How to Make Pizza Crust

Every great pizza starts with a great crust. To get that crispy, chewy texture that’s the hallmark of a great pizza, you’ll want to make the dough from scratch. Have no fear—from-scratch pizza crust requires only a few pantry staples, a few minutes of kneading (no stand mixer needed), and time to rise.

Since working with yeast can be intimidating, especially for non-bakers, Julie Grasser, Pampered Chef’s Culinary Research and Development Chef, created a simple Homemade Pizza Dough that’s the perfect foundation for all pizzas, including our White Pizza.

Julie walks us through how to make a pizza crust. Once you see how easy it is, every night might be pizza night.

Woman Holding Homemade Pizza
Photo: @kerrigankitchen

Pizza Crust Ingredients

In addition to salt and sugar, here are the other four ingredients you need.

  • Flour: Nothing fancy here—just all-purpose flour.
  • Yeast: To make working with yeast simpler, Julie uses instant yeast, also called rapid-rise yeast, instead of active dry yeast. Unlike active dry yeast, instant yeast doesn’t need to be dissolved in water first; it can be mixed right into the dry ingredients.
  • Water: When using instant yeast, the water you add should be between 120-130°F (49–55°C). You can use hot tap water, but to get an accurate temperature, Julie recommends using a thermometer to check the temperature. If the water is 140°F/60°C or higher, all types of yeast will die and the dough won’t rise.
  • Oil: Julie prefers olive oil because it has a more distinctive flavor than vegetable oil. Oil is important in dough because it makes it tender and keeps the moisture from the toppings from making the crust soggy.

Let the Dough Rise

This is what makes the crust light and airy. Knead the mixed ingredients until a smooth, firm ball forms. Then place the dough ball in a large bowl that you’ve brushed with olive oil, then brush some more olive oil on the top of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in size, about an hour or two. You can cut this step in half with a pressure cooker; it takes just an hour to rise on the PROOF setting.

Pizza Dough
Photo: @marina_mit_pampered_chef

How to Stretch Dough

When you’re ready to make your pizza, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten with your hands, starting at the center and working outwards. The dough will be soft and easy to maneuver. Julie says you can use a rolling pin if that makes it easier, but that might flatten some of the bubbles, which is what makes it airy. Keep turning and stretching until the dough becomes a 12″ (30-cm) circle.

Use a Pizza Peel and Pizza Stone

Pizza crust gets even crispier when cooked on a preheated stone. Our pizza stones (those purchased after Sept. 1, 2020) can be preheated in a 450°F (230°C) for up to 30 minutes. To easily transfer food on and off a preheated stone, use a pizza peel, like the pros do, for less mess and safe hands. Keep both the peel and dough room temperature so the dough doesn’t sweat. Julie recommends using cornmeal to dust the peel instead of flour. Flour sticks to the bottom of the crust and doesn’t bake in, and doesn’t always taste good. Place the dough on the peel, add your toppings, and transfer onto the preheated stone. Cook until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted, about 12­–15 minutes. If you don’t have a pizza stone that can be preheated, add a few minutes to the overall cook time.

Pizza Peel and Pizza Stone

Freezing & Thawing Dough

You can make a double batch so you’re ready for the next pizza night. After it rises, tightly wrap and freeze it (it will deflate). You can thaw it overnight in the fridge or let it sit on the counter until it’s room temperature, at least an hour. Then it’s ready to go. 

To learn more, watch how our Culinary Content Manager, Sandy Wolner does make-ahead mini frozen pizzas and get all her tips here.

Pizza Crust in a Hurry

If it’s pizza night and there’s just not enough time to let dough rise, Julie recommends making our 5-Minute Dough. There’s no yeast, so no rising (and a little less airy) but a great option.

And it can’t get any easier than using our high-quality pizza crust mix, just add water and oil, and can have delicious pizza with all the flavor and crispy texture you love in under 30 minutes—less time than it takes to get one delivered.

We want to see your homemade pizzas! Share in the comments below or on social media using #howipamperedchef.

15 Responses to How to Make Pizza Crust

  1. Karen September 9, 2020 at 1:50 pm #

    Did I miss something? I couldn’t find any measurements for the ingredients.

    • Chris Meyer September 10, 2020 at 2:43 pm #

      in the video

    • Cheryl Harding September 29, 2020 at 10:29 pm #

      2nd paragraph, click on “Homemade Pizza Dough” and it will take you right to the recipe!! There are several other recipes in the article — you will notice them now that you know to look for the different colored text for the recipes! Enjoy Karen!

  2. Kathrine Schmitt September 9, 2020 at 1:56 pm #

    Can you explain the process when one has active dry yeast, not instant rise?

  3. Karen September 9, 2020 at 1:56 pm #

    Sorry, I didn’t read the recipe for the white pizza, was more interested in how to make the dough and realized too late that the recipe for the white pizza gave the measurements for making your own dough. My bad.

  4. Kathrine Schmitt September 9, 2020 at 1:57 pm #

    Oh, and I have a PC STONE from many years ago. Can you give instructions for using the older stones, which I always preheat

  5. Lynne K September 9, 2020 at 2:28 pm #

    That’s great for the how-to. Where are the quantities?!

  6. Sandi September 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

    What are the measurements of the ingredients????

    • Tish Allen September 16, 2020 at 1:55 pm #

      In the Homemade Pizza Dough link in the story. Or watch the video.

  7. Jean September 9, 2020 at 6:05 pm #

    I make that five minute dough all the time. When I make my white pizza, I add shrimp and artichokes or left over chicken and yellow peppers. Of course, that stone is irreplaceable for the best pizza crust. If feeling adventurous, I have even done a stuffed crust pizza. Could not live without that stone. Mine must be at least 15 yrs old!

  8. Cheryl Adelstein September 9, 2020 at 10:01 pm #

    Where is the actual recipe. You list ingredients without quantities

    • Debra September 13, 2020 at 9:36 am #

      There’s a link to the recipe early in the text

  9. Chris Meyer September 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm #

    For everyone asking for the recipe measurements they are here

  10. C. Jeanne September 12, 2020 at 7:02 am #

    I see several others asked my same question. You never give measurements ? Is this your way of counting how many people are following and to get more info. ?

    • Pampered Chef September 15, 2020 at 12:42 pm #

      Hello, We link to the Homemade Pizza Dough in the introduction to the post! The ideas we talk about in the post can be applied to any recipe include your personal favorite if you have one.

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