Ever wanted to learn how to make pizza dough at home? It’s actually easier than you think! Find out how long to bake pizza dough, how you can prebake pizza crust to avoid the dough getting soggy, and lots of other homemade pizza tips and tricks.
My children often remind me that they never had pizza delivered to our house when they were growing up.
I figure with all the pizza they had at soccer, softball, and birthday parties in their lifetimes, the fact they haven’t had the experience of a Pizza Man showing up at our door is not really a big deal.
Besides, when pizza is so easy to make at home, why bother with delivery? I prefer to use my own olive oil dough which I keep in the refrigerator. It is the perfect homemade pizza dough.
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The Easy Secret of How to Make Pizza Dough at Home
I discovered this book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois and it taught me a life-changing philosophy on bread making.
Sure it’s not actually five minutes. Mixing the dough takes five minutes. Then you let it rise for two hours. BUT once you have the dough, the hard part is over and you have pre-made pizza dough ready to use.
Now I always keep a tub of homemade pizza dough in the fridge, and wonder why we weren’t taught THAT in cooking school?!
Not only will you be able to make pizza in under an hour, but you can also bake delicious bread! The book is a bread baker’s dream! My olive oil bread works great for a pizza dough recipe. You’ll end up with a perfect crisp crust for your delicious pizza made at home.
Can You Refrigerate Pizza Dough?
Yes! Once the dough is made, store it in an air-tight container.
Whenever you want to bake a pizza, flatbread, pitas, or anything else with the dough, simply grab a hunk of dough.
How Long Does Pizza Dough Last in the Fridge?
Properly stored (in an air-tight container) pizza dough will usually last anywhere from 5 – 12 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer!
The storage time depends partially on the amount of yeast in the dough, the less yeast, the longer it can keep.
If the dough has a sour smell or a dry feel and diminished texture, that can be a sign that it’s gone bad.
How Long Should Pizza Dough Rise?
Once you’ve decided to make pizza and have your dough out, you’ll need to rest the dough before rolling it out.
You’ve seen the shows where the pizza dough is being tossed and spun in the air by hand? That dough has had a chance to relax. It’s much easier to work with when it’s come to room temperature.
The amount of time needed to rise will depend on how warm your kitchen is and how large the piece of dough is.
I usually plan on about 45 minutes to an hour, which gives me a chance to prepare the toppings and heat up the oven. If your kitchen is cooler, it could take as long as 1 1/2 hours.
Let the dough sit on a well-floured board covered with a tea towel until it’s well-rested and you are ready to roll it out.
How Much Dough Do You Need For a Pizza?
The amount of dough you want to use for your pizza depends on how thick or thin you like your crust.
For a medium-sized pizza that’s medium thickness, figure about 1 pound of dough.
This pizza is pre-baked on a 12″ pizza pan. The more toppings you put on your pizza, the thicker the crust should be. If you want a thinner and crisper pizza, use fewer toppings.
Do You Need to Pre-Bake Pizza Crust?
Should you pre-bake pizza dough or not? I’d say yes, you should! If you don’t pre-bake pizza crust, you’ll end up with a crust that has a soggy bottom.
Pre-baking pizza dough ensures that the crust will continue to bake and crisp up and the cheese will melt without burning.
Although I use a pizza stone, I roll and pre-bake the crust using a pizza pan as a guide. I pre-bake it on the pizza pan and then finish it on a pizza stone.
Pre-bake the crust at 500 degrees F. for 5-7 minutes, or until it’s beginning to turn golden, but still soft. It might puff up in the center. That’s ok. It will collapse after removing it from the oven.
Can You Make Pizza Dough in Advance?
You can certainly make pizza dough in advance!
While you don’t have to, if you are planning on making a lot of individual-sized pizzas for a party, you can certainly bake them several hours ahead of time until you’re ready to add the toppings and finish baking.
Making pizza dough in advance can also be great for a DIY pizza night!
Keep them wrapped until ready to use. You can see this pre-baked pizza is ready for toppings and sitting on a pizza paddle. If you don’t have a pizza paddle, a thin cookie sheet can be used to transfer the pizza onto a pizza stone.
Do You Need a Pizza Stone?
You can make a pizza at home using just a pizza pan and a very hot oven, but a pizza stone is relatively inexpensive and can be used for more than just making pizza.
The pizza stone helps make the bottom of the pizza crisp up.
When you are ready to bake (oven preheated to 500 degrees) your pizza, slide it from the paddle or cutting board directly onto the hot pizza stone.
Why is my Pizza Dough so Sticky?
Pizza dough is usually at least a little bit sticky, but it can become too sticky (to the point where it rips) if it absorbs too much water or if it’s under-kneaded.
A neat trick to help prevent pizza dough from sticking is cornmeal.
Sprinkle yellow cornmeal on the pizza paddle or cutting board. Then again, just before baking, sprinkle cornmeal liberally on the pizza stone. If you’re not using a pizza stone, you can brush the bottom of the pizza pan with olive oil.
Cornmeal on the pizza paddle or cutting board will help the uncooked pizza slide easily onto and off of the stone.
Ready to Make a Homemade Pizza?
While the dough is resting, you can begin assembling your ingredients.
You can use pre-shredded cheese or shred your own. A combination of cheeses works well too. Mozzarella is traditional, but you can also use asiago, provolone, parmesan, or a combination. Mozzarella will give pizza that cheesy “pull”.
This pizza is a classic “pizzeria” combination of pepperoni, kalamata olives, and mushrooms, but you can also add:
- Italian sausage. Make sure you pre-cook the sausage before topping the pizza.
- Thinly sliced bell peppers
- Artichoke hearts
Remember the more toppings you add, the thicker your crust should be. You can add red pepper flakes and fresh chopped basil or additional parmesan cheese after the pizza comes out of the oven.
Brush pre-baked pizza crust with tomato sauce.
Top with your choice (or combination) of cheese.
Add the rest of your toppings. I like to add the pepperoni first and fill in the gaps with the mushrooms and olives.
What’s The Best Way to Cut a Pizza?
I’ve found that culinary scissors are the best way to cut a pizza because you get a much cleaner slice.
Old-fashioned pizza cutters can also work well but you’ll sometimes have to roll over (cut) a spot multiple times to fully cut through the pizza crust.
Some of the items used in this post are available at my Amazon Affiliate Store.
- 1 pound pizza dough https://whatagirleats.com/artisan-olive-oil-bread/
- 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 ounces pepperoni
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted
- 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, make sure stone is in the oven to pre-heat as well.
- Pre-bake crust for 5 to 7 minutes on pizza tin until light golden on the bottom. You don't want it completely baked.
- Return to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and hot.
- Return pizza to oven using a pizza paddle or the back side of a cookie sheet to slide the pizza back onto the pizza stone.
If you’ve hung in there with me this long, here’s a picture of my very first pizza with homemade dough.
One of my other favorite pizzas is the Grilled Pizza with Pesto, Smoked Mozzarella, and Fresh Ricotta.
How To Make Pizza Dough At Home