For the last three years, we have taken pizza-making quite seriously. We have tried almost every method that we think would be convenient for most households. As a result, this Perfect All Purpose Pizza Dough recipe is tried, tested, and perfected for the grill, oven, pizza stone, grill mats, and pizza ovens. It’s a thin-crust pizza recipe that cooks quickly and offers those wonderful crispy edges. It has the right amount of crispness and chewiness. This recipe also freezes beautifully and delivers a perfect pie after a quick defrost. This one checks all the boxes. You will need a two-hour window for the dough to rise, however, it’s just about foolproof.
How to make homemade pizza step-by-step
I encourage you to read the entire post before starting to prepare this Perfect all-purpose pizza dough recipe. I’ve provided a lot of information on how to bake homemade pizza including options that include oven and grill. This post will provide a comprehensive guide from beginning to end. The table of contents below contains links that will direct you to specific topics regarding all of the information I’ve discussed for baking pizza at home. Have a question? Please send me a message, I’m happy to help!
Table of contents
- How to make homemade pizza step-by-step
- Why you’ll love this Perfect All-Purpose Pizza Dough recipe
- Homemade Pizza 101
- Best flour for homemade pizza dough
- Types of Pizza crusts
- Recommendations for the Best homemade pizza crust
- Methods of baking pizza for the home cook
- How to prepare homemade pizza dough
- Kneading pizza dough by hand
- How to knead pizza dough with a stand mixer
- How to stretch pizza dough
- Suggested Toppings for homemade pizza
- Cooking times for homemade pizza
- Serving suggestions for homemade pizza
- Questions and Tips
Why you’ll love this Perfect All-Purpose Pizza Dough recipe
The original recipe is from my very favorite cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens. The recipe is adapted to use on a pizza stone, using an outdoor gas grill to mimic a pizza oven. This is my preferred method but I also include directions on using your oven, pizza oven, or straight on the grill with a copper mat to bake a perfect homemade pie. The goal for this same-day pizza dough recipe is to be able to use readily available ingredients and accommodate the many ways of actually baking a pizza at home. I think this is an easy pizza dough recipe that both an experienced cook and a novice can embrace.
Homemade Pizza 101
Over the last three years, we have made dozens of pies perfecting the different methods we would use at home. Our friends have joined in on the fun and we have compared notes and tried each other’s pizzas along the way. In my opinion, the most challenging element is having a good rise in your dough. The weather is either on your side or not. We have made pies in all temperatures, all year round. While Los Angeles is typically mild most of the year, we get the peaks and valleys of weather. To help the dough rise sufficiently, in the colder months, I turn the oven on to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and proof the dough on the stovetop to allow the warmth from the oven to help the pizza dough get a good rise.
Best flour for homemade pizza dough
The two most accessible types of flour are all-purpose flour and Bread flour. If you have been searching for an at-home pizza dough recipe, you may have come across 00 flour. This is a super fine flour that produces a Neapolitan-type pizza that is pliable, soft, and tender. The caveat? It’s sometimes hard to find, expensive, and a little harder to handle and stretch. Also, it requires a 12-24 hour rise but is it worth it? Yes. In all examples, I encourage you to buy the best quality flour you can afford. For me, that’s King Arthur Flour for all three types. (Not an ad, I happen to think theirs is best.) It’s also accessible. You can find it in most major supermarkets and superstores like Target.
NOTE: Make sure your flour is not expired. Fresh flour is recommended for the best results.
So what’s the difference between the three types of flour? It’s the gluten content. Bread flour is the highest at 13-14%, 00 flour is at about 12% and All Purpose flour is at 8-11%. Why does gluten content matter? The more gluten, the chewier the crust. So by this criteria, it makes sense that you can customize the flour based on the type of pizza you are making. For our recipe, I’m choosing a thin-crust version that has the right amount of chewiness and thickness to cook quickly. For my Perfect all-purpose pizza dough recipe, I combine bread flour and all-purpose flour and find that the combination works very well for texture, cooking time, and handling.
Types of Pizza crusts
So what is your pizza style? When it comes to pizza, it’s so personal, right? You love what you love and rarely do you stray from your favorite pizza type. For me, it’s typically a thinner crust, but not too thin. I love the crust to be able to hold up to the sauce, cheese, and toppings which is why this is a perfect all-purpose pizza dough recipe. I also don’t like tasting a crust that well, has the texture of actual bread. If you are not sure what pizza profile you are, below are brief descriptions of the styles we know and love here in the United States.
Thin-crust pizza variations
Neopolitan: The thinnest of the thin. This type of pizza cooks over high heat, typically in a wood oven, and cooks fast. The best example of this is Margherita Pizza.
New York Style: The large wedged pizza has a wide, puffed edge and is saucy, cheesy, and light on the toppings. Honestly, my favorite. This one bakes at a lower temp and is a bit more pliable.
St. Louis style: This is cracker thin and the dough has no yeast. When served, it’s cut into square wedges known as tavern cut.
Thick-crust pizza variations
Sicilian: A beautifully thick and crusted pizza about 1 inch thick with many toppings. These pies are typically square and have a bread-like textured crust.
Detroit: If you know you know. This is a whole different ball game in my humble opinion. This rectangular masterpiece with a thick crust and its reverse engineering of toppings make it delicious.
Chicago Deep Dish: This pizza is the thickest of the thick. Up to 2 inches thick and baked into an oiled cast iron or dark steel pan. With toppings overload, the toppings are added in reverse order as this pizza cooks the longest and the cheese would burn otherwise.
Pan pizza: I think back in the day, Pizza Hut made this style of pizza famous. Just as it sounds, it is baked in a dark deep pan and is a perfect cast iron pizza for the home baker.
Recommendations for the Best homemade pizza crust
Once you start baking your homemade pizza with this Perfect All Purpose Pizza Dough recipe, I guarantee you will continue to bake your pizza at home. Now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be ordering from your favorite local pizza restaurant, but it does mean that this is a completely fun option to have for a weekend with friends, camping, or just because. The list below are recommendations to make the process easier but not necessary. You can bake an excellent pizza with typical kitchen tools.
- Pizza stone-one that you can use in temperatures up to 900 degrees.
- Pizza peel- the giant spatula/turner to move pizza to and from a hot oven or grill.
- Copper mats -best used on a grill or conventional oven (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit). Excellent choice for the household oven and super easy clean-up!
- Gas grill with temperature gauge
- If you opt for using a charcoal grill and it doesn’t have a temperature gauge, you can opt for buying an outdoor grill temperature gauge to monitor temperature for optimal baking.
- Pizza cutter
- Good flour
Methods of baking pizza for the home cook
The most practical methods for most of us are either the outdoor gas grill or oven. Second, a charcoal grill works well too. My favorite methods of baking a pizza at home are a gas grill and the stove along with a pizza stone. These methods deliver pretty consistent pies along with ease of use.
How to prepare homemade pizza dough
This Perfect all-purpose pizza dough will yield pizzas that are thinner crust, a bit on the crunchy side. This is not a doughy, thick pizza. If you prefer thicker pizza, this may not be the right recipe. There are plenty of great thick-crust pizza recipes out there. The original recipe calls for bread flour, but I think a combination of both bread and all-purpose flour works well. Also, I use very little yeast which is quite noticeable compared to most pizza dough recipes.
- 2 large bowls: one to prepare the pizza dough and one for the dough to rest
- 3 cups of bread flour (spooned into a dry measuring cup and leveled with a knife)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour (spooned into a dry measuring cup and leveled with a knife) + about 1/2 cup extra for the kneading surface.
- 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast (I prefer Fleishmanns)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons of table salt/sea salt)
- 1 3/4 cup of warm water (110-115F)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon to coat the bottom of a large bowl
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs for brushing on dough
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, yeast, sugar, and salt. Using a whisk, mix dry ingredients until fully combined. Add warm water and extra virgin olive oil to dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined. The flour mixture consistency will be shaggy with extra flour at the bottom. Don’t be alarmed, this is correct.
Prepare the second bowl by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Coat the entire bottom of the bowl and sides and set aside.
Sprinkle extra flour on the kneading surface. (Skip this if kneading the dough in a stand mixer)
Kneading pizza dough by hand
Turn the dough mixture onto a floured surface and proceed to knead the dough by hand for 4-5 minutes. After a minute or so of kneading, the dough should start looking smooth and elastic. After 4-5 minutes of kneading, form the dough into a ball and place the dough in the second, oiled bowl. Turn the dough ball so the dough is oiled on both sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free area. Let dough rest for 2 hours.
TIP: If it’s really cold inside your home, turn the oven on to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and place the dough bowl on top of the stove for warmth.
How to knead pizza dough with a stand mixer
Add flour, yeast, sugar, and salt to a stand mixer bowl with the kneading attachment. Gently mix ingredients on power level 1 for about 30 seconds. Add warm water, and olive oil and mix on power level 2 until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The flour mixture consistency will be shaggy with extra flour at the bottom. Don’t be alarmed, this is correct. Continue and “knead” the dough mixture on power level 2 for about 2-3 more minutes. The dough will appear shaggy and it may stick to the attachment. If this happens, just turn the mixer off, remove the dough from the attachment, and restart until the 2-3 minutes of kneading are completed.
Shape into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turn the ball so both sides of the dough ball are oiled. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 2 hours.
After the two-hour rise, divide the dough into 4 equal-sized portions and form balls. Place the dough balls back in the bowl and allow to continue to rest until your oven or grill is ready.
How to stretch pizza dough
One of the things that I like best about this perfect all-purpose pizza dough recipe is that it’s easy to handle. Typically 00 flour produces a fantastic crust, but it’s hard to stretch. My recipe allows for an even stretch that is easy to handle and easier to place on the pizza stone. Even so, you may need to practice to make a perfect pizza, again, it’s all part of the fun!
- On a well-floured surface, place the dough ball and start pressing the dough from the center, working your way out. Rotate as you press the dough.
- To continue to stretch the dough, I like to use gravity and pull gently while holding it up in front of me. (pictured below)
- As you are stretching the dough, make sure that the thickness is consistent so it bakes evenly.
- Place back on the floured surface and continue to pull and stretch until the circle is about 10-12 inches.
How to assemble the pizza for baking
- Generously sprinkle the pizza peel or cookie sheet with cornmeal.
- Place stretched dough on a pizza peel with cornmeal.
- Optional step: Lightly brush olive oil onto the dough and sprinkle dried Italian herbs if you choose.
- Add about 1/2 cup of pizza sauce.
- Top with cheese and toppings of your choice.
Suggested Toppings for homemade pizza
An excellent pizza starts with a great crust, but it also needs a great sauce. I have you covered: Rich and Zesty Pizza Sauce. This sauce ticks all the boxes. It’s flavorful, thick, spicy, and full of flavor. It’s a perfect balance in thickness to hold your toppings without becoming watery. This is important because you don’t want a soggy pie. I highly recommend making your pizza sauce or buying pizza sauce as the texture is different from pasta sauce.
So what is my favorite way to top pizza pies? My favorite combo is good pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and fresh mozzarella. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese when the pizza is done. But, this is my new crush, Chorizo, Shrimp Corn Pizza with Roasted Jalapeño Cilantro Pesto and Manchego. (shown below)
The sky is the limit, the only caveat is that you don’t overload the pizza with too many toppings. Slice all your veggies as thin as possible. For peppers, I prefer to sauté them first so they are almost cooked before I add them to the pizza. These pies cook between 1-15 minutes depending on the method used. (Yes, one minute for those who have the new style pizza ovens like Gozney.)
Cooking times for homemade pizza
I’ve added suggested times for most homemade pizza scenarios. Each oven and grill vary in heat, so keep that in mind.
- 6-8 minutes on an outdoor gas grill with a pre-heated pizza stone* (600 degrees + preheat for 30 minutes)
- 5-8 minutes on a charcoal grill like a Weber using a pizza stone* (500-600 degrees + preheat for 30 minutes)
- 10-12 minutes in a pre-heated, conventional oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit using a pizza stone* (middle rack + preheat for 15 minutes)
- 10-12 minutes in a pre-heated, conventional oven using a copper mat at 500 degrees Fahrenheit (second to the lowest rack + preheat for 10 minutes)
- 15-18 minutes in the oven using a cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. (preheat for 10 minutes)
- 1-3 minutes in a gas or wood burning Pizza Oven like Gozney Roccbox or Ooni (times vary depending on brand-follow manufacturers’ directions)
- 8-10 minutes directly on a copper mat on an outdoor gas grill (500 degrees Fahrenheit: copper mat is not suggested for use over 500 degrees so you have to be careful with temperature when the gas grill lid is closed as temperature goes up quickly.
- 7-10 minutes in a preheated oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit using a preheated baking sheet
- 10-12 minutes in Cast iron pan on an outdoor grill preheated for 10 minutes and the pan preheated. (A different post is coming soon for cast iron pan pizza!)
*Pizza stone needs to be preheated with the oven. Place the pizza stone in a cold oven to allow it to gradually preheat. Use the same method on a gas or charcoal grill.
How to remove pizza from peel to cooking surface
Once the dough is stretched, place it on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel and carefully slide it onto a pre-heated stone. If you don’t have a pizza peel, I recommend using a flat cookie sheet with a generous dusting of cornmeal so the dough slides easily. Pizza will be baked when the edges and crust are golden brown.
Another option is to assemble pizza onto a copper mat directly. This is great because it’s so easy to bake and you don’t need the cornmeal. Just make sure you remove it from the copper mat before cutting so you don’t damage the mat.
Serving suggestions for homemade pizza
For the perfect pizza night, I suggest having options for toppings as well as flavorful condiments to finish off the flavor experience. These are some of our favorite condiments.
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Hot honey
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Calabrian chiles
- Pickled Jalapeño slices
- Hot sauce
- Basil pesto
- Marinated Balsamic red onions
Additionally, if you are grilling your pizza, grill your salad too. One of my favorite salads for Pizza night and Summer is my Grilled Romaine and Radicchio Caesar Salad and my Hearts Salad with Proscuitto.
Questions and Tips
Yes, you can easily use all-purpose flour or all-bread flour. Both will work just fine.
Yes, you can freeze the dough in quarters after allowing it to rest for two hours. Each dough ball will yield a 10″ pizza.
To defrost, remove the dough from the freezer and allow it to thoroughly defrost and come to room temperature. Stretch dough as instructed and cook as directed.
No. This recipe is not suitable for gluten-free flour, however, the King Arthur site has a good one.
Absolutely and it’s encouraged. I like to brush on a little olive oil and herbs before adding sauce and toppings.
The easiest and best pizza dough is Trader Joe’s Pizza dough in their refrigerated section.
Any leftover pizza can be stored in zip-top bags or a container with a lid on it. The pizza can be kept refrigerated for 3 days.
I prefer to reheat pizza on a nonstick pan (medium-low heat) on the stovetop or loosely wrapped in foil in the oven or directly on the rack in a toaster oven.
Perfect All Purpose Pizza DoughSeptember 10, 2023
- 2 Large bowls
- 1 quick read thermometer
- 1 Pizza stone recommended
- cookie sheet for baking or using as a pizza peel
- Stand mixer with a dough hook optional
- Pizza Peel optional
- Copper mats optional
- 3 cups bread flour, unbleached spooned into a dry measuring cup and leveled with a knife
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached + extra for kneading dough spooned into a dry measuring cup and leveled with a knife
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast Fleishmanns
- 1 tablespoon sugar, white or honey
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt or 2 tsp table salt/sea salt
- 1 3/4 cup warm water (110-120F)
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil – divided + extra for large bowl plus for brushing onto pizza crust
- 1 cup cornmeal for baking pizza
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs optional
How to prepare pizza dough
- In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well.
- Add water and extra virgin olive oil and mix with a spoon until fully combined. The flour mixture consistency will be shaggy with extra flour at the bottom. Don't be alarmed, this is correct.
- In the second large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Coat bottom and sides. Set aside.
- Generously flour the dough kneading surface.
- Turn the dough mixture onto a floured surface and proceed to knead by hand for 4-5 minutes. After a minute or so of kneading, the dough should start looking smooth and elastic.
- After 5 minutes of kneading, place dough in the oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free area.
- Let dough rest for 2 hours.
How to stretch pizza dough
- Place the pizza stone in a cold grill or oven.
- Preheat the oven or grill for 30 minutes with the pizza stone. If using a different method, refer to our time chart in the post. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and 600 degrees for an outdoor grill.
- Divide dough into 4 equal parts, and form into balls. It can continue to rest while you preheat the oven or grill.
- On the pizza peel, add a generous amount of cornmeal. This will allow the pizza not to stick to the pizza peel and allow it to slide onto a pizza stone or copper mat.
- On a flat, clean surface, sprinkle a generous amount of flour.
- On the floured surface, use one ball of dough and start stretching it out from the inside working your way out.
- Use gravity to help the process by holding the dough with one hand and start pulling with the other. Continue to stretch the dough until you have about a 10" circle.
How to prepare pizza dough for baking
- Add a generous amount of cornmeal to the pizza peel or cookie sheet.
- Place the dough circle on the pizza peel or cookie sheet.
- Optional step: Lightly brush olive oil onto the dough and sprinkle dried Italian herbs if you choose.
- Now you are ready for the Rich and Zesty Pizza Sauce or store-bought. Use about 1/4 cup or so. Spread evenly.
- Top with cheeses and toppings of choice. Go light on the toppings as you want the toppings and pizza to bake at the same time.
How to bake pizza
- Gently slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Use a spatula if needed.
- Once on the pizza stone, cover the grill and allow to bake for 7 minutes. Check it as I may need one more minute. For the oven, close the oven door and bake for 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the stone with the pizza peel and place on the cutting board.
- Slice into 4-6 wedges. Top with extra parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Nutritional information is calculated online and should be used as a guide.
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