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Fast, Foolproof Pizza Dough: Step by Step

5 from 7 votes

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This quick, super-easy pizza dough recipe is a deal-breaker. It mixes up in minutes and can be ready to bake in about 1 hour. The supple dough is easy to handle and bakes into an airy crust with perfectly browned edges.

Rectangular slices of cheese pizza on a cutting board.
Quick pizza dough is ready to bake in a few hours, or can be refrigerated for days.

When you’re craving homemade pizza — and you want it fast! — this is the basic recipe you need. It produces what I think is the best airy, tasty pizza that’s perfect for baking in a home oven or pizza oven. Kids love this crust!

During my cooking career I’ve baked bread in bakeries and made pizza in Neapolitan-style pizzerias, testing my way through MANY different styles of pizza doughs. This is the dough that makes a simple, satisfying homemade pizza crust without making sticky mess in the kitchen or waiting overnight for the dough to slow-rise.

It’s the by far the quickest dough I’ve tried that actually tastes great and has that perfect texture you expect in a bakery pizza crust — crisp brown edges, a thicker crust and lots of yeasty air pockets.

A close-up picture of a slice of airy pizza crust.

No-rise pizza?

So-called “no-rise” pizza dough is a thing, but I don’t recommend it. There’s a reason yeast has leavened pizza (and most bread) dough for thousands of years: Yeast works by metabolizing enzymes in flour. It breaks down wheat gluten while it ferments, releasing carbon dioxide which aerates the dough.

Underfermented pizza dough can be hard to digest. Additionally, if a dough isn’t allowed to expand and rise a bit before baking, it will be dense and tough — and worse, it won’t taste good.

The great thing is that with the proper technique, you can mix up a batch of pizza dough to use right away, or just stick it in the refrigerator or freezer for later.

How long to rise pizza dough

  • With the help of 1 tablespoon of instant yeast, this dough will rapidly double in bulk in about 1 hour, or longer depending on the temperature of the room.

My kitchen is about 75 degrees year-round, which is a fairly warm room temperature. Keep in mind that the cooler the ambient temperature, the longer the dough will take to rise. Choose the warmest spot in your house if you’re in a hurry, or place in an oven on the “Proof” setting if you have one (which is 80F-95F).

A measuring cup of flour on a cutting board with containers showing salt, yeast, olive oil and honey.
Simple ingredients are all you need to make homemade pizza dough.

About pizza dough ingredients

Amazingly, the base of the best pizza dough comes from using just a handful of main ingredients — flour, yeast and water. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Flour: All purpose flour, Italian OO pizza flour or higher-protein bread flour will all work well in this recipe. If you enjoy whole grains, substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat or other whole grain flour (remember that you may need to add a bit more water to hydrate the dough if using whole wheat flour).
  • Yeast: Instant yeast is the SECRET to this dough. If you’ve been using active dry yeast for baking, instant yeast will be a game-changer. For one thing, instant yeast doesn’t need proofing or need to be hydrated in liquid before mixing. Because of the way it’s produced, the yeast is more vigorous than active yeast.
  • Honey or sugar: A little sugar added to the dough increases the yeast activity, kickstarting the fermentation process.
  • Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil adds flavor, helps prevent the dough from sticking and browns the crust.
  • Water: When using instant yeast, you can use cold filtered water for pizza dough rather than warm water. Depending on your tap water quality, consider using bottled water or filtered water from your refrigerator, which will eliminate chlorine taste and smell.
  • Salt: Kosher salt has larger grains than fine salt. If you don’t have kosher salt, use 1 teaspoon fine salt.

Recipe steps

This dough comes together in minutes using a heavy duty standing mixer.

If you don’t have one, you can also mix the dough in a large bowl. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface or counter and knead by hand until smooth.

Baking directions

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If your oven doesn’t go that high, preheat to 475 degrees for at least 25 minutes.
  • The recipe makes about 1 1/2 pounds of dough. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, free-form the dough with your hands into two 12-inch oblongs or rounds or make one quarter sheet-pan sized pizza.
  • If you like, use a pizza stone in the oven and use your favorite tools such as a pizza peel for transferring the pizza.
  • Top with about 1/2 cup homemade pizza sauce, tomato sauce, cheese or any of your other favorite toppings.

Refrigerating pizza dough

This dough is very forgiving when it comes to making ahead for a spur-of-the-moment pizza party. Here are some possibilities:

  • Shape and bake the dough right after it’s doubled at room temperature.
  • Mix the dough, immediately transfer to a large covered bowl or gallon-size ziptop bag and refrigerate up to 3 days. Punch it down, shape and bake straight from the fridge.
  • Stretch the risen dough on your sheet pan, cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Pull out of the fridge while the oven preheats, top and bake.

Freezing pizza dough

  • Allow the dough to rise about an hour at room temperature, then gently deflate and transfer the dough to an airtight container or freezer bag. Place in the freezer, where it will keep up to a month.
  • Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator or few a couple hours at room temperature until it can be stretched or rolled out. Shape and bake as desired.

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Rectangular slices of cheese pizza on a cutting board.

Fast and Foolproof Pizza Dough

Karen Tedesco
This quick, super-easy pizza dough recipe is a deal-breaker. It mixes up in minutes and can be ready to bake in about 1 hour. The supple dough is easy to handle and bakes into an airy crust with perfectly browned edges. Note: Using a kitchen scale to measure your flour gives perfect results.
Print Pin
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Rising time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Pizza
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

Makes 1 1/2 pounds dough

  • 2 ¾ cups (370 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt Note: Kosher salt has larger grains than fine salt. If you don't have kosher salt, use 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (295 ml) plus 2-3 tablespoons water

Instructions 

  • Combine the flour, olive oil, yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the water in a heavy duty mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  • Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to combine. Dribble in up to 3 tablespoons additional water if the mixture seems dry. Turn the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, flipping the dough over to coat the top with some oil. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled — this will happen in about 1-2 hours at warm room temperature, which is greater than 70 °F
  • Gently deflate the dough. Let it rest for a few minutes to relax the tension. Roll out the dough to make one large pizza, or divide in half to shape 2 12-inch pizzas. Note: The dough makes enough to fill a 9"x13"inch quarter sheet pan perfectly.
  • To bake the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 °F(250 C) degrees. Top with pizza sauce or your favorite toppings. Bake about 15 minutes, until the edges are browned.
  • Cool a few minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix the dough in a large bowl. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface or counter and knead by hand until smooth.

    Refrigerating pizza dough

    This dough is very forgiving when it comes to making ahead for a spur-of-the-moment pizza party. Here are some possibilities:
    • Shape and bake the dough right after it’s doubled at room temperature.
    • Mix the dough, immediately transfer to a large covered bowl or gallon-size ziptop bag and refrigerate up to 3 days. Punch it down, shape and bake straight from the fridge.
    • Stretch the risen dough on your sheet pan, cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Pull out of the fridge while the oven preheats, top and bake.

    Freezing pizza dough

    • Allow the dough to ferment about an hour at room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. Place in the freezer, where it will keep up to a month.
    • Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator or few a couple hours at room temperature. Shape and bake as desired.
Adapted from this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.004mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! Another phenomenal recipe from Karen!

  2. Liza Finkel says:

    5 stars
    This looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it.