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Pizza Dough

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Yields enough dough for 4 individual pizzas or calzones or 2 stromboli.

This versatile dough can be used to make pizza, calzones, or stromboli. It gets its great depth of flavor from a long, slow fermentation, preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

  • 1 lb. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached bread flour; more as needed
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar or honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp. table salt (or 2-1/2 tsp. kosher salt)
  • 1-1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • Semolina flour (optional)

Combine the flour, sugar or honey, salt, yeast, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add 11 fl. oz. (1-1/4 cups plus 2 Tbs.) cool (60º to 65ºF) water. With a large spoon or the paddle attachment of the electric mixer on low speed, mix until the dough comes together in a coarse ball, 2 to 3 minutes by hand or 1 to 2 minutes in the mixer. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Knead the dough: If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, either by hand on a lightly floured work surface or with the mixer’s dough hook on medium-low speed. As you knead, add more flour or water as needed to produce a ball of dough that is smooth, supple, and fairly tacky but not sticky. When poked with a clean finger, the dough should peel off like a Post-it note, leaving only a slight residue. It may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl but not to the sides.

Chill the dough: Lightly oil a bowl that’s twice the size of the dough. Roll the dough in the bowl to coat it with the oil, cover the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. It will rise slowly in the refrigerator but will stop growing once completely chilled. If the plastic bulges, release the carbon dioxide buildup by lifting one edge of the plastic wrap (like burping it) and then reseal. Use the dough for pizzascalzones, or stromboli as directed in the recipes.

Make Ahead Tips

It’s best to mix the dough at least a day before you plan to bake. The dough keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or for 3 months in the freezer. To freeze the dough: After kneading the dough, divide it into 4 pieces for pizzas or calzones or 2 pieces for stromboli. Freeze each ball in its own zip-top freezer bag. They’ll ferment somewhat in the freezer, and this counts as the rise. Before using, thaw completely in their bags overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Then treat the dough exactly as you would regular overnighted dough, continuing with the directions for making pizzas, calzones, or stromboli.

Variations

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Replace 25% to 50% of the flour with an equal amount of whole wheat flour. It may be necessary to add more all-purpose flour as you knead. Your goal is to produce a ball of dough that is smooth, supple, and fairly tacky but not sticky. It may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl but not to sides of the bowl. When poked with a clean finger, the dough should peel off like a post-it note leaving only a slight residue.

Cornmeal Pizza Dough: Replace 25% to 50% of the flour with an equal amount of cornmeal. Start with the same water as in regular dough and adjust from there, adding more flour until the dough, when poked with a clean finger, peels off like a post-it note, leaving only a slight residue. You may need to add up to 10 Tbs. of flour to get the right consistency: supple and tacky (almost but not quite sticky).The amount of extra flour will depend on the type of cornmeal. Polenta, for instance, absorbs much more slowly than fine grind cornmeal. Because cornmeal often takes a little longer to fully hydrate, you’ll find that the dough will firm up slightly as it cools in the fridge.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Finally! A tasty, crispy, thin base to die for! And so easy! The only thing I'll say is to make sure your peel is well floured/semolina'd (give your pizza a couple of shakes to ensure it hasn't stuck to the peel) before attempting to transfer to the stone. And don't forget to use quality ingredients! Highly recommend :)

Hi, Thanks a ton for this sure shot recipe for pizza dough. I tried it on pizza stone at home, and it really came nice. Can we use the same dough for bread, focaccia, dinner rolls ?

This is the best pizza dough I have made yet! I used 1 tsp of Honey & 1 tsp of Sugar. It was a great hit. This recipe is a keeper!

This dough is very easy to make, and results in a gorgeous pizza crust with perfect texture (airy, and just the right amount of crispy and chewy). It's my go-to recipe, and it has been served to countless people, most of whom end up saying that this is one of the best pizzas they've ever had -no matter what toppings I use, almost! Great, great recipe.

This is the easiest, tastiest pizza dough I've ever made. It makes a lovely thin crisp crust, if that's the way you like it, and rolls out beautifully if you're at all nervous about tossing it. It freezes very well and it's great to have on hand.

rolled out using rolling pin - very easy to manipulate and form. Excellent thin crust. Careful on cheese and/or sauce, as too much cheese or sauce makes it soft.

Easy recipe, and came out great first time. I made four different pies using different cooking platforms, and the stone came out the best.

Awesome! I use 50% whole wheat flour.

Wonderful. I've used this at sea level and at 7000 feet with equally great results. Frozen dough holds very well; I've even had success re-freezing dough on one occasion. I should add that the pizza or calzones are much better when preprared on a stone vs. an inverted half-sheet pan. My Taos oven lacks a stone and baking was difficult/messy on an inverted sheet pan. But, adding a touch of olive oil and grilling the pizza (par-grill one side first, remove from grill, flip it, top the par-grilled side, and return it to the grill to finish) works beautifully. Also a nice way to keep the heat out of the kitchen in the summer months.

Dough was very easy to make. I've already made several batches including some frozen ones. Best pizza dough recipe; my family loves it.

I finally found a pizza dough that we love. This one has a good flavor, nice thin crust, crispy yet chewy. It's the recipe I'll be using from now on.

OUTSTANDING!!!! This is THE pizza crust we'll use from now on. I've been a subscriber since 1998 and recipes like this make me continue to subscribe!

I was using a recipe with a dryer 'tighter' dough and the directions called for what I believe was far too much kneading. This recipe results in an excellent dough with minimal work using a mixer. I made two batches two days ago. One batch I wanted to use a few hours later, so I let the dough proof at room temperature for a few hours, the other, I put in the 'fridge. The pizzas I made with the first batch (the one proofed at room temp) turned out to be excellent. I baked them on an excellent baking stone, the Fibrament stone I bought from AHM in Orland Park near Chicago. They make a 15" x 20" x 3/4" stone for home ovens, which is what I bought.

This had good flavor but I had a lot of trouble with tearing. I even watched the video but the dough just kept on tearing. I ended up rolling it out with a rolling pin, which made tasty flat bread, but not great pizza. Any tips on what I did wrong?

I used this crust recipe yesterday for a Potato Leek Pizza with Goat Cheese (and I added some lemon zest) and it was the best one that I've tried so far in terms of that initial taste - I want a crispness at first bite and then a good chew. This recipe delivered and is the one I will be using from now on! Thanks Peter!

I've never made pizza dough before but this recipe was a cinch, and my pizza was delicious. Highly recommend this! Used the standing mixer, and the texture came out great. Froze some of it for an easy dinner another time.

Awesome flavour and super easy!

Great dough, easy to work with, rolls out very thin without sticking.

I always make my own pizza and have been using the same recipe for years - a rather thick crust. Time to try something different - and extremely easy. This was a cinch to put together and park in the fridge. Came back 2 days later and was surprised that it hadn't gotten a whole lot bigger. Took it out of the fridge for the 2 hour rise and again - not a lot of change and a very soft dough. But what pizza! This is a thin, crispy crust - just what I was looking for. And delicious! Made 2 pizzas and 2 calzones. I use convection bake and probably took them out a minute early. Will make these again and again.

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