Basic pizza dough

Pizza dough

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(57 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins plus rising (no cook)


Makes 4 pizzas

A simple, versatile, Italian-style dough that can be chilled or frozen to store, then shaped and cooked by oven or barbecue

Nutrition and extra info

  • uncooked dough only


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 500g '00' flour or plain flour, plus extra for dusting



    Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried yeast (not fast-action)



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 400ml warm water
  • oil, for greasing


  1. It’s easiest to make this in a standing mixer with a dough hook (otherwise mix it in a bowl and knead on your work surface). Put the flour and salt in the bowl and mix the yeast into the water. It’s always a good idea to wait 5 mins before using the liquid to see if the yeast is working – little bits will start to rise to the top and you’ll know it’s active.

  2. Turn on the motor and pour in the liquid. Keep the speed on medium-high and it should come together as a ball. If the bottom is still sticking, tip in 1-2 tbsp of flour. Knead for 5-7 mins until the dough is shiny and it springs back when you press your finger into it. (If kneading by hand, it will take you about 10 mins.) Try not to add too much flour if you can. This is a slightly sticky dough, but that keeps it light and it rises beautifully.

  3. Use oiled hands to remove the dough from the hook and bowl. Oil another bowl and place the dough in it. Turn it around so that it’s lightly coated in the oil. Cover tightly with cling film and then a tea towel. Place in a draught-free area that’s warm and leave until the dough has doubled in size. If it’s a hot day, it should only take 2 hrs to rise, but it could take 4 hrs if it’s cold. (If you don’t plan to use the dough for a day or two, place it in the fridge straight away; take it out 3-4 hrs before using. Punch it down first and bring it together on a floured surface.)

  4. Divide the dough into 2 pieces for big pizzas or 4 for plate-sized ones, then shape into balls (see Shaping the dough in tips, below) – dust them in flour as they will be sticky. Keep them covered with a tea towel or cling film while you prepare the toppings. (you can also freeze them in sealed bags. Just thaw in the fridge on the day, then bring to room temperature 3 hrs before using.)

  5. To shape the dough: If you want to get air pockets and a light but crisp dough, then don’t use a rolling pin. It flattens and pops the air bubbles. (Two days in the fridge will produce the most air bubbles – take it out three to four hours before using.) If your dough is at room temperature, you can use your fingers to gently stretch the dough out. Once it’s about 16cm, place the disc over the tops of your hands (not palm side) and use them to stretch it further, up to about 25cm. You can start pressing out the other discs, then wait to do the final bit when you’re ready to cook. Once you’ve mastered stretching the dough out, you can experiment with other shapes: rectangles, rounds or squares all look authentic.

  6. To cook the pizza: An outdoor gas barbecue is best for controlling the temperature, but charcoal will give your pizza a more authentic, smoky flavour. For gas, turn the flames down to medium-low so that the bottom of the pizza doesn't burn. When cooking on a charcoal barbecue, let the coals turn grey before you pop on the pizza.

  7. Place the pizza on a floured baking sheet (with no edge) or a pizza peel – this is a flat pizza paddle with a long handle, which makes it easier to get the dough on and off the grill. The flour will provide the 'wheels' for it to slide onto the grill – don’t use oil as it sticks more and won’t transfer as well.

  8. Make sure the grill is hot and the flames have died back if cooking on charcoal. Slide the dough onto the grill, close the lid (if your barbecue has one) and give it three to four minutes. The dough will puff up; it's ready when the bottom has light brown stripes. Use tongs to pull the dough off and turn it upside down.

  9. Assemble the pizza of your choice – see 'Goes well with', right, for topping suggestions. Remember that less is more, as the dough will stay crisper and the toppings will cook better.

  10. Place the pizza back on the grill, uncooked-side down, and shut the lid. Give it another three to four minutes, then remove when the cheese is melted and the toppings are hot.

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Comments, questions and tips

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florence's picture
6th Jul, 2020
I don't know if this recipe is nice but the prep time is wrong! By 4 hours! this is not okay and is very misleading.
4th Jul, 2020
Wish I'd read the comments first. Needed over 650g of flour for this amount of liquid. Poor recipe.
19th Jun, 2020
READ COMMENTS BEFORE ATTEMPTING. Ended up needing about 700g of flour. The recipe is very, very far off the mark.
17th Jun, 2020
The recipe was amazing I added more flour but other than that it tasted amazing
Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
14th Jun, 2020
This pizza dough is pretty good , I make a similar dough at cowbridge Kitchen along with rustic pizza.
Ed Syers's picture
Ed Syers
4th Jun, 2020
Really poor. I added a lot more flour and it was still too wet. Avoid this recipe, far better out there!
Joe Harrison's picture
Joe Harrison
10th May, 2020
Measures about as accurate as BBC reporting. 500g flour will make you dough soup, needs at least 600g
chris spencer's picture
chris spencer
9th May, 2020
This recipe is useless for pizza bases. It is far too wet. I had to scrap my pizzas because I couldn't get them into a hot oven. Hydration (ratio of liquid to flour) is 80% and the dough produced sticks firmly to your work surfaces, even when they're sprinkled with semolina. From the web: typical Chicago-style dough may be 55 percent hydration. New York-style is usually 60 to 65 percent, and Detroit-style around 70 percent hydration. If the only way to make this usable is to add large amounts of flour not called for in the recipe, then the recipe is wrong and should be re-written.
Claire Whitehouse's picture
Claire Whitehouse
8th May, 2020
Really liked this pizza dough and worked really well. Yes it is sticky I wouldn’t add anymore flour and try to knead it does become better the more you knead. Once proven it’s fine the handle.
Ellie Moss's picture
Ellie Moss
2nd May, 2020
This is a great recipe that my family and I use all the time. If you are having problems with how sticky it is add more flour or put less water in to start with. It is a sticky dough though which is what makes it so light and delicious. I would definitely recommend this recipe.


2nd Jul, 2014
Please tell me why it isn't ok to use fast-action yeast for this one?
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Jul, 2014
You can use fast action yeast however the amount will be slighly different. Sorry for any confusion, thanks.
2nd Jul, 2014
it absolutely is ok.
4th Jul, 2014
Thanks I'll try making and freezing the dough. Bought some frozen dough from Waitrose last week - Northern Dough I think it was called. It worked really well.
Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
14th Jun, 2020
Try my pizza dough at Cowbridge Kitchen , perfect pizza every time
Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
1st Jun, 2020
Sadly this pizza dough is not so good. At Cowbridge Kitchen we pride ourselves on quality recipes and our pizza dough works just fine.
30th Apr, 2020
600g of flour. Prove the dough. Sorted.
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