This is hands down the best pizza dough! It makes a New York-style pizza crust that is a thin crust pizza in the center with beautifully puffed edges. You will love this crust – it’s crisp, chewy and so satisfying. Make this and you will never want a store-bought crust again. And, you’ll be known for your pizza!
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Why We Love This Pizza Dough:
This is a make-ahead pizza dough recipe that just gets better with time and it keeps really well refrigerated for at least a week. Here’s more good news: our classic red pizza sauce and creamy white pizza sauce also keep really well in the fridge so you can fire up a pizza whenever the craving strikes. An overnight crust also makes throwing a pizza party stress-free and everyone will be super impressed by your pizza-making skills.
The #1 Secret to the Best Pizza Dough:
Since most pizza dough recipes have the same ingredients: flour, salt, water, yeast, it’s the process that makes all the difference. This pizza dough seriously tastes like it came out of a high-end pizzeria and in fact, most New York pizza doughs are fermented for at least 24 hours.
The pizza bosses of the world know the secret to an incredible dough is to let it rest and give it time. This process makes the dough much easier to work with and forms the coveted texture, rise, and bubbles at the edges.
The #2 Secret to the Perfect Crust:
Do not use too much yeast! Many of the quick pizza doughs out there use way too much yeast which makes the crust doughy and makes the center of the pizza rise while baking. If you use too much yeast, you will never achieve that thin crisp crust in the center.
The Takeaway: use less yeast and let the dough rest.
How to Make Pizza Dough Video Tutorial:
Watch the pizza dough video tutorial once and you will be a pro in no time. Here is a quick overview of the process for easy reference:
- Mix together water, salt and honey. Sprinkle with yeast and set aside 5 min then stir.
- Pour water mixture over your flour and stir to combine with a spatula then knead by hand 2 minutes. Cover and let rise 4-5 hours at room temperature.
- Transfer dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. Fold each piece of dough 8 times (rotating book fold) and form a ball. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 7 days. Your dough is done.
Why Fold the Pizza Dough?
Folding the dough balls 8 times with that book fold, and turning the dough between each fold, makes the gluten threads stronger and traps carbon dioxide created by the yeast to help form those beautiful bubbles in the dough.
How to Form and Bake Pizza Crust:
- Remove dough from the fridge 1 hour before using then preheat the oven with a pizza stone in the center to 550˚F.
- When the oven is preheated, place room temperature dough onto a floured surface, dust lightly with flour.
- Gently press dough down in the center with fingertips then place the dough over the back of your knuckles with both hands together and roll over your knuckles rotating around the dough as you go, keeping a 1″ thicker border. Place 10-12″ diameter crust onto a floured pizza peel.
- Add white sauce or red sauce then cheese and toppings. Give the pizza a shake over your pizza peel to make sure it’s not sticking then immediately slide it from your pizza peel onto the preheated pizza stone and bake at 550˚F for 8-10 minutes.
Tools for Making Pizza:
The right tools will make the pizza dough making the process even easier. It will also make you look like a pizza ninja to transfer your pizza from a pizza peel onto your hot pizza stone.
- Pizza Peels (a set of 2 makes the process easier).
- Flexible Food Scraper – to scrape the dough out of bowls and cut the dough in half
- Round Pizza Stone – to bake your pizza on in the oven
- Pizza Cutter – the easiest way to slice a pizza
- Instant Read Thermometer – to check water temperature
What is the Best Flour for Pizza Dough?
You don’t need any fancy flours to develop a gorgeous crust. We used organic all-purpose flour for making pizza. Bread flour will work equally well if that is what you have on hand and it will give you a slightly chewier crust. You can substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour in equal parts.
Note: We haven’t tried making a gluten-free version or any other flour, so let me know if you experiment.
Can I Freeze Pizza Dough?
Yes! It’s very easy to freeze this dough and once it’s thawed, it tastes just as good as freshly made. See our tutorial for How to Freeze Pizza Dough.
What to Serve with Pizza:
Once you have your pizza-making skills down, you will want to throw a pizza party. Pizza pairs really well with these easy sides.
- Avocado Ranch – because everyone loves a great dipping sauce
- Caesar Salad – a fresh green salad with light homemade dressing
- Avocado Corn Salad – so vibrant and satisfying
- Cobb Salad – beautiful and delicious
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob – the juiciest way to cook corn
Pizza Dough Recipe - The Best Pizza Crust!
How to Make Pizza Dough:
- In a small bowl, stir together water, honey, and salt then sprinkle the top with 1/2 tsp yeast and let sit 5 minutes then stir.
- Measure 3 1/3 cups flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour yeast mixture into the center then stir with a firm spatula until the dough comes together. Knead by hand 2 minutes (dough will be sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 4-5 hours or until doubled in size.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface, turn to coat lightly in flour so it isn’t sticky then divide in half. Fold each piece of dough in half 8 times, gently pulling the sides over the center like closing a book, turning the dough each time and repeating for 8 folds. Form a ball in your hands and transfer each piece of dough to a lightly oiled bowl seam-side-down, cover and refrigerate overnight (18 hours) or up to 1 week.
How to Form a Pizza Crust:
- PREP: Remove the dough 1 hour before using to let it relax and come to room temperature. Before forming the pizza crust, fully preheat your oven so pizza can be baked right away. Place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet onto the center rack of the oven and preheat to 550˚F. Also, lightly flour a pizza peel and prep toppings.
- When dough is about room temperature and oven is preheated, transfer 1 piece of dough to a floured surface, turning to lightly coat in flour. Pat the center of the dough gently with fingertips. DO NOT pop any bubbles present.
- Lift the dough over both knuckles and roll your knuckles under the center of the dough, working outward as you rotate the dough along your knuckles and leaving a thicker crust at the edge. Continue working the dough until a 10-12” pizza has formed. It will shrink slightly so make it a little bigger than you think. Place the dough down on a lightly floured pizza peel. Give the pizza peel a little shake to make sure the pizza slides over it and is not sticking.
- Spread on desired pizza sauce and toppings. Give the pizza another jolt to make sure it slides on the pizza peel (you don’t want it to stick while transferring it into the oven). Slide pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and bake at 550˚F for 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and some of the larger bubbles on the crust are lightly scorched to ensure a crisp crust.
Nutrition Per Serving
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen