The Secret To Perfect Pizza Dough

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough!  Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!


I’ve been wanting to write this post forever!  So this summer, one of our favorite meals was homemade pizza on the grill.  I would make the dough in the afternoon and just let it sit, and then in the evening, the pizza would take about 20 minutes on the grill.  It was such an easy delicious dinner!  And I know I don’t get all let’s do this homemade on you very often, but when it comes to pizza dough, I really do like homemade so much more!

So here is the secret to making your perfect pizza dough at home, water temperature.

Yup.  That’s it.  You just have to make sure that your water is in the zone.  I’m not going to tell you how many seconds to microwave it, because water comes out of the faucet/fridge tap at different temperatures and microwaves all work differently.  You really need to use a thermometer.  If the water isn’t hot enough, it won’t wake up the yeast.  If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.  If it is in the window, it will bubble up just perfectly.  Believe me, I wasted lots of dough before my mom, fed up with my phone calls to her about why it wasn’t working, just gave me her thermometer 🙂

You need your water to be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

I use our thermometer every single time, and it makes life so simple!  There are even little markers on on my thermometer showing the window!  This thermometer is from like the 70s and I doubt you’ll be able to find another just like it, but a candy thermometer will work just as well.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

Once you get it in the temperature window (and sometimes I have had to dump my water and start over), you add 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast and one teaspoon of sugar.  You don’t really have to stir, it will work it’s way in.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

And you just let it sit for like five minutes until it is nice and frothy on the top.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

If it doesn’t look like the picture below after you let it sit for five minutes, I would dump it and start over.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

In the bowl of a food processor, mix together three cups of all purpose flour and 1 tsp of Kosher salt. Now add the water yeast mixture and then 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, and then drop in your dough.  (You know my favorite bowl, right?)  Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least one hour, but two is better.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!

Your dough should have doubled in size.  I pull it apart and use it to make two different crusts.  I store the extra crust in the refrigerator . . . and we get to have pizza again tomorrow night too!  When pulling the crust out the next day, just make sure to bring it to room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start working with it.

The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!


The Secret To Perfect Pizza Dough

Yield: Makes enough for two pizzas


  • 1 cup + 1 TBSP water, heated to 110 to 115 degrees
  • 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat water to between 110 and 115 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast over the water. Then sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over the yeast. Let it sit until the water has become frothy. If it doesn't froth as pictured above, dump your water and start again.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor add three cups all purpose flower and salt. Pulse for a few seconds to evenly distribute the salt.
  4. With the food processor running, add the oil. Then add the yeast water combination with the food processor still running until a dough ball forms.
  5. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Put the dough ball in and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to double in size, about an hour to an hour and a half.
  6. Pull the dough apart to create two dough balls for two pizza crusts.

And now you can make my favorite pizza!

Spinach Artichoke Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Pizza |

 The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough! Easy to follow step by step photos that will give you the perfect pizza dough!


  1. says

    It took me a whileeee to figure out how important water temperature was when making pizza dough. I finally figured it out last year after god knows how many disastrous But I wish i had known about this secret sooner 😉

    Sharing on pinterest so that it helps others too 🙂
    cakewhiz recently posted…Valentine’s day fruits with messagesMy Profile

    • says

      I would be totally lost without my thermometer because I swear my microwave acts different every single time. And yeah, I’ve had looooots of ruined dough. Thanks so much for pinning!

  2. says

    When I worked at Pizza Hut eons ago, we usually warmed the mixing bowl with hot water before we added any ingredients so that it wouldn’t chill the water when it was added to the bowl.

    If we ran out of dough for a shift, we would sometimes make a ‘hot’ batch of dough by using the hottest water we could get out of the faucet to make the dough. It would risea lot quicker but the dough had a much shorter life span.

      • Brian says

        some pizza stores get their dough frozen, but it is frozen before the rise process.. take out of freezer then let rise :))

    • Serge says

      I would freeze after it rises. If not it can continue to rise as it sits in the freezer before it freezes and blow out the bag or wrap it’s in if there isn’t enough space.

    • Wendee says

      I made these in advance for my weekly meal prep and froze at the “divide into two dough balls” stage. On the day I made the pizzas I defrosted in the fridge all day. When ready to make pizzas, I put them on a floured cutting board to warm up a bit, then rolled out, added toppings and baked. I don’t know if that was “right”… I was winging it… but it worked and everyone liked it :).Wendee

  3. Dotty says

    OK so now it has doubled and is in the bowl…what do I do with it next? Do I roll it out and put it on a pizza pan? Do I put it into a pie or cake pan…and how and what do I add to it on top and how long do I cook it? I have never made a pizza before so I really need to know how to end it …The recipe sounds great though and I am excited to try this on my own….Thanks,

    • says

      Hi Dotty! This recipe makes two pizza crusts. So roll out half of it, using more flour if you need it. All ovens are different. I like to prebake my crust for about 5 minutes at 375, then add toppings and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browning.

  4. Ross says

    l love this dough. I made it. It turn out to be a wonderful dough. Perfect for 1st timer like me.
    Hassle free – just using cup and spoon to measure. 🙂

  5. Judy says

    Your recipe for pizza dough is spot on. I’ve baked a lot of yeast breads over the years and always hold an instant read thermometer under running water, adjusting the temperature till it is 115. when you measure into the cup it will lower in temp.

  6. Susan De Lara says

    I am making this dough this afternoon, am going to substitue 1 cup of the flour for Wheat flour. Will let you know how that goes. And just to add I worked in a restaruant for a couple of years and leaned to carry the thermometer around all the time. so started doing that at home when cooking espesially meats to ensure proper temperture …. I microwave my water and if I get the temp to high I just dump it out and start a new cup …. my dough usually comes out well. Thanks for the quick and easy recipe.

  7. Christine says

    Second time making this pizza dough and my kids absolute love it. Very easy to make and comes out perfect every time. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Janice says

    So my trick since I don’t have a thermometer is to test the water with the inside of my wrist- that area of skin is very delicate- if it doesn’t burn me, the water is a good temperature. Somewhat like making a bottle for a baby- same reasoning. My dough comes out right every time!

    • says

      That’s a great trick, Janice! Since writing this post I’ve made the dough enough times that I don’t need the thermometer anymore. Once you get a sense of the temperature with your skin, you’re good to go!

    • says

      That doesn’t seem normal Tracie :/ What happens if you add a packet of yeast when with the thermometer reading there? Does it bubble up? If you want to know if your thermometer is calibrated right, just add a bunch of ice to some water and make sure it reads 32 degrees. If not, if it is a digital thermometer they often have a button you can push and it will recalibrate (in the ice water). If not, it might be time to invest in a new thermometer 🙂

  9. Robert Morris says

    This is an excellent recipe — very similar to mine. The differences are that I use 2 tsp of yeast, 2 tsp of sugar, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. I also replace 1/2 cup of the A/P flour with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. In my eyes, that makes my pizza a health food!
    With the whole wheat flour, you may have to add up to a 1/4 cup of water to get a nice soft dough.

  10. Serge says

    I would freeze after it rises. If you don’t it will rise as it freezes and blow out the bag or wrap it is in if there isn’t enough space.

  11. Carol says

    I have never made pizza crust in a food processor before but it sounds a lot less messy than my way.

    I mix mine by hand using a similar recipe. I mix the water, yeast (quick rising), sugar, oil, and salt in a bowl, usually with a strong fork or batter spoon, and then add the flour, about 3/4 to a cup at a time, until it becomes stiff enough to dump onto the counter and knead. I then knead the remaining flour in until it is smooth and elastic. It’s a learned skill to know just when it’s “right” and is effected by many things, even the weather. Not to sound as though it’s a daunting task as it usually turns out acceptable even if it’s not perfect. Once mixed, I let it rise for about 10 minutes or so, covered in a warm place. I use this time to prepare my pans and toppings. Then roll the crusts out and put them in the pans. You can make your crusts thinner or thicker as you choose and let them rest in the pans for a little while to rise as well. My crusts are usually thin to “traditional” thickness if made this way. My family and guests have never complained!

  12. Audrey says

    I love this recipe! Great tip. Another tip I found was for the rising of the yeast. Since I found my house had extremes in temperatures ( too hot in one room, cold and drafty in another), I found that putting the bowl, covered in the oven with just the light on created the perfect, consistent temperature for the yeast to rise. It’s also wonderful ( but very challenging to find) if you can use imported flour from Italy. It really makes it even better! Thank you for the recipe!

    • says

      Can I tell you a funny pre-kid drank a few too many glasses of wine story? I thought the deal was you put the dough in the oven with it on 200. Audrey. I made bread. LOLOLOL!

  13. Lisa says

    This has become a good-to recipe. It’s easy and tasty. My husband is a picky eater and wasn’t happy when I used this recipe in place of Chef Boyardee pizza mix (I know. Shameful.). Even he was won over!

  14. Mrs. M says

    Here’s a friendly and helpful tip for the inexperienced bakers out there like me 🙂

    If you find that you are having to throw away your yeast because it isn’t bubbling or foaming, you might be getting the water too hot.
    Using a thermometer is a great idea, but heating the water to 110-115 might be to hot for the yeast.

    I asked my mom-in-law how warm does the water need to be for it to not kill the yeast and she said:
    “If I can leave my pinky finger in the water without yanking it out, then it’s good to go”

    Hot water kills yeast. It only needs to be warm enough for it to “activate” it.

    Anyway, I hope this helps anyone out there who is afraid to try using yeast!
    My first few tries I failed but ever since she shared this tip with me, baking has been so much easier!
    No more throwing out yeast and starting over 🙂

  15. Mrs. M says

    oops, forgot to add:

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!
    I used it this weekend and I was very happy and pleased at how easy and tasty the crust turned out!

  16. Jenn says

    Absolutely love this recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing it….Making pizza again tonight…Won’t use any other recipe!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge