Easy pizza dough without a stand mixer (with active dry yeast)- 5 ingredients (water, sugar, active dry yeast, flour & salt) + 1 hour - fancy stand mixer = Perfectly delicious and easy pizza dough!
Pizza is something my husband (omnivore) and I (vegetarian) both can enjoy and I make them pretty frequently. Sometimes I'm feeling classic red sauce pizza or margarita pizza. And other times, I'm craving white pizza or Detroit-style pizza!
No matter what type of pizza I make, I need one ingredient in common! And that would be the pizza dough! I have a recipe using a stand mixer but I have been making my dough by hand. And this recipe is GOLDEN!!!
Why this recipe works:
- Simple ingredients - water, sugar, active dry yeast, all-purpose flour, and salt.
- No fancy stand mixer required - All you need is a big bowl and your hands!
- Fewer dishes to do - Am I the only person who finds washing the dough hook and the bowl annoying? I don't think so!
How to make an easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer
- Dissolve the sugar in the water.
- Add the active dry yeast and let it bloom.
- Meanwhile, mix together all-purpose flour and salt. By the way, I pack my flour into a measuring cup which is an INCORRECT way to measure your flour (Here is a link to correctly measure the flour). However, this way of measuring flour in this recipe works every single time.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture.
- Knead the dough and let it rise until it doubles the size.
- Shape it into a pizza and enjoy!
Difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast
They both help leaven bread and make the dough "rise" but how it is used in the dough differs.
- Active dry yeast is the yeast that needs to be "bloomed" in water. I dissolve a little bit of sugar in the water to help feed the yeast. When the yeast mixture is foamy, you can add it to your dry ingredients.
- Instant yeast is the yeast that you can add directly to your dry ingredients.
Most frequently asked questions:
I don't want to give a specific time here because it is different for everyone. But you should look for these signs:
Your dough should form and hold a nice smooth ball shape. Another indication is when you pull your dough it should stretch without tearing/ripping.
Add a small amount of flour at a time and work the dough until it comes together. I like to add a tablespoon at a time.
I found out it is very easy to add "TOO MUCH WATER" to the dough. So to avoid that mistake, I like to wet my hands and work the dough and repeat until the dough is not too dry. It takes longer but it is a safe method. If you prefer to just add water, add a teaspoon at a time. A teaspoon of water goes a long way.
The easiest way to test is to gently press the dough with your index finger until your first joint disappears into the dough. If the indentation in the dough remains after you remove your finger, the dough is ready.
Difference between making the pizza dough by hand vs. using a stand mixer
- An extra effort on your part by kneading the dough yourself
- Takes additional time since you have to knead the dough
- Easy clean-up. You just need to wash the bowl.
By a stand mixer
- The stand mixer will do the kneading for you
- A little quicker to make the dough since the mixer will do the kneading
- More to wash - You need to wash the dough hook, the stand mixer bowl, and the bowl you are using to let the dough rise.
Should you kneading the dough on the surface or in a bowl?
There is no difference in the final product and it comes down to your preference. I personally like to knead my dough in a bowl for a couple of reasons:
- There is less clean-up. I don't have to clean the surface before and after kneading the dough. I'm already dirtying a bowl and I prefer to keep the dishes and clean-up to a minimum.
- It's easier to knead. At least for me. I use my fist to push down the dough and push against the side of the bowl. Then I fold the dough over towards the center and push down again with my fist and repeat. I find this method to be the easiest.
Helpful tips on making easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer
- To make the perfect "lukewarm" water, I mix boiling water and cold filtered water in a ratio of 1:2. For example, to prepare 2 cups of lukewarm water, I mix ⅔ cup of boiling water in a 2 cup size measuring cup and fill the rest with cold water.
- Give it a quick stir when you add salt to the flour before adding the yeast mixture. This will ensure the even distribution of the salt in the dough.
- Knead the dough until it won't tear/rip when you pull. The dough should be smooth and hold its shape.
- Coat the dough with oil and cover it while it rises so the dough won't dry out.
- The warmer temperature, the faster the dough rises. And the colder the temperature, the slower it rises.
How to store pizza dough
I like to keep my leftover pizza dough in a gallon-size, freezer-safe plastic bag. The dough will continue to rise even when you place them in the fridge. So I like to place my dough in a large-size bag to give the dough enough room to rise. Plus, the plastic bag will help prevent the dough from drying out.
- The fresh dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- The dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you freeze your dough, you can place the frozen dough in the fridge overnight to thaw or place them on a countertop for a couple of hours until it thaws completely. Make sure your dough is covered completely so it won't dry out.
How to use pizza dough for different types of pizza
This pizza dough recipe can be used for both white pizza (conventional thin crust pizza) and Detroit-style pizza (with fluffy, soft, and thick crust).
If you were to make a thin crust pizza, flatten your dough and shape them into a pizza size of your choice. If you want to make a Detroit-style pizza, let the dough rise in the pan that you will be making the pizza in. The dough will eventually fill the pan once risen. Be careful not to deflate the dough when adding the sauce and toppings.
Pizza cooking temperature
They all say the higher the temperature, the better your pizza will taste! Higher temperature will give the dough the best rise, melts the cheese evenly, and gives the dough the char flavor we all love. Most recipes you will see online will tell you to cook your pizza at 500F.
I'd love to cook my pizza at 500F but my apartment smoke detector is UBER sensitive and if it goes above 475F, it goes OFF. So I cook all of my pizzas at 475F. If you have no problem cooking your pizza at 500F, do so with a couple minutes less of a cooking time that I've provided in the recipe card.
I really hope you would cherish this easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer as much as I do. If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out!Print
Easy Pizza Dough without a Stand Mixer (by hand)
Easy Pizza Dough without a Stand Mixer (by hand) - 5 ingredients (water, sugar, active dry yeast, flour & salt) + 1 hour - fancy stand mixer = Perfectly delicious and easy pizza dough!
- Prep Time: 70 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 large pizzas 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Knead
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast ( or 1 packet of active dried yeast) (See note)
- 4 and ½ cups (packed) all-purpose flour (See note below)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water. Once the sugar is all dissolved, add the dry active yeast to water and let it bloom for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the salt and 3 cups of packed flour in a large bowl.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir to mix with either a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. Slowly add in the rest of the flour. Use the rubber spatula/wooden spoon to mix as much as you can.
- Once it gets difficult to mix using a rubber spatula, use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together, about 10 to 15 minutes. The surface of the dough should be smooth and when you pull the dough, it should stretch without ripping.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil. Place the dough back into the bowl. Roll the dough in a bowl so it is completely coated with the oil. Make sure to coat the side of the bowl as well.
- Loosely cover the bowl and let it rise until it doubles its size (it takes me about an hour).
- One packet of active dried yeast equals 2 and ½ teaspoons. However, if you have a bag of yeast as I do, you can just measure 1 tablespoon.
- Packing flour is an incorrect way to measure flour. And I do not recommend measuring flour like this in other recipes. However, this method works in THIS pizza dough recipe.
- Please refer to the "How to store pizza dough" section above for storing information.
Keywords: easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer, pizza dough, easy pizza dough, pizza dough by hand, pizza dough without stand mixer
Do you stir the yeast into warm water or just sprinkle on top?
Hi Lyn! I like to give it a quick stir. Some of the yeast will still float on top but that has never stopped it from blooming fully! Hope this helps! 🤗
You forgot cooking times
Hi Keegan!! Because the recipe is for making the dough itself, I didn’t include the cooking time.
But when I make my pizza using this recipe, I bake my pizza (after adding sauce and toppings) at 450 for 11 to 15 minutes. Hope this helps 😊
Agreed…the one star review is silly..i halved the recipe and turned out perfect..i found i prefer to knead in my bowl as well when i make other breads..i watch a German bread baker on youtube and 80% of hers are done the same way..
Hi, Diana. Thank you for trying out the recipe and am so happy to hear that it came out great! I really appreciate your kind words and review!
That one star review is silly. I made this pizza dough to make breakfast pizza on it and it came out perfectly even though it was my first time. Super tasty! I’ll definitely keep using this recipe.
Hi Sarah, that's so sweet of you. Thank you so much. I'm so glad the pizza dough recipe worked out great. Breakfast pizza sounds delicious! I really appreciate your kind words and review!
Can we freeze the dough after the first rise (olive oiled bowl and dough)? Or save to use for another day? Happy New Year and thanks for answering!
Hi Cori, you can freeze the dough after the first rise. I like to put my dough in a freezer safe bag and get as much air out as possible. You can also save the dough for another day in the fridge as well. Thank you so much and happy New Year to you and your family!
Sara in KCMO
My dough was so wet, I added at least 1 more cup of flour and had to knead it for 30 minutes. It is snowing here today so I thought the air was humid enough. We’ll see how it turns out…
Hi Sara, I'm sorry to hear that the dough came out so wet. If you are used to measuring flour the "correct way," then the dough will come out extremely wet. When I pack my flour into the measuring cup, I pack it in a way that you can see the indentation of my fingers on top of the packed flour. I hope it turns out okay.
I love this recipe! I've been using it for around 4 months now and make pizza at least every other week, it tastes SO good and its so easy (+ really affordable!). I add Italian seasoning and roasted garlic to flavour the dough, it tastes freaking amazing so I'll never stop. Every time I have company over they ask for pizza lol. For softer crust I bake at 400° for 16min on a preheated pizza stone, we dont love crisp crust on fresh pizza so I don't do the higher temps for my family - and thats for 1/2 the dough the recipe makes. I will never buy pizza again if I have access to the ingredients and an oven because this is better than any pizza I've ever purchased in my life! Thank you for this recipe <3
Thank you so much for your kind words and amazing tips on how to make this recipe to the next level!! I can’t wait to try the roasted garlic and Italian seasoning version with the lower baking temp!
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy this recipe 😊😊
Do I stir the yeast in the water or let it sit on top. I am sooooooooooooo nervous about making my own dough!
So sorry I just so my question answered on a previous question, as I said I am sooooooo nervous about making my own dough. Will let you know of the outcome or my breakdown.
Hello! I'm sorry it took me a while to get back to you. You just need to give it a quick stir. If it doesn't seem like it is not dissolving, that's okay. If some of it just floats on top, that's okay too 🙂 I know it can be nerve-racking to make something new but I tend to view it as an exciting new experiment! Please let me know how it turns out!
I never leave comments about recipes but I like this recipe so much I wanted to let others know. This is not only easy but it always make a great pizza and I love that it makes enough for two pizzas. We eat one when I make initially make the dough and then freeze the other half and have a fast weeknight dinner when needed. Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you so much for your kind words and review, Amber. I'm so happy you like the recipe!
How many pizzas does this don’t make? Thin crust? Thick crust? 12 inch round 9 x 13?
Hi Christine, I can make two large thin-crust pizzas that can fit on a 9x13 baking sheet. But if I were to make a thick crust, I'd say it would make two medium sizes. I hope this helps!
Made yummy pizza, thank you
Thank you so much for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed the pizza, Isabel❤️