Fail-Proof Pizza Dough

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

Are you all addicted to pizza as much as I am? I’m addicted to a lot of things, but pizza would be close to the top of my list. It’s just so addicting! I can’t help myself.

If you can learn to make it perfectly at home, it’s not only cheaper, it’s healthier!

Well, it CAN be healthier if you put in the effort….which I did not do this time around…oops.

The hardest part in pizza making is the crust. I’ve been making my own crust for years but I could never get it just right. It was never chewy and/or crispy enough. And yeast doughs can be finicky. Stupid yeast. But guess what! I recently perfected my crust, getting it up to par with the pizza restaurants. Forreals. I did lots of research and lots of testing and here is the ultimate recipe.

Here are the details of my pizza dough recipe that you are going to want to know: {1} I use warm water-not hot, not cold. Pleasantly warm. Yeast likes warmth. And I don’t ever use a thermometer because thermometers are annoying for this kind of stuff. Don’t over think this step. If it feels nice and warm like baby bath water, then you’re good. {2} I use honey- I seem to get better results with honey. I don’t know why. You can use sugar if you prefer. {3}Bread flour- you must must must use bread flour. Bread flour means more gluten. More gluten means chewy crust. Chewy crust = good. The end. {4} Knead, knead, knead. Kneading means gluten! And we all know what gluten means. Knead  your dough for 6 minutes pretty please. {5}Use a pizza stone if you have one. Put it in your cold oven, and then crank that baby up to the hottest temperature it will go to. For me, it was 500 degrees. That will really give you a crispy bottom, like you get at the restaurants. {If you don’t have a pizza stone, look for my trick below!}

That’s pretty much it.

Incase you got lost in that last paragraph, there are some easy to follow step by step instructions below. I promise it’s not as daunting as it may seem!

I turned my pizza dough into delicious Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks. Buttery, salty, cheesy, garlicky goodness. 9 minutes in a hot oven and these bubbly bites come out ready to be eaten. And made our kitchen smell divine. Give them a whirl this weekend!

TGIF! 🙂

In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.
Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn’t stick to your hands.
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. It should look something like this when it’s done!

{Recipe Update: If you’re leery of turning your mixer on high for kneading, simply turn it down to level 3 or 4 and knead for the 6 minutes. Should still do the trick without walking off your counter.}
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.
The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean!
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. That’s it!

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.
Now you can turn this dough into anything your little heart desires.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

 

How about some Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks?

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet…a tip I got from Natalie!}
Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}
Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired. {That step is totally optional!}
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM. Bake 9-10 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, with marinara.

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Fail-Proof Pizza Dough & Breadsticks Recipe

Ingredients:

  • for the pizza dough-
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey {or sugar}
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup...depending on the heat & humidity}
  • for the cheesy garlic bread sticks-
  • 1/2 recipe Fail-Proof Pizza Dough from above
  • 2 tablespoons softened salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese {use the real stuff!}
  • 1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
  • {salt & pepper, if desired}

Directions:

  1. For the pizza dough--In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn't stick to your hands. Once you reach this stage, knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean! {*This is the point when you could freeze your dough!! Divide into portions, place into freezer bags, seal removing all air and freeze. To use, remove from freezer and let sit out to get to room temperature and double in size; 6-8 hours. Then use as you'd like.} Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn't dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. That's it! Use as desired.
  2. For the Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks- Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don't have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet...a tip I got from Natalie!}
  3. Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}
  5. Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired. {That step is totally optional!}
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  1. You don’t say how long to cook the pizza or cheese garlic sticks.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the great recipe! I’ve used it for both bread sticks and pizza. We love it – it’s proven to be fail-proof thus far. 🙂 I’m making it again tonight. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  3. Lauren, may God Bless Your Pizza SOUL!! Thank YOU Thank you ThANK YOU!!! We just relocated form the Midwest to the East Coast and expected the pizza here to be awesome sauce, but alas…..we are disappointed. We MISS Midwest pizza! So we have been perfecting the recipe at home. It is all in the crust, we are think crust peeps, heavy on the cheese. Sourdough, cracker-like crust, nothing like it out here on the East Coast. Your description really helps the process, we will try this and get back to you on how it worked for us…..I have a really good feeling about this! 🙂 Cheers!

    Reply
  4. When using a pizza stone, do you keep it on the parchment paper? Thank you 🙂

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    • Nope, you put the stone in the oven to heat. Prep your crust and toppings on the parchment paper then using the paper to pick up transfer the pizza to the top of the pizza stone. The paper will brown in the edges but that is what it’s supposed to do. Hope this helps

      Reply
  5. This is by far the best pizza dough/breadstick recipe I’ve ever made & I’ve made a lot!!! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe, my family LOVES it & I send everyone I tell about your recipe, to your blog!!

    Reply
  6. bake how long at what temp?

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  7. Question for you – I am not great in the kitchen 🙂 – do I use the hook attachment for my mixer or the paddle? TY in advance 🙂

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    • For dough, please use your dough hook.

      Reply
  8. I hope this isn’t a silly question but is the kneading being done by hand or machine? Thanks!

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  9. Dying to try 🙂

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  10. 500 degree 9 to 10 min.

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  11. Looks real good I’ll give it a try!!

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  12. Can I make it in my bread maker on the pizza dough setting?

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    • Yes you can. You’ll first pour the warm water and 3 TBSP oil into the bread machine, then add the dry ingredients (I blend them all in a separate bowl) then put the yeast on top. Turn the bread maker on the dough setting and let ‘er rip. Mine machine takes 90 minutes to blend and knead, so Lauren’s recipe is much faster.

      Reply
  13. Is this recipe batch for 1 pizza? or does it divide into a few portions ??

    Reply
    • 1 large pizza or 2 small.

      Reply
  14. How many pizzas does one batch make?

    Reply
    • 2 small or 1 large. This recipe makes about 1 pound of dough.

      Reply
  15. Any idea if it would be fail-proof at high altitude?

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  16. If I don’t have a stand mixer or a dough hook, can I use a regular electric mixer?

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  17. Lauren, I’ve tried to make pizza dough before and it is always a mess and turns out less-than-great pizza. My fiance is almost done with me making it and insists on ordering after the last pizza I turned out. He asked for pizza again, but I decided I’d try homemade one more time.
    I’m making this dough now. It was the easiest to come together, and with your instructions I knew exactly what stages it’s at. It was super light and soft dough when it came away from the bowl and the dough hook. It’s rising now, and so are my hopes for more homemade pizza. You saved me from more takeout! THANKS A TON.

    Reply
  18. I wasn’t able to reply to my own comment, but I had to let you know this was the best pizza I’ve ever made. After the dough had risen, it was luxuriously soft and easy to work with (previously my doughs would shrink when stretched or be more tough). I used a bit of cornmeal on the bottom for added texture, too, but this dough was the best dough I’ve ever made. My fiance said it was “PERFECT” and there’s no more need for take out. It has already been requested to be made again this next week! Thanks again!

    Reply
  19. I tried this last night (after trying MANY different pizza recipes in the past) and it was the BEST. I followed the instructions exactly and it turned out great!

    Reply
  20. I teach a culinary class and only have one hour a day with my student. Will it work to refrigerate the dough after it has risen and then use the next day? We all thank you!

    Reply
  21. Tried this tonight and it turned out awesome! We have tried other homemade doughs without much luck. This was easy and tasty!

    Reply
  22. can you use this recipe to make a loaf of bread?

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  23. Do I have to use bread flour? I want to make this tonight and only have regular flour.

    Reply
  24. I have made these breadsticks several times and they are surely a crowd pleaser. Using fresh cheeses makes a huge difference. There’s something about the garlic butter that sinks into the crust and the smell as it bakes is superb! I use my stand mixer to mix it all up and make half for a meal and refrigerate the other half of the dough for use later in the week. It is delicious both times!

    Reply
  25. Is the temperature and time of, 500 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes that was posted (by Brenda) correct for cooking the pizza?

    Reply
  26. Can u tell thesubstitute for bread flour.. Normal flour can b used???

    Reply
    • yes! Regular all purpose flour can be used.

      Reply
  27. How any portions does this make?

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  28. I am wondering if you can freeze the dough? And do you let it rise first? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yes, you can freeze the dough. Don’t let it rise first!

      Reply
      • great. What is the thawing process?

        Reply
  29. How many 12 inch does it make

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  30. Hi, Lauren …made your sour cream muffins the other day….we enjoyed them very much….love your blog…..you have a lovely family.

    Reply
  31. hmmm. i read and reread this but i can’t find how many pizza’s this makes…… just one? since you said that if you want to freeze it to divide it into portions….. does that mean it makes more than one pizza?

    Reply
    • You can make this into as many pizzas as you want, big or small. It can make 2 thin crust 12-inch pizzas, which is usually what I do, but a whole recipe can fit well into a jelly roll pan for a rectangular pizza which I do on occasion too.

      Reply
  32. I was excited to try this dough tonight… However following your instructions actually broke my mixer… I have a kitchen aid… But kneading dough at that speed caused the motor to run but the dough blade to not spin 😐 I love your recipes a lot but am kinda bummed I followed the instructions on this one 😖

    Reply
  33. … As a follow up… The good news is, my dough had been kneaded enough before my mixer died and i was able to make it! Everyone loved it! Thank you for the recipe 🙂 any thoughts on other methods for kneading aside from the mixer?? Maybe food processor?

    Reply
  34. I’m always skeptical when a recipe says it’s the ‘best ever’ of fail-proof’. Usually, those recipes are a letdown. This, though…this recipe truly is fail-proof and awesome! So easy and the dough was perfect. I didn’t knead on high, I ended up doing a solid medium and that was all it needed. I made calzones with the dough and they were a hit! Thanks, Lauren!

    Reply
  35. Hi Lauren,

    Quick question not sure if my post from this morning went through but I was wondering how long this dough will last in the freezer. Is a month too long?

    Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    • As long as it’s wrapped really well in an airtight container or in a freezer ziplock bag, it will last 2-3 months.

      Reply
  36. Thanks so much Lauren. The garlic fingers and pizza were a big hit with my family!

    Reply
  37. This is one of my all time favorite pizza dough recipes! We’ve made it into cheese bread too which is also super yummy! I definitely recommend this one!

    Reply
  38. I’m in the UK but bought US measuring cups to get the quantities right and I’m so glad that I did – it’s perfect! We make this pizza at every couple of weeks and my husband and I both agree that it’s the best pizza we’ve ever tasted.

    Reply
  39. I have made this pizza dough many times. It is a great recipe and it turns out just right each time.

    Reply
  40. This is an awesome recipe. I use it all.the.time. Everyone that eats it, loves it!

    Reply
  41. This is my family’s favorite pizza crust! It always turns out perfect and is SO delicious! Thank you for this great recipe!

    Reply
  42. I’ve been using this recipe for months already!! Absolutely fail-proof, although I haven’t put my stand mixer on the fastest speed just yet

    Reply
  43. This is our go to pizza dough! Love it!

    Reply
  44. Is it possible to do all the kneading by hand? I don’t have a kitchen aid. I sure hope so! Thanks for the great recipe! Kathy

    Reply
  45. Absolute best recipe I have ever tried! Never fails!

    Reply
  46. This is seriously my go-to pizza dough! Yeast can be so nerve wracking but this works perfectly every. single. time. I’ve been making it for over a year and I’m not stopping anytime soon!

    Reply
  47. I have tried your pizza dough recipe several times, always turns out great. My family are pizza freaks!

    Reply
  48. I don’t have a stand mixer or dough hook, can this be done with a regular electric mixer??? Really wanting to try this, thanks!!

    Reply
    • Electric mixer, as in hand mixer with the dough hook attachment?! Hands work really well too!!

      Reply

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