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How to Make Pizza Dough

Making pizza dough is an art.  Just like making bread, it takes attention to detail, patience, and elbow grease.

You could use a food processor or stand mixer to speed up the mixing and kneading process, but you won’t learn how dough is supposed to feel. The best part about making pizza dough is feeling it transform from a lumpy, ragged mess to a smooth and satiny ball. It’s rewarding to feel the pizza dough come together after kneading it by hand.

One of the great things about making pizza dough from scratch is how effortless it is to stretch out – no rolling pin needed. It’s not at all like store-bought dough, which is a nuisance to roll out. You roll it, and it shrinks back, you roll it again, and again it shrinks back again. Homemade pizza dough is soft and dreamy.

When learning how to make pizza dough, keep one thing in mind – the flour to water ratio. You want dough that’s moist, not dry. Dry dough will result in a cracker-like crust. Dough with more moisture will be crisp, chewy, and tender.  So remember, it’s easy to add flour when kneading, but it’s not as easy to add water. Your goal is to have dough that’s moist, but not sticky.  Adding a sprinkle of flour only when the dough sticks will keep the ratio of flour to water in check.

This pizza dough is ready to turn into pizza after the dough rises.  However, if you want a super flavourful crust, place the risen dough in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours – I usually do it over night.  As the yeast rests, it gets very flavourful.

Homemade pizza dough on parchment paper

How to Make Pizza Dough

How to Make Pizza Dough



  1. Sprinkle yeast and sugar overtop of room temperature water. Stir and let sit until the mixture begins to foam, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t foam, throw it out and start again.)
  2. Whisk together 2½ cups flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and olive oil with a wooden spoon until ragged dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Allow the dough to rest for a minute while you wash the bowl and lightly oil it.
  4. With floured hands, knead dough until smooth and satiny, about 6 to 10 minutes. If the dough starts to stick, sprinkle with a little flour (only 1 tablespoon at a time). The dough should be a little sticky, but not a sticky mess.
  5. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2, 4 or 6 equal pieces. Cover and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before stretching them.

If you want a very flavourful crust, after it has risen for 2 hours, place it in the fridge overnight. Then continue to step 6.


Homemade Pizza Dough Tips:

  • The goal is to use the as little flour as possible.  Only add a light sprinkling of flour to the dough if it starts to stick.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes when you are kneading. Without one, kneading for 2 minutes feels like 10.  You know you’re done kneading when the dough gets  difficult to manipulate and takes on a fine, satiny appearance.
  • What does the dry active yeast do?  It fills the dough with bubbles of gas, making the crust light and tender.


  1. 455F, for 10 to 13 minutes. Until the bottom is golden and the top is bubbly!

  2. Hi Kary,

    What temp and how long should it be cooked for?