Pizza Dough

Pizza is not only one of my favorite dishes to eat, but it's also one of my favorite things to make in the kitchen. There's something about feeling the dough come together and change as you knead it that feels just a little miraculous. Of course you can use a stand mixer to do the mixing, but everyone should make dough just once by hand.

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Pizza Dough

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Proofing Time: 1 h
  • Total Time: 20 m
  • Servings:
    6
    makes 6 - 10 inch pizzas

Ingredients

  • 4 cups bread flour, pizza (“00”) flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the olive oil to the flour mixture and start to mix using the dough hook attachment. As you’re mixing, add the 1¼ cup of the water, mixing until the dough comes together. Continue to knead the dough with the dough hook for another 10 minutes, adding enough water to a dough to get it to the right consistency.
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured counter and divide it into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Lightly coat each dough ball with oil and transfer to the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. You can place them all on a baking sheet, or place each dough ball into its own oiled zipper sealable plastic bag or container. (You can freeze the dough balls at this stage, removing as much air as possible from the oiled bag.) Keep in the refrigerator for at least one day, or as long as five days.
  3. When you’re ready to make your pizza, remove your pizza dough from the refrigerator at least 1 hour prior to baking and let it sit on the counter, covered gently with plastic wrap.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a pizza stone or steel in the middle of the oven for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. Make one pizza at a time. Place a piece of parchment paper on your pizza peel. Press the dough into a flat disk and then pinch around the rim of the dough to create a crust. Use the back of your hands to pull the dough into a circle, rotating the dough as you do so. Place the dough on the parchment paper peel and top with your desired toppings. Cut the parchment around the pizza so that it just a little bigger than the pizza. Then slide the pizza onto the pizza stone or peel. Close the oven door and watch as the crust rises and the toppings brown and melt. The pizza should take 5 to 8 minutes.
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Comments (45)Post a Reply

    1. You could use it for one large thick crust pizza. I would split it in two for large thin crust pizzas. I generally divide it in four and each ball makes a thin crust pizza just right for two.

  1. I love this recipe and video. I never buy pizza dough anymore. I use your recipe and it’s perfect every time. I often freeze it to use at a later time and it’s great. Easy to shape into a round pie. I love it! I wish though I could use this recipe for my outdoor pizza oven but I am afraid b/c of the added sugar. Any chance you can suggest a good dough recipe for a Neapolitan pizza. Thank you Meredith!

    1. Hi Jodie. Don’t worry about the sugar content. I use the dough on my outdoor grill without any trouble. I’ll work on a thicker Neapolitan pizza dough! 🙂

    1. Make sure you let the dough defrost on the countertop and come to room temperature before you try to stretch it. Then use it as you were planning to use it.

    1. Hi Leann. Yes, you can freeze the dough. I make one batch of dough and portion it out into 3, 4 or 6 pieces (depending on how big a pizza I will want). Let the dough rise for one day in the refrigerator and then re-roll the little dough balls and freeze them in an oiled plastic bag, removing as much air as possible from the bag. You can keep the dough in your freezer for several weeks – the better you package them, the longer they will keep. When you think you’ll want to use the pizza dough, remember to remove it from the freezer and defrost it in the refrigerator or on the counter. It needs to be fully defrosted before you can stretch and use it and you can keep it in your refrigerator for 3 more days once it has defrosted before using it.

    1. This dough is best after a couple of days of rising slowly in your refrigerator. I you want to freeze it, you can freeze it at any stage of the rise. I like to let my dough balls rise in the refrigerator for one day and then freeze the balls individually in an oiled plastic bag, removing as much air as possible from the bag. When you think you’d like to use the pizza dough, remove it from the freezer several hours ahead of time. You can even let it thaw and continue to rise in the refrigerator for a couple more days. The freezer makes the yeast inactive. Once it thaws, the yeast will be active again and the dough will rise again.

  2. Always keep this in hand. Love the versatility of s thin crust on a grill. Individual deep dish snd even a hand tossed family sized pizza. The dough recipe let’s me create at anytime.

    1. Hi Jane – usually when you’re making a dough the water does need to be warm (around 90 – 100ºF), but this pizza dough rests in the refrigerator over several days, so the temperature of the water doesn’t matter. If you are making the pizza dough the same day you plan to use it, however, I would suggest using warm water and letting the dough rise on the counter instead of in the refrigerator.

  3. 5 stars
    I got your recipe out of one of your cookbooks a couple of years ago and use it frequently since my family loves pizza. It stays nicely in fridge for up to 5 days and I also keep it in the freezer. It is delicious, economical, and very easy to make. Thank you for sharing all your delicious recipes with us!

    1. Hi Walter. It would depend on whether or not your bread maker can handle this amount of dough or not. You can use the dough mixing cycle, but then I would remove it and let it rise over several days in the refrigerator as the recipe instructs.

    1. Hi Cathy. You could bake it at a lower temperature for longer, but it’s the intense heat of the oven and the baking stone or steel that gives the crust a good rise. If you’re going to drop the temperature, add another 10 minutes or so. Check the bottom crust for a nice brown color and the top for browned and melted cheese.

  4. This is very similar to mine. 4 1/2 cups flour 2 Tbs. oil, 2 Tbs. sugar. Is the only difference. FYI makes excellent French bread to just use 2 1/4 tsp. . Works excellent in bread machine too. Thanks for the tip on freezing, now I can have pizza at the drop of a hat.

    1. Sure, but pre-heat the pan in the oven first. The burst of heat from the stone/steel/pan helps the crust rise. You can also invert a baking sheet in the oven, pre-heat and use that too.

    1. You can use the dough cycle of your bread maker to knead the dough if your bread machine is big enough to handle this quantity of dough. After it has finished kneading, I would let the dough rise in the refrigerator as instructed in the recipe.

    1. Hi Angie. I’m afraid whole wheat bread flour won’t work the same way. Whole wheat flour has less gluten per volume than all-purpose flour because it includes all the parts of the grain. You could try substituting ⅓ of the total flour quantity with whole wheat flour if you like, but you may also have to play a little with the water added since whole wheat flour absorbs water differently to all-purpose flour.

    1. Hi Gary. If your bread machine is big enough to handle this quantity of dough, sure you can use the bread machine to knead it. Then, remove it, divide it into the portions you want and let it rise as instructed (in the fridge over several days, or on the counter for same day).

  5. I made it with bread flour and I could not get it to stay stretched, it kept coming back even after letting it rest for almost an hour after the second rise. What did I do wrong? I’d have had 6 inch pizzas with a very thick crust, I wound up just throwing it out.

    1. Hi Perry. I would guess that you didn’t let the dough rest long enough for the gluten to relax. When dough keeps shrinking, let it rest longer and try again. Depending on the temperature of your room, or if the dough has been in the refrigerator, the dough could need 2 hours to rest.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this tonight fir dinner. Made pepperoni, sausage and mushroom pizza. Best ever! Crust was thin and crispy. Very easy recipe. Thank you for giving it to us!

    1. Hi Maryann,

      When push comes to shove, definitely use whatever flour you have. The only adjustment you might need to make is how much water you add to the recipe. Flours with different gluten contents absorb liquid differently, so just be prepared to flex a little. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour (whichever kind). If it is too dry, add a little more water.

    1. In a pinch, use whatever you have! Just be ready to flex a little when you add water. Flours of different protein levels absorb water differently. The higher the protein, the more water it will absorb. This shouldn’t really be a problem for you. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water.

  7. 5 stars
    This “stay at home” is so much easier to handle with these recipes from you. We tried this dough recipe and split it. We made calzones today and will make pizza tomorrow. This was easy, delicious and most of all fun to make with my husband (who is never in the kitchen), Thanks so much Meredith. Now looking for something sweet to make.

  8. 5 stars
    LOVE this recipe! My family has been begging for homemade pizza weekly for the last few weeks. Now I make a double batch and keep some handy in the freezer. The parchment paper trick works great! Thanks!

  9. I’ve got a question, or maybe more of a concern, about using parchment paper. It seems like a great trick and I’m all for anything that improves my chances for success. The parchment paper I have (Publix grocery store brand) states that it’s made for conventional ovens up to 400 F. degrees. You recommend baking at 500 F. degrees. Do I need new paper or are all parchment papers rated that way? Any suggestions? Or am I being over cautious?

    1. Hi Karen. Paper combusts at 451ºF, so it’s definitely safe over 400ºF. I do put it under my pizza at 500ºF, but most of the parchment is covered (I cut it around the circle of the pizza). I’ve never had a problem. The paper will brown, but it remains intact and I just throw it away afterwards. Make sure you are using a natural parchment paper – not one that is coated or treated with anything.

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