Best Pizza Dough

Pizza dough

You know that I make a lot of pizzas, so when I say that I’ve made my most delicious pizza yet, I’m telling you something big. And this most delicious pizza is a humble margarita! But it’s really the dough that makes it so special. For me, the crust is the most essential part of any pizza, and this one is wonderful. It is a beautiful crust: easy to stretch thinly, a nice flavor, and the perfect combination of chewy, crisp, and doughy. I’m in pizza love. And guess what…it doesn’t require any kneading! This dough is my standby from here on out.

Pizza dough

This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas, which is wonderful. I freeze half of the dough for a later use, but you could also halve the recipe to make enough dough for only one pizza. As with all things that depend on strict ratios, it’s best to use a food scale to measure out your ingredients. So, to a large mixing bowl, add 638 grams of all-purpose flour and 14 grams of salt.

Pizza dough

Measure out 14 ounces of slightly warm water, and pour 1.25 teaspoons of active dry yeast into the water. Let the yeast dissolve (if it doesn’t toss it and get new yeast), and the pour the water into the bowl of flour. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip the dissolving step and add the yeast and the water right to the bowl of flour.

Pizza dough

Using either the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a big spoon, mix the ingredients together just until all of the flour has moistened (about 1 minute on slow using a mixer). Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes, and then mix it again until the dough comes together in a tight ball (about 1 more minute on medium low using a mixer). The dough should feel soft and tacky. If it doesn’t add a little more flour or water as you need.

Pizza dough

Pour some vegetable oil onto a flat surface, and scrape the dough out of the bowl. Stretch the dough into a rectangle, and fold it into thirds. Stretch the dough into a rectangle in the other direction and fold it into thirds again. As you work the dough, it will become smoother and more elastic.

Pizza dough

Form the dough into a ball. Then, cover the dough with an overturned bowl, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Repeat this process three more more times (you should have a total of four stretching sessions).

Pizza dough

At this point, you could divide the dough and freeze half of it in an oiled plastic bag for later use. Form the dough that you want to use into a ball, and place it into a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and put it into the fridge to ferment and develop delicious flavor overnight or for up to three days.

Pizza dough

At least 2-3 hours before you want to make pizza, remove the dough from the fridge to come to room temperature. As the dough warms, it will rise.

Pizza dough

When you’re ready to make pizza, preheat your oven to 500º F. Flour a flat surface and your hands, and remove the dough from the bowl. Use your hands to stretch the dough into whatever shape you want your pizza to take. Transfer the pizza dough onto a pizza pan or baking sheet.

Pizza dough

Spread the dough with marinara sauce, and the tear off some pieces of mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle those over. Top the pizza with fresh basil leaves.

Pizza dough

Bake the pizza for approximately 10 minutes, rotating it around halfway through, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown and crisp. Let the pizza cool slightly, and then slice away. The first time I made this pizza, I underestimated the time it would take for the dough to come to room temperature, so the pizza didn’t get done until 10 PM. I intended to put it in the fridge to eat the next day (already full from Thai takeout), but I had to taste a little bit. IT WAS AMAZING. Let’s just say that I ended up tasting more than a little bit. I’ve since made this pizza dough again, and the results remain spectacular. I can’t wait to make all of my other pizza varieties using this crust…David has already been begging for some meat sauce pizza, and I think it’s a wonderful idea. This dough turns delicious pizza into “I can’t believe I made that” pizza.

This recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart via Craftsy.

Shopping list:

  • All-purpose flour- 638 grams
  • Salt- 14 grams
  • Yeast- 1.25 teaspoons
  • Oil
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Comments

Best Pizza Dough — 2 Comments

    • I highly recommend a scale- it ensures consistent results in the kitchen, is small for easy storage, can be used to weigh outgoing mail, and can be found for less than $10.

      The original recipe approximates 5 cups of flour and 1 tablespoon of salt, but you’ll be more likely to need to adjust flour and water ratios to get the right dough consistency, and the recipe might yield more or less than enough dough for 2 large pizzas.

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