Main Squeeze

Hand-Tossed Pizza Crust


I’ll admit that pizza dough was something I’d never be able to make, especially in less than 30 minutes. However, this simple recipe for hand-tossed pizza dough has become a weekly staple in my household- Thursdays are pizza night. In my video, you will find that I use a stand mixer to make the ball of dough but this recipe can also be made successfully using your hands. Here’s a reminder to use an easy to clean bowl and stay away from wooden utensils- I found that the dough stuck to the spoon. It is important to let the dough rise for about 1 to 2 hours. Once your dough has “proofed” you will have enough dough for two medium-sized pizzas.

I’d like to point out that when making the dough by hand, I found it more successful to let the instant yeast bloom in warm water for 15 minutes before adding it to the flour mixture. Since you will need to knead the dough by hand for several minutes- allowing the yeast to bloom or deciding to skip the step will still produce a delicious pizza. The best part? The endless topping possibilities. My family enjoys a barbeque chicken pizza using rotisserie grilled chicken, tomato sauce on hand, white cheddar, mozzarella, and barbeque sauce. Feel free to add any of your favorite toppings or keep it simple with freshly grated cheeses. I can’t wait to see everyone’s creations!

Hand-Tossed Pizza Crust

Homemade pizza dough with a crispy crust and soft middle. Perfect for date night activities, friends, or family weekday dinner.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 1 hr 6 mins
Course Main Squeeze
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 Medium Pizzas


  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour more for dusting when kneading dough
  • 2 tsp Instant Yeast one packet
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt sea or kosher
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup Warm Water separate one cup of water


Stand Mixer

  • Add all of the ingredients minus 1/3 cup of water and use the dough hook attachment to stir the mixture at a low speed until a shaggy ball begins to form. This shouldn't take more than 30 seconds. Don't worry if the ball looks far from dough.
  • Check to make sure that all of the flour has been incorporated in the ball. If you see that the ball is dryer and has too much excess flour in the bowl, add a little more water. If it is too wet, add more flour.
  • Increase the mixer to a medium-high and knead for 6 minutes. The dough should spring back in less than a minute once it is ready to sit to rise.
  • Cut dough in half, flour your fingertips and shape the dough by folding the sides under the ball (it will create a small dome top). Lightly rub olive oil on the top of the dough balls and sit covered with a damp towel for an hour.
  • Once the dough has risen, stretch it out into your desired shape. Be sure not to over shape the dough and make it tough and try not to not the dough because it will make layers.
  • Place dough with toppings on a baking sheet and cook at 500 F for up to 8 minutes depending on the desired doneness of your crust.

Hand Kneading

  • Place the instant yeast in a cup of water and allow to bloom for 15 minutes. Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a spoon or spatula until a shaggy ball had formed.
  • Once the ball has formed, place on a floured surface and knead with your hands for 8 minutes. To knead, I like to push away into the dough ball using the palm of my hand. Then I bring the dough back in and continue to "push away and bring in" until the dough ball is nice and firm with a slight 30-second spring (test by poking the dough). Check out youtube for a kneading video if my description has you as lost as I was my first time.
  • Follow steps 4 through 6 for the remainder of your pizza-making experience and don't forget to share your pictures with me! @elle.thefoodie

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