Perfect Pizza Crust

Homemade Pizza Crust
This recipe comes from Sullivan Street Bakery guru Jim Lahey, author of My Pizza and My Bread, the cookbook that I credit for a) upgrading my pizza life and b) upgrading my life in general. It’s that great. This recipe makes two balls of dough — enough for two separate thin crust pizzas. If you want a Whole Wheat Pizza Crust, replace anywhere from two to three of the cups of flour with whole wheat flour in equal measurements.

3 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cup room-temperature water

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough will be stiff, not wet and sticky. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in two and shape each into flattened balls. (Dough can be frozen at this point.)

When you are ready to make a pizza, preheat oven to 500°F roll out one ball of dough in a rectangular shape and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Top with:

Potatoes, Cheddar, and Thyme
Mushroom and Onion
Green Tomatoes and Onion
Mushroom and Margherita

Or if you want to experiment with your own toppings, the general rule is to bake it at 500°F for about 15-20 minutes. I always brush the exposed crust around the rim with olive oil. Keep an eye on cheese and crust while it bakes to make sure nothing burns.

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Any idea if this pizza crust can be mixed up in the food processor? (My husband tries to find any excuse to use the FP…)



My wife and I are having serious pizza withdrawal since leaving NYC.
Actually we’ve got some dough in the oven with our new best hope to recreate our favorite (motorino) pizza and the recipe calls for storing the dough in the fridge for 2-3 days as an essential step. We’re doing it–but I am not sure I buy it. Any thoughts?


Just curious if anyone else has a problem with the dough being quite wet. I do live in France, so the flour is different from all purpose, but wanted to know if anyone else had the same problem. We are regular pizza eaters and this is the best crust yet (even if a bit wetter than I would like)!


I am happy to see this pizza dough recipe because my Friday night ritual of homeade pizza has devolved into eye-rolling among my three children. In fact, I am loving your blog so much that it has given me new hope for myself. I, too, cook dinner at home every night for my family, and have done so for 20 years now. But I fear I am out of recipes, out of ideas, can’t cook anything to save my life any more. Getting your book today. Thanks for bringing the spark back to every day cooking!


Kim asked a question almost a year ago regarding using the food processor for this dough. That is the only way I make it. All ingredients into the bowl of the processor with a dough blade. Mix and then, with the machine running, pour water in slow stream. Run it until one ball is formed. I usually have to add a few tablespoons of water. It works perfectly.


I just made your/Jim Lahey’s pizza dough for the first time ever last night and it was amazing. To say it might be life changing is not too dramatic. Thank you!!


Can anyone comment on how well this lasts in the refrigerator? If I make it the night before, let it rise and put it in the fridge to use for dinner when I get home from work is it still good? Also could I thaw frozen balls all day in the fridge? The two hour timing of waiting for it to rise or thaw just don’t work in a schedule where I get home at 5pm and need dinner for everyone at 6pm.


Ann, I usually make the dough a day before I plan on using it. Refrigerate overnight. Take it out of the frige at least an hour before rolling or tossing so it gets to room tempature and fully proofs.
Not sure about thawing as I have yet to freeze a batch, but it would probably be ok to thaw in fridge and then let it sit out an hour or two before tossing as getting the dough to room temp is the key.
Also I have been sprinkling a half a tablespoon of onion powder and a healthy pintch of finely crushed dry rosemary in with the flour, yeast, salt and sugar mix. Yum!

meg o

The bon appeti recipe and others I have found with Jim Lahey tagged in the title call for only 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp yeast.

Sally Kuzemchak

I love this recipe! I love the thin crust, but my husband likes thick. So last night I used the whole dough ball on a 16″ pizza pan with a perforated bottom. Worked really well–the crust was crispy on the bottom, but chewy everywhere else. Perfect!


Meg, if you notice this is not the 18 hour slowrise no knead pizza dough you usually see associated with Jim Lahey but a fast and quick dough hence the larger quantity of yeast


Regarding covering the dough or 2 hours… How?
Just a towel over the top of the bowl? With Saran Wrap? With a lid?
Novice pizza maker here… Thanks!


Hi all-
I made the crust for the first time tonight but it came out spongy and kinda soggy. Any idea why? Too thick? Too wet? It seemed fine going into the oven. I’m wondering if I should bake the crust for a few minutes first before putting the sauce and toppings on so its crispy. Would love suggestions from you experts. Thanks!!

Sarah V.

Man… I have tried this recipe a couple of times, and it NEVER rises. New yeast, so that’s not it. Any ideas? It seems like I really just HAVE to proof the yeast somehow or it won’t work…


I made a stromboli and a pizza with my crust. My dough was a little wet. When I rolled it I added a little flour to it. To the person with the dough not rising and your yeast is new you are probably using too hot water and killing the yeast. Use barely warm water. Everything turned out great. I let my stromboli rise for 30 minutes before I baked it.


This looks delicious, but I’m married to an Italian who swears it’s a cardinal sin to roll out pizza dough. The internet seems to loudly concur. But I’ve found it is very hard to get it thin by hand. Thoughts?