This thick crust pizza dough is the best pizza dough recipe. Before going gluten free we used it at least once a week. It's a super easy pizza recipe anyone can make and tastes so good! If you've never made a homemade pizza recipe you'll want to definitely start with this yeast pizza dough. It's quick and foolproof pan crust pizza.
Tips for Making Thick Crust Pizza Dough
1. Use a yeast pizza dough recipe.
The best thick crust pizza crusts (pan pizza crust recipes) are made with yeast and will require a rise. If I'm in a big hurry I skip the second rise of this homemade pizza recipe but not the first rise. The best pizza dough recipe will have at least one rise. While this is an easy pizza dough recipe, it's not super quick. For that you'll need to make a thin crust pizza.
2. Use an electric stand mixer to knead the pizza dough.
You can mix this dough by hand but it's best kneaded with an electric mixer with a large bowl. And the heavy duty ones (not the hand mixers) are the ones best suited for mixing dough. Use your dough hook.
3. Don't skip the rise.
Oil a bowl with olive oil and put your ball of dough inside it. Toss the ball around to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area (room temperature or slightly warmer) to rise. The temperature should be be between 75°- 78°F for the rise, ideally.
4. Use your hands to shape the dough.
Don't use a rolling pin when making a pan pizza crust! Use your hands to stretch the dough to the size and shape you want. You might need to grease your hands with a little olive oil so the thick crust pizza dough doesn't stick to your hands. Homemade pizza dough usually doesn't look perfectly round and that's ok!
5. Brush your uncooked crust with olive oil.
Use my seasoning and olive oil mix (in the recipe includes ) to brush your uncooked yeast pizza dough crust before topping with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings.
Yeast Pizza Dough Ingredients
Full ingredient list in the recipe card below.
- Flour: Use an all purpose flour.
- Sugar: A little bit of granulated sugar is an American addition to pizza dough. If you prefer you can omit the sugar.
- Yeast: Use instant yeast. You can buy in a packet or a bulk jar. If you use active dry yeast just activate the yeast in your warm water first, then add the other ingredients.
- Salt + Olive Oil: Don't skip these!
Thick Crust Pizza Dough Instructions
Step 1: Combine dry ingredients.
Combine the first 4 dry ingredients. Combine water and oil, then add to the dry ingredients. This recipe doesn't require you to make a yeast mixture on it's own first. That's what I love about this recipe and what makes it easy.
I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix then use the dough hook to knead for about 5 minutes. You can mix by hand then knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Step 2: Let it rise.
Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and put ball of dough in it. Toss it around to coat. Cover the greased bowl and let rise 20 minutes. I use the same mixer bowl so I don't dirty another dish. In a rush, I sometimes skip this rise. The dough will still be good, just not as thick.
Step 3: Shape the dough.
Grease a 12" or 16" pizza pan (or large cookie sheet) and spread dough out with your hands on the pan. Don't use a rolling pin. You can use parchment paper on your pizza pan but it might be difficult to spread out your dough on parchment paper.
Step 4: Second rise.
Brush the pizza with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning (dried basil, oregano, parsley) and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and a dash of salt. Let rise for 15 more minutes. The herbs and spices add a little bit of flavor that goes a long way. If you want, you can stir all the spices into the olive oil in a small bowl then spread on evenly.
Step 5: Top the pizza.
Spread tomato pizza sauce (¼ cup to ½ cup) on the thick crust pizza dough. Add ¾ cup to 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese then ¼ cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese. We love adding fresh veggies like mushrooms, peppers and onions as well as pepperoni or sausage.
Step 6: Bake
Bake at 450 degrees for 11-15 minutes. Remove from the oven when the cheese and crust are golden.
Sauce: Most people use a tomato sauce base. You can use a marinara recipe or a specifically pizza sauce. But don't forget about pesto or a garlic parmesan pizza sauce as an option!
Cheese: Cheese is one of the most important toppings. We prefer to use a low moisture, full fat mozzarella and grate it ourselves. You can never use too much cheese!
Toppings: Consider these other easy toppings: canned black olives, sliced green peppers, thinly sliced mushrooms, pepperoni or other processed meats, red onions, sliced tomatoes, or chicken.
RECIPES USING PIZZA DOUGH
STORING PIZZA DOUGH
If you want to store your pizza dough before you cook it, allow it to do the first rise before storing. Then wrap in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container.
Fridge: Store your wrapped pizza dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer: Store your wrapped pizza dough in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.
To Use: Take your dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap it. Put it in a greased bowl and cover. Allow it to come to room temperature and rise again. Continue following the instructions after that rise.
Don't skip the basting step! Adding the olive oil and seasonings before you add your sauce and cheese makes a huge difference! And don't skip the edges of your crust.
Yes, absolutely. A good all purpose flour is what we all have on hand but if you have a high protein bread flour that will work even better. I don't enjoy this recipe with a whole wheat flour.
You can make this crust gluten free. Without gluten, a gluten free flour mix will not rise the same as this pizza crust. If your gluten free flour mixture doesn't have any, add ¼ tsp of Xanthan Gum to your flour.
Allowing the dough to rest during the rise is important. When the gluten can relax it becomes more pliable. If your dough isn't stretchy, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes then try again.
Allow your dough to rest longer and it will maintain its shape better when stretched.
The yeast will help create a light, fluffy dough. The yeast will eat the sugars from the flour and convert it into CO2. This inflates the dough making it thick and fluffy.
Enjoy your homemade pizza recipe! Eat it while it's warm. You can refrigerate for up to 3 days when it's completely cool. If you want to freeze it, wrap it tightly before cooking and freeze for up to 3 months. Do not defrost before cooking.
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- dash salt
- ½ cup tomato pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a large bowl. I prefer to use the Kitchen Aid mixer.
- Combine water and oil, then add to the dry ingredients. I use my KitchenAid mixer to mix then use the dough hook to knead for about 5 minutes. You can mix by hand then knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Grease a bowl with olive oil and put ball of dough in it. Toss it around to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 20 minutes. I use the same mixer bowl so I don't dirty another dish. In a rush, I sometimes skip this rise. The dough will still be good, just not as thick or pliable.
- Grease a 12" or 16" pizza pan and spread dough out with your hands on the pan. Don't use a rolling pin. Let rise for 15 more minutes.
- Top pizza with olive oil, Italian spices, garlic powder, salt. Then add your favorite pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, toppings and parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 11-15 minutes.