Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe
This bread machine pizza dough is a weekend staple at our house! The outside of the crust is slightly crispy, but your teeth will quickly sink into the pillowy soft, airy layer underneath. Simply whip up this dough and let your bread machine do the hard work for you!
Are you drooling yet? Me too! You might also enjoy my 15 minute easy Margherita flatbread and this yummy mini pizza recipe. Don’t have a bread machine? Scroll to the bottom to see how you can make it by hand.
Pizza Dough Recipe for a Bread Machine
Making pizza dough in a bread machine (here’s the Bread Machine I use) – might sound intimidating at first (or maybe even impossible). But don’t worry – there are some tricks that will help make this process easier and I’m about to share all you need to know to become a bread machine pizza dough pro!
The process of making pizza dough in a bread machine takes very little effort from you. Just add the ingredients into the bread machine and remove the perfect pizza dough 1.5 hours later. No kneading, no sink full of dishes. Just perfection. Every. Time.
What makes the best Pizza Dough?
Traditional pizza dough is made with only finely ground wheat flour, water, yeast, and salt. The yeast amount is minuscule to allow for a long, cold fermentation process, which helps the flavors deepen, mature, and get complex. Once the dough is ready, the dough is stretched, loaded with toppings, then baked in a ripping hot wood fire oven in a matter of 60-90 seconds for the crispiest crust.
The short bake time doesn’t allow for too much moisture to be lost, so the pizza is deliciously crispy on the outside while still soft, chewy, and moist on the inside. The perfect combo of flavors, texture, and aromas is what makes the authentic pizza a favorite with so many.
The idea with the bread machine pizza dough though, is that we are able to create a comparable flavor and texture to that of the original. Since in the bread machine the pizza dough is all done in only 1.5 hours there are several things that need to change to compensate for the lack of prolonged fermentation, as well as longer bake time since home ovens do not reach the same high temperatures that brick or stone pizza ovens do.
How to make this EASY Bread Machine Pizza Dough taste like the real deal
To get this EASY bread machine pizza dough as close to the original as possible changes to the original recipe ingredient list needed to be made. Those changes were the addition of oil, sugar, and an increase in the yeast amount.
- YEAST: The increase in the yeast amount was needed to speed up the rising time since this pizza dough won’t be fermenting in the fridge for days; instead, the whole process is sped up to 1.5 hours.
- OIL: Next, the oil. Baking pizza for longer than just several minutes means that the dough has more time to lose moisture, and the crust can get really hard. The oil is what keeps the crust from getting hard as it bakes.
You can experiment and decide the perfect amount of oil for your taste buds, but anywhere between 1-4 tablespoons is where you want it to be. If you’re using less than 4 tablespoons, make sure to replace it with water. With 4 tablespoons, the flavor is very soft and tender, somewhat similar to the cafeteria pizza style. With 1-2 tablespoons, the crust is more crispy on the outside and a bit chewier on the inside, closer to what my tastebuds prefer.
- SUGAR: Now, onto the sugar. Sugar is needed to help the crust brown in the oven and gain more flavor through the Maillard reaction (aka chemical reaction responsible for the browning and thus better flavor profile). The addition of sugar also helps retain the moisture in the crust and helps the yeast rise quicker.
Secrets to Perfect Bread Machine Pizza Crust
One of the most magical things about pizza is the crispy crust with leopard-like charring. That type of charring on the bottom of the pizza is achieved by baking the pizza at extremely high temperatures in wood-fired brick pizza ovens. The extreme temperatures aid in creating the crispy, non-floppy crust that allows you to hold a slice in your hand without the slice bending and all toppings and cheese falling off.
But, how do we achieve the same result if the home oven doesn’t retain heat the same way, since as soon as you open the oven all heat escapes? There are several tricks that we can utilize to get as close to the real deal as we can.
Build up heat
First and foremost, you have to allow the oven to build up heat which will help with heat loss every time you open the oven door. When I started making pizza, I noticed that the pizzas I baked first took longer to cook than those I baked last. Also, the pizza that I baked last had a crispier crust with better looking leopard-like print bottom.
So now, I preheat the oven for 1 hour at 550F before baking my first pizza to get the best, crispiest crust.
Preheating the oven about 30 minutes before the dough cycle on your bread machine is complete will allow enough time to get the home oven as hot as it can get.
When the dough is rested, stretched, and loaded with toppings, your oven will be ready to bake the best pizza a home oven can give you.
Use Stone or Steel for the best crust on Homemade Pizza
Preheating the oven is the first step to getting the best crust on your pizza. Another thing you can do to build on that is to use either pizza stone or pizza steel. Both help with heat loss and heat retention.
A pizza stone will give you a better result than baking the pizza on a baking sheet, but pizza steel will do even better than either. Read this article by SeriousEats that explains the difference and why one works better than the other.
Baking the pizza on a pizza stone or steel means that the crust is hit with an immediate blast of heat as soon as it goes in the oven, which doesn’t allow it to get soggy or limp, but instead creates super crispy crust with huge air pockets. I have been using pizza steel for a while and ever since I got it, bread machine pizza is on regular menu rotation. It’s just too easy and too good not to make!
Tips For Making the Best Bread Machine Pizza Dough Ever
Ready to get started? Let’s get into some of those helpful tips for making pizza machine bread dough.
- Flour: best pizza is made with bread flour as it yields a crispier exterior, chewier crumb (thanks to the higher protein content), and that more authentic flavor. But, all-purpose flour will work as well if that is all you have.
- To make the crust whole wheat, I recommend doing a mix of 75-25 all-purpose and wheat flour.
- Add the bread machine pizza dough ingredients to the machine in the order listed. Each ingredient interacts a certain way with the other ingredients so adding the ingredients in the order listed will ensure that everything goes perfect.
- Preheat the oven with your pizza stone inside of it. This is how you get that perfectly crispy crust!
- To make a thin crust, stretch the dough out thinner and reduce the cooking time by several minutes. Prefer a thicker crust? Make the pizza smaller in diameter, add a few minutes of bake time and keep a close eye!
As you can see, once you get this bread maker pizza dough recipe down, the possibilities are endless! Now lets get to it!
Pizza Dough Ingredients
- Flour – Bread flour will give you the best results, but even all-purpose flour will give you better results than many store-bought pizza dough options.
- Salt adds flavor to the pizza dough keeping the flavor well balanced.
- Warm Water – warmer water will speed up the yeast activity. Do not go above 100F though to ensure that yeast is not killed and thus renders it useless. Most bread makers will heat the dough as it’s being kneaded so room temperature water is fine too.
- Granulated Sugar – the sugar will add flavor to the pizza dough, help the crust brown and keep it moist. Sugar can be replaced with honey as a natural alternative.
- Yeast – either active dry or instant dry yeast will work for this dough.
- Oil will keep the pizza dough soft and prevent the crust from getting too hard as it bakes. Adding 4 tbsp as the recipe recommends will give you a very soft crust. If you’d rather have a bit more chew add only 2 tbsp and replace the other 2 with warm water.
How to Make This Bread Machine Pizza Dough
For detailed recipe instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Add all the ingredients to the bread maker in the order listed. Close the lid and choose the cycle that says leavened dough. This is typically a 90-minute dough cycle.
- About 20 minutes into the dough cycle, check the texture of the pizza dough. You want to see a smooth, soft ball of dough that has all the flour incorporated. If it looks too runny, add a tablespoon or two of flour at a time until the texture looks correct. On the other hand, if it looks too thick, add a tablespoon at a time, then continue the dough cycle.
- Preheat oven: 30 minutes before the dough cycle on your bread machine completes preheat the oven to 500F with the baking rack in the top third. Add the pizza stone or steel if you have one to preheat together.
- Divide: Once the dough cycle is finished, remove the ball from the machine and dump it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into four equal pieces.
- Make each of the four sections into a taut ball by flattening each into a patty and then folding in half over and over until you are no longer able to do so. Then tuck in the ends to form a ball shape out of the homemade pizza dough.
- Rest: Allows the dough to rest on a well-floured board or in an oiled baking dish allowing plenty of space for expansion, covered with either plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent the skin from forming. Resting the dough will allow the gluten to relax and make it easy to stretch the dough into a pizza.
- Shape: flour the working surface well. Place the dough ball in the middle then with the flat part of your fingers start to flatten and stretch the pizza starting from the center and working outward, not touching the outer 1 inch of the pizza. Then stretch it over the knuckles of your hands into a 12 inch pizza pie.
- Add your favorite, sauce, cheese & toppings.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 7 minutes or until the edges are well browned, and the cheese in the middle is bubbly. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve immediately.
What Toppings Should I Put on My Bread Maker Pizza Dough?
One of the best parts about pizza is that it can be customized to your tastes. You can add any toppings you want to your bread maker pizza dough, but here are a few ideas.
Want a “classic” pizza? Go with red sauce! I highly recommend using a good-quality tomato sauce (this is the base for your pizza, after all).
Don’t limit yourself just to tomato sauce, however. Some other pizza sauces include olive oil, pesto, alfredo, or even a white pizza sauce. I also really like bbq sauce on my pizza!
In a pinch, a mixture of half and half, cream cheese (I know, but trust me), pressed garlic and a good amount of grated parmesan cheese will save the day and make an amazing white sauce. Make sure to season with salt and pepper to taste too. Just use a whisk to bring it altogether and spread it over the pizza crust before adding the toppings.
This bread maker pizza dough can be topped off with so many cheese options! The best cheeses for pizza include mozzarella, parmesan, and feta cheese. Some other good cheeses to add to the base of mozzarella are gouda or cheddar if you want to go with a sharper taste. Mix and match for extra flavor!
Meat pizzas are a favorite in my house. Some ideas are:
- grilled chicken (hello leftover rotisserie chicken)
- ground beef
- Canadian ham
Add some delicious vegetables to make it a veggie pizza. Ideas include:
- spinach or arugula (to finish off the pizza)
- pineapple chunks
This is your chance to get creative for even more flavor. My favorite herbs for pizza include:
- sauteed garlic
- pesto (a combination of herbs, nuts & oil)
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
I like to keep a few frozen pizzas in my freezer for those busy weeknights. And thankfully, this homemade pizza dough freezes very well.
- Once the dough is done, divide it into portions, oil well, and place into a freezer-friendly plastic bag.
- Freeze for up to 2 months.
- To thaw, leave in the fridge for 8-12 hours, then continue from step 4 in the recipe.
Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe with precise ingredient amounts.
Can I make this recipe without Bread Maker?
Yes! You can use the same exact recipe to make pizza dough by hand with just a bowl, or a stand mixer.
- Mix & Knead: To convert the recipe just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until it comes together. Then knead for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and tacky to touch.
- Add oil: Next, add the oil, one tablespoon at a time and knead it in.
- Proof: Oil a large bowl and set the dough inside. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place until it doubles in size.
- Use to make pizzas or calzones.
More Bread Recipes to Try:
- 4-Ingredient Artisan Dough Bread – if you have the time, make this dough for your pizza. The flavor will blow you away!
- Easiest Bread Ever (bread Machine Recipe) – fresh bread with no effort? You got it!
- Baguette Recipe – go fancy and make this baguette at home. The crunch, mmm..mm!
- Homemade Pita Bread Recipe – nothing beats freshly baked, soft pita pockets.
Bread Machine Pizza Dough
This bread machine pizza dough will make pizza night your favorite meal of the week! Perfectly crispy, chewy, yet pillowy soft this homemade pizza dough beats anything you'll ever get at the store. Plus, it's super simple!
Disclaimer :This recipe is for a 2 lb bread machine pan. Reduce the ingredients by decreasing the "servings" above the ingredients in the recipe card, to fit your bread machine pan size.
Add all ingredients to the bread machine's baking pan in the order listed (4 cups flour, 1 3/4 cups water, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp dried active yeast, 4 tbsp oil). Close the lid and turn the bread maker to the "leavened dough" cycle which typically runs for 1 hour 30 minutes.
The dough will look very lose at the beginning, but will ball up around the kneading paddle into a very soft ball towards the end of kneading as the gluten is strengthened and the flour has absorbed the liquids.
After about 20 minutes of the cycle check on the dough to make sure that all flour is incorporated and you have a smooth soft ball. If the dough looks too runny, add a little more flour, one table spoon at a time, until the dough comes into a soft ball. Do not add too much flour or the pizza will be doughy and dense.
Preheat oven: Meanwhile, place the baking rack in the top 1/3rd of the oven, then put the baking stone or steel on top. You can also use several baking sheets stacked on top of each other for similar effect. Preheat the oven to 550F or as high as your oven will allow for 1 hour before baking.
Divide and Shape pizza dough: Once the dough cycle is complete turn the dough out onto floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces, use a kitchen scale if you prefer to be precise.
Shape each piece into a taught ball. To do so, flatten the ball into a patty, then fold it in half, then in half again. Continue folding in half until it is too hard to fold it in half again. Now tuck all ends under until you have a smooth, taught ball.
Rest: Set aside, smooth side up to rest on floured surface for about 15 – 20 minutes or up to an hour, spacing the pizza balls about 4 inches. Allowing more rest time will make it easier to stretch the dough. Do not leave for too long or the dough will overproof and make the pizza edges flat.
Lightly dust the pizza balls with flour and cover with a tea towel to prevent a crust from forming. (See Note 1)
Tip: If you're not ready to bake after forming the pizza balls, you can place the dough onto a baking sheet pan, dust with flour and let for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. Then, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for up to 5-6 hours.
Prepare the toppings: depending on your preference prepare the toppings & sauce for the pizza.
Stretch: flour your work surface well, then add 1 dough ball while keeping the remainder of the pizza dough covered.
Now, gently press in the middle of the pizza ball with the flat part of your fingers working around a circle from the inside towards the outer edges to stretch the ball into a 10" – 12" without deflating 1 inch of the outer edge.
You can also stretch the dough over your knuckles, moving the dough continuously to ensure same thickness of the dough throughout.
Tip: Avoid using a rolling pin to roll the pizza dough, while a simpler and quicker method this will deflate the dough, and the pizza will not be as airy and light as it would be if you stretch the pizza.
Transfer the pizza dough onto parchment paper (my preferred method), pizza pan (I use this one, but you can use any). If using a wooden or metal pizza peel generously sprinkled it with semolina first, then shimmy the pizza dough back and forth several times to ensure it's not sticking to the peel.
Add toppings: add about 1/4 cup of pizza sauce and spread it around evenly, staying off the edges. Then add about 1 1/3 cups of grated mozzarella cheese (full fat) followed by toppings of choice.
If using a wooden pizza peel to transfer the pizza make sure to shake the pizza on the peel back and forth every so often as you're adding toppings to make sure the pizza does not stick to the pizza peel.
Bake: slide the pizza onto the hot stone/steel and bake for about 7 minutes per pizza, or until the edges of the pizza are well browned and the cheese in the middle bubbles, keeping a close eye to make sure that it does not burn. Note the bake time and set the timer for the second pizza for that time. Using a timer is very helpful at preventing the pizza from burning.
If baking inside a pizza pan with no pizza stone/steel, bake for about 13 minutes or until the edges are well browned and the cheese is bubbly in the middle.
Remove from the oven: my favorite way to get the pizza out of the oven is to use a metal pizza peel, it slides under the parchment or pizza easily and is easy to clean and maintain.
Transfer to a wooden board, cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Note 1: Make ahead –
- If not planning to bake the pizza right away place each pizza dough ball into a well-oiled container that will allow the dough to expand at least 2-3 times the current size, cover with a lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- When ready to use leave at room temperature for about an hour and then stretch into a pizza, top with sauce, cheese, and toppings, and bake.