20-Minute Pizza Dough

Pizza. It’s a treat. It’s comfort food. It’s a craving. It’s crazy simple to make, but because of the ubiquity of pizza delivery, people haven’t realized that they can make their own pizza dough and create artisan pizzas in their oven at home. And it’s just as fast.

When I post photos of our homemade, not perfectly round, but gorgeously golden pizza, everyone wants to know how I do it.

So here it is. I need to point out here that I learned to make pizza dough from Dana McCauley’s Pantry Raid cookbook. Thank you, Dana!

The thing that I learned from Dana is that it’s perfectly acceptable to make a quick pizza dough. And it’s great. Sure, it’s not quite as fragrant or crisp as one that has had a bit of time to ferment and develop. But most nights it can be prepared faster than order-in. And you have full control over toppings.

I’ve even made a bulgogi pizza with leftovers one night. Damn, it was good.

All you need for a great pizza night with friends is a batch of pizza dough and a selection of toppings.

It’s so much fun when you can get hands-on and play with your pizza dough!

Everyone gets to make their own, perfect pizza.

These days I don’t follow any recipe, but do it mostly by feel. Depending on my mood, I might throw in some caraway seeds, love that pizza dough hack. Or toss in some dehydrated garlic and herbs, for a more flavourful crust. But often, I just stick with the tried and true.

Yield: 2 pizzas

20-Minute Pizza Dough

20-Minute Pizza Dough

This is inspired by Dana McCauley's Lifeline Frozen Pizza from her Pantry Raid cookbook. Over the years we have modified it, without even realizing we did it, until we do it by feel more than measure.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes


  • 1T Honey
  • 1c Water - Warm
  • 1t dry yeast
  • 3/4t salt 
  • 2-2.5c flour
  • 1t caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1t dehydrated garlic (optional) 
  • 1t herbs - basil or oregano (optional)


[if you are making a quick pizza, get your pizza stone/tile into the oven and start preheating to 500°. ]

Put honey in the bottom of a large bowl (big enough to have plenty of space when your pizza dough doubles in size.)

Pour in very warm water and swirl to dissolve the honey.

Sprinkle on the yeast and leave for a minute or two. [Now is a great time to pull out your toppings from the fridge]

Add your flour, salt and any additional dough seasonings (herbs, garlic, caraway) at this point.

Mix together to form a wet dough.

Knead the dough in the bowl, or on the counter. Adding a bit of flour, as necessary if it's too wet to handle.

Give it 100 turns, until it forms a nice smooth ball of dough.

Coat the outside with olive oil, return to the bowl, and set aside in a warm spot, covered, while you prepare the toppings.

When your toppings are ready (we generally take about 15 minutes to make the sauce, slice toppings and grate cheese) shape into an approximate round (or what will fit in your oven).

Place on a board covered with cornmeal, parchment paper, or pizza pan, and top the pizza.

Bake in oven at 500° for 13 minutes.

Remove and rest for 5 minutes before cutting (with scissors - the best pizza cutting tool ever)



You can top this dough any way you want.
We usually use:

  • a light layer of mozzarella - slice or grated
  • calabrase salami,
  • red pepper,
  • spinach,
  • and finish with a layer of provolone - usually sliced

Don't overtop your pizza or cover it too perfectly with the final layer of cheese or it might be soggy and no one likes a soggy pizza.

This dough rests beautifully and will be even more flavourful and crispy the second day. But you can also freeze any portion of it for use later.

Yield: 2 pizza's worth

Quick Pizza Sauce

Quick Pizza Sauce

This is wildly in-authentic, and yet wildly good and tasty. If you have the time to cook down your tomatoes to create a home-cooked pizza sauce, go for it. Otherwise, this is definitely the way to go for a thick, flavourful, rich pizza sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 can Tomato Paste
  • 2t sugar
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  • 2t Basil (or to taste)
  • 2t Oregano (or to taste)
  • 1t dried garlic (or to taste)
  • 1t dried onion (or to taste)
  • pinch chili flakes (optional) 


  1. Mix all the ingredients together
  2. spread sauce on shaped pizza dough, to your preferred level. I like it smoothed out across the top of the dough with the back of a spoon leaving it fairly evenly distributed, but thin enough, in spots, that you can see the dough.


Save the rest for the next pizza in a sealed container.

It will stay in the fridge for up to 5 days, and freezes fairly well.

This pizza dough is great for any technique you use to cook your pizza – oven, bbq, cast iron pan

We generally cook our pizza dough on tiles in the oven. Yes, tiles you can buy at any home reno store.

Just wash them and bake them off in the oven for 30minutes at 500°, and wash again, to ensure any coatings are cooked off. But that’s not a huge issue, most tile is ready to use once you do that. They work wonderfully and give you more cooking space than a round pizza stone in your oven. Besides, who makes a perfectly round pizza every single time.

Not me, that’s for sure.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

What do you think?