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Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

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This Italian pizza dough recipe is one of my favorite ways to create a light and crispy crust. It is absolutely perfect for homemade pizza night. Just add sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings!

Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and what I usually end up ordering when I can’t bring myself to cook dinner at home. With this easy pizza dough recipe, I can enjoy a pizza straight from Italy just about any time I am in the mood for it!

This is the best Italian Pizza Dough Recipe ever!

Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

Homemade pizza crust is freezable, so you can batch make it and freeze it in individual portions. Just allow it to defrost in the fridge or on the counter and roll it out when you’re ready to create your pizzas!

The most important part of making this Italian pizza dough recipe is to allow it to rise correctly. If it doesn’t rise, your dough will be dense and chewy after baking.

How To Make Homemade Dough

To make this Italian pizza dough:

  • Activate the yeast in water, oil, and sugar
  • Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture until a dough forms
  • Knead the Italian pizza dough until elastic
  • Cover in oil and allow to rise for an hour
  • Punch dough and knead for a minute or two
  • Divide into pizzas and roll or wrap and store

It’s not difficult to make homemade pizza dough, and I love the flavor so much more than store bought. It’s as authentic as it gets!

Italian Pizza Dough on a work surface with flour.

How To Knead Dough

Kneading pizza dough, while tedious, isn’t a difficult job. When you knead pizza dough, it allows the gases from the yeast to be distributed throughout the dough and help to develop the gluten.

To knead pizza dough:

  1. Lightly flour a dry work surface
  2. Turn the pizza dough onto the work surface (which should resemble a ball)
  3. Form the dough into a ball, then punch the dough (this is the process of pressing the heels of your hands into the dough and moving them forward slightly). The dough will be sticky, so lightly dust your hands with flour to prevent sticking. It gets easier as the dough comes together.
  4. Turn the dough slightly, fold it in half, and punch it again. This whole process is known as ‘working the dough’. There you go! You got it.

When the Italian pizza dough is done, no lumps should remain. It should have a smooth and elastic feel to it, and be slightly sticky to the touch. The dough should hold its shape when it is done.

How To Roll Pizza Dough

Here are some tips and tricks to roll out the pizza dough perfectly:

  • Go Thin: this pizza dough will be bread-like unless rolled out thinly. It will inflate and grow while cooking, so don’t be afraid to roll it thin.
  • Go Slowly: because this is the perfect thin crust pizza dough, it will need to be about 1/8″ thick. Work slowly while rolling it out so you don’t tear the pizza dough. 
  • Go Floured: make sure the working surface, rolling pin, and your hands are all coated with flour. The dough rises with oil, and it will stick if you haven’t added enough flour or corn meal. 
  • Go Understanding: If you’re rolling out dough vs tossing it, it won’t be a perfect circle. Don’t worry about having the perfect circular pizza. I promise it’ll be amaing. While rolling it out, focus on an even thickness. 
  • Go Flip It: Once the dough is almost rolled out, flip it over and check the thickness from the other side to make sure you know it’s rolled out evenly. While you’re at it, make sure your pizza stone will fit the pizza you’ve rolled out! 

Italian Pizza Dough rolled out on a pizza stone.

How To Make Thin Crust Pizza

In Italy, most of the time you’ll be enjoying thin crust pizza. This homemade pizza dough can be used to make thin crust pizza!

If you’re making thin crust pizza, it isn’t imperative to allow your dough to rise for an hour. The quick pre baking of the crust will help the dough rise ever so slightly.

I have found, however, that allowing the dough to rise gives you a great crackly crust that is as close to what you’ll find in Italy as ever, so I usually do it anyways.

When you roll out a thin crust pizza, you will need less dough. I like to divide this recipe into 3 thin crust pizzas rather than 2 regular ones.

For thin crust pizza, aim to roll the dough out to less than ¼” thickness. Throw it on a hot pizza stone and put it in the oven for 3-5 minutes. If bubbles begin to form, just pierce them with a fork.

Then, just flip the thin pizza crust over and add your toppings before returning it to the oven to finish baking.

Double baking may be an extra step for a ton of people, but adding that first bake ensures the bottom of the crust comes out perfectly crisp and the top has a chance to melt without burning. Trust me.

easy-Italian-pizza-dough-recipe

How To Make Italian Pizza

There are a ton of popular Italian pizza recipes, the most famous being the margherita pizza. Start with making a thin crust like above. Then all you need to add is pizza sauce and fresh mozzarella medallions before returning it to the oven.

I sometimes like to add basil before it cooks, but some people find this can cause the basil to wilt and not be as palatable. If you prefer, add it once the pizza comes out right before serving. Garnish the Italian pizza with fresh parmesan and for a kick, add some chili flakes (I put these on everything).

Pizza Topping Ideas

Meat

  • Pepperoni
  • Ham
  • Italian sausage
  • Chorizo sausage
  • Ground beef
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Grilled chicken
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Steak

Sauce

  • Pizza sauce
  • Marinara sauce
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Garlic Sauce
  • Olive oil and herbs
  • Pesto

Cheese

  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Feta
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Cheddar cheese
  • White cheddar
  • Brie
  • Fontina

Veggies

  • Red onions
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Roasted garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Pineapple
  • Arugula (after baking)
  • Olives
  • Tomatoes

Other

  • Truffle oil
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Capers
  • Sun dried tomatoes

A delicious Italian pizza dough recipe to make margherita pizza.

How To Freeze Pizza Dough

I make this pizza dough to freeze each month for weekly pizza nights. To freeze homemade pizza dough:

  • Make this Italian pizza dough up until the kneading process, including the second rise.
  • Split the dough into two individual balls for medium sized pizzas, or six balls for personal pizzas.
  • Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

To defrost pizza dough, just pop the dough into the fridge the day before pizza night, or defrost on the counter. Make sure to stick the dough in the fridge once completely defrosted, or it may not crisp up. 

More Recipes You’ll Love

This is the best Italian Pizza Dough Recipe ever!
Rate this Recipe
4.56 from 9 votes

Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins
Rising Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 2 pizzas
Author: Bailey
This Italian pizza dough recipe is one of my favorite ways to create a light and crispy crust. It is absolutely perfect for homemade pizza night. Just add sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings!
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I would be so happy if you followed me on Pinterest!Follow @gayglobetrotter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 package
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt kosher

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add water, oil, and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy. 
  • Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add gradually to the yeast mixture. Add more flour or water as needed while you work the dough.
  • Continue to mix pizza dough until it feels elastic. Turn it onto a floured surface.
  • Knead the dough for a minute and a half or until smooth. Do not overmix or the dough will become tough.
  • Place the dough in a medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and flip a few times to coat it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour. 
  • Punch dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. 
  • Divide into 2 (or 6) pieces and roll out into pizzas.

To Bake:

  • Heat a pizza stone in the oven at 425°F.
  • Roll pizza out to desired thickness, 1/4" for a standard pizza and slightly thinner for a thin crust pizza.
  • Brush pizza with olive oil and place on heated pizza stone, olive oil side down. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until underside is browned. If bubbles appear while baking, pierce with a fork.
  • Flip pizza onto a working surface. Add sauce and desired toppings to the browned side of the pizza crust and return to the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes or until cooked through and toppings are melted. 

Notes

Divide dough into 6 pieces for individual pizzas, or 2 pieces for regular pizzas.
Dough may be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months.
Calories: 78kcal

Tried this recipe? Let me know how you liked it below!

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The Best Pizza Dough Ever

35 thoughts on “Italian Pizza Dough Recipe”

      1. Hi Bailey, I never post on recipes I have made but I have to say, this dough was extremely easy to make! We cooked ours on the grill. Just as you said, no pizza stone required. One thing I did wrong that made it taste great was reading the recipe incorrectly and adding the garlic powder to the dough instead of the butter. Bottom line, great dough, it’s in my cookbook now! Thanks so much!

  1. Best pizza crust I’ve made I got 4 10″ crusts per recipe or 10 for slightly more then a double recipe I like to make up pizzas and freeze them for the family to pop in oven themselves better then any store bought brand

  2. My family LOVES this recipe! We have it almost weekly. Has anyone tried freezing it once it is all shaped and baked on one side? We are having my son’s bday party in a couple weekends and each of the kiddos is going to make their own personal pan pizza but I want to be able to just take it out of the freezer ready to go and have them put their toppings on it. I don’t know if I should bake it on both side and freeze or just one side and freeze it.

    1. I am so glad you love this pizza dough! I have only tried freezing the dough before cooking, not after. I would suggest precooking one side and freezing it, then adding your toppings and baking afterwards. If you try it, let me know how it turns out, and happy early birthday to your son!

  3. This is the best pizza dough ever. It even impressed my husband who loves a good thin crust pizza. He said he doesn’t have to order from the pizza place in our neighbourhood anymore. Thank you

  4. Before I attempt, I have a few questions. Could I do this in my bread maker on the dough cycle? Also, could I use this as a thick crust version in my 10” cast iron skillet? We are a deep dish family? thank you in advance

    1. We made the pizza in a cast iron pan on the grill. Added the toppings and baked about 7 minutes on 400-425 degrees. Did not flip dough.

  5. Quick question, I am wanting to make this for dinner but was thinking about making the dough around noon. So a few hours early. Would i just leave it out or do you suggest putting it in the fridge?

    1. Hi Carla! Pizza dough should not be left out longer than an hour or two after rising. If you’re making it ahead of time, store it in the fridge. Make sure it’s wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, or in a bowl as it may rise a little more. Enjoy!

  6. There should be an instruction to put cornmeal or something on the pizza stone before you put the dough! Just olive oil is not enough, my pizza got stuck into the stone and it was in pieces. Otherwise the dough was good.

  7. This dough can’t be cooked with the toppings on it?? The cooking one side is throwing me, I wanted to try this recipe today but I’m not sure if I should go with my tried and true one now. This is a preference due to the fact that we are making multiple personal pizzas and the precooking it an extra step that won’t really work for our timing.

    1. Hi Naomi! To get a delicious thin pizza crust on both sides, browning one side first does make a huge difference. We often make multiple personal pizzas, so we like to either bake the first side of them all at once before adding toppings together (if we have quite a few people), or doing the first bake in between the pizzas that have toppings. Hope this helps!

  8. I make this almost every week! It has become my go to recipe anytime we’re craving a pizza, which is often. I’ve never commented on recipes before, but I had to thank you for sharing it. My daughters and I have a lot of memories with this pizza crust at the center. 🙂

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