How to Make Pizza Dough

Last weekend I gave you a recipe for uber-flavorful pizza sauce. Today I’m showing you step-by-step how to make pizza dough (it’s easy, promise).

I love, love, love having homemade pizza dough on-hand. There’s almost always a ball or two of dough in my freezer, just waiting to be used. The dough comes together quickly and rises in about an hour and a half. It’s perfect for throwing together a gourmet pizza for company or for serving up breadsticks to your kids. Stromboli, calzones, sweet pizzas, grilled pizzas, or hand pies, the options are endless. Not to mention with homemade dough there’s no hydrogenated oils or artificial flavor agents. Just pure goodness.

Tips:

  • If you can’t find quick-rise yeast, you can use active dry yeast by proofing it first – sprinkle yeast over the warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes, until foamy, before adding to dough
  • Whether you use the food processor or stand mixer method, the dough should be soft, smooth, and slightly tacky once kneaded
  •  When making your pizza, the thinner you stretch your dough, the crisper the crust will be
  • Brush rolled-out dough with olive oil and season with salt & pepper before adding toppings and baking for a deep golden color and extra flavor
  • For extra flavor, use a garlic and/or herb olive oil in place of extra-virgin olive oil
  • You can also add in a tablespoon of chopped fresh or a teaspoon of dried thyme, rosemary, or oregano with the dry ingredients

Uses:

Basic Pizza Dough
Makes 2 balls of dough
From Pizza and other Savory Pies

  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees), plus extra if needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra if needed

Food processor method (fastest): 

In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Pulse to mix together. 

With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of water and pulse again until a ball forms. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. 

Process again for 25-30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. 

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball with your hands. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover with plastic wrap.

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.  

Once dough is risen, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes before proceeding. 

If not using dough immediately, place dough in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 2 months for later use (when ready to use, let refrigerated dough sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes; thaw the frozen dough overnight in the fridge or for 2-3 hours at room temperature).

Stand mixer method:

 Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Mix together. 

 On low speed, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream and mix until the dough comes together in a rough, shaggy mass. If the dough does not form into a mass, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of water and mix again until a ball forms. Let the dough rest 5-10 minutes. 

Process again 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball with your hands. 

Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. 

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once dough is risen, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes before proceeding.

If not using dough immediately, place dough in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 2 months for later use (when ready to use, let refrigerated dough sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes; thaw the frozen dough overnight in the fridge or for 2-3 hours at room temperature).

   

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17 Responses to “How to Make Pizza Dough”

  1. #
    1
    Maris — July 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Fantastic pictorials! Love that you offered two different methods and all the other great sites!

  2. #
    2
    Joy — July 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    This is wonderful- thank you so much! I found your pizza sauce recipe….is there a pasta/spaghetti sauce recipe that you especially like?

    • handleheat replied: — July 23rd, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

      I really like this one, it's ridiculously quick & easy – http://www.handletheheat.com/2011/02/quick-tomato

      • Joy replied: — August 1st, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

        Thank you! :)

      • Joy replied: — August 9th, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

        Sunday night, I made my first-ever homemade pizza using your pizza dough recipe and your pizza sauce recipe (from 7/16). It was a margherita pizza, topped with basil from my own garden. I had so much fun, and I never would have tried it if you hadn't posted your recipe, and then added such detailed instructions. Thank you!

  3. #
    3
    Tessa — July 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I've been looking for a great crust recipe. Will save this one!

  4. #
    4
    Erin — July 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Tessa! I always find it fascinating to see other peoples' recipes for their pizza dough because my husband and I absolutely adore homemade pizza and we have lots of crust waiting in our freezer whenever we are ready. We're going to have to try out your recipe!

  5. #
    5
    Brooke — October 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I know this might sound silly but having never used yeast before I didn't know I needed to “prepare” it first, I had the kind in a packet that you needed to add water and vinegar too. Had I not caught that it would have been pizza FAIL

    after making it thought it was the BEST crust ever! So good

  6. #
    6
    Fredda — March 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I wish you had a printy button so your WONDERFUL recipes could be easily accessed

    • Tessa replied: — March 5th, 2014 @ 8:49 am

      Thanks for your input! All of my newer recipes within the last year or so have a print button, I’m still going back and reformatting older recipes to add the print button. Haven’t gotten around to this one from 2011 yet though.

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