Easy Hand-Knead Dough Recipe

It’s really not at all difficult to hand-knead dough. Not even a little bit. Some recipes will have you believe that you need a fancy mixer to get the job done but I’m here today to show you otherwise.

But before I continue, just a couple of caveats: One, if you have arthritis in your hands or any other type of mobility issues, this may be difficult for you. Not impossible but it does take some time and hand strength so keep that in mind. Two, you will find this 100% easier to make if you know what dough feels like. If you’ve never held raw dough in your hands do yourself a favour and go buy one now so you have a reference point.

Why I Love to Hand-Knead Dough

I love the feeling of kneading raw dough. That oowey-gooey squish between my fingers calms me and it’s really cool to feel the dough come together under your fingers.

Every cook should have a basic dough recipe on hand and no one should feel like this is difficult to do. In fact, making homemade dough is the easiest recipe I could share with you! You don’t need a fancy mixer or anything like that… Your hands alone will make the best dough you’ve ever had.

I have used my KitchenAid before but I personally did not get that same sense of accomplishment as when I do it by hand. I also feel like it over-worked the dough, something that never happens to me when I do it by hand.

Hand-Knead Dough Recipe

This recipe will yield you one large pizza dough, enough for a round 16″ pan.

Easy Hand-Knead Dough Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
  • 2 1/4 Tsps Dry Active Yeast
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3-4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil


  • Add warm water to a large metal bowl. You want it to be somewhere between 68° to 81°F because anything hotter than that could kill your yeast. If the water feels hot on your wrist, it's probably too hot for the yeast.
  • Add salt to the water.
  • Add yeast and stir. Allow the yeast to dissolve completely in the water for approximately 2-4 minutes.
    Dough Prep
  • Add flour to the water mixture 1/2 cup at a time and stir with a wooden spoon.
    Dough Prep
  • Continue stirring until the mixture just starts to come together. I usually get to this point after about 2 cups of flour.
    Hand-Knead Dough Prep
  • Start working the dough by hand, adding small quantities of flour as needed until you reach a consistency that is not sticky (think Playdough). Be careful not to add too much flour or your dough will become tough, making it difficult to rise. I do not overwork my dough, I turn and knead it in the same bowl and once it feels right, I stop. This usually takes about 4 minutes but you can knead up to 10 minutes depending on the texture... You really can't over-knead dough by hand. 
    Hand-Knead Dough Prep
  • Remove the dough from your bowl and wipe the bowl clean. Add some olive oil and work it around the bowl until coated. Add the dough back into the bowl.
    Hand-Knead Dough
  • Cover with saranwrap and a cloth. Let stand in a warm area for approximately 1-2 hours until it has risen sufficiently. I like to put my dough in the oven to rise but be sure you don't turn it on while your dough is in there!
    Hand-Knead Dough Prep
  • Viola! You're done!
    Hand-Knead Dough

This is my go-to recipe for pizza dough but you can use this recipe as a starter for so many different breads or other fun meals. I’ll definitely include some of those recipes in future so check back to learn more! In the meantime, if crust is more your thing, you’ll love this “Flakiest Flaky Pie Crust EVER” Recipe!

So, what do you think? Are you willing to try hand-kneading your dough? If so, let us know your experience once you’ve had a go at it 🙂

Have fun in the kitchen!

xoxo, Mary


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