Follow these tips for perfect pies every time.

By Real Simple
Updated September 18, 2017

If you start with store-bought pizza dough, you’re halfway to dinner. Many grocery stores (including Whole Foods) sell both fresh and frozen dough, but if you can’t find it, ask your local pizza joint to sell you some. Begin by following the advice below, which will set you up for success. Then, top your dough with either red or white sauce—and plenty of cheese—for a weeknight pizza party. Or, switch it up and make strombolis or dessert calzones.

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Fresh dough
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1 Fresh dough

The first step in any pizza-making venture: Bring the (fresh or frozen) dough to room temperature. This makes it easier to work with and keeps it from shrinking back during the stretching process.


Portion the dough before shaping it. Opt for four to six ounces to make an individual pizza, 10 to 12 ounces for a two-person pie, and one pound for a family-sized version. Any leftover dough can be frozen in an airtight resealable bag for up to three months.


Stretch the dough with your hands, not a rolling pin, which can crush air pockets and prevent the dough from rising and bubbling during baking. Dust both your hands and the dough with flour as you go to prevent sticking.