This homemade semolina pizza dough has the perfect texture, flavor and chewiness. Best of all, it's ready to go in under an hour. If you've been searching in vain for a great pizza dough recipe, look no further!
When it comes to food, I'm easily tempted by the next shiny object. I might make a brownie recipe and declare it the be all end all, and that the search is over blah blah blah.
Then a month later I'll stumble upon this hypnotic video on Instagram and I'm practically sprinting to the kitchen to try "the world's best fudgiest brownies".
The one recipe I am supremely loyal to though is my pizza dough recipe. For years, I never had much luck with homemade pizza dough, and would sheepishly put a ball of frozen dough in my cart whenever the craving struck.
Then one day I decided to put on my big girl pants and conquer pizza dough once and for all.
*This post probably contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
I tweaked and tinkered with this recipe for a long time, but then I finally got it and I have not looked back since. I honestly can't imagine a chewier, more flavorful, less cardboardy crust and so I am done looking. Done.
I'm also sharing all this hard work with you, dear reader, because, well, I have my moments.
Alright, let me explain why I think this is the best pizza dough ever.
The Best Flours for Pizza Dough
I think the addition of semolina is really what sets this pizza dough recipe apart from most others I've seen.
Semolina is a coarse flour made of durum wheat. It's often used to make homemade pasta and is pretty easily found in most grocery stores. I particularly like Bob's Red Mill semolina. It adds great flavor and texture to this dough.
All-purpose vs. bread flour
My first attempts used just all-purpose flour, as I'd seen in many recipes. I found the texture too crispy, not chewy enough, and the taste kind of bland.
So I experimented with incorporating varying amount of bread flour, which is higher in gluten and contributes more "chew".
As it turned out, the specific ratio was critical. Too much bread flour and the dough was dense and hard to chew. I find the ideal ratio to be exactly half and half, for the best texture.
It takes less than an hour to make
I've seen pizza dough recipes that call for up to a week of fermenting. Although a long fermentation builds flavor, I've found that the above mix of flours makes for a very flavorful dough, without the long wait.
This semolina pizza dough takes only 45 minutes to an hour to rise, making it perfect for last minute pizza cravings.
How to stretch it out
This dough also happens to be the easiest dough I've ever worked with.
A problem I've had with every other dough, store bought or homemade, was that it would just resist any attempt at stretching and snap back, making it impossible to get anything resembling a circular shape.
To be fair, the culprit is usually not the recipe itself, but the temperature of the dough. Cold dough means the gluten strands are tighter and more resistant to stretching. Letting the dough come to room temperature before trying to work with it will usually help a lot.
The thing about THIS dough is that, because it's so quick to make, it's easy to just make it an hour before dinner time, so it never has to go into the fridge.
So you're working with dough that's all warm and relaxed. I find that plopping the risen dough onto a large parchment sheet and just quickly spreading it into a circle with my fingers works great. No need to spin it in the air, unless you're into that!
See this post from The Kitchn for more tips for handling pizza dough.
The Best Way to Bake Pizza
Unless you happen to own an Ooni pizza oven (swoooon!), in which case I highly recommend this Ooni pizza dough recipe, the VERY BEST way I have found to bake pizza at home is to use a pizza stone.
If you don't have one, they are quite inexpensive (no need to get fancy, I've been using the same $10 pizza stone for 12 years).
To use a pizza stone, simply place it in the oven while the oven is preheating to the highest temperature it can go (mine goes up to 525 F).
The pizza stone will get so hot that once you transfer your dough onto it (parchment sheet and all), it will immediately start cooking the bottom of the pizza and ensure that you don't end up with burnt cheese and toppings and a raw crust underneath.
It can be tricky to transfer the pizza to the pizza stone, so you may want to get yourself a pizza peel if you make pizza often. Otherwise the back of a baking sheet works too!
Freezing Pizza Dough
This recipe makes one large 12 inch pizza. To freeze it, just follow the recipe to the end, letting it rise completely, shape it into a ball and wrap in a couple layers of plastic wrap.
You can also divide it into 2, 3 or 4 smaller balls for smaller or individual size pizzas and wrap them separately.
You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to bring it to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you work with it so it's easier to stretch.
Wondering what toppings to put on this dough? Here are a few of our favorite pizzas.
Artichoke Pizza with Boursin and Sun dried Tomatoes
Plus: my favorite easy homemade pizza sauce recipe
Sound good to you? If you make my semolina pizza dough recipe, I would be thrilled if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Or pin for later! ↓↓↓
And if you're looking for more easy dinner inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Or subscribe in the sidebar on the right to get every new recipe in your inbox 🙂
Thick Crust Pizza
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- ½ cup semolina
- 2 teaspoons quick-rise (bread machine) yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup warm water
- olive oil for coating the bowl
- ½ cup pizza sauce homemade or store bought
- 8 oz mozzarella grated
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese finely grated
- other toppings of choice optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, semolina, yeast, sugar and salt.
- Add the warm water and stir, just until it starts to come together.
- Fit the dough hook to the stand mixer and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. The dough should still be a little sticky and will stick to the bottom of the bowl, but if will not come away from the sides at all, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, mixing until it comes together. Do not add too much flour or the crust will be tough.
- Drizzle a little olive oil down the inside of the bowl and roll the ball of dough around to coat the dough and the inside of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and put in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.*
- Towards the end of the rising time, place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat the oven and pizza stone to the highest temperature it will go (mine goes to 550F).
- Once it has doubled, punch the dough down and form it back into a ball. Sprinkle a little semolina onto a large piece of parchment paper. Using your fingers, form the dough into a 12-inch circle on top of the parchment.
- Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes before adding the toppings. This will allow your dough to rise a little more and ensure a soft, thick crust.
- Spread pizza sauce over the dough. Add a layer of toppings if using. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the toppings. Add a second layer of toppings if desired, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
- Using the parchment paper to lift, transfer the pizza and parchment paper to a pizza peel, wooden cutting board, or the back of a large baking sheet. Open the oven door and carefully slide the pizza and parchment onto the hot baking stone.
- Bake 8-12 minutes until golden and cooked through. Time will depend on how hot your oven is, and on whether you are baking on a preheated stone or using a pizza pan. At 550F, mine takes 8 minutes.
Your receipe sounds very interesting to try.
I've tried Ken Forkish, Peter Reinhart, Tony Gemignani. They are all fantastic pizza but I don't like to settle until I try something different and thats where your's comes in.
I really dont like fast pizza so please tell me if this would work.
After I let the dough rest for 2 hours,
Then ball it up,
Place in fridge 48 hrs
Let come to room temp,
...would the water temp change and the yeast amount?
Hope to hear from you
Canadian Pizza Lover
Hey Michael! I see no reason why that wouldn't work. I've made it in advance and kept it refrigerated for a day or two plenty of times and it has worked great. Definitely make sure to let it come to room temp before using it, but otherwise I don't think you need to make any changes to the recipe. I'm not sure if the 2 hour resting time before refrigerating will make a difference, I think the extra fridge time will be plenty to let it develop more flavor. I'd love to know how it goes! 🙂
My wife told me that after she has gone she will come back as pizza Dough..lol
Your dough came out fantastic, soft on the inside and a chewy rim
Please tell me how I can make the dough a bit thicker and to make the dough bit more crunchy?
How do I send you a picture of my pizza.
Canadian Pizza Lover
How can you call this 'semolina pizza dough' when only 1/5th of the flour is semolina?
I call it semolina pizza dough because it is made with semolina, contrary to most homemade pizza doughs. I find this ratio gives me the texture I like, and it's not the same without the semolina. Feel free to use the ratios you prefer 🙂
I mad deep dish pizza with it and it is delicious!
Yay!! I'm so happy to hear that!!
So it's now 6:14pm and I have used your flour mix. Firstly I must add the flour mix gave me an amazing dough but I must add I used my own technique more traditional I don't like to use machines to make my dough prefer the traditional hand method but my results felt slightly better than previously the dough was perfect using your flour mix with my starter to make my baga.i then used this super stretchy baga to make my pizza dough. I added some water to the baga and mixed untill I had some creamy water I then added more of your flour mix and salt with oil and needed by hand untill the dough felt perfect. I then stretched and folded dough around 10 times as I usually do and again it felt slightly better than my 25yr traditional dough I then cut into 4 equal portions and let sit for 6 hrs to pure.after the 6 hrs I took 1 portion used my hands and traditional technique to prepare the pizza dough using your flour mix into a pizza I fired up the drum bbq prepared to suit pizza making with a pizza stone cooked the pizza and the 2 most fussy children on earth I used as my test subjects got served the pizza after 3minutes of cooking and told me this is the best pizza I have ever made("tastes like domino's only better"). Result is excellent your flour mix my pizza method have went together and the result is amazing no slice for me it was that good 2 teenage girls ate the whole thing in seconds and demanding more so 10 out of 10 for your flour mix thank you it will now be my new recipe after 25 yrs of pizza making
This is amazing Tony!! I am so glad it worked out, traditional napolini pizza is one of the greatest foods on earth :). I'm so glad you could make this flour mix work with your methods, and love hearing all the details!!
I have been making traditional napolini pizzas for best part of 25 years all my friends and family love it "best pizza ever" I use baga and my 25yr old starter (frank) but today march 25th 2022 I am for the first time ever changing my recipe I browsed and found this recipe, I am not using entire guide but I will use the semolina. I will be making a baga to start my dough(your flour semolina mix along with my 25yr old starter)
but this time Iam making it more like a batter and leaving aside for an hour to get nice and stretchy then I will add water to dissolve some of the more wet very stretchy baga add more your flour semolina mix salt sugar and have a go. For ultimate result I will cook in my barrel bbq as a makeshift pizza oven(my outdoor oven is being dismantled and refreshed for uk summertime). I always have perfect results using my barrel bbq so hear goes with my first recipe change in 25 yrs
Can I half and half all purpose flour and whole wheat flour or use wheat flour more ... Like 1 and 1/2 wheat flour 1/2 cup all purpose flour and then add semolina in it
In the case of pizza dough the specific flour or blend of flours used, and their proportions, have a huge impact on the texture. I suspect whole wheat would make for a denser, harder dough. I would recommend looking for a recipe specifically formulated for whole wheat flour instead of making a substitution 🙂
if i dont have semolina what can i use .is putting the semolina on the parchment paper the only tiem you use it
There is semolina in the dough as well, but you can substitute all purpose flour 🙂
In step 1 you tell me to mix a number of items together add water a using a dough hook stir till it just comes together. Th3n in step 2 you tell me to fit the dough hook to the stand mixer and mix on low for 5 minutes. How much time is there between steps 1 and 2. Is the dough just sitting there.
In step 1, I whisk together the dry ingredients and then I add the water and mix it just a bit before putting it on the stand mixer (I use the dough hook to mix in the water just to avoid dirtying a spoon, but you can use a spoon too!). Then in step 2 I use the stand mixer to knead the dough till it comes together. There is no resting time between the two steps. The only resting time is the 45 minutes in step 4. Hope that's clearer! 🙂
Can I use regular active dry yeast in this recipe?
Absolutely! You'll need to increase the amount you use a little, so 2.5 teaspoons of active dry yeast instead of 2. The other change to make would be to sprinkle it over the warm water and let that sit for 5 minutes, before adding the water and yeast to the dough. This activates the yeast (it should start to foam). Hope that helps!
I just found this recipe so im making it for the first time. The recipe was simple ti follow and the dough look great.
Yay!! Hope you love it as much as we do!
Nothing beat fresh homemade pizza dough! This looks great!
Thank you so much!! 🙂