The Perfect Homemade Pizza Dough
Let’s be honest, I’m only writing this awesome homemade pizza dough recipe so that I can justify making and eating a ton of delicious deep dish cast iron pizzas.
Sometimes you need to make sacrifices for the better good and I am willing to be the one that jumps on that grenade!
But you’re not here to read anything more than you need to and I know that—you are here to learn how to make delicious homemade pizza dough.
So let’s get to it already!
This pizza dough recipe will be the best thing your tongue has ever had the privilege of touching. That I guarantee!
Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients
- Water: We are going to use 1 cup of warm water. To help the yeast activate and rise, your water should be luke-warm, but not hot. Ideally, you want your water anywhere between 100°F - 110°F. Anything above 130°F can kill your yeast. If you are uncomfortable gauging the temperature yourself, consider using a thermometer to help you out!
- Yeast: For this recipe, we are going to use one standard packet ( or 2 1/4 tsp) of active dry yeast. You can also use instant yeast if you don't want to wait around for your dough to rise, however, I have always had the best results with active yeast.
- Flour: For this dough, we are going to be using 3 1/2 to 4 cups of all-purpose flour. This type of flour has a lower amount of gluten and won't cause your crust to puff up like a loaf of bread.
- Oil: We are going to add 2 tablespoons of olive oil which helps the dough get that delicious crisp and allows it to more easily stretch while forming the dough.
- Salt: 1 teaspoon of salt for flavor.
- Sugar: Next we will add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar to help activate the yeast.
- Butter: We are going to melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and rub the top surface of our dough to give that flaky and flavorful crisp.
- Garlic Powder: 1 tablespoon of garlic powder to add to the buttery rub that we're going to put on the surface of our pizza.
Optional Ingredients, But Tasty
While these ingredients are not necessary to make a crisp and delicious pizza crust, they do pack a flavorful punch. If you have them I highly recommend adding them while mixing your dough!
- Basil: 1 to 2 tablespoons of basil. In my opinion, the more the better!
- Italian Seasoning: 1 tablespoon of store-bought Italian seasoning, or homemade from mixing oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, and rosemary.
- Black Pepper: 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
You may also enjoy these other pizza related articles:
How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough
So, now that we have all the goodies we need to craft this amazing pizza dough, how do we make it?
Step 1: Preparing and Proofing the Yeast
Our first step is to proof our yeast and make sure that it is still active and alive.
Yeast is a living organism and if expired or not taken care of properly, it may not have enough life left in it to make our crust rise.
There is nothing worse than a hard and dense crust.
To proof add 1 cup of lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast. gently stir with a fork and leave to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
After sitting, your yeast should begin to get bubbly — as seen in the picture below. If your yeast doesn't activate, I would suggest trying this process again. If it fails once more your yeast may be expired or has gone bad, at which point I wouldn't continue as your crust might not rise.
Step 2: Mixing Your Ingredients
Alright, now we need to mix together all of our ingredients and make our dough.
Gently mix them in your 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and any of the optional ingredients such as basil, Italian seasoning, and black pepper to your bowl.
Next by hand or using a mixer begin to add 3 cups of flour and mix it in well.
Gradually continued to add flour until the dough begins to firm up into an elastic ball.
Now pile a little flour on a large cutting board and transfer your dough over. Knead your pizza dough and continue adding small amounts of flour until it becomes manageable in your hands without being overly sticky.
To test if it is just right, poke it with your finger and the dough should slowly bounce back.
Step 3: Let It Rise
So now we have to let the dough rise. In another large mixing bowl spread a light layer of olive oil around the inside. Give your pizza dough a good dusting of flour and place it inside.
Next, rub a little bit of oil on the top of your dough and either cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
It should expand to about 2 to 3 times bigger – as you can see in the picture below.
Step 4: Form Your Dough
Once your dough as risen its time to take it out and shape it
First, preheat your oven to 475 degrees F and lightly grease a pizza pan, or a cast iron skillet for a deep dish and delicious pizza.
Dust a large cutting board or any hard surface with a little bit of flour and transfer over your dough. Knead it 3 or 4 times to release some of the trapped air.
If you want to make a thinner crust pizza, divide your crust into two pieces. However, if you want to make a thicker crust consider using all of the dough.
Next, using your hands or a rolling pin begin to flatten your dough into a disc. Then transfer it over to your pizza pan or cast iron skillet.
Step 5: Add Your Butter or Oil Rub
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Note, you can also use olive oil as an alternative to butter.
With a pastry brush, begin to rubdown the surface of your pizza paying special attention to the edges.
This rub will give your pizza crust that garlicky-buttery and breadstick like texture and taste. It will also prevent your toppings from seeping into your crust and making it soggy.
Step 6: Add Toppings & Cook
Next add your sauce, all your favorite toppings, and put it in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes.
You'll know it is done when the top has a golden brown crisp to it.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for a little bit before cutting and serving – unless you like lava hot sauce!
Best Homemade Cast Iron Pizza
- Pizza Pan or Cast Iron Skillet
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Rolling Pin
- 2 Large Mixing Bowls
Pizza Dough Ingredients
- 1 cup Lukewarm Water
- 2 1/4 Tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 3 1/2 - 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 11 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 - 2 Tbsp Basil
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- Proof yeast by adding 1 cup of lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 packet ( 2 1/4 tbs) of active dry yeast to a large mixing bowl.
- Gently mix them in your 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and any of the optional ingredients such as basil, Italian seasoning, and black pepper to your bowl
- Next by hand or using a mixer begin to add 3 cups of flour and mix it in well. Gradually continued to add flour until the dough begins to firm up into an elastic ball.
- In another large mixing bowl spread a light layer of olive oil around the inside. Give your pizza dough a good dusting of flour and place it inside.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Dough should at least double in size.
- Remove dough and knead it 3 or 4 times to release some of the trapped air.
- Using your hands or a rolling pin begin to flatten your dough into a disc. Then transfer it over to your pizza pan or cast iron skillet.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Rub down the surface of your pizza.
- Add sauce and toppings and cook at 475 degrees F for 12 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.