Homemade Pizza Dough

by Alonzo Cantu March 05, 2020 5 min read

Homemade Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough 

Pizza is one of my family’s favorite meals. We love to make pizza at home, but finding a good recipe is exhausting. There are so many recipes out there, and the majority are either too complex to make or...well, they taste more like the pizza box instead of a pizza crust!

Here at Gulf Coast Smoke, we’re ending the search with a pizza dough recipe that’s surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious. We don’t claim to be the best, but we can guarantee this pizza dough will be your favorite go-to recipe on your family pizza nights!

Here’s what you’ll need:



  • Bread flour
  • Instant yeast
  • Salt
  • Water


For the Pizza:

  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza sauce
  • Toppings of your choice
  • Olive oil
  • Pizza stone and pizza paddle
  • Cornmeal


The Process:

This pizza dough is one of the easiest I’ve ever made. You don’t need a mixer which makes it the perfect recipe for anyone. All you need is a bowl and your hands!

Start by measuring 4 1/2 cups of bread flour into a large bowl. Measure 2 cups of warm water and stir in 1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast. (If you’re not sure about the temperature of the water, use a thermometer. Water should be around 110°F for yeast to activate, but I found 30 seconds in the microwave was good enough.) Pour the water/yeast mixture into the flour and stir. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and start to knead the dough by scooping from the bottom of the bowl and pushing the dough in towards the center. Knead for about 5 minutes. If it seems to sticky to work with just add a little flour. The dough should be a little tacky, though. You don’t want it too dry just in case you have to add more flour while kneading and shaping the dough.



Move the dough to a clean, flat work surface. Let the dough rest for 3-5 minutes uncovered.



After it has rested, knead the dough for 2-3 more minutes. Do this by folding the outside of the dough in towards the center and push in with your palm. Once you’re done kneading, cover the dough with a stainless steel bowl and let it rest and rise for 1 hour.



After 1 hour is up, you can divide the dough and shape into balls. I use a bench scraper and divide the dough into fourths. If you don’t have a bench scraper, just use a knife. Shape the dough using both hands, and using your fingers, push the edges of the dough inward while rotating the ball in your hands. This way the top becomes smooth.

Put the balls onto a pan with lightly greased parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. (You can spray the plastic wrap with non stick spray to keep it from sticking to the dough balls.) Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. The dough will still rise while in the refrigerator, so I recommend using them within 2-3 days.

The Pizza:

When you’re ready to assemble your pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator. I like to let the dough sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature before I start forming the dough.

While you’re waiting for the dough, you’ll want to preheat your oven or grill as well as a pizza stone. I highly recommend using a pizza stone to really take your homemade pizza to the next level. They’re pretty affordable, and they last a very long time. You want to make sure you start preheating your pizza stone at the same time you start preheating your oven or grill so that they get hot together. You want the temperature to be around 475-500°F.

To form your pizza crust, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Use your fingertips and push the dough working from the center and pushing outwards. I don’t recommend rolling the dough with a rolling pin because you will lose most of the air you incorporated into the dough during the kneading process. By using your fingertips and pushing outwards, you push the air towards the crust which will result in a light, airy crust.



When the dough has been flattened to about 7-8 inches, pick it up and lay it over your hand. Toss it back and forth in your hands to allow the dough to stretch to its final size. Each ball of dough makes a 12” pizza.



Sprinkle a pizza paddle with a little cornmeal. This will help transfer your pizza from the paddle to the pizza stone without sticking. If you don’t have a pizza paddle, you can assemble your pizza on a piece of parchment paper and cook it directly on the parchment paper on the pizza stone. However, I don’t recommend this if you’re making it on the grill because you don’t want it to catch fire. If you don’t have a pizza paddle and still want to make this on the grill, sprinkle a piece of parchment or a flat plate with the cornmeal and slide the pizza onto the pizza stone.

Lay your pizza dough onto the pizza paddle dusted with cornmeal. Brush the crust with olive oil. Add sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone and bake at 475-500°F for 10-15 minutes.



Once it’s done, let the pizza cool for a minute or two and slice, eat, and enjoy!



Pizza Dough

Prep Time: 10 minutes     Rise Time: 1 hour     Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Makes: (4) 12” Pizzas



4 ½ cups + extra for dusting

Bread flour

 1 ¼ tsp

Instant yeast

2 cups

Warm water

1 tablespoon


1.       Stir 1 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast into 2 cups of warm water. (Heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds.)

2.       Measure 4 ½ cups of bread flour into a bowl. Pour the water/yeast mixture into the flour and stir with your hands or a spoon until it starts to come together. Then, add 1 tablespoon of salt. Knead the dough in the bowl by grabbing the dough from the bottom and bringing it to the center on top. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour to your hands. You still want the dough to be a little tacky. Knead for about 5 minutes until it comes together.

3.       Lay the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Let the dough rest for 3-5 minutes uncovered.

4.       After the dough has rested, knead it for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth.

5.       Cover the dough with a clean stainless steal bowl and let it rest for 1 hour.

6.       After the dough has rested, cut into fourths and shape each fourth into a ball. place the balls of dough on a pan with lightly greased parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap (also greased with some non-stick spray) and refrigerate until needed.


Alonzo Cantu
Alonzo Cantu

1 Response

Judith Roach
Judith Roach

March 13, 2020

Wow it does look simple!!! Can’t wait to try this! Where did you find that pizza paddle????

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