How to Make Perfect Pizza Dough

Great pizza begins with great dough. And the best dough is homemade. It always rolls out, smells, and tastes better than anything you can buy at the store.

I always make my dough either the night before or in the morning. The longer the rise, the better the taste. But if you make your dough the night before, stick it in the fridge and pull it several hours before baking so that it has time to come to room temperature and finish rising.

I’ve been adjusting this recipe to my liking for the last five years. It’s finally just the way I want it – moist enough to absorb extra flour later on, but sufficiently structured to rise and handle easily.

How to Make Perfect Pizza Dough


  • 1 cup water (235 grams)
  • 1 package active yeast (7 grams)
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Honey or Barley Malt (or 1 tsp sugar)
  • 2 3/4 cup + 1 Tbs Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (410 grams)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Olive Oil Spray

Combine water and yeast before measuring out other ingredients. Lukewarm water helps the yeast to activate.

Add olive oil, honey (substitute sugar or barley malt), and flour.

Make sure you are using a dough hook (and only a dough hook) with your mixer. Mix on slowest setting for 3 minutes then increase speed to mid-level setting for one minute.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap leaving the dough hook engaged. Let sit for 20 minutes. This process is called autolysis, a key step to creating well-structured dough.

While the dough is autolyzing, use olive oil spray to coat a large bowl for the rising. You may want to take the opportunity to clean up and pour yourself another cup of coffee while you wait (I usually do).

TIP: Never put rising dough in a metal bowl. The metal surface is a poor insulator and even a slight draft can cause your dough to cool, preventing it from rising fully.

When the autolysis has completed, add sea salt and mix on the lowest setting for 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to the rising bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Let dough rise at room temperature all day. Use plastic dough scraper or spatula to flip every couple of hours, but do not deflate or press down dough.

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