See Also: Grilled Sourdough Pizza Recipe (below)

Pizza critics often contend that it’s the quality of the crust that makes the pizza. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to make an excellent pizza crust at home with a simple pizza dough recipe as long as you follow a couple of easy, yet critical, instructions to get that great crust.

They are…

1. Crank up the temperature of your oven to the highest heat it will reach. Most home ovens will not exceed 500 to 550 degrees, but that is plenty sufficient as long as you also…

2. Use a quality baking stone and give it time to reach full heat saturation. By “a quality baking stone”, I mean a thick stone with good heat retention and heat transfer qualities. If yours doesn’t fit this description, any baking stone is better than none. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Many people even find quarry tiles purchased at their local building supply store for a few dollars quite satisfactory.

The rest comes with a little practice. Once you’ve made a few pizzas, you’ll develop a good feel for the dough and for the baking characteristics of your oven and baking stone. I’m reluctant to claim that the pizza I make in my kitchen oven or outdoor grill is as good as or better than the award winning wood fired pizza available in town. So I won’t . But it’s close enough that I haven’t felt the usual compulsion to buy theirs in a long time.

If you want everyone at your house to be happy, make one of these crusts, put on your favorite toppings and follow the simple baking instructions. Making exceptionally good pizza is easily within reach. I hope these videos inspire you to give it a try.

The pizza dough I make in this video could hardly have been faster or easier. The “appreciation-to-effort ratio” on this one is excellent. In other words, you’ll chalk up some serious points with your spouse, kids and guests without knocking yourself out.

This recipe makes two 12-14″ thin crust pizzas and calls for:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup luke warm water
  • Your choice of toppings

Before making this pizza, you may also want to watch the following sourdough pizza video.

Grilled Sourdough Pizza

Given my obsession with sourdough starter, doesn’t it figure that I would include a sourdough pizza crust recipe here as well? You bet! And predictably I think it’s fit for the Gods.

This recipe is more involved and may take a little getting used to because of the addition of the sourdough starter. If you haven’t worked with sourdough before, you’re facing a bit of a learning curve. But if you’re already baking bread with it, then you’ll find this recipe almost as easy as the one above.

This recipe also makes two 12-14″ thin crust pizzas and calls for:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
  • 1-3 Tbs water (see video)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Toppings

More elaborate recipes may coax more flavor from the grains and possibly improve on the texture and consistency of the crust. But as with the no knead bread recipes, I think these pizza recipes and methods strike the right balance of time, effort and quality that’s suited to the typical harried lifestyle we tend to live.

Breadtopia reader comment:

The “sour dough workout” shouldn’t be a joke. I found that when “air kneading” I got the same exercise for my arthritic hands as I do with my little ball of soft “clay stuff.” Thanks for a great new recipe. Pizza dough has always been a failure for me, but I love my sour dough and this worked great; both eating and exercising.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have a pizza peel, prepare your pizza on the back of a cookie sheet spinkled with corn meal.
  • From the comments below, Ed suggests: “Try a little semolina flour in your pizza next time. It makes the crust a bit chewy and gives it a nutty flavor”. Thanks Ed!
  • Another great tip from Connie Dove’s comments below: Prepare the crusts on top of upside down cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment (works better than semolina or bread crumbs). Slide paper & pizza into oven/grill and once the pizza has been on the stone for a half minute, the parchment paper slips right out from beneath!
  • Scroll down (or click here) to the Feb. 12, 2008 post by Fonseca for some great info on converting this recipe to all whole wheat.
  • News Flash (8 Nov, 2009). Thanks to Mike Gallaher for scoring this great looking pizza dough recipe, and to “hipkip” for sharing his pizza sauce recipe just below Mike’s posting. (Clicking links will take you directly to their posts below.)

For a super thin & crispy crust:

Marty (a Breadtopia reader) has developed a method for making a cracker thin pizza crust. So if you like a thin and very crispy crust, give this a try…

Special equipment needed:

  • Dough Docker (a fork could be used but the docker really puts a lot of holes in the dough quickly)
  • Pizza screen (I use a screen, it has the advantage of being very light weight, and no peel is needed).
  • Or a Pizza stone
  • Pizza peel, if using a pizza stone.

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Roll out your favorite pizza dough, very thin.
  • Place dough on pizza screen(or a pizza peel if using a pizza stone).
  • Using the dough docker (or forks), pierce the dough, make sure there are a lot of holes!  This will keep the crust from puffing up.
  • When oven is heated up thoroughly, quickly place the dough in oven (or on stone, if using)
  • cook for 3 minutes.
  • Take crust out of the oven, and flip upside down, and return to oven, cook for 3 minutes more.
  • Take crust out of oven, the crust should be light brown and crispy.
  • Top with your favorite toppings and return to oven.
  • Continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes.

The crust will be thin and cracker-like and very crispy!

222 thoughts on “Making Pizza Dough

  1. Rony

    Thanks for the video and recipe of the grilled sourdough pizza.
    What is the % of hydration of the starter?
    I guess it makes a difference if it is 100% or 67%.

  2. Heather

    Your equipment list included a dough docker and a pizza screen OR stone. I say use BOTH. Roll out the dough with the docker, then stretch it gently to fit the screen using your fists, lay the dough on the screen and prep your pizza. Meanwhile put the stone in the oven (presuming you’ve not yet bought the fibrament stone you leave in there). Preheat to 500. When the oven’s ready, put your pizza in on the screen. I’ve found that removing the screen is a bit tricky…so here’s where a regular peel comes in handy to remove the pizza from the stone without having to handle the stone! Oh…and to get the screen to be as non-stick as your stone, brush off any stuck on pieces but don’t wash. Pretty soon it’s nearly as non-stick as your stone should be!

  3. Bill in UK

    Hi Eric
    is there any chance you could translate this recipe to gramms and post it for us over in Europe. I work with sourdough all the time and would love to try your pizzas but I can’t workout what your hydration is for this recipe.
    thanks
    Bill

  4. Karen

    Does anyone have a recipe that also has some honey in the crust. My husband also likes a thicker crust. How can I get a thicker crust…more yeast possibly? I’m open to suggestions!

  5. Bridget

    Hey, Eric? I’m not seeing the video on this page. Is it me or does it need fixing?
    Thanks!
    Bridget

    • It’s working on my computer.

  6. BKO

    Hi–I just discovered the site and really like it. I accidentally left my extra pizza dough out for 24 hours–it is safe to eat? I’d appreciate your expertise

    • Hi BKO. Well, now it’s been a lot longer… I’m thinking whatever that might not be safe would probably be killed at 500 degrees pizza baking temp.

  7. karen

    wow! i have never watched a cooking video before – not motivated enough – and i’m amazed at how useful it is! so different from reading a dry recipe. i was wondering though, if you could give me some advice on using a biga instead of a sourdough. my biga is almost a year old (so i figure it’s got some rise in it) but a lot more liquidy than your sourdough. so technically i should put less biga in for the same amount of flour, but then i am not sure how it will rise. suggestions? thank you so much for your great website!
    karen
    copenhagen, denmark

    • Hi Karen,

      I would just stiffen up your biga with some more flour. You’ll want to feed it anyway before baking. Then can use it as the recipe suggest. This is all assuming I understand your question, which I’m not sure I am ;).

  8. tt

    hi everyone,
    just about a week ago i came across this fabulous site and since then i’m in bread/pizza heaven! how simple things can bring joy to a person …
    being born and raised in germany, one thing was for sure when i moved here, that i would miss my good german BREAD the most from home (other then familiy) but now i don’t need to miss it anymore, oh joy.
    sourdough is in the making and today i received my first oder from breadtopia! what better way to start the weekend…
    tonight we had pizza and since i don’t have a pizza peel i tryed the parchment on stone technique and boy what a great tip this was/is. THANK YOU!!!
    looking forward to trying out many more recipes and techniques from here, again THANK YOU

  9. joanne

    For Mikes Italian recipe, can i use the starter and let the flour ferment over night?

  10. Melody

    Just an FYI: I almost killed my sourdough, apparently my refrigerator internal thermostat was going, and everything was beginning to freeze. I discovered this from making a second batch of dough, and it didn’t rise. I was like, “hmm…” and realized everything was WAY to cold in my refrigerator! (vegetables were freezing).

  11. Melody

    Hi!

    We just had two pizzas tonight, both made with whole wheat sourdough starter. I made two batches last night and froze half of each. One had more whole wheat and spelt than the other, but both pizzas turned out amazing! I’ll have to prepare toppings ahead of time for the next time, but it all was so great and easy. Thanks for sharing!! Sorry, no pics to post…we ate them too quickly :)

  12. Edoctoor

    Special Thanks, this site was exactly what I was looking for.
    Thank you for taking the time and effort, it is truly appreciated! Edoctoor

  13. PizzaHomeChef

    Thanks for the video! I always feel like it’s risky using a stone on a grill because lifting and lowering the hood creates extreme temperature changes that may crack a stone. I prefer a thick cast iron pizza pan. You can build your pizza on a perforated pizza disk or pizza screen and then just drop it on the preheated cast iron stone substitute. Creates even, crusty crust and no scorching.

    • Hi PizzaHomeChef,

      It would be risky if the stones were average cheap pizza stones. That’s why I use the Fibrament Pizza Stone or Emile Henry Pizza Stone. They will tolerate those extreme temperature changes you refer to. They are unique in the industry for their ability to withstand thermal shock.

  14. Annette

    I tried the Sourdough Grilled Pizza recipe yesterday. Wow! It’s wonderful! I had been using basic sourdough no knead dough previously with good results, but I hadn’t made the dough in the morning, so I went to Plan B. I am VERY impressed. I use a cheap pizza stone on the grill, so I line the bottom with several layers of foil to prevent cracking…so far so good.

    Anyway, husband said the crust is PERFECT

  15. Christie

    I have been making pizza for years. This sour dough recipe for Pizza is fabulous. It feels sensuous to knead, and rolls out like butter. There is no kick back as in high gluten flours. I bake it on our Big Green Egg grill with the plate setter legs down and a cast iron pizza pan placed on top and then preheated to 500 degrees. Last night we had it with freshly made basil pesto, pepperoni, reconstituted Morel mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls. The crust was wonderfully crispy. I can’t wait to have it again tonight. Thank you Eric for the sour dough recipe. It will be a treasure in my recipe collection.

  16. M –

    That would be parchment paper. But I think you must be referring to the Super Peel. It’s an awesome tool for moving pizzas.

  17. M

    Thank you for the great recipe. I am always hasitant to do pizza at home for my family although I have all the equipment you mentioned but I didn’t know how to transfer the pizza to the baking stone as you did with the paper on it that was very cool:)
    I have the pizza peal but I love the way you rolled the pizza on it with the paper. Was it wax paper or what kind?
    And how do I line it on the pizza peal to roll it on it as you did, please explain or it would be great if you have a video to show me that would be awesome and I would really appreciate it so much.
    Thanks
    M

  18. alma monroe

    Hello Mr Breadtopia man and everyone else..
    I was playing with my bread ingredients and discovered a winner that my family must have weekly.. if fact my 13 year old calls me the “genius” I made salsa bread.. everything in regualr salsa I added to my bread. I made the salsa and put a heaping cup of it in the bread bowl with an additional cup of flour (cause the added ingredients: tomato, ect… are really wet and chunky) it needed a little more. then I followed the rest of the reciept as above and it was fabulous… a winner…salsa varies from one region to another so have fun and happy eating… tell me what you think..
    alma from california

  19. Jackie

    I really enjoyed making this dough! I was looking for a new, fun and delicious pizza dough and I found one. It is so tasty and has completely turned me on to sour dough. I want to try all of your recipes now!

  20. Bety

    Pizza before baking to make a pie, cut into slivers, and so bake

    [img]2_P1290030.JPG[/img]

  21. Don Reynolds

    I am planning on using this recipe tomorrow when I feed my starter. Looking forward to pizza for dinner. I love the pizza peel you used in the video. Where can I find one of those? It looks so easy to use. Even with corn meal I always seem to have a problem transferring to the stone. I would love to have the one you used. Thanks.

  22. susan bliley

    I read somewhere that a good way to keep starter alive when not used often is to freeze it. Dehydrating my rye starter was useless. What do you think?
    I love your blog and have learned so much! Thank you and all the best.

  23. Gord

    I’ve made the NK pizza dough/crust many times and it is now a family favourite.

    I need to make a large number of pizzas for a party, though, so I want to make the crusts in advance and freeze them to have on hand.

    After the second proofing, if I were to roll them out and then place the crusts on layers of waxed paper or parchment do you think I can freeze them.

    Then at a later date, thaw them out, put on the toppings and bake them?

    Cheers.

    Gord

  24. Hi Diana,

    Yes, absolutely. Just leave it out. I’ve got some pizza dough proofing this very minute – flour, water, salt, yeast (in this case, sourdough starter). That’s it and I’m sure it will be great.

  25. Diana

    Hi,
    I cannot have butter or oil of any kind. Is it impossible to make a good pizza crust without it?
    When baking sweet breads I can substitute applesauce, fruit puree, buttermilk, etc., but I can’t seem to find a way to make a good pizza crust or any crust in general, without oil.
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this subject!
    Diana

  26. hipkip

    Brian,

    Here is the sause I use, actually just made it today along with the dough for pizza tonight. My wife even made fresh mozzerella from scratch:

    1 clove garlic minced
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 28oz can tomato puree
    1 tsp marjoram
    1 tsp basil
    salt/pepper to taste

    sautee garlic in oil for a minute, add puree and spices, simmer 30 minutes.

    Thanks it and tastes great, enjoy!

  27. Mike Gallaher

    Hi Eric, well after going to my local Italian market and asking them about pizza dough, I tried a couple of their suggestions and found it worked great. First here’s the recipe which is a combo of several.

    3 cups 00 grind flour. (Italian supermarket)
    1/4 cup white wine
    2 tsp salt
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 Tbsp honey
    1 egg
    1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast (Italian market)
    3/4 cup water

    If you can’t get the fresh yeast, you can convert the measurment to dry yeast.
    I disolve the yeast in the water first, then assemble the dry ingredients and mix.
    Beat the egg slightly and add to the dough mixture. I knead until smooth, about 8-10 minutes. I also learned a quick little trick, turn your oven on for 1 minute and turn off, this
    gives you a perfect temp to rise the dough in. After kneading I give the dough ball a coat of olive oil, put it in a bowl and cover with dish cloth, and it takes about an hour to triple in size. Give this one a try, I find the dough is very light, crisp, yet soft. They told me to add the egg, that the yolks allow it to brown up, and the whites make it light and fluffy. When using the 00 grind and the egg, you will find it’s the most supple dough to work with. Enjoy!

  28. Rhonda

    Just made the sourdough pizza last night for dinner, so good! I don’t have a stone having had bad luck with them in the past including an incident with dozens of pieces of shrapnel in my oven and a wasted batch of pita bread dough. Instead I rolled it out very thin (half the recipe, about 15″ by 11″ I’d guess) and topped it lightly, a bit like the Crispani that Panera had on the menu a few years back. I topped it with sauce, a little mozzarella, mushrooms, and kalamata olives and baked for 10 minutes. It didn’t have the nice browning on the bottom but it was tender yet crispy and very tasty. One pizza was enough for 2.5 people (the 0.5 being my 4 year old) and the other crust is in the freezer.

  29. Genny Morgan

    My husband and I tried the new pizza recipe, it was very good. We cooked it on the outside Bar-B-Que, we do not have a pizza stone, but we used fire brick, which I use in my oven as well, it works very good, The crust was crusty, the topping and the crust were done at the same time. We enjoyed it very much. We used 6 fire bricks, just line them up and put your pizza on them and it’s just like using a pizza stone. Thanks so much for the good pizza recipe.
    Have a great day
    Genny

  30. Hi Eric,

    The pizza has turned out great! I was wondering if you could recommend a good pizza sauce recipe. I made Hawaiian, and Margarita pizza using this recipe, but it will be better with a good sauce. Any ideas for a recipe for bread sticks?Note I have used this recipe to make a desert pizza with apples, and cinnamon. You can even serve that with a side of homemade royal vanilla ice cream. Also cinnamon pizza with a glaze, all good. Plus that makes a great pastry to go with a nice cappuccino or latte.

    Great recipe thanks again.

  31. Hi Ginette,

    I’m don’t have any brilliant ideas. If you know that you can tolerate spelt flour, then just substitute it for the white flour. You may want to adjust the amount of water as spelt flour will no doubt have a different moisture absorption property than regular flour. I can’t recall whether it’s higher or lower though. You may also want to increase the amount of yeast some. Maybe to 3/4 – 1 teaspoon to help compensate for the lower gluten of spelt. Fortunately, with pizza dough, even a denser dough can still be very good. I think it shouldn’t be too difficult to arrive at something you really like.

  32. Shutterbug

    This was extremely easy to make and wonderful. I used a pizza stone, but needed to get a peel. The husband raved about it and that’s what counts!

  33. Ginette Andress

    I was wondering if you had a suggestion or recipe to make pizza dough with Spelt flour as I have a sensitivity to wheat?

    Thanks!

  34. Victoria

    I used your sourdough pizza crust recipe with King Arthur white whole wheat flour (and a heaping tablespoon of vital wheat gluten) to make one of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted! I made up the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for a day, then left it on the counter for an hour or so before shaping it and baking it at 450 F for 12 minutes. The dough didn’t have that nice stretch that white flour gives it, but it did well for a 100% whole wheat recipe. I wish it had been crunchier on the bottom, but that’s probably because I didn’t use a pizza stone. Next time I’ll find my stone and turn the heat up a bit more. Thank you for your great pages.

  35. Hi Sergio,

    The fabric is a cotton canvas material.

  36. Sergio

    Hi Eric and all,

    I fell in love with that peel, that seems store-bought, but since I’m a home-made guy, can you tell me if that cloth is fabric or vinyl please? Thanks.
    Other than that, I’m gonna try your recipe as soon as my starter is ready, but I’ll make a yeast one, since I just realized the difference between that and sourdough, and before I couldn’t understand how my grandma would use a bit of dough of the day before to make bread and yet it wasn’t sour. I’m writing all this so it may come out in some internet search for anyone else who couldn’t care less for a sour taste in something hearty and sweet like bread, but would like to make bread the old way.

    Sergio

  37. Janknitz

    Thanks!

    I really liked this recipe. I tried other recipes for softer doughs that were just too hard to shape. I feel like I am constantly fighting the dough for dominance, and the dough always wins.

    However, this dough was very easy to shape and get a thin crust and it was delicious, too. A nice, polite dough! ;o)

    My family complained that it was a little too “crispy” for their tastes, so I might turn the oven down a bit next time. But I enjoyed pizza making for the first time.

  38. Patti

    Hello Bread lovers and friends
    I know when i reach a glitch i have a great resource to ask for advice here at Breadtopia. I am making pizza for an event and have experimented with different crusts. I think a medium crust is best to use because it may have to be reheated……..I am experimenting with thin crusts recipes..yours and Peter Reinholt’s….which are excellent and like the taste very much. My question is does the thin napolitan style recipe translate nicely into a thicker crust by doubling the recipe and rolling it out thicker or do I end up with a mortar board with sauce and cheese? Would it be better to make a bread recipe for the pizza crust if I want it a bit thicker, chewier yet still crusty. Help..I have only a few days to make a decision!

    PS…I attached a pix of one of the breads I made in the La Cloche …I think it’s the whole grain sour dough…..

    [img]Anotherbigbread.jpg[/img]

  39. Hi Yvonne.

    I’m not sure about the grams for a cup of flour and how it varies for the type of flour. But I do know that you just add the SAF instant yeast to your dry ingredients and then combine with the water and other ingredients as indicated in the recipe. No activation necessary.

  40. BreadGirl

    Hi Eric,

    Just a few comments and 2 rather pressing questions. First I absolutely love your website. I have recently returned to baking my own bread and I can’t tell you how much I missed making dough and kneading it by hand. I feel somehow like I’ve come home. But so much has changed since I was away.

    I wanted to thank you for the wonderful videos as well! They are simply inspiring. You know what they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” If that’s the case, then video is priceless. LOL And I love your online shop. I learned about the dough whisk on your video. So now, I can’t wait to use it because I bought it from your online shop.

    I was so impressed by your website, I passed it along to my friends in Québec and France and the UK, as they all share the same passion for baking. Their challenge is finding some of the ingredients and of course unit conversions. I have two questions on behalf of myself & my friends. And if anyone has other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1) How much does 1 cup of flour weigh in grams? And, what’s the weight difference with respect to the type of flour: durham vs bread flour for example?

    2) I bought the saf-instant yeast recommended here. (I have yet to try it) But, do I need to proof this yeast or add hot-ish water (130F) to the dry ingredient mixture in order to activate this yeast? Strangely enough there are NO directions on the yeast package, which I find a little odd.

    Thanks again, I love this site and all the great ideas shared here.

    BreadGirl aka: Yvonne

    • William Atherton-Powell

      One cup of water is 237 ml, so it weighss 237 grams. Measure the weight of a volume of flour of your choice, and the conversion factor should be easy to figure. Better for you as well as you are using your flour. The yeast doesn’t need any special treatment, but 130F. Is probably too hot. Just mix it in with the dry ingredients and use warm one cold water,

  41. Angels

    Hi, everyone!

    Just wanted to thank you all for your useful comments and let you know how enlightening the videos are. I’m from Barcelona, and it’s very difficult to get proper equipment (and ingredients!), so reading this page feels like arriving at an oasis!

    In case Javi is still reading, he should be able to find fresh yeast in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets!

    Thank you all for your tips, and enjoy the baking!

    Angels

  42. I have been making mine with the SAF Active Dry. Now that I have gotten the Instant from Eric, I will give that a try.
    Bob

  43. John

    SAF yeast. I made this pizza for the first time using SAF yeast instead of the supermarket yeast, Fleishmans… I noticed a really BIG difference. The crust came out soooooo much better with SAF. Thin, light and tasty. Thanks Breadtopia! I love you guys!

  44. Fern

    I’ve made this pizza dough recipe about 4 times. I love it just as much as the Whole Grain Banana Bread. Thank you.

  45. Matthew F

    Hi Eric,
    It’s been about a year since I embarked on the journey in which I’ve never looked back – baking on a stone! Scones, biscuits, breads (I happened across the no-knead recipe while I was sick at home with ‘mono’ for a whole month — so weak I could barely stand, but burning with the desire to try this recipe [the pictures looked so good!], I cranked out a loaf and it looked amazing! Shame I could only eat about two bites…), but pizzas – oh man what a joy. I’m 22, and what young guy doesn’t like pizza.
    My girlfriend bought me buckwheat after I used up a sample Ziploc a friend had given me (I made waffles! Excellent), and in discovering new ways to incorporate buckwheat into baking, I ground up some buckwheat “groats” as they are called, and used this buckwheat ‘flour’ (though not related to wheat – it is not a cereal or grass) in my pizza dough, also incorporating buckwheat flour. The flavor is incredibly unique, and the complexity of the dough is hearty and satisfying. It has a toasty, dark nutty quality. I’m not persuing ‘gluten-free’ cooking or any reasons some use buckwheat, but if you have any on hand, it might be an interesting experiment!
    Thanks for the information you provide on this site; having recently discovered it after setting out to make sourdough bread starter (a sample of sourdough at the farmer’s market had my head spinning and left me wanting more!!!), tonight I will be utilizing the instructions you’ve provided on doing so!
    Happy baking,
    Matthew, Atlanta GA

  46. nick lewis

    Note on the saf yeast. The only Costco I have found Saf is in Greenville, SC, although I have never found at any other on either coast, however, Sams club has had saf in a twin pack in every store I’ve ever looked in.

    On another note, this is the site that has taught me the joy of baking bread.

    Thanks,

    Nivk

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