What is the Best Yeast for Pizza Dough

Oh, pizza. There is nothing quite like it. Whether you’re a classic Margherita pizza fan or love to get wild with toppings (look at you, pineapple and pickle lovers), everyone loves pizza. Which yeast is right for making it at home, though? Active yeast remains the clear best choice.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I’m a big big fan of pizza. I’m not lying when I say I can eat a whole large pizza by myself. (Should I really say that out loud?) Regardless, my love for pizza knows no bounds, and I love making it, too.

If you’re making a pizza, you know you’ll need some type of yeast to give your dough the puffy, airy, and scrumptious crust you crave. But which yeast is the best? This article explains the best yeast for pizza, plus some other helpful info.

Who’s ready to bake some pizzas?

What is Yeast, and How Does it Work?

Ok, before we get started – what is yeast, anyways? If you’re new to the baking world, this “new” ingredient might throw you off. But let me tell you, yeast is one of the most important – if not the most important – components in pizza.

Yeast is a leavening agent – basically, it’s going to allow your dough to rise and give it that delightfully airy and lightweight bready texture. And, in case you were wondering, yes, yeast is indeed part of the fungus family. Don’t let that scare you off!

Since yeast is a type of fungus, it will feed off of ingredients in your dough, specifically the sugars. It creates carbon dioxide, which produces air pockets in the dough. While baking, the yeast dies off while the air pockets remain intact – making the perfect crust.

4 Best Yeast for Pizza Dough 

Now that we’re done with my quick science class, it’s time to get to the main reason you’re here to find out the best pizza dough yeast. To be honest, just about any type is acceptable – whether you’re a classic active yeast or convenient instant yeast fan.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of yeasts and why they can all be labeled as the “best.”

1. Active Yeast

I tend to place active yeast on a pedestal because it’s cheap, long-lasting, and works like a charm. Plus, it’s almost always readily accessible, so there’s not a whole lot of sifting and searching necessary. 

Active yeast is easy to work with. All it needs is a little bit of warm water to get “activated.” From there, you mix your ingredients, let the dough proof, shape it, and bake it. That’s it!

2. Instant Yeast

Plenty of people will say that instant yeast is the best type of yeast. Why? Because it’s super convenient. Instant yeast is designed with extra ingredients, so it doesn’t need to be “activated” like active yeast.

So, if you don’t want to mix your yeast to activate, instant yeast is a great choice. It’s also a cheap and highly accessible option. Personally, I just find I get better results with active yeast than instant yeast. Active does require a learning curve, though.

3. Fast-Acting Yeast

Also known as “rapid yeast,” this type of yeast for pizza dough is the quickest option. When using fast-acting yeast, you don’t have to worry about rising. Simply add the yeast to the dough, add hot water, as usual, knead the ingredients, and you’re good to go.

Is Yeast Necessary for Pizza Dough?

You have likely heard of no yeast pizza at one point or another. There are plenty of these kinds of recipes out there. What’s the deal? I thought pizza “needed” yeast to create the delicious crust?

Well, not exactly. While I 100% wouldn’t recommend making pizza dough without any type of yeast, you can get by without it. No yeast pizza recipes work because they’re simply using different leavening agents, such as baking powder.

Do you get the same results as yeast with other leavening agents? Not entirely. But it will work well enough to enjoy a delicious pizza. Not only that, but it tends to be a faster process compared to using yeast. Double-win for those low on ingredients and on a time crunch!


Really, the best yeast for pizza dough depends on your needs. I suggest using active yeast for the best results, but instant and fast-acting yeast work fine, too. If you still have some questions about this fungal topic, keep reading to find out more.

Do you need special yeast for pizza dough?

No, there is no “special” yeast for pizza dough. The same type of yeast you’d use for other baked goods, like bread, can be used for pizza dough just the same. You can always use special yeast for pizza dough if you choose to, though.

Will active dry yeast work for pizza dough?

Yes, active dry yeast will work just fine for your pizza. Just remember that active dry yeast must be activated with warm water to work. Yes, it adds a little more time to your prep time, but I think it is well worth the wait for the perfect crust.

Is Fleischmann’s pizza Crust yeast the same as regular yeast?

The honest answer is kind of. A specialized pizza crust will allow the pizza crust to rise quicker and may allow you to knead it and shape it easier. However, it is not essential to buy yeast designed solely for pizza – unless, of course, you want to!

Final Words

In all honesty, there is no “best” yeast for pizza dough. Any type of yeast you want to use will work just fine. I just enjoy activating my yeast because I feel it gives me more control overall. Don’t hesitate to use “easy” yeasts or specialized pizza yeasts, though!

What is your favorite type of yeast to make pizza dough? Do you think there’s a “best” option? Share in the comment section below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • GingerGold

    I dont use yeast for my pizza dough. I use the sour dough starter (called the discard) that I have to replace and feed every week or so. If you like the taste of yeast you can always add it to the dough it won’t hurt anything. Ive been learning sour dough techniques for a few years now and am still learning every time I make ir try to make bread or pizza crust!
    Good site you have here and I wish you lots of success!! Try the sour dough crust its really good!

    • Michelle

      Hi GingerGold,
      Wow! What an excellent idea! I’m going to have to give that a try here soon.