Learn how to make homemade pizza dough with my Grandma Marie’s pizza dough recipe! You only need 6 basic ingredients for this recipe.
Our Guide to Homemade Pizza Dough!
Growing up, we lived away from my Italian grandma but would travel to Chicagoland to see her and my papa often. A staple when we’d visit was family pizza night. Everyone from the grandkids to the grandparents would be involved in making our own homemade pizzas.
My Grandma Marie’s pizza dough recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and is truly a foolproof recipe for making 2 giant pizzas for families to share.
I have vivid memories of flour being everywhere on the counter and my grandma’s vintage bowl she would place in the corner of the kitchen to let the pizza dough rise in.
In this post, I’m sharing all of my grandma’s secrets to making perfect pizza dough plus tips and tricks for freezing the dough for later and what to top your pizza with.
Why you’ll love it!
Serves a crowd – this recipe makes 2 sheet-pan pizzas.
Made with basic ingredients.
Works every time!
Pizza Dough Ingredients
Warm water– warm water is used to activate the dry yeast. Make sure it’s around 110ºF.
Active dry yeast – yeast is what helps the pizza dough proof.
Granulated sugar – a little bit of sugar will help balance out the salt and savory toppings.
All-purpose flour – make sure to use all-purpose flour for this recipe. My grandma has 1/2 whole wheat, but it’s so much better with all-purpose.
Salt – don’t skimp on the salt!
Olive oil – you’ll need 1/2 cup of olive oil for this pizza dough recipe.
- Activate the yeast: combine water, yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Mix pizza dough: Add the rest of the flour and continue to mix until the dough has formed. You may need to add up to 1/2 cup more of flour so that your dough isn’t super sticky. It should hold together and be not too sticky.
- Knead the dough: transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. You can also add more flour during this part if it’s still too sticky. Knead the dough into a ball.
- Proof pizza dough: oil the bottom of a large bowl and place the pizza dough ball on the bottom of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place the bowl in a cool, dark place. Let rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, the dough should double in size.
- Roll out the dough: Punch the dough down and then transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in half (remember, this recipe makes 2!) and use a rolling pin to roll the dough balls out into the size of a sheet pan. grease 2 sheet pans (if you’re making both pizzas) and transfer the pizza dough onto the sheet pans. Work the dough all the way to the edges of the pan.
- Proof pizza crust: cover the sheet pans with tea towels and let proof for 30 minutes to 1 hour in a cool, dark place. if you like a thicker crust, do not punch the dough down. If you like a thinner crust, punch the dough down.
- Top: top the pizzas with pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings.
- Bake: bake the pizzas at 450ºF for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 375ºF and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bottom of your pizza crust is golden brown and fully cooked.
What is proofing the pizza dough?
Proofing pizza dough is another way of saying “to let the pizza dough rise.”
Quick tip: If you live in a warm climate, it may be warm enough to let the pizza dough rise on the counter. But, if you live in a cold climate (like us) you can preheat your oven to 170ºF before mixing the dough. When the oven reaches 170ºF turn the oven off and then place the dough in the oven for 1 hour to let rise.
All About the Toppings
It doesn’t get more classic than a sausage, green pepper, and onion pizza!
- Italian sausage – feel free to use mild or spicy. Our #1 tip is that you do NOT need to pre-cook your sausage before topping your pizza.
- Mozzarella cheese – each pizza will use around 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Parmesan cheese – parmesan cheese gives your pizza a nice bite.
- Green pepper – feel free to finely dice your green pepper or slice them into strips or rounds.
- Onion – any kind of onion will work, we’re using yellow.
More Topping Ideas
- Sliced tomatoes
the secret to good homemade pizza is allowing your dough to rise twice.
Cook homemade pizza at 450ºF for 10 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to 375ºF and cook for 15-20 minutes.
There is no need to bake your pizza dough before adding toppings.
Make sure to add the pizza sauce onto the pizza dough before the cheese and toppings. You can do the cheese or toppings next, your choice!
Yes! We recommend using regular all-purpose flour for pizza dough.
Pizza dough is super easy to freeze. Lightly oil your extra dough. Transfer it into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Storing Leftover Pizza
You can either store your leftover pizza in tin foil or in a freezer-safe gallon-size bag (my favorite way!).
How to reheat leftover pizza: lightly oil a baking sheet. Transfer the pizza back onto the baking sheet and reheat in the oven at 350ºF for 5-10 minutes or until warm.
How to Freeze Leftover Pizza Dough
- Lightly drizzle your pizza dough with olive oil.
- Then, transfer the pizza dough into a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible and tightly seal.
- Place the pizza dough in the oven for up to 3 months.
How to Make Pizza Dough
- 3 cups pizza sauce
- 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese + more for topping
- 1 lb. ground Italian sausage uncooked and broken into small pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 2 medium green bell peppers finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Begin by adding the water, yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of flour into a large mixing bowl. Whisk all the ingredients together.
- Next, add 4 cups more of flour, salt, and olive oil into the bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. If the dough is still too sticky to mold, add the remaining ½ cup of flour.
- Lightly flour a clean surface and transfer the dough onto it. Knead the dough with your hands until it’s smooth and elastic. Form it into a ball.
- Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into a large bowl to grease it. Then, transfer the dough into the bowl and cover it with a tea towel.
- First proof of the pizza dough: proof of the pizza dough by keeping it in a warm, dark place for 1 hour to let it rise.*
- Meanwhile, grease two standard baking sheets with olive oil and set aside for later.
- After an hour the dough should be almost doubled in size. Punch the dough down and turn the dough onto a floured surface.
- Divide the dough in half and then use a rolling pin to roll out each half to fit a standard baking sheet. If you only want to make 1 pizza, see the notes below on how to freeze dough for later.
- Second proof of the pizza dough: Transfer the rolled dough onto the greased baking sheets and cover with tea towels. Let the dough rise a second time in a warm, dark place for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- After the dough has risen a second time, it’s time to decide how you like your pizza crust — thick or thin. If you like a thicker crust, do not punch the dough down a second time. If you like a thinner crust, punch the dough down again with your hands.
- Assemble your pizzas: use a spoon to spread the pizza sauce onto your dough, leaving about a 1-inch crust. Sprinkle the mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top of the sauce and then add your toppings (onion, bell pepper, and Italian seasoning — or whatever toppings you like!).
- Bake the pizza at 450ºF for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375ºF and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza crust is golden brown.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and then slice. Top with red pepper flakes and more parmesan cheese.
Tips & Notes
- This recipe makes 2 sheet pan-sized pizzas.
- The nutrition information is for JUST the pizza dough.
- Proofing the pizza dough: if you live in a warm climate, it may be warm enough to let the pizza dough rise on the counter. But, if you live in a cold climate (like us) you can preheat your oven to 170ºF before mixing the dough. When the oven reaches 170ºF turn the oven off and then place the dough in the oven for 1 hour to let rise.
- How to freeze the dough for later: Take the other pizza dough and lightly grease the dough ball with oil. Place the pizza dough in a freezer-safe bag and tightly seal the bag and place the dough in the freezer for later.
- Be sure to let your dough proof (rise) twice.
- Every oven is different so be sure to check on your pizza to be sure it isn’t burning, some stoves run hot.
- Feel free to change the pizza toppings to your liking.