Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Hands-on Time:
40 Mins
Total Time:
2 Hours 20 Mins
Makes 8 (6- to 8-inch) pizzas

Skip store-bought, frozen pizza and make homemade pizza dough from scratch. This perfectly chewy pizza crust recipe, from our friends at Real Simple, is an easy way to make pizza night a whole lot more fun for the whole family. This delicious, savory crust will elevate your pizza to rock-star status. A build-you-own pie buffet is the perfect strategy whether you are hosting or feeding your family on a busy weeknight. Just be sure you have plenty of toppings on hand for your hungry chefs.

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.

Step 2

Stir together salt and 5 1/2 cups flour in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Pour yeast mixture and 1/2 cup olive oil into well, and stir to form a soft dough.

Step 3

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 5 minutes, gradually kneading in remaining 1/2 cup flour. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Step 4

Cover and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°), free from drafts, 1 hour and 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Step 5

Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Shape dough into 8 balls. Roll each dough ball into a 6- to 8-inch circle. Lightly sprinkle 2 large baking sheets with cornmeal. Place 2 dough rounds on each sheet; lightly brush each round with olive oil. Grill as directed using our Grilled Pizza Technique (below). Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Step 6

Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 24 hours after Step Let dough stand 20 minutes before shaping and grilling. Dough also may be frozen after shaping into balls. Wrap each ball individually with plastic wrap, and freeze in a small zip-top plastic freezer bag up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Allow dough balls to rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 20 minutes. Shape as directed.

Step 7


Step 8

The Dough

Step 9

• A sprinkle of cornmeal adds texture to the crust and helps prevent it from sticking to the grill grates. Use it generously!

Step 10

• If you're having a pizza party, divide the dough and shape into individual balls ahead of time. Your guests will have an easier time rolling their dough if it has "relaxed" in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Step 11

The Grill • Make sure the grill is very hot (at least 400°) before you lay on the dough. High heat helps prevent sticking and begins cooking the crust right away, which keeps the dough from falling through the grate. • Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, using tongs to check the bottom occasionally for char. Flip when the crust has nice grill marks and is fully cooked on one side but not yet crisp.

Step 12

The Finish

Step 13

• Immediately after flipping the crusts, add your sauce and toppings; this means you've got to be organized and have everything ready to go. Cover with the grill lid, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until the crust is crisp and cheese is melted and bubbly. If you want to top off with fresh herbs, sprinkle them on after taking the pizzas off the grill.

Step 14

Master Our Grilled Pizza Technique

Step 15

Preheat grill to high (at least 400°) heat. Slide pizza dough rounds directly onto grill grate (cornmeal side down) from baking sheet, and grill, covered with grill lid, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully flip dough.

Step 16

Top cooked side of crust with desired sauce and toppings.

Step 17

Grill, covered with grill lid, 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

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