This pizza dough recipe yields a crispy, chewy, and flavorful pizza crust.
Reading: Pizza dough recipe instant yeast
If you’ve never made homemade pizza dough, it may seem a little daunting, but it couldn’t be any easier. Pizza dough is made with five basic ingredients – flour, salt, yeast, oil, and water – and it comes together in just ten minutes. Once the dough is mixed and kneaded, you place it in a warm spot to rise. I promise, it really is easy and worthwhile. This recipe yields 2 pounds of pizza dough, which is enough for 2 large pizzas or 4 individual ones. It can be made up to two days ahead of time, and it freezes beautifully, too.
What you’ll need to make pizza dough
- Olive oil adds richness to the dough and help it crisp up in the oven.
- A healthy dose of salt is added for flavor — this is important, as pizza dough can be bland.
- Cornmeal is used to dust the baking sheet and keep the dough from sticking as it bakes; it also gives the crust a bit of extra crispiness and flavor.
- Yeast makes the dough rise. I use instant yeast, which may also be referred to as rapid-rise, quick-rise, or bread machine yeast (this is confusing, but they are all the same thing). Active dry yeast, often referred to as regular yeast, may also be used, but it will take lengthen the rising time by about 50%. You can give it a little boost by rehydrating it in liquid before using (see the recipe for detailed instructions).
To begin, combine the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Stir with a spoon to combine, and then add the oil and warm water.
Stir until the dough comes together into a shaggy mass.
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Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand.)
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
There are a number of options that will work as places to let your dough rise: a sunny spot in your house, next to a heating vent (during colder months), or even on top of a kitchen appliance that generates a bit of heat as it runs (like your fridge). If you’re lucky enough to have a proof setting in your oven, use that. If not, but you’d like to use your oven, switch on the oven’s internal light; it will generate enough warmth to provide a good environment for the dough to rise.
After the dough has risen, punch it down.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a ball. If you’re not using the pizza dough right away, lightly coat the dough ball(s) with olive oil. Place into freezer bag(s) and seal shut, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to warm up before stretching.
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Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
As you can see, it will rise a bit.
When it comes time to shape the pizza dough for baking, you can stretch it into any shape, size, or thickness you like (just keep in mind that a thicker crust will take longer to bake). Simply press and stretch the dough using your hands, dusting with more flour if necessary.
General Baking Instructions
Every pizza recipe is a little different, but as a general guideline: Preheat the oven to 500°F and set an oven rack in the bottom position. Dust a 13×18-inch baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Place the stretched dough on the baking sheet, and gently stretch it out again so that it maintains its shape. Spread your sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked. Remove from the oven and scatter the cheese and toppings over the sauce. Slide the pan back into the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 6 minutes more.
To Refrigerate or Freeze The Pizza Dough
If you’re not using the pizza dough right away, after the initial rise, lightly coat the dough ball(s) with olive oil. Place into freezer bag(s) and seal shut, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to warm up before stretching. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 12 hours), and then let it warm up on the countertop for about 30 minutes before stretching and proceeding with your pizza recipe.
Note: This recipe was updated in January 2022 to make a slightly larger quantity. To see the original recipe, click here.
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