The best American Italian pizza dough recipe

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This American Italian pizza dough recipe is so simple, you’ll wonder why you have never tried it before. Get a pizza dough with a nice crusty base. So simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it earlier.

Why an Italian Pizza Dough recipe?

The best pizza in the world is from Italy. This is an Italian pizza dough recipe that I found via a genuine American Italian chef from Chicago Illinois. (Home of the Chicago Town pizza of course). I believe this is one of the simplest yet also one of the best recipes for a pizza there is going.

In our family, we use this recipe more than the simple pizza dough recipe that I have because of how forgiving it is with measurements and how quick it is to make.

If you want a pizza like Pizza Hut or Dominos, then use the simple pizza dough recipe. If you want something that is a bit more thin base crispy Italian style, then this Italian pizza dough recipe is the daddy.

I thought Chicago Town Pizza was Deep Pan?

Well that’s correct, Chicago is the home of the Deep Pan Pizza. This is the recipe they use for that. It is possible to use this dough to make a deep pan pizza but you need two things extra. First of all, you will need a good quality deep pan pizza base dish. This will be where your dough gets cooked in so something that will be non stick and pass the heat through will be important.

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Secondly you will need to have quality cheese for in between the pizza dough. This is because the deep pan pizza requires two layers of dough which will need to be cooked first before any toppings get put on. The best sort of cheese to use is a mozzarella or a grated parmigiano cheese to place between the layers.

italian pizza dough recipe can be made in to loads of pizza types

What else can I make with this dough?

So aside from Pizza, the Italian pizza dough recipe below can be very flexible in what you can make with it. In the past I have made:

  • Bread rolls – divide the dough in to 10 equal pieces after the initial rise.
  • Garlic bread – make a slightly smaller base and add garlic butter on it before cooking.
  • Doughballs – roll a load of individual balls (marble size) after the initial rise and they will only take 6 minutes to cook.
  • Ciabatta – a rustic Italian roll. Sprinkle with olive oil before cooking.

So many options are avaialble with this dough and the possibilities are endless.

Stuffed crust?

So let’s go one step further, and this is my daughters favourite bit with this Italian pizza dough recipe. The option to make it a stuffed crust is SO easy. Two words, Cheese Strings. Get a pack of cheese strings and slice lengthways. Then fold over the edge of the base to cover it up. This will cook the base and melt the cheese string in the middle. Yum.

Freeze for later

This dough can be frozen for use at a later date too. The best time to freeze it is after the initial rise. Split the dough however you need it, then seperate off and freeze in individual portions.

Quick tip – make the dough in bulk and freeze them all. When needed, just then lift out what you require a few hours before you want to use it.

Italian American Pizza Dough Recipe

A tasty piece of Italy with a Chicago finish
Prep Time2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course, pizza, Snack
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: chicago town pizza, crusty pizza, italian pizza, pizza, pizza base, pizza dough, rustic pizza
Servings: 2 12″ pizza bases


  • 1.5 tsp Instant yeast
  • 4 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 0.5 tsp salt


  • Dissolve the instant yeast in to the warm water and leave it for 10 minutes to start activating.
  • Put 2 cups of flour in a mixer with a dough hook (or mixing bowl if doing by hand), along with the sugar and half of the water/yeast mix. Knead this for a few minutes to bind everything together.
  • Add the oil and the salt and the rest of the water and keep mixing until the dough becomes malleable and smooth. If doing by hand this takes around 15 minutes. If in the mixer, it should come together after around 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a greased bowl (use olive oil to stop the dough sticking) and cover it over with cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave it somewhere warm to rise for 1 to 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Once risen, knock the dough back and split it in to however many pizza bases you need. This should make 2 x 12" or 3 x 8-9" pizzas. Leave this to prove for around 30 minutes before using the dough to stretch and make your base.


Cooking time for this base depends on how many toppings you have, but normally around 5 – 7 minutes on a pizza stone will be the right amount. If cooking in a normal oven at 200C, it will probably take around 12-14 minutes to cook.

Tell me how you get on with making this dough. Have you managed to get the recipe down to a perfect work of art? Better still, are you throwing the dough around like a professional pizza chef? If you are not, don’t forget you are always able to roll the dough out with a rolling pin and still get a successful pizza base.

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