The Ultimate Pizza Dough

I don’t do dough. I don’t do bread. I don’t do yeast. Or so I thought …

Alton Brown first introduced me to the wonderful world of bread-making a few months ago, but it wasn’t until a recent culinary school lesson that I really felt I’d perfected the simple yet finicky process of making dough. Once frozen with intimidation, I can now finally say “Fear not, my fellow dough doubters!” Check the list of tips below then tie on an apron and let the flour-flinging begin with my recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough.

Tips + Tricks for Total Doughmination:

  • When dissolving the yeast, use hot water – as in water that’s at a temperature your hand can stand. If your hand likes it, the yeast will like it.
  • Adding a tablespoon of flour to the yeast while it’s dissolving will make for a better rise (better rise = better dough).
  • “Knocking down” the dough refers to throwing it firmly against your work surface while holding on to one end. Fold the dough in half, then do it again. This helps to evenly distribute the yeast.
  • For storing the dough in a “warm dry place,” try your dryer shortly after it’s been used.


The Ultimate Pizza Dough

Yield: About 3 (12-inch) pizzas

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 10 min


1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 pound all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons salt
Extra flour for dusting work surface


In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast, sugar and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour in the hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Mound the flour on your work surface and sprinkle in the salt. Use a fork to incorporate the two ingredients then form a large well in the center of the flour.

Pour the dissolved yeast mixture into the center of the well and then little by little, use a fork to pull flour from the well into the center. Continue until mixture begins to thicken.

Using your hands, begin kneading the dough until it comes together. Continue kneading until all of the flour has been incorporated evenly into the dough. Shape it into a ball.

Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with a greased piece of parchment paper. Let it rest for one hour in a warm, dry place until it doubles in size.

Knock down the dough on your floured work surface then cut it into the desired amounts.

Place the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and cover it again with a damp towel. Let the dough rise a second time for one more hour.

Knock down the dough sections a second time then roll it into the desired shape, top it with your desired toppings and bake it in a 500ºF oven until golden brown.


  1. 2


    I just made this dough and did everything you suggested. Oh my goodness! I have tried plenty of doughs. The pizza I currently have in my left hand is a testament to how I couldn’t wait to finish to wait to write this to you! Thank you do much!!!

    • Kelly replied: — January 24th, 2012 @ 12:46 am

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, and thanks so much for your comment!

  2. 3

    veronica says

    I have tried other dough recipes, but I must say this is EXCELLENT dough and I love the tips with sticking dough in dryer to rise worked magic!!!! Thx for sharing

  3. 4

    Donna says

    Does this make two large pizzas?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 10th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Hi Donna! It depends on how you define large and how thin you prefer your pizza crust, but it will make about three 12-inch pizzas. Hope that helps!

  4. 5

    Ann says

    Regarding the Ultimate Pizza Dough: After baking the crust until golden brown, then put the toppings on and bake further?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 16th, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Alison! I’ve updated the recipe directions – you top, then bake!

  5. 6

    Leann Coleman says

    I am curious, if you don’t use all of the dough at one time (since you suggest it makes 3 12″ crusts, I assume you can freeze it? And if you do freeze it, do you just thaw and roll out?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 10th, 2014 @ 11:38 am

      Definitely, Leann! Just remember to wrap the dough securely in plastic wrap so it doesn’t get freezer burn, and then when you want to bake it, remove it from the freezer at least 30 minutes prior to rolling/baking. Keep in mind it’ll be way easier to roll once it’s come fully to room temp. Enjoy :)

  6. 8


    Hey there! Was looking for a pizza dough recipe…one thing, I wish it included rising time in the “prep time” calculation! Even though it isn’t active time, a recipe skimmer might not think to calculate all those various rising times when choosing a recipe…and I know pizza dough rising times can very wildly by recipe. Some even need overnight. :)

  7. 10

    Noor says

    Jim, the tossing is only for entertainment.
    No pizza baker will even eat, or let you, the dough they have been tossing around.

    Just roll it out and save the tricks for entertainment only

  8. 11


    I let any dough, with yeast, rise in my oven, with just the light turned on. It’s free from drafts, and just the right temperature to rise beautifully. My washer and dryer are in the main bathroom upstairs, and it’s too far away from the kitchen. I’d never heard of using a dryer before.


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