How To: Homemade Pizza Dough

I feel as if I have experienced a miracle.  I watched a dough like substance double in size from a silly little packet of something called yeast! Homemade pizza dough has been on my list of things to make for as long as I can remember.  I thought once I mastered pizza dough, the possibilities would be endless! (yes, I know this might sound a little familiar from my crepe phase... which is hardly a phase because they are now a staple!)  Well, I have to say that I am pretty excited because this was only my first attempt and this is such a great recipe that turned out perfect.  Considering it came from the queen of Italian food, Giada de Laurentis, I shouldn't be too surprised that it was wonderful crust.  Another thing that has always deterred about making pizza dough was the ingredient list that included a packet of yeast and water that had to be at a certain temperature.  That was enough to discourage me, but once I found out that you can easily buy yeast packets near the flour in your grocery store, and all you really need is lukewarm water, I was ready to overcome my fears.  If you are still a little weary of making or kneading dough, Bon Appetit has a great short video that shows each step and gives great tips on how to know when you are done kneading.  Click here for the video.

A side note:  I am not here to reinvent the wheel.  Pizza is one of the most accessible foods these days and within minutes you can have anything from a cheap pizza to a gourmet pizza at your doorstep within an hour.  However, I have heard great homemade pizza can easily be made and my hopes for this endeavor was to find a great crust and be able to have make your own pizza parties!  Well, I am officially inspired with this great crust and next on my list is to try the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for whole wheat crust.

Homemade Pizza Dough
Adapted from Bon Appetit July 2009
Recipe Note
This recipe calls for 115 degree water.  I did not have take the temperature of my water, but instead just used lukewarm water.  The appliance that made this so easy was my food processor.  I have not experimented with how to make the dough without one.  I know there is a way and if anyone has any tips on this, please share!
3/4 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for the counter)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Step by Step
1.  Pour warm water into a bowl.  Stir in packet of yeast and allow to dissolve, about 5 minutes.
2.  Coat a large mixing bowl with olive oil and set aside.
3.  In a large food processor with a dough blade, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Pulse a few times to combine ingredients.
4.  Add yeast mixture and olive oil.  Process until dough forms a sticky ball.
5.  Transfer dough ball to a lightly floured surface.
6.  Knead dough until smooth, about one minute.  To test if dough is done being kneaded, press the dough ball with two fingers.  If the the finger dents stay in the dough, you are done kneading.  If dough is sticky add flour by tablespoons until it no longer sticks to your fingers.
7.  Transfer dough ball to bowl coated with oil.  Turn dough in the bowl so it is covered with oil.
8.  Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Set aside in a warm, draft-free area.  Allow dough to sit for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
9.  Remove plastic wrap and punch dough once or twice with your fist to remove air.
10.  Slowly stretch dough out or roll out with rolling pin until desired thickness and shape.

Dough can be stored in an airtight container for up to one day in the refrigerator.  Dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months.


  1. Awesome posts Ashlea! Everything looks amazing. I made the lemon butter cookies for the lake and they were a hit. Thanks for another great recipe!

  2. intense new 'how to'... im impressed!!!

  3. What great looking pizza dough!! When I make my pizza dough without a mixer a make what they call a "well" in the dry ingredients (by poking a hole in the mound of flour with your thumb) and then pouring the liquid mixture into the "well" and mixing with a wooden spoon and then kneading with your hands. If the mixture is too dry add a little bit of water and a dash of olive oil...if it is to wet add a bit of flour:) Love the blog Ashlea!!! And if that is Mary Margret Porter up there...howdy friend!!!

  4. can you make me a pizza soon? and maybe a crepe too? thanks.-j-demp

  5. Thanks for the "by hand" directions Katie!