How to make pizza dough from scratch and shape it like a pro An artisan, thin-crust dough. Perfectly baked in your home oven!

Pizza dough

We can’t all build a brick oven in the backyard, but you CAN make perfect light and airy pizza at home! It all comes down to the dough…

Making the perfect pizza dough is most certainly a creative act, and for me it has been an obsession. I have experimented for years with different ways of making pizza dough: different flours, yeasts, resting time, kneading techniques, no-knead dough… A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to publish a pizza dough that was easy to make and would yield the results you might expect from a top pizzeria. So I rolled up my sleeves, read as much as I could on the chemistry of yeast and flour, and made dough – lots of dough.

This pizza dough recipe is the result of all my research and experiments (failures too!), and I must say that I am extremely excited to finally publish it.

To make a restaurant-style thin-crust pizza, the dough needs to have the right consistency (that is, slightly sticky) and the oven needs to deliver tons of heat. In the step-by step video, I address both of these issues in depth. So be sure to watch.

Two great flour options: the old standby, Tipo “00”, or the “King” of bread flours!

And of course, let’s not forget about the flour! This recipe calls for either bread flour (I use King Arthur’s) or Caputo Tipo “00” Pizza Flour. Both flours yield superb crusts that are almost identical in texture and flavor, with the “00” flour delivering a slightly more refined pizza.

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves? I am… Let me show you how to make the perfect pizza dough, and then shape it into the most delicious thin-crust pizza!

Bread flour


Recipes

Pizza with mushrooms, ricotta and garlic confit spread

Pizza with shaved Brussels sprouts, burrata and dried lemon zest


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Pizza dough

makes 2 large pizzas
active time: 30 min

  1. 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  2. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  3. 1 cup warm spring water (temperature between 105°F and 115°F) (41ºC and 46ºC)
  4. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  5. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  6. 2 1/4 cups (11 oz) (310 g) unbleached bread flour or “00” flour for pizza
  1. extra flour for the work surface and for shaping the dough
  2. fine cornmeal or bread flour to dust the pizza peel
  3. large pizza peel (16″ x 18″ paddle)
  4. large pizza stone

  1. Step 1:camera icon Place the yeast and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour the warm water over it and whisk until the yeast dissolves. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. When the yeast activates (it’ll start to bubble up to the surface), whisk in the salt and olive oil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn dough over on your work surface and start kneading it. In the beginning, the dough will be sticky. If it sticks a little to the counter top, that’s fine. Try to knead a little faster to prevent it from sticking. If it sticks a lot, add as little flour as you can to prevent it from sticking to the counter top too much. A slightly sticky dough will yield a wonderfully light pizza crust, so this is a crucial step. Don’t add too much flour or the dough will be firmer and harder to shape, and the crust will be stiff. Continue kneading the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Roll dough in flour until well dusted and place in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place in a warm place (75°F to 80°F) (24ºC to 27ºC) and allow dough to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size. (If the ambient temperature is lower than 75°F (24ºC), it could take 15 to 30 minutes longer for the dough to double in size.)
  2. Step 2:camera icon Punch down dough and scrape it off the bowl. Cut dough in 2 equal parts and shape each into a ball. Roll each ball in bread flour and place each ball into a gallon-size plastic bag. Seal the bag, leaving plenty of room for the dough to expand, and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 36 hours, until ready to make your pizzas.
  3. Step 3:camera icon Place the pizza stone in the oven, on a rack located at the bottom third of the oven. (The stone should be about 9” from the roof of the oven.) Set the oven to 500°F (260°C) and preheat for 30 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, turn it off and turn on the broiler to high heat. Preheat broiler for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal or bread flour and set aside. Take one piece of dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle top and bottom with a little flour. Gently stretch the dough into an 8″ circle. Next, grabbing the edges of the dough, work your way around the outside edge, stretching it as you go. When the dough is stretched into a 16″ circle, place on the prepared pizza peel. Sprinkle dough with your toppings of choice. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone by giving it a quick jerking movement and then gently shaking the peel to loosen the pizza. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes until the crust is browned on the edges. Slide the pizza back onto the peel and serve immediately. Keep the broiler on and make the 2nd pizza.

Mushroom pizza with ricotta and garlic confit spread


Viviane’s tip
  1. Don’t bring the dough to room temperature before shaping it. Only take it out of the refrigerator when you’re ready to make your pizza. A cooler dough will be easier to work with. And anyway, your hands will warm that dough up pretty fast!


Pizza dough

pizza dough, pizza crust, homemade

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16 Comments

  • Reply Barbara April 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Hello,
    Both of my pizza stones ( pampered chef and an emile henry) both caution against a temperature of over 425 degrees. Thoughts ?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre April 5, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Hi Barbara, I cannot vouch for every brand of pizza stones, but the one I use is safe at high temperatures (500F). See here: http://amzn.to/1GAKzUA I’ve had this pizza stone for years. I’ve used it numerous times as described in the recipe here and I have never had any problems. Let me know if you have any further questions… and happy pizza making!

  • Reply Sandra March 14, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Hi Ms Viviane, I tried the pizza dough and it came out well; thank you so much. I always make pizzas, breads and cakes etc but I like to try different recipes. I used my bread machine as always; because of my back problem I can’t knead with my hands too much. I let it knead and rise in the machine then I let it knead again and then I took it out and follow your refrigeration instructions but I baked them as I normally do. I have 2 pizza stones that I use whenever I’m making pizzas. I place one stone on the very first rack then I place the second stone on the third rack and then preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. I arrange my pizza, place it on the lower stone and it bakes perfectly! With the two stones one above and one underneath the pizza, it’s somewhat like a brick oven. Your recipe for the dough has more stretch than the one I usually use so it’s a keeper! I’ll be trying your bread soon. Thank you and God bless.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      Hello Sandra! I’m so glad the recipe turned out well for you. I do have one suggestion though. Although using two pizza stones attempts to replicate a brick oven, you really don’t get enough heat to bake your pizza, especially at 450F. Next time you make pizza, try the method I describe in this recipe: First heat the stone at 500F for 30 minutes and then turn on your broiler for another 10 minutes before sliding the pizza on the stone. Only use one stone for this technique. I know you will be amazed at the results. Happy pizza making!

  • Reply Sandra March 13, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Hello Ms Viviane, thank you for your reply. When I try the recipe I’ll let you know; God bless!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 13, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      You are most welcome, Sandra! Good luck making your pizza dough!

  • Reply Sandra March 11, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Hi Ms Viviane, I think that you’ve made a huge mistake when writing the pizza recipe. You wrote 2+1/4 cups of flour and then in brackets you have 11 ounces. What kind of measuring cup did you used? With my measuring cup 18 ounces is 2+1/4 cups. Please let me know before I try this recipe; thank you so much and do have a lovely day.

    Sandra.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Sandra! You gave me a fright!!! I just, this very moment, re-measured the flour for this recipe and it is 11 ounces, as the recipe states. These are the dry measuring cups I use: http://www.chefcentral.com/cuispro-measuring-cups.html I would say to you, go with the measurements (not the cups), as measurements are always more accurate. This is the reason I always include them in recipes where the weight of ingredients is important, as it is with this recipe. Let me know how your dough turns out… and have a fun time making it!

  • Reply mjskitchen January 19, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Great instructional video Viviane! I started making my own pizza dough a couple of years ago and no I know what I’ve been doing wrong. :) Will be testing out your recipe and methods soon.

  • Reply Kayle (The Cooking Actress) January 16, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    yayyy! lovelovelove this post-well made homemade pizza is one of my faves

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Kayle, Thank you, my dear… We’re on the same wavelength, I see. Here’s to homemade pizza dough!

  • Reply christine June 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I just love your site I found you when I was looking for help with making pizza with Caputo oo flour so thank you your site is special looking forward to your recipes

    • Reply Viviane June 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you so much, Christine!

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