overwork dough.
- Heat a 10”–12” cast-iron skillet over medium heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Working one at a time, carefully transfer dough to skillet and cook, flipping once and rotating crust to encourage even cooking, until barely tan and browned in a few spots, about 5 minutes total. Press any thicker parts against the pan to help cook through.
- Transfer crusts to wire racks or baking sheets as you work, brushing off any excess flour. Let cool.
To bake the par-cooked Dough:
- Pre-heat broiler to high and adjust the top rack about 6" away from top of oven.
- Place par-cooked pizza dough on a baking sheet. Add toppings and ingredients, then place in oven under broiler.
- Watch pizza carefully at this point. Look for the cheese to melt and begin to bubble, and the crust to get a little char on the edges. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
To skip the Par-Cook and make one big Pizza:
- Preheat your home oven up as high as it will go, and cook the pizza on a cast iron pizza pan or pizza stone. Put the pan/stone in a cold oven and let it heat up as the oven heats.
- Add sauce, toppings, then place pizza on stone and bake, watching carefully, until cheese is bubbly and crust is toasted.