Pizza Dough

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.

Pizza Dough
Yields: Enough dough to make 1 large or 2 medium pizzas

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

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Comments

    • says

      Bread flour tends to give the crust a chewier texture. You can certainly use all-purpose (and I have before when I’ve been out of bread flour), the crust just might be softer. I haven’t tried this recipe with wheat flour, but generally when adding wheat flour to a recipe I recommended trying it with half wheat/half white flour first. If you try it, let me know! :)

      • Jen says

        Made both 50% wheat/ 50% AP and 50% wheat/ 50% bread….the bread flour was definitely better, as you indicated. I like wheat bread much better than white, in general, and found the wheat to be great as pizza crust too. I still need to perfect my stretching/ rolling technique as I found my crust over-rose…likely I left it too thick. Also, I discovered pizza yeast…this made a much denser crust which I really liked! Next I’m going to try it with cake flour, I think. I am hoping for a lighter, softer crust than what I’ve been getting and hope it will do the trick. Thanks for your help!

  1. Nikki says

    Hey, I’ve seen a few other recipes with the same ingredients which don’t require you to leave the dough to rise… But some also mention that that only works for a thin crust… Would it be as good if you only let it rise for about an hour? (I’m just impatient and planning to make this for fun with my hubby, who definitely won’t grasp the concept of having to wait for two hours :p )
    Thanks!

    • says

      It should be fine it you only let it rise for an hour. You can also turn your oven to like 200 degrees, let it preheat, then turn the oven off, and place your bowl of dough inside the oven…it will help speed up the rising time. It should only take an hour or less in the oven. :)

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