This soft yet chewy pizza crust recipe is ready in under an hour, perfect for a busy weeknight! It has an incredibly soft interior with crisp edges and a chewy crust, plus this recipe is dairy free & eggless. Top this vegan pizza dough off with all your favorite toppings and sauces for the BEST homemade pizza!
This recipe was originally published in August of 2020 and has been updated in June of 2022.
why you’ll love this recipe
Does anyone else feel like if they were able to, they’d eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? (hopefully, it’s not just me…) Well now you can, since making this chewy pizza dough only takes about an hour, you’ll even be able to make it on a Monday evening!
- crispy yet chewy texture: this recipe yields an incredible soft, crispy yet chewy crust.
- easy and fast: what’s great about this recipe is that a lot of the prep time is passive. This dough only needs to rise once for 25 minutes. I like to multi-task and prep all my toppings while the dough rises. Your pizza can be ready in under an hour!
- slightly sweet rich flavor: a touch of agave nectar in the dough helps activate the yeast and enhances the flavor.
- thick or thin crust pizza: shape the dough to the thickness of your liking.
- no stand mixer needed: you can make this recipe without a stand mixer, although if you have a mixer you can certainly use it!
- all purpose flour
- warm water
This homemade pizza dough is inspired by Mellow Mushroom’s dough which has a touch of sweetness from the honey. A great vegan alternative to honey that provides a similar sweet and rich flavor is agave nectar. You could also sub in vegan apple honey.
A tablespoon of agave in this dough helps the yeast proof and make a world of difference in the taste of the pizza.
substitutions & flavor add-ins
- Active dry yeast: instant yeast can be subbed in for active dry yeast.
- All purpose flour: to achieve the best texture the type of flour used is super important. You can sub in bread flour for all-purpose, but I don’t recommend using a gluten-free flour in this recipe.
- semolina flour: sprinkle some semolina flour on your pizza pan to give the bottom of the crust an extra crunch
- garlic powder or onion powder: for extra flavorful pizza dough, add in some of these seasonings!
- dried basil or other fresh herbs of choice: to make herbed pizza dough, add into 1 tsp of dried basil or 2-3 tbsp finely minced fresh herbs of choice.
Below are some helpful tools to make the best homemade pizza dough.
- Large Bowl: we’ll need this to mix the dough
- Measuring Cups
- Digital Scale: I highly recommend using a scale to measure the flour!
- Pizza Stone or a Pizza Pan / Cookie Sheet
- Stand Mixer with dough hook (optional)
- Plastic Wrap or a Damp Tea Towel
*Video tutorial and exact ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below!*
making the dough
STEP 1: Activate the yeast by combining the warm water, agave, and active dry yeast in a measuring cup.
STEP 2: Combine flour, olive oil, salt, and the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon or the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer to form a very sticky dough. If using a mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix.
the kneading process
STEP 3: Knead the pizza dough (either by hand or with a stand mixer) to form a smooth dough ball.
The key to getting a nice texture is making sure the dough is kneaded long enough.
- When using a stand mixer to make this recipe, knead the dough for 5-6 minutes with the dough hook attachment.
- This dough can certainly be kneaded the good ole’ fashioned way by hand. If kneading by hand, you’ll want to do so for at least 8 or 9 minutes.
The amount of time you knead the dough makes a huge difference in the texture!
STEP 4: Check if the dough has been kneaded long enough by using the windowpane test. Stretch a small piece of dough into a thin rectangle. If the dough breaks easily, the gluten needs to be worked a bit more and should be kneaded longer.
STEP 5: Form into a dough ball (or dough balls if doubling the recipe). Spread olive oil on the sides of the bowl you just used to make the dough.
STEP 6: Next, place the dough ball into the bowl. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the pizza dough rise for 25-30 minutes in a warm spot.
shaping the pizza crust
STEP 7: Punch down the dough to release any gasses that have been created while rising. Then, shape the dough on a floured surface.
To create the perfect homemade artisan pizza crust, I find hand molding and stretching the dough into your preferred shape works best (vs. using a rolling pin). Slowly stretch the dough into a circle, oval, or rectangle, working the dough outward from the center.
If you want a thicker crust: stretch the dough until it is about ½” thick in the center
If you prefer thin crust: stretch the dough until it is about ¼” thick in the center
STEP 8: Place the dough on a baking sheet with some olive oil drizzled on top.
The extra olive oil helps create a beautiful golden color and crispy edges.
STEP 9: Preheat your oven / pizza stone (if using), and add your favorite toppings and bake the pizza!
topping the pizza crust
You can’t have a fabulous homemade pizza without some delicious toppings or sauces! Below are a few of my favorite topping ideas:
- Dairy-Free or Vegan Cheese like Vegan Mozzarella or Parmesan
- Red Onions
- Green Bell Pepper
- Sweet Corn
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Apple Slices
- Fresh Basil
- Red Pepper Flakes
Plant Based Protein:
pizza ideas to make with this crust
Use a white sauce as the pizza base and top it with thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes, mushrooms and cheese. After baking, add fresh herbs like basil and a drizzle of hot ‘honey’!
My Vegan BBQ Chick’n Pizza recipe is topped with homemade vegan chicken that is smothered in a Carolina BBQ sauce. Toss on some caramelized red onions, corn, and peppers for some more mouthwatering toppings!
Vegan Squash and Bacon Pizza that’s topped with sliced acorn squash, apples, and crispy tofu bacon this pizza is packed with rich seasonal flavor (although it would be delicious year-round!).
- If you’d like to prep this dough ahead of time you can store the uncooked, un-risen dough in a plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge for about 2 days.
- When ready to use, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Then, continue to step 7 above (shaping the dough).
- Place the kneaded (un-risen) dough in an airtight container and freeze for 1-2 months.
- When ready to use, thaw the dough and continue to step 6 above (letting the dough rise).
pro tips for a chewy, crispy crust
For the best results follow these tips:
- Use a digital scale or the spoon and level method to measure flour: too much flour will change the texture of the dough.
- Don’t use a rolling pin to shape the dough: use your hands to create thicker edges!
- Let the dough rest while shaping: if it is snapping back toward the center, let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing to shape it.
- Don’t add too much flour: this is a high hydration dough- so it’s meant to be on the stickier side.
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil: drizzle some oil on the crust prior to baking for crispy edges.
- Preheat the oven: a hot surface and oven create a crispy exterior but soft interior.
What temperature should the water be?
- The water should be lukewarm or warm but not hot. If you use hot water it will kill the yeast. A good test is to dab a bit of the warm water on your wrist. If it’s not scalding, it should be close to the right temperature.
The yeast didn’t foam up like the photo.
- After you add the yeast to the water and agave mixture, it should bubble and froth up after a few minutes. If your yeast isn’t frothing up, then it’s likely that it’s not activated.
- Check the expiration on your yeast package. If your yeast isn’t expired, your water may have been either too hot or too cold.
The dough is too sticky to work with.
- This is a high hydration dough, so it’s meant to be on the stickier side. If the dough is way too sticky to knead, add 1-2 tbsp of flour at a time and continue kneading. As you knead the dough, it should become smooth and less sticky.
The dough isn’t stretching easily.
- If the dough isn’t stretching easily or is snapping back, it’s likely the gluten needs to rest or the dough hasn’t been kneaded long enough.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then continue shaping. Or knead the dough until it passes the windowpane test.
This pizza dough recipe is vegan friendly. It’s made without dairy, eggs, or honey.
If using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, knead for 5-6 minutes on low speed.
If kneading by hand, you’ll want to knead the dough for at least 8 or 9 minutes.
Use your hands to slowly stretch the dough into a circle, oval, or rectangle, working the dough outward from the center.
No, some type of sugar is needed to activate the yeast which helps the dough rise. Agave can be subbed for cane sugar, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
looking for more italian recipes?
- Tomato Pasta Bake
- Vegan Chicken Parm
- Creamy Vegan Alfredo
- Basil Bechamel Lasagna
- Italian Pear Almond Cake
- Pastina Soup
Did you make chewy pizza crust recipe?
I’d love to know! Leave a star rating and comment below!
Want to save this recipe for later? Pin it to Pinterest!
DISCLAIMER: Links included in this post might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! As always, thank you for supporting my blog so I can continue to provide you with free content each week!