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Pizza Dough

Scott Phillips

Yield: 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.

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.


Rate or Review


  • User avater
    Tickingpocketwatches | 05/22/2016

    Love this recipe! I made it for a small family get together and everyone was just ecstatic with the taste! The best part was that it was so easy to make, and I done it by hand.:) i also made this with all-purpose flour (removing two table spoons of flour from each cup) and it turned out lovely. I will be making it again real soon!

  • fortkcook | 06/30/2015

    As good as San Francisco restaurant pizza and I am a novice. My dough handling was a little clumsy -- I even tore it in a couple of spots, but the recipe is very forgiving. I put a pizza stone on my gas weber and cranked the heat full blast. Came out beautifully.

  • ophy | 02/22/2015

    Since moving from the East Coast many years ago, my husband and I have been craving stromboli for years. I was thrilled to finally find a pizza dough that rises in the fridge and have made this dough 3 times in a month. So very easy to prepare and makes the kind of crust we like. The third time I prepared it I brushed the stromboli loaf with olive oil, let it rise 1.5 hour, made the slits, baked 10-12 minutes then brushed it again with the olive oil. I thought it made a crustier crust, which is what we like. Made super good stromboli!

  • sandiola | 08/31/2013

    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 :)

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