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If you are anything like me, you LOVE pizza. I certainly do! But sometimes pizza can be really disappointing. That frozen pizza you pick up from the store or the last minute grab and go pizza just doesn’t hit the spot. Well luckily, I am here to teach you how to make your own homemade pizza dough!
Making the dough is the hardest part of making homemade pizza. Good news! This recipe is not hard! It is simple to make and only needs a handful of ingredients that many home cooks keep on hand. Trust me when I say that it is worth the effort to make the dough at home. I recently made this for some friends and let them add their own toppings to the pizza. They both said it was the best pizza they had EVER had! I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!
Do I Need a Stand Mixer to Make Pizza Dough?
No! You never need a stand mixer to make any sort of dough. You can knead by hand instead. Some people say that kneading by hand is too much work, but in this recipe you only need to knead the dough for a few minutes. It is not hard and I promise you can do it! If you have physical limitations, you can try having your partner or even your child take over for you when necessary.
I do not own a stand mixer, and I bake a ton. This recipe instructs you to knead by hand because that is what I personally have experience with. I am sure this could be made in a stand mixer, but I have never tried. If you do give it a shot, be sure to leave a comment to let us all know how it went!
What if I Do Not Know How to Knead by Hand?
Kneading by hand is not challenging. It is all about building gluten, which creates the structure of the dough. There are many different techniques to kneading dough, but in my experience they all work! I have inserted a video below to show you how I knead my dough. This is just a personal preference because this is what I find the most comfortable. What works best for you may be different so don’t be scared to experiment!
What Kind of Yeast Should I Use in Pizza Dough?
I use active dry yeast in this recipe, but you can substitute it with instant yeast if that is what you have on hand. It is important to keep in mind that instant yeast will rise a little bit faster than active dry yeast, so keep a close eye on your dough. Since we are using active dry yeast, we will need to bloom (aka activate) our yeast. We do this by mixing warm liquid with the yeast to “wake it up.”
Proofing and Temperature
If you did not already know, I live in the Sonoran Desert. That means it is HOT here. I’m talking over 100 days a year that are over 100 ℉. That means I am used to it being warm, and I keep my house warm, especially in the summer. I have learned to reduce the amount of yeast in recipes because things have a tendency to rise too fast for me to manage here.
This recipe has about half the yeast that most pizza dough recipes have. This makes it the perfect recipe for warm climates or that summer heat! If you don’t live somewhere warm, or it is not summer, do not worry. This recipe will work just fine for you too, it will just take longer to rise. If you want to speed up the rising process, try putting the dough somewhere warm to proof. I suggest on top of the fridge or in the oven with the light on (do not turn on the oven). You can also use instant yeast as mentioned above or increase the amount of yeast in this recipe. This recipe is what works best for me, but you may have to experiment to find what works best for you and your climate!
Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
- 2 Baking Sheets You can also use a pizza stone. I like to use my stoneware baking sheet.
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 Small Bowl
- 1 Large Bowl
- Plastic Wrap or a Damp Towel
- 1 ½ cups warm water 110 ℉ is best, but any hotter will kill the yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ⅛ tsp active dry yeast
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour You may need up to 4 cups
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Start by activating your yeast. Combine the water, oil, and yeast in a small bowl. Mix and set aside for 5 – 10 minutes. Your yeast is ready to go once you can see that it has bloomed (aka. activated).
- While your yeast mixture is sitting, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl
- Begin slowly add the liquid mixture to your flour. As you add more liquid, mix it in using either your hands or a utensil.
- Once a rough dough has been formed, transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Begin kneading your dough. If the dough is sticking either to you or the counter top, add more flour. Knead until the dough has formed a (mostly) smooth ball.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise and double in size.
- Once the dough is ready, you can roll it out into whatever shape you would like. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet or pizza stone. Add the sauce and topping of your choice then bake at 475 ℉ for 20-30 minutes until dough is golden brown on the edges.