This is the ONLY recipe you’ll ever need for authentic, thin and crispy, Italian homemade pizza dough – Just 5 ingredients needed!


Please allow me to introduce you the very best Italian homemade pizza dough I’ve ever made.

This is a super easy version of the traditional Neapolitan pizza recipe, and believe me, it is just as tasty.

I’ve tried endless recipes and variations over the years, and this one is the absolute winner.

This recipe is perfect to make round Italian-style thin and crisp pizza at home.

But it’s just as great as a base for calzone, breadsticks, and loads of more fun recipes.

And, as an added bonus, the original Italian pizza is naturally vegan and dairy-free.

Italian Pizza Dough Ingredients

The traditional Neapolitan recipe calls for just 5 basic everyday ingredients: water, flour, salt, yeast, and extra virgin olive oil.

WATER

You can use any kind of plain water, but make sure is at the right temperature.

Active dry yeast should always be hydrated with lukewarm water (around 22 ℃, 71.60 ℉), because cold water can cause the glutathione (gluten in the yeast) to leak out. 

FLOUR

The question I get asked all the time is, what is the best flour to use?

I use a medium-strong flour. Opt for stone-ground organic flour whenever possible.

Make sure to choose a flour with a value preferably between W280 and W320 (usually sold simply as bread flour).

The strength of the flour has vital importance; strong flour contains more gluten than other types of flour, which gives it its elasticity and enables the dough to rise with a good structure.

OLIVE OIL

Traditionally, pizza made in a wood-fired oven doesn’t call for olive oil as one of the dough ingredients. But, it turns out to be a superhero ingredient when baking it at home.

Adding a bit of extra-virgin olive oil into the dough helps facilitate the binding of proteins, allowing the formation of a more homogeneous glutinous mass.

It will also give you a more fragrant crust, similar to the one you’ll get in an Italian pizzeria.

YEAST

You can use fresh active yeast or dry active yeast. Fresh active yeast (or brewer’s yeast) is easy to find in Italy, but I found it difficult in UK, so I use dry active yeast which is more widely available.

Tips For The Best Homemade Pizza 

homemade pizza dough on wood board, basil leaves, tomatoes and a small bowl with olive oil in the background

After many years of making it at home, I can safely share the best tips I’ve learnt along the way.

These easy-to-follow tips will help you get foolproof, delicious & crisp homemade pizza every SINGLE time!

Flour & water. Pay particular attention to the type of flour you use, and to the water temperature. These two aspects are critically important to achieve a really perfect result. 

Add sifted flour. Sifting the flour avoids the formation of lumps, and allows good oxygenation of the dough. 

Salt should be added as late as possible. It’s best to mix it with a little bit of the water you’ll be incorporating into the dough. 

Stop kneading when the dough is compact and elastic, moist but not sticky. If you lightly dip your finger into the dough and the hole bounces back slowly, then the dough is ready.

If you’re using a mixer, stop mixing when the dough comes off completely from the bowl.

Let the mixture rest until at least doubled in size. Long fermentation allows the enzymes contained in the flour to trigger the chemical processes that transform the starch (carbohydrates) into simple sugars and the gluten (proteins) into simple amino acids.

These processes give a good pizza great digestibility, having performed part of the work that otherwise our stomach should have carried out.

Do not mix your dough too much.

This may cause it to overheat and the glutinous mass to break, and at that point, the dough will no longer be usable.

Invest in a good pizza stone.

For the best baking results, I recommend hands down investing in a good pizza stone.

All you have to do is preheat it for 30 minutes, and is guaranteed to give a quick, evenly-baked delicious pizza in the comfort of your kitchen.

How Do You Make Pizza Dough?

Making authentic Italian pizza at home is a fairly easy process, that doesn’t require any special ingredients or tools.

The dough comes together in less than 10 minutes, then it’s all a matter of resting time.

water and olive oil in kitchen aid bowl, and pizza dough kneading in bowl

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lukewarm water with dry active yeast until dissolved.

Pour the mixture into the mixer, add olive oil, and use your dough hook attachment.

Start mixing on low speed, and slowly incorporate the sifted flour. Add salt towards the end of mixing time.

The dough comes together after 5-6 minutes of mixing time. It will be ready when it’s smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.

Transfer the dough onto a clean surface (a marble surface would be perfect) sprinkled with flour.

Work the ball with your hands for a couple of minutes until smooth and even.

Transfer the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a damp kitchen towel.

pizza dough resting in a bowl, small pizza bowl on marble surface

Allow it to rest in a warm place (about 24-27°C) for about 2-3 hours, until it has doubled in size.

After it has rested, transfer it back on to a clean surface sprinkled with flour.

Divide the dough into 180-200 gr pieces with the help of a dough scraper.

Work each piece with your hands until forming a smooth and even ball, then transfer into a lightly oiled tray and cover with a kitchen towel.

Allow the balls to rest and raise for an extra 3-4 hours. After the resting time, your pizza is ready to be rolled and baked.

Can I freeze Homemade Pizza Dough?

Yes, absolutely!
 
I recommend that you freeze the dough before the last resting time. So, right after you form the small balls.
 
I freeze the pizza balls individually. You can put them on a tray and freeze them for 10 minutes, then transfer each ball in a zip-lock bag and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
 
When you’re in the mood, simply take the dough out of the freezer, and allow to defrost at room temperature, then proceed to make your pizza.
 

Kitchen Tools For Making Homemade Pizza At Home

You can totally go by hand, however, my loyal stand mixer does a better job than me and saves me TONS of energy.

A big bowl to prep and rest the mixture, a dough scraper (a sharp knife will do the trick too), and a baking tray,  is basically all you will need. So, no much washing up really – YAY!

How To Cook Your Pizza Dough

Once your dough is ready, it’s time to bake your pizza base.

Preheat your oven to 250C-280C. If you have the fan option, place the baking tray (or pizza stone) on the middle rack, otherwise, place the baking tray on the lowest rack. 

Roll the dough into a circle, and spread just enough marinara sauce on top, leaving a border. 

Place it in the oven and cook it for about 3 minutes. Add sliced mozzarella (make sure to pat the slices dry with kitchen paper) and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven, scatter a few basil leaves on top and serve.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

homemade pizza dough on wood board
Print Recipe
4.65 from 39 votes

The BEST Italian Homemade Pizza Dough

This is the ONLY recipe you'll ever need for authentic, thin and crispy, Italian homemade pizza dough - Just 5 ingredients needed!
Prep Time20 mins
Resting time:6 hrs
Total Time20 mins
Course: Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dairy-free, dough, italian, vegan
Servings: 5

Ingredients

For The Dough:

  • 500 ml lukewarm water (1 pint)
  • 1/2 tsp dry active yeast (1.5 gr)
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 900 gr strong flour (aka bread flour) (2 lbs), sifted

For The Pizza:

  • 400 gr marinara sauce
  • 300 gr fresh mozzarella balls sliced and pat dry with kitchen paper
  • handful of basil leaves

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the water with active dry yeast until dissolved. Pour the mixture into the mixer, add olive oil, and using your dough hook attachment, start mixing on a low speed, and slowly incorporate the sifted flour.
  • Mix together all ingredients for about 5-6 minutes, adding the salt towards the end, until the dough is smooth and stops sticking to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is still too sticky sprinkle in a little more flour, if it's too dry add a little more water.
  • Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface sprinkled with flour and work it with your hands until smooth and even.
  • Transfer the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Allow resting in a warm place (about 24-27°C) for about 2-3 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 180-200gr pieces with the help of a dough scraper.
  • Work each dough piece with your hands until forming a smooth and even ball, then transfer into a lightly oiled tray and cover with a kitchen towel.
  • Allow the dough balls to rise for an extra 3-4 hours, then use within 6 hours.

How To Bake Pizza At Home:

  • Preheat your oven to 250C-280C. If you have the fan option, place the baking tray (or pizza stone) on the middle rack, otherwise, place the baking tray on the lowest rack. 
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, and spread just enough marinara sauce on top, leaving a border for the pizza crust.
  • Carefully slide the pizza onto the baking tray or pizza stone and place it in the oven. Cook the pizza for about 3 minutes. Add sliced mozzarella (make sure to pat the slices dry with kitchen paper) and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven, scatter a few basil leaves on top and serve.

Notes

How to freeze pizza dough:
I recommend that you freeze the pizza dough before the last resting time. So, right after you form the small pizza dough balls.
 
I freeze the pizza dough balls individually. You can put them on a tray and freeze them for 10 minutes, then transfer each ball in a zip-lock bag and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!

This post was originally published in June 2018 and updated with more info.

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