Homemade Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza is equal parts fun and delicious. The good news is: it’s really easy to make! While finding a great recipe for your pizza dough is key… the technique is just as important!

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Homemade pizza is equal parts fun and delicious. The good news is: it’s really easy to make! This is my foolproof recipe that only uses a few simple ingredients.

Making great pizza dough is not just about finding a great recipe… the technique is just as — if not more — important!

Now, I should say, it is hard to replicate the pizza you get from your favourite pizzeria. The pros make pizza every day of their lives and have all of the fancy equipment that many of us home cooks just don’t have.

However, you also can’t replicate that homemade taste! 

All-purpose flour vs. Bread flour

You may have seen some recipes that use only all-purpose flour, only bread flour, or a mix of the two!

In this recipe, I use only all-purpose flour considering that most of us will likely have it in the pantry already. Because all-purpose flour has a lower gluten content than bread flour, it will give your crust a slightly chewier texture. This makes it perfect for thin-crust pizza, and great for any other type of pizza crust. (Note that unbleached all-purpose flour actually has slightly more gluten content than bleached, so it is a great all-around option.)

On the other hand, bread flour has a higher gluten content, giving the dough a bit more structure. Your pizza crust will typically be, well, “breadier” — thicker and softer with crispy edges.

You can have fun experimenting using different types and combinations of flour and see which you prefer. I say use whatever you have! 

Rolling vs. Stretching

You can stretch the dough using your hands (or toss it in the air if you’re fancy). Many warn against using a rolling pin. Rolling the dough too hard, or for too long, can flatten it and remove all of the air that helps it puff up in the oven. Admittedly, I always use a rolling pin. It’s faster, easier, and turns out a more uniform crust. Just be careful with it and use light pressure, and you’ll be fine.

Here’s how I make this delicious pizza dough…

In a measuring cup, combine the sugar and water, dissolving the sugar into the water. Add in the yeast. Stir, and let the mixture stand for several minutes until it looks frothy with small bubbles forming at the surface.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

When the yeast has proofed, pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large bowl).

Using the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (or a spoon), while on low speed, slowly add in the olive oil and your flour/salt mixture.

Increase the mixing speed to medium, and knead your dough for about 3 to 5 minutes, until it forms a large mass. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Remove the dough from the bowl, and set it onto a lightly floured surface. Continue kneading the dough by hand until it is smooth, springy, and slightly elastic. Form the dough into a ball.

Coat the bottom and sides of a clean bowl with roughly 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Set the dough into the bowl, rotating the dough to ensure it is sufficiently coated in oil. This prevents the dough from drying out and forming a crust.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rest until it has at least doubled in size. This should take at least 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough to deflate it, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal parts, and form both into disks.

If using the dough right away, let it rest for about 10 more minutes before rolling or hand tossing it. If the dough resists being stretched, roll it out as far as it can go, then allow it to rest for about two minutes. Repeat this rolling and resting until the dough reaches the desired size and shape.

If using at a later date, place each disk into a bowl, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. You could also freeze the dough — wrapping and sealing it in freezer bags — for use several months down the line. In either case, I recommend allowing the dough to come back up to room temperature before working with it.

For a delicious homemade pizza, transfer the rolled-out dough — using a rolling pin — onto a baking sheet lightly dusted with cornmeal. You can also use a pizza peel (or piece of thin wood), also dusted with cornmeal, to help you transfer the fully decorated pizza onto your heated pizza stone.

In either case, top the rolled-out dough with your favorite pizza toppings and bake it in the upper third of a fully preheated 450°F oven — second rack from the top is best — for about 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust turns golden brown and your toppings are at their desired doneness.

I recommend preheating the oven early on and letting it sit at 450°F for 10 to 15 minutes before putting the pizza in (longer if you want to heat up your pizza stone).

Homemade Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza is equal parts fun and delicious. The good news is: it’s really easy to make! While finding a great recipe for your pizza dough is key… the technique is just as important!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Resting Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 2 twelve- to fourteen-inch pizza crusts
Category Basics

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¼ cup water, lukewarm (around 100°F to 110°F)
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) dry active yeast
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  • In a measuring cup, dissolve sugar into water. Add in yeast. Stir, and let stand for several minutes until the mixture looks frothy with small bubbles forming at the surface.
    1 ¼ cup water, lukewarm
    2 tsp white sugar
    1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) dry active yeast
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp kosher salt
  • When yeast has proofed, pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large bowl).
  • Using the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (or a spoon), while on low speed, slowly add in olive oil and flour/salt mixture.
    3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Increase mixing speed to medium, and knead the dough until it forms a large mass (about 3-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, and set it onto a lightly floured surface. Continue kneading the dough by hand until it is smooth, springy, and slightly elastic. Form the dough into a ball.
  • Coat the bottom and sides of a clean bowl with roughly 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Set the dough into the bowl, rotating the dough to ensure it is sufficiently coated in oil. (This prevents it from drying out and forming a crust.)
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rest until it has at least doubled in size (no less than 45 minutes).
  • Punch down the dough to deflate it, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal parts, and form both into disks.
  • If using right away, let the dough rest for about 10 more minutes before rolling or hand tossing it. If the dough resists being stretched, roll it out as far as it can go, then allow it to rest for about two minutes. Repeat until the dough reaches the desired size and shape.
  • If using at a later date, place each disk into a bowl, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Alternatively, wrap and seal each disk in a freezer bag and freeze for up to several months. In either case, allow the dough to come back up to room temperature before working with it.
  • For a delicious homemade pizza, top the rolled-out dough with your favorite pizza toppings and bake in the upper third of a fully preheated 450°F oven — second rack from the top is best — until the crust turns golden brown and your toppings are at their desired doneness (about 18-20 minutes).

Notes

  1. This pizza dough is best when it has chilled in the refrigerator overnight (up to 24 hours). If chilled (or frozen), allow the dough to come back to room temperature before working with it.

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