Finally! A homemade pizza dough recipe that’s easy and delicious. A flavorful dough you can make in bulk and just pull out of the freezer when needed.
This perfect pizza dough recipe is brought to you by one of our favorite family traditions. I started making Monday night our weekly pizza night which makes dinner a breeze and everyone loves it.
Why This Recipe Works
- You can prepare your pizzas in advance. You can make the Italian pizza dough recipe up to a few months in advance and keep it in the freezer. You can even assemble the pizzas and freeze them so that they are ready to bake from frozen.
- You can customize the pizzas. Make the pizzas different sizes for personal pizzas or larger ones. Adjust the sauces, toppings, and cheeses to fit your own wants and tastes.
- The dough is pretty forgiving. We make this dough from scratch but it’s really easy and pretty foolproof. It will require a little rising time and resting, but it’s very beginner-friendly.
Ingredients for Refrigerated Pizza Dough
- Olive oil
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Easy Pizza Dough
- In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients needed for the dough.
- Gradually add in the olive oil and water, while mixing together until a sticky dough forms. If the dough is too wet, add in a little more flour but if the dough is too dry, add in a little more water. You want the dough to not feel dry and it’s okay if it’s a little bit sticky.
- Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or for about 6 minutes if using an electric mixer.
- Remove the dough and divide it into 6 equal-sized portions.
- If you plan to use the dough the same day it is made, let it rise on the counter until ready to bake. You will need to let it rise for at least 30 minutes before being shaped.
- If you are freezing the dough, spray the inside of a sandwich bag with cooking spray or coat it with olive oil before placing a ball of dough inside. Leave a one-inch opening at the top of the bag to allow for gas to escape.
- Combine all of the freezer bags into one larger freezer bag to prevent the dough from getting freezer burnt. Store it in the freezer until needed.
- Remove the bag from the freezer on the morning that they are needed and allow them to thaw and rise at room temperature. You can also place them into the fridge the night before if desired. The refrigerated pizza dough will slowly rise in the fridge overnight so you do not want it to rise in there for more than 12 hours or it can become over-proofed. (Overnight pizza dough is great for a lunch option the next day).
How to Bake Overnight Pizza Dough
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and place a baking stone or overturned baking sheet into the oven as it preheats.
- Roll out or toss your dough until it is ⅛-¼ of an inch thick. You do not need to form a crust around the pizza shape as this will happen naturally. Rolling your pizza dough out onto foil or parchment paper will make it easier to transfer to the pan later.
- Add your desired toppings and sauces once the oven has fully preheated and it can be baked immediately. Adding the toppings too quickly will result in a soggy crust. Do not overdo it on the toppings.
- Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Allow the pizza to cool slightly on a wire rack or vented pizza tray for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Can you freeze pizza dough?
You can! I’ll be honest, it’s how I have time to make homemade pizza every week. It’s super easy – I promise! It’s actually one of my quickest meals.
I make a double or triple batch of dough and then divide it up into baggies that have been sprayed with cooking spray and then put them all in a gallon size bag in the freezer. I set out 2 or 3 of the baggies of frozen pizza dough on Monday morning and they are ready to go for dinner!
How to Freeze Pizza Dough
- Oil a small bag.
- Place dough portion, enough for one crust, inside of the bag.
- Close the bag almost all the way, leaving 1 inch open for the gas to escape.
- Place small bags into a freezer bag.
Here it is in picture format:
Pizza Topping Suggestions
- Bell peppers
- Pickled jalapeno
- Sliced ham
- Alfredo sauce
- Cheddar cheese
- BBQ sauce
- Red onions
My favorite pizzas from this last month were a pesto with mozzarella and this BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe! Pizza is a great way to use up small amounts of leftover ingredients so you don’t waste anything!
Recipe Tips for Perfect Pizza Dough
This easy pizza dough recipe makes six small (think personal pan) pizzas. We do more traditional Italian-style pizza so the crust is thin and baked on a pizza stone (an overturned baking sheet works well too) so it’s more crispy. Our toppings aren’t loaded on either, they are more thinly layered.
If you want a thicker crust to stand up to more toppings, you’d double the dough up. Because you let the dough sit out at room temperature all day before baking, it develops a fantastic flavor. So give the thin crust a try before loading it down with toppings.
You can use instant yeast or active dry yeast and choose to bloom the yeast or not depending on which you would prefer. Both options will work fine and it won’t make too much of a difference for this recipe.
If your dough is breaking when it is rolled or stretched it is a sign that the dough has been overworked and needs to rest. Let the dough relax, and be covered on the counter for at least 10-30 minutes before trying to roll it out. This happened because the proteins have tightened up during the kneading which is great for creating structure, but not so good for shaping the dough. Letting the glutens relax will make the process go a lot more smoothly.
I have never tried to make this pizza dough with whole wheat flour before so I can’t be certain if it is going to work well or not. If you do use whole wheat flour, the moisture level will need to be adjusted. You will want the dough to be sticky.
Yes, you can make this pizza dough in your bread maker if you do not wish to make it by hand. To do this, simply place all of the ingredients for the dough into your bread maker in the order specified by your bread maker’s manual. When it has finished, punch down the dough and let it rest before rolling it out into a pizza shape and using it as directed.
Easy Pizza Dough
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil + extra for baking
- 2 cups water lukewarm
For the Dough
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Gradually mix in olive oil and then water until a sticky dough is formed. Err on the side of too sticky versus too dry. If you get too much water, just add a little flour.
- Knead 10 minutes by hand or about 6 minutes in an electric mixer.
- Remove dough and divide in 6 equal pieces.
- If using that same day, let rise on the counter until ready to bake. It will need to rise for at least 30 minutes before being shaped.
- If freezing, spray the inside of sandwich bags with cooking spray or coat with olive oil. Place one dough piece inside each bag. Leave 1 inch open on the bags to allow for gas to escape.
- Combine all the individual sandwich bags into one freezer bag (prevents freezer burn) and store in freezer until needed.
- Remove from freezer the morning you need them and let thaw and raise at room temperature. You can also place them in the fridge the night before.
- Preheat oven and baking stone (or overturned sheet tray) to 500 degrees F.
- Roll or toss out dough until it is 1/8-1/4 inch thick. You don’t need to form a crust, this will naturally happen. I roll mine on parchment or foil to make transferring to the oven easy.
- Add desired toppings. Only top your pizza when the oven is heated and you can bake it immediately. Do not over do it on the toppings! Topping to soon or too heavily will result in a soggy crust.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Let cool slightly on a wire rack or vented pizza tray for a few minutes before serving.
Boyd Kobe says
Homemade pizza dough is the best! I love this easy recipe! Thank you.
If kneading by hand how do you know the dough is workable and not likely to break apart when rolled out or stretched. How would the recipe be modified for whole wheat flour instead of bleached white flour?
Hi! If you are having trouble with the dough breaking when rolled or stretched, it needs to rest. When gluten is worked, those proteins tighten up which is great for structure, but not good for shaping. If you need to use the dough right away, let it rise for at least 30 minutes before trying to roll it out and that will give the gluten time to relax and become workable. I have never subbed out all whole wheat flour for this recipe. The main thing you’ll need to pay attention too is the moisture. You will want the dough to be a sticky dough (like in the video) so I’m guessing you’ll need more water. Hope that helps!
This will be my first time making my own pizza crust, but you make it look so easy I had to try! A couple of questions, instant yeast or active dry? And, how long should I let the dough rise before using it?
Hi Jessica! I’m sure it will turn our great! Good question, I use instant yeast when I make this recipe, which is more potent than active dry yeast and doesn’t need to be bloomed in the water like active dry yeast does. You can use either and it won’t make too much of a difference for this recipe. Does that help?
Love this dough recipe for pizza night 🙂