Up-level your homemade pizza night with this fool-proof, soft, and chewy Italian pizza dough! Make it in 1 hour with or without a mixer and top it with your favorite toppings. Baked to perfection in the oven, the dough has a perfect fluffy inside texture with a golden brown crispy crust.
why this recipe works
- Make this soft pizza dough with or without a stand mixer. This is a no-fuss authentic pizza recipe that can be made with your own two hands.
- This versatile recipe can be topped with any of your favorite pizza toppings and can be made into mini, personal, or large pizzas. It can also be made into a thin or thick crust pizza depending on your preference.
- This dough is soft, pliable, and easy to work with.
The secret to making the best soft pizza dough at home that is light and fluffy is always high-quality ingredients.
- Flour- this recipe should be made with all-purpose or bread flour. Do not substitute it with whole wheat flour as the hydration will be different.
- Yeast- this recipe calls for Active Dry Yeast. Substitute it with Instant Yeast instead if you have it on hand.
- Water- the water needs to be warm to activate the yeast. You should never use cold water. I usually run the tap water until it feels warm to the touch. In general, the water should never exceed 113 degrees F/45 C or it will kill the yeast.
- Honey- substitute the honey with regular granulated sugar instead. Your pizza will not rise without some kind of sugar, so don't forget it or leave it out.
- Always spoon measure your flour when baking: This means using a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup. This will give the most accurate results when baking without a kitchen scale.
- Leave the dough in the fridge overnight: For even more flavor, place it in the fridge for 24 hours after step 7.
- Top with fresh herbs AFTER baking: Top with fresh herbs like basil after baking or they will wilt and turn black.
- Use a pizza stone: For an extra crispy crust, place the pizza stone in the oven while it preheats. Roll and top your pizza on a piece of parchment paper, then carefully transfer it onto the pizza stone when it's ready.
- Humidity is important!: If you live in a humid environment, you may not need all the water in the recipe. Start with about half the water then add it a little bit at a time until it is soft and tacky.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1: Activate the yeast. Mix the yeast with the honey and warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Step 2: You can see the yeast will be foamy and bubbly after activating. If you are not seeing any activity or foaming after 10 minutes, your yeast is most likely dead or your water was not warm enough. Either way, you should start over with a new packet of yeast.
Step 3: Add the flour, olive oil, and salt to the mixing bowl with the hook mixer attachment. If mixing by hand, do it in a large bowl with a wooden or metal spoon.
Step 4: The texture will look super rough and kind of shaggy at first. At this point, you want to knead it on low (speed low or 2) until it is super smooth and soft like in the photo. If kneading by hand, squeeze and knead it on your surface until it's soft and smooth.
Step 5: Check for a gluten window. Tear off a small piece of the dough about the size of a gum ball and slowly flatten and stretch it as thin as possible. If you can stretch it thin enough to see through it, it's ready. If it tears easily, it needs more kneading. It should look smooth and feel soft when it's done kneading.
Step 6: Shape the soft pizza dough into a tight round ball by cupping your hands around the side and moving them from the top to the bottom. This will pull it tightly and make it easy to trap the gases to make it rise.
Step 7: Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap or cover it with a clean towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot to proof for about 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Step 8: Check that the dough has doubled in size.
Step 9: Use your fist to gently punch down the dough to remove the gases.
Step 10: Lightly flour your surface with a bit of flour. Portion the dough ball into smaller pieces for mini or personal-sized pizzas or keep it as one large pizza. Roll and stretch each portion to your desired thickness, then transfer it to an unlined baking tray.
Step 11: Top with sauce, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, or other desired toppings.
Step 12: For a perfectly crispy crust, drizzle the edges with good-quality olive oil. Bake the pizzas until the crust is browning and the cheese is melty.
Top this soft and chewy Italian pizza dough with:
- Cream cheese spread and fresh veggies for a vegetable pizza
- Fresh tomatoes and basil
- Cheese and pepperoni
- White sauce
storage & freezing
- Fridge: Store the kneaded chewy pizza dough in a container in the fridge for 1-2 days. After this point, the yeast will begin to ferment and it will smell like alcohol.
- Freezer: Place it in a container after step 7 in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you are ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge before continuing with step 8.
- My dough will not stretch: Make sure you knead the dough long enough to see a gluten window.
- Why is it tough?: Try adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough is soft and tacky.
- Why is it tearing?: Try kneading the dough longer so that it is smooth and soft.
Yes. See the above section on storage and freezing instructions.
Yes. After step 7, place the dough in a container twice its size and place it in the fridge for 24 hours. Place the dough on your counter when you are ready to continue to step 8. It will take longer for it to double in size since the dough will be cold.
No, the dough should not stick to the pizza stone.
No, the yeast needs some kind of sugar to make the dough rise.
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Chewy Pizza Dough
- stand mixer or large mixing bowl
- hook attachment
- Rolling Pin
- baking tray
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Stand Mixer Instructions
- In a small bowl, active the yeast with the warm water and honey. Stir with a spoon to combine and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon honey
- Pour the yeast water into a stand mixing bowl and add the flour, olive oil, and salt.2 ¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix with the hook attachment for 8-9 minutes or until it is soft and smooth. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add in extra flour 1 teaspoon at a time until it forms a ball.
- Tear off a gum ball sized piece of the dough and slowly stretch it out as thin as possible before ripping. If it rips quickly, knead it for a few more minutes. It should be able to stretch thin enough where you can see your finger through it.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough ball into a large lightly oiled bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot to rise until doubled, about 20-30 minutes.
- Then lightly punch down the dough down to remove any excess gas.
- Portion or roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into desired shape, size, and thickness.
- Transfer the rolled dough onto a sheet pan.
- Top with desired toppings, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 425 F/220 C for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness. When the crust is starting to brown and the cheese and toppings are melted, it's done!
Mixing By Hand Instructions
- In a large bowl add your warm water, yeast, and honey. Mix with a spoon to combine and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon honey
- Then add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together. It will be dry and shaggy.2 ¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt
- Transfer the dough to your surface, kneading and squeezing vigorously for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth, tacky, and soft.
- Tear off a gum ball sized piece of the dough and slowly stretch it out as thin as possible before ripping. If it rips quickly, knead for a few more minutes. It should be able to stretch thin enough where you can see your finger through it when it is ready.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes.
- Continue with the next steps above as the stand mixer instructions.
Ingredient Notes and SubstitutionsYeast
- The water should be no hotter than 113 degrees F or it will kill the yeast.
- If your yeast is not foamy after 10 minutes of sitting in the warm water and honey mixture, the yeast is dead and you need a new packet.
- Turn your oven on a low temperature like 300 degrees F and set your bowl on top of the oven to help it rise quickly.
- Substitute Instant Yeast instead of Active Dry. In this case, the yeast does not need to sit prior to mixing the ingredients. You still need to use warm water though!
Recipe Expert Tips
- Always spoon measure your flour when baking-This means using a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup. This will give the most accurate results when baking without a kitchen scale.
- Don't over-proof- The dough can rise too much if left in a really warm place for too long. If it happens, it is still edible but it will not have as much 'poof' to it in the oven and will not be as soft. You'll know it's done proofing when it's doubled in size.
- Leave it in the fridge overnight- For even more flavor, place it in the fridge for 24 hours after step 7.
- Preheat your oven for a quick rise- to help it rise quickly, turn your oven on to 300 degrees F/149 C and place the bowl on top or next to the oven.
- Top with fresh herbs AFTER baking- always use fresh herbs like basil after it's done baking otherwise they will turn black.
- Use a pizza stone- For an extra crispy crust, place the pizza stone in the oven while it preheats. Roll and top your chewy pizza on a piece of parchment paper, then carefully transfer it onto the pizza stone when it's ready.
- Humidity is important!- if you live in a humid environment, you may not need all the water in the recipe. Start with about half the water then add it a little bit at a time until it feels soft and tacky.
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.