Perfect Pizza Crust

I am a huge fan of pizza.  In fact, if I had to pick a favorite food (but please don’t make me!) it would be pizza.  If I had to pick one food to eat everyday for the rest of my life – that would be pizza.  However, up until now, I preferred carry out to homemade pizza.  My homemade pizza has always been pretty good, but it just couldn’t beat my favorite commercial pizza place.  But that all changed so quickly last weekend when I made this pizza crust.  It is, quite simply, perfect in my book.  This crust is what my pizza has been missing all along.  I forsee a lot more pizza being made in my house now that I have found this recipe.  That’s amore!

My only mistake with this dough was probably that I didn’t quite roll it out enough to fit the whole pizza stone so it really puffed up a lot around the edges.  It tasted wonderful but didn’t look quite proportional.  I’ll have to work on that next time.  The recipe below has instructions for making this dough in a stand mixer.  However, instructions for making it in a food processor or by hand are included in the original recipe which is linked below.

Basic Pizza Dough


½ cup warm water (about 110°)

1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting

1 ½ tsp. salt

olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl



Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.  


Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.  Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms.  Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.


To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven.  Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.


Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal.  Top as desired.  Slide the dough onto the pizza stone.  Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes.  Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Baking Illustrated by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

55 Responses

  1. I have yet to make my own pizza dough and will save this to try in the future! It came out great!

  2. I love making homemade pizza dough, and I so trying this!

  3. This looks amazing! Perfect timing too because DH requested pizza for lunch next week. : )

  4. Looks so yummy – I love to make homemade Pizza Dough our recipes are almost identical – The only difference is I add a tablespoon of sugar to add a hint of sweetness – Nothing better than homemade that is for sure – Your photo is amazing!!

  5. Your pizza looks fantastic!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dough – since I found this recipe I think homemade is way better than takeout!

  6. Your pizza looks great! I love this pizza dough recipe- it really makes the perfect pizza. I’m totally with you on loving pizza. I think I could seriously eat it every day!

  7. Im always on the lookout for the perfect pizze dough recipe – don’ tink Ive found it yet so will have to give this one a try

  8. It looks amazing. I love making homemade pizza on my stone.

  9. […] Basic Pizza Dough (From: Annie’s Eats) […]

  10. This was our favorite pizza, I will be making this one again and again. Thanks for the reccomendation.

  11. […] Update: At some point I’ll get around to posting my method for making pizza (exact crust instructions, sauce, etc.), but I want to do some refining first.  In the meantime, you can find blog entries on Cooks Illustrated’s basic recipe here, here and here. […]

  12. i don’t remember haven’t read this post way back in August but i couldn’t pass up commenting on the fact that i feel the EXACT same way about pizza. i have always said that i could, without a doubt, eat it everyday for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. i’m definitely giving this dough recipe a shot this weekend – can’t wait!

  13. […] on Annie’s Eats, adapted from Baking Illustrated by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated […]

  14. […] Pizza dough, at room temperature (I’m lazy so I use Pillsbury, but you can make your own) Pesto (I like Classico, but again – you can make your own) Grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces Canned artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped Shredded mozzarella cheese Olive oil for brushing […]

  15. Does the pizza bake at 500 as well or is that just to heat up the stone? I’m making this tomorrow so I wanted to double-check. Can’t wait! Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel,
      I believe I baked the pizza at 500, but it is possible that I reduced the temp to 450. Either way it will be fine, it may just take a little less time if you bake at 500.
      🙂 Annie

  16. Great – thanks so much!

  17. Do you have a recipe for a BBQ chicken pizza? If you do, I bet it’s diviiiine 🙂

    • Hi Erika,
      Unfortunately I do not. I have a major dislike of BBQ sauce in most capacities, particularly on pizza. Sorry! I’m sure my husband wishes that would change!
      🙂 Annie

  18. […] את הפיצה פתוחה, סוגרים אותה לכיסן ואופים. אני השתמשתי בבצק מאותו הבלוג, רק עם קמח מלא וקמח כוסמין במקום קמח לבן […]

  19. […] have the texture I want. I finally decided to try this recipe that I have seen several times on Annie’s blog. It seems to be her go-to recipe and I can see why! I am always a little nervous when working with […]

  20. Erika-
    There is a recipe on Good Thymes & Good Food’s blog for a BBQ Chicken Pizza similar to California Pizza Kitchen. That’s how I found Annie’s blog since the author had referenced this crust recipe. Also, we love the the BBQ Chicken Calzone recipe on Both are delicious!

  21. […] Pizza Dough Adapted from Annie’s Eats Perfect Pizza Crust […]

  22. Just so you know I make this pizza crust every Friday. It’s great!

  23. Hi Annie,

    I just graduated college and nothing gives me that warm fuzzy feeling like a good slice of pizza! Having never made it on my own, I followed your instructions and my only problem was rolling out the dough. It kept stretching back when I tried to roll it. I am just trying to teach myself how to cook, so I was wondering if you have any tips for how to make it easier to roll out. Thanks! I love your website!

    • Hi Allie,
      Ah yes, the pizza dough not wanting to roll out and springing back on you is a common problem. It is due to the gluten in the dough. When this happens, just let the dough relax for 15-20 minutes and then try again. You should find it much easier to roll out after it relaxes a bit. Sometimes I have to give it 2 or even 3 waiting periods, but it always works out eventually. I hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  24. So, I bought some packaged yeast. Do I want to use Rapid Rise or just Active Dry yeast? I’m not a baker normally, so I’m unfamiliar with working with yeast.

    • Hi Kristen,
      I always use rapid rise (AKA instant or bread machine) yeast, no matter what the recipe calls for. It turns out much better results than I ever had with active dry. Hope that helps!

  25. Excellent, thanks! I bought both when I was at the store yesterday (my normal run, but everyone else was stocking up for Snowpocalypse) so we could make it this week! Yay!

  26. I made your pizza dough for the first time tonight, and it was amazing! I did the chicken pesto pizza. I’ve made several things from your blog, but this was the first time I’ve done anything with yeast. I only made one pizza and have frozen the rest of the dough. Do you have any advice for when I un-thaw the dough?

    • Hi Jennifer,
      When you thaw the dough, just put it in the refrigerator the morning of the day you want to use it for dinner. When you’re ready to make the pizza, set the dough out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then roll it out. If it is too tight and snaps back, let it rest 15 minutes and try again. Shape, top, and bake as desired. Hope that helps!

  27. Made this dough (with a little added granulated garlic, we just can’t have enough garlic) for a classic pepperoni pizza tonight and it was great! Sadly, my stand mixer died on me recently and I didn’t have time to knead the dough myself. So I just made it on the dough setting in my bread machine and it was perfect. Can’t wait to try this with your recipe for Pizza Bites! And thanks for your tip on thawing the dough, I too was curious not having frozen my own dough before.

  28. Have you tried this at high altitudes? If so, what adjustments did you make?

    I recently moved near Vail, CO and I’m still getting used to how this high altitude stuff messes with my baking!

    • Mindy,
      No, I have never tried any sort of baking at high altitude, so I don’t have any advice in that regard. That is one thing I am very glad not to have to worry about!

    • i live at high altitude and made it with no changes. Best pizza I’ve ever had.

  29. Hi Annie,

    Love this crust! My husband deemed this the best pizza he’s ever had, and he’s not easly to please when it comes to pizza.

    My only problem was that when I topped the pizza, the pizza was extremely heavy and I couldn’t get it onto the preheated pizza stone. I had the crust on a floured piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, so we just threw the whole cookie sheet in the oven. Could I have put the parchment paper directly on the pizza stone? And if I purchase a pizza peel, can it pick up a heavy pizza?


    • Hi Susan,
      Yes, the parchment paper can go directly on the pizza stone. That is why I use the parchment – for easy transfer. Otherwise, you could just use a pizza peel.

  30. I have made this dough twice, it is amazing. The best homemade dough I have had. I find that mine is very wet and I have to add a lot of flour when I’m separating it, is that normal? Also, I’d like to make it ahead of time and put it in the fridge, should I let it rise, separate, then chill? Then just let it sit out before rolling it the next day? Thanks!!

    • Hi Emily,
      My dough isn’t usually very wet, it sounds like you need to add more flour. Did you measure by weight?

      I have learned the hard way, you can’t just put it in the fridge to chill it. It will continue to rise slowly and will WAY over-rise. You really need to freeze it at least for a little while to completely stop the rise. Once frozen, I thaw it in the fridge the morning I plan to use it and then let it sit out at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

  31. I add a teaspoon of sugar to this recipe, and my husband loves it…as both pizza and pizza bites. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  32. I’ve made this recipe in the past and I love it!! My hubby thinks it’s a bit too crispy for his taste so we wondered if putting the stone in the oven for that long before cooking the actual pizza is necessary?
    If we just cooked the pizza without heating the stone prior, would it still turn out?

    • Laura,
      In my opinion the strength of this recipe is the use of a heated pizza stone. Without it, all the dough will bake at the same rate and the bottom will be as soft as the rest of the crust. So if you want a really soft pizza, I suppose that technique would work, but then there is no point in even using a stone – any pan will do. I prefer it this way because it’s more like restaurant pizzas. To me the bottom needs to be a little crispier than the rest, just to keep the pizza slices intact and stand up to whatever toppings you choose.

  33. Hi Annie,

    I’ve made this crust a few times and it’s outstanding! My only frustration is that my crust is not turning a golden brown. The bottom of the pizza and the crust are cooking through and taste great, I just don’t get the golden brown color to the crust. Do you have any tips/suggestions??

    • Hi Samantha,
      I’m actually planning to do another post about this recipe soon, with some of my own tips and tricks for freezing, baking, etc. I usually brush my crust (at least the exposed edge) with olive oil before baking, and I think that helps get the nice golden color.

  34. I recently found your blog and have since been cooking up a storm. Everything I have made was delicious. My ten yr old brother ate 5 large slices of pizza I made last night! I was also told that the sauce was the best they have ever had! So thanks for all your amazing recipes, this pizza is definitely going to be a household staple!!


  35. Made this tonight and it is truly excellent pizza dough/crust! Since I’ve become a stay at home wife, I’ve turned to cooking to occupy some of my free time. I keep coming back to your blog for lots of recipes and ALL of them are wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  36. Annie, have you ever tried using whole wheat flour? I’m searching for the perfect whole wheat crust but am pretty inexperienced when it comes to yeast, so I wasn’t sure if I could just substitute WW flour for the bread flour, or try half and half first, or try another recipe entirely! Thanks!

    • Suzannah,
      I haven’t tried using whole wheat flour as that is not really something I’m concerned with. That said, I know it’s not really recommended to do a 1:1 sub if you are interested in using some wheat. I would probably go half and half, but subbing the entire amount will likely have a significant effect on the final product.

  37. Hi Annie,
    I read that you were thinking of doing a re-cap of this post, that would be great! This recipe is missing the printer friendly version 🙂

    I think I am going to try making the dough on Thursday and pizza on Friday. Looks like from the comments I should put the dough in the freezer overnight and back into the fridge on Friday.

    Thanks Again, KCatGU

  38. This is definitely the best crust recipe I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried quite a few). We had very few groceries last night, so I made this crust and topped it with some homemade tomato sauce and vegetables from the garden. It was delicious and everyone loved the crust!
    Unfortunately, I used all the dough last night so I can’t make another pizza for lunch today, but I’m looking forward to trying this again!
    Thanks so much 🙂

  39. If I want to freeze this dough to use later, would I put it in the freezer before or after it’s risen 1.5-2 hours?

  40. I’ve enjoyed your blog for a few months now and have made a couple of your recipes which have all been great. BUT…this pizza crust is fantastic! We’ve been experimenting with different recipes for months now, but I think this is the keeper! Thanks for all of your tips with parchment and freezing – the parchment paper trick was super.

  41. We just made your basic pizza dough, and it came out SO good!! This was our second time to attempt pizza dough; the first time we used another recipe and it came out thick and not very good. This one turned out perfectly! I really enjoy following your blog. Thanks for all your great recipes!

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