The best basic pizza dough that's my go-to recipe for anytime I want to make pizzas or even focaccia. It's so simple and takes around 10 minutes to make, it's the best way to make homemade pizzas!
The base of a pizza is a pretty big deal, some like it thin and crispy and others thick and fluffy. With this easy basic pizza dough, you can adjust the thickness of your pizza to your liking and it will come out perfect every time, all you need is some simple pantry ingredients.
I've been making homemade pizzas since I met my boyfriend (10 years ago) and I've been hooked ever since. I never never never buy store bought pizzas, the bases are dry and very unappealing to me plus the fact that there are almost always some nasty ingredients thrown in for good measure.
Making homemade pizza dough is so easy and fun, who doesn't like decorating their own pizza and choosing their favourite toppings? It's just as fun for me as I'm sure it is for kids and it makes pizza night so much more entertaining.
This is the same pizza dough recipe I have been using for all of my pizza recipes except when I use my Instant Pizza Dough. I've added so extra tips below.
How To Make The Best Basic Pizza Dough Step By Step
Making the dough is very simple and the more you do it the more natural it becomes. First, add the yeast to the lukewarm water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast and water and start to mix it together with a metal spoon then add the olive oil and mix together until a rough dough forms.
Shape the dough into a ball and knead on a lightly floured surface for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a nice round ball and place in a lightly oiled clean bowl. Cover with cling film and leave the dough in a dry warm place for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, knock the air out by pressing down on it with your fist
How To Store Pizza Dough?
At room temperature - When making pizza dough to use on the same day it's best to leave it in a warm dry place for it to rise. Leaving it in a bowl wrapped with lightly oiled cling film or a damp tea towel at room temperature is perfect.
In the fridge - If you plan to make your pizza dough the day before it's best to store it in the fridge. Don't worry about it being cold, the dough will still rise it will only take longer. If you are leaving your dough for 24 hours then that is plenty time for it to rise into a light and airy dough.
Can pizza dough be frozen? You can freeze homemade pizza dough no problem. Once you have let the dough rise, knock the air out and divide it into portion sizes. I normally make 2 large pizzas at home to share so I divide it in 2. You can divide it into single portion sizes then wrap it in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Tip- You can also freeze any leftover pizza that has been cooked with all its toppings. Simply defrost the pizza either in the fridge or a room temperature and reheat it in the oven.
What Is The Best Flour To Use To Make Pizza?
I always used to use type 00 flour to make pizza dough until I moved to Italy and found out that the best type of flour to use is type 0. I now always use type 0, it's the best type of flour to use for this best basic pizza dough.
Type 0 flour is a soft wheat flour, richer in gluten than type 00 it creates a more elastic and robust dough making it perfect for pizzas. Type 00 is a great alternative although will result in a softer dough.
If you can get your hands on type 0 always use it, if not the second option would be type 00 and if you’re unlucky enough to not find any of them then normal all-purpose flour will have to do. It’s not the end of the world, you’ll still have great pizzas.
Ideas for homemade pizza toppings;
- Pizza Napoli
- Basil pesto pizza with mozzarella and roasted cherry tomatoes
- Quattro stagioni - four seasons pizza
- Prosciutto cotto (ham) and artichoke heart pizza
- Burrata with salami, olives and capers
- Cheesy speck and mushroom pizza
- Turkey stuffing pizza with caramelised onions and brie
You should also check out my recipe for Instant Pizza Dough there's no yeast and no rising time required so it's super quick to make (10 minutes or less) and ready to use straight away. This is what I use when I'm pressed for time or when I decide to have pizza for dinner last minute.
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The Best Basic Pizza Dough Recipe
- 4 cups 1.1 lb/500g type 0 flour*
- 2 tsp 7g fast action dried yeast
- 1 ⅓ cups 320ml lukewarm water
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch pinch salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- Add the yeast to the lukewarm water with ½ tsp sugar and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and water and start to mix it together with a metal spoon. Add the olive oil and mix together until a rough dough forms. If it's too sticky you can gradually add a little more flour.
- Dust a clean work surface with a little flour and knead the dough for around 5-10 minutes until it's silky smooth and soft. If you lightly press your finger on the ball of dough it should spring back up easily.
- Add ½ tbsp of olive oil to a large clean bowl and rub all over until the bowl is coated. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, rub the top of the dough with a tiny amount of olive oil. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for at least 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Type 0 flour can be replaced with type 00 or all-purpose flour.
- This dough make enough to make 2 large pizzas that serve 4-6 people
- I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
- When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
- All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
- All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
- Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
- Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
- You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here