Pizza is by far one of my most favorite meals – isn’t it everyones? In college, my sister worked at a pizzeria, and she would sell me balls of pizza dough for $1 a piece. It became a weekly tradition to have homemade pizza every Friday night. Well, she has since stopped working at the pizzeria, which left me to find a great pizza dough recipe. I have tried quite a few dough recipes, but this one from Cook’s Illustrated definitely takes the cake. Its simple to make by hand, and even easier to make it you have a stand mixer. The dough itself is easy to work with, and makes a nice pizza with a chewy crust. I always have a ball of dough in my freezer to have on hand for a quick dinner.
Yields: Enough dough to make 1 large or 2 medium pizzas
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus (about 1/3 cup) more for dusting and as needed
1 ½ tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer* fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low-speed.
Add the room temperature water and oil to the yeast water and stir to combine.
Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and continue to mix at low-speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes. Using non-stick cooking spray, spray the inside of a large bowl.
After 5-8 minutes in the mixer, get ready to remove the dough. Your dough should be a little sticky and springy. If it is too sticky and messy add more flour and mix to combine ingredients.
Once the dough is the right consistency, shape it into a ball and put it in the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 1 ½ to 2 hours. The dough should double in size. At this point, you’ll want to punch down the dough to deflate it.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead it slightly. Divide the dough in half. If you are using right away, cover it with plastic and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
*I’ve included the directions for a stand mixer, but if you don’t have a stand mixer (or your beautiful red KitchenAid mixer is in your mom’s closet, waiting for your bridal shower), you can simply knead the dough by hand.
*Freezer-Friendly Tip* – Wrap leftover dough twice in plastic wrap, then place in a zip-lock freezer bag and place in the freezer. To defrost, simply leave it in the refrigerator overnight or out on the counter for a few hours before use.
Source – Cook’s Illustrated