The right pizza dough is essential in order to get a great pizza – the good thing is it’s easy to make and can be prepared in advance and refrigerated.
The best possible pizza dough is made with yeast and is slowly raised overnight in the fridge; however it can be quickly raised at room temperature or even in a warm environment.
This is the recipe below, structured in five easy to follow sections and “topped” with more information in the Tips & Tricks section at its end!
Pizza Dough Recipe
How to prove yeast and kneading, rising, using and refrigerating the pizza dough properly.
Pizza Dough Recipe
| How to prove yeast and kneading, rising, using and refrigerating the pizza dough properly.|
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Pizza Dough Recipe Instructions
Proofing the yeast
combine the warm water and the active dry yeast in la large mixing bowl or in your stand mixer bowl if you wish
Stir them well and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast gets foamy
This is "proofing" the yeast; if it does not foam then it is dead and you'll need another yeast, active
Kneading the pizza dough
Add the flour, salt and sugar and the olive oil. Mix for 1 minute with your hand or with the stand mixer on low speed, with dough hook attached
When everything is properly mixed knead the dough for 8-10 minutes with hands or with the dough hook
If the dough remains wet add more flour into it, a small amount at a time. The dough should be elastic and smooth, bouncing back when poked with the finger - just continue kneading until it gets so
Rising the pizza dough
Spray lightly with olive oil a large mixing bowl (large enough to allow for the dough to double its volume)
Shape the pizza dough in a ball and place it in the sprayed bowl, then turn the dough in the bowl to coat it with oil on all sides (spray a little more oil if necessary but do not soak the dough in oil)
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough to rise until it doubles its volume. This should take between one and two hours at room temperature or warmer, but this can be easily changed (see the Tips & Tricks section below for details)
At the end of rising punch the pizza dough lightly to release the air
Using the pizza dough
Divide the pizza dough in two (or in as many parts you set up with the servings changer) and create a smaller ball from each part
Let the pizza dough balls rest for 15 minutes in separated covered bowls (this is the time to prepare pizza toppings)
Flatten the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface; you should get a 30 cm / 12 inches round disc from each ball
Brush the pizza dough *lightly* with olive oil on the upper surface (this will prevent sogginess that may occur from some wet toppings)
Let the dough rest for another 15 minutes, then add your preferred topping and bake the pizza for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven at 240 celsius degrees / 470 fahrenheit degrees
Freezing the pizza dough
The pizza dough can be very well made in advance and refrigerated; for this, right after rising (and punching!) just brush lightly with olive oil and store each ball separately in plastic bags squeezing all the air out and sealing
The pizza dough can be freezed for up tu 3 months
For thawing place each pizza dough ball in the fridge for ~12 hours (overnight?), then at the room temperature for 30 - 45 minutes; then flatten, brush with oil, add the topping and bake!
Pizza Dough Recipe Tips & Tricks
Tip number one for this recipe is rising the pizza dough in the fridge! Yep, you read this right, in the fridge. It will take anywhere between 8 and 12 hours to rise like this, but the dough will be more tasty and more stable and easy to work with. This is how professional bakers rise their doughs especially for the bread based products, but also provides a mean to make the pizza dough overnight (like knead in the evening, make pizza next day in the morning).
Pizza doughs can vary in terms of texture, taste and thickness, all these variations starting with the same ingredients! For an in depth pizza dough comparison with recipes included check this post from Serious Eats.