This quick pizza dough is excellent for when you want a delicious homemade pizza but don’t have time for hours of proofing.

This recipe is easy. It takes about 2 hours to make, no equipment is needed, and everyone can do it. It’s well-tested, and it always works.

quick pizza dough proofed in a bowl

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian and vegan diet.

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What’s a quick pizza dough?

pizza margherita made with quick pizza dough

A quick pizza dough is one in which we substitute more yeast for time, allowing us to get pizza on the table in about 2 hours from start to finish.

This recipe is excellent if you just realized you want pizza for dinner, but it’s 4 pm, and you don’t have time to follow a slower recipe.

To be clear, if you have the time, we recommend making pizza with smaller amounts of yeast and a longer proofing time.

Louise grabbing a slice of baked pizza with tomato and cheese

The pizza has more flavor and better texture, and it’s easier to digest, as the yeasts, if given enough time, do most of the digesting for you.

So, if you have time, have a look at one of our longer-proofed pizza doughs:

However, if you don’t have time, this recipe is your next best bet.

It’s healthier and tastier than frozen store-bought pizza. Enjoy!

Ingredients and substitutions for quick pizza dough

ingredients for a quick pizza dough

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Flour

You can use all-purpose flour for a lighter and more tender pizza or bread flour for a chewier pizza.

Yeast

We recommend instant dry yeast because it’s stable and produces consistent results.

You can substitute active dry yeast for instant dry yeast or fresh yeast for dry yeast. In this case, you’ll need three times the amount.

We can recommend (not sponsored) Caputo dry yeastRed Start active dry yeast, Red Star saf instant, and Dr. Oetker instant yeast.

Important: Avoid using rapid-rise instant yeast, as that’s not good for preparations that require a second proofing, like this quick pizza dough. If it says rapid rise on the packet, it’s not good.

Water

Lukewarm water at around 85°F or 30°C is ideal for quickening the yeast’s activity.

If the water is cold, proofing will take longer. If the water is above 120°F or 50°C, it will kill the yeasts, and your dough will not proof.

Salt

Use sea salt or kosher salt.

Olive oil

Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil helps the dough cook faster and more evenly in a standard home oven.

However, olive oil is optional; you can substitute it with the same amount of water.

Sugar

White or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup fuel the yeasts. Since we want quick proofing, we add sugar to speed up the proofing time.

Also, sugar helps the pizza crust caramelize and become a beautiful golden-brown color when baked in a standard home oven.

homemade pizza with an oval shape
Homemade pizza with an oval shape topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil

How to make a quick pizza dough + Tips

US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

1. Make the dough

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of instant dry yeast with 1¼ cups of lukewarm water and 1½ tablespoons of sugar.

If the yeast doesn’t dissolve, it’s dead, and you’ll need to start over with new yeast.

Add 3½ cups of all-purpose flour1½ teaspoons salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute or until combined.

mixing flour, water, and yeast in a large mixing bowl

Transfer the dough onto a clean worktop and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

kneading the quick pizza dough

If the dough is too sticky, dust it with flour while kneading.

quick pizza dough after kneading

2. Quick proofing

Brush a large bowl with olive oil.

Transfer the dough to the bowl, brush it with oil, and cover it with a damp cloth, leaving enough space between the dough and the fabric.

Let proof in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it doubles in volume.

Tip: We recommend putting the bowl in a turned-off oven with the light on. The heat generated by the oven light creates the perfect conditions for the dough to proof quickly.

quick pizza dough proofed until doubled in size

Cut the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how large you want your pizza to be. We like large pizzas, so we cut the dough into 3 pieces.

Shape each piece into smooth balls and arrange them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or on a lightly floured worktop.

Cover the balls with a clean kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes in a warm spot in your kitchen.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 480°F or 250°C.

Tip: The dough should almost double in volume. If your room is cold it might take a few minutes longer to proof.

quick pizza dough balls doubled in volume

3. Shape the pizza

Now, flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface, pressing down with the tip of your fingers from the center and outwards.

stretching the dough by hand

If you like pizza with some crust on the edge, you can leave about 1/2-inch or 1.5 cm of puffy rim, or you can flatten the dough with a rolling pin if you like a thinner pizza.

pizza disc

4. Bake the pizza

You can bake the pizza on a baking tray or a pizza stone.

ON A BAKING TRAY: Arrange the pizza disc on a baking tray and top with your favorite toppings.

Here, we use marinara sauce, chopped fresh mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

baking pizza on a baking tray

Bake in the center rack of the oven at 480°F or 250°C for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is fully melted.

homemade pizza with tomato, cheese and basil

PIZZA STONE: Preheat the pizza stone in the oven on the center rack for 30 minutes.

Dust your pizza peel with 2 pinches of flour. Now, arrange your pizza disc on the peel.

Tip: Rock the peel back and forward to ensure the disc slides easily. If it doesn’t, you need more flour.

quick pizza dough on pizza peel

Top the pizza with your favorite toppings, then immediately slide it onto the hot pizza stone and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.

Louise grabbing a slice of baked pizza with tomato and cheese

Storage & Make Ahead

Make ahead: You can let the dough slow-proof in the refrigerator. To do that, cover the bowl well with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to make the pizza, remove the dough from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 1.5 hours before shaping it into balls and proceeding with the recipe.

Freezer: You can freeze the dough after the first proofing and after shaping it into balls. Transfer the dough balls into freezer-friendly bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

Defrost in the fridge overnight (about 8 hours), then leave the balls at room temperature to double in volume before shaping the pizza and baking it.

Similar Recipes

With a similar dough, you can make:

Louise preparing freshly bake pita bread
Louise is holding a freshly made pita bread.

With a little bit more effort and practice, you can make a pizza that is as good as one of the best pizzerias. Here are some of our pizza recipes:

Margherita pizza made with our basic pizza dough recipe
Neapolitan-style pizza cooked at high temperature in a pizza oven and topped with San Marzano Tomatoes, fresh fior di latte mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
quick pizza dough proofed in a bowl

Quick Pizza Dough

By: Nico Pallotta
No ratings yet
Here's how you can make a delicious pizza with simple ingredients, no tools, and a home oven in less than two hours.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Proofing time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Servings: 4 pizzas
Course: Main Course, Starter
Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cups lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast or active dry yeast. Not rapid rise yeast.
  • tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil substitute water
  • teaspoons salt

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast with 1¼ cups lukewarm water and 1½ tablespoons sugar.
    Add 3½ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
    mixing flour, water, and yeast in a large mixing bowl
  • Transfer onto a countertop and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
    If the dough is too sticky, add a dusting of flour while kneading.
    kneading the quick pizza dough
  • Brush a large bowl with oil.
    Put the dough into the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth, leaving enough space between the dough and the fabric.
    Let proof in a warm place for 1 hour or until it doubles in volume.
    Tip: We recommend putting the bowl in a turned-off oven with the light on.
    quick pizza dough proofed until doubled in size
  • Cut dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how large you want your pizza to be.
    Shape them into balls and put them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
    Cover with a kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
    quick pizza dough balls doubled in volume
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 480°F or 250°C.
    Flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface, pressing down with the tip of your fingers from the center and outwards.
    pizza disc
  • BAKING TRAY: Arrange on a baking tray, top with your favorite toppings (we use marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and basil), and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
    baking pizza on a baking tray
  • PIZZA STONE: Preheat the pizza stone in the oven for 30 minutes.
    Dust your pizza peel with 2 pinches of flour. Arrange the pizza disc on the peel and top it with your favorite toppings.
    Slide pizza onto pizza stone and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
    Louise grabbing a slice of baked pizza with tomato and cheese

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 quick pizza dough out of 4 without topping.
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Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal, Carbohydrates: 101g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 879mg, Potassium: 151mg, Dietary Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 5µg, Calcium: 22mg, Folate: 270µg, Iron: 6mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 29mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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