Homemade Pizza Dough
Updated: Aug 30
In my opinion, this is the superior pizza dough. The secret? Using the least amount of yeast possible. This allows the dough to be stretched and stay thin while tasting like takeout-style pizza and not like a loaf of bread.
This post is in collaboration with Whitney who will be sharing her recipe for homemade pizza sauce this Friday, so make sure to stay on the look out for her post!
Homemade Pizza Dough
Yield: 2 medium pizzas (16 total slices)
Prep time: 5 min
Wait time: 12+ hours*
Cook time: 8 min
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/4 tsp Real salt (or Kosher salt)
Extra flour or corn meal for sprinkling on baking sheet
Combine 1 1/4 cup warm water, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 tsp yeast in a bowl. Let sit for 5 min to make sure your yeast is active.
Add 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 3 1/4 tsp salt. Mix until combined and then knead by hand for 30 seconds to 1 minute to ensure dough is cohesive. Form a ball, place it into a greased bowl and cover with a wet tea towel or cling wrap.
Let dough sit for 2 hours, or until almost doubled in size.
Once risen, punch down and divide in half. Form two dough balls and place back into bowl, cover. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
One hour before baking, take the bowl out of the refrigerator to bring the dough up to room temperature.
Flip a baking sheet upside down and line with parchment. Sprinkle with flour or corn meal.
Set oven to 525F, or broil, and place pizza stone in the oven**.
To form pizza crust, take one dough ball and roll it out into a circle, about half an inch thick. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to relax the dough.
Pick up the dough disk and plop up on top of your knuckles. Using your knuckles, begin at edges and roll your knuckles under the dough, gently stretching outward. (See pictures below.) Use gravity to let the dough disc hang from your knuckles to stretch the dough. Leave a lip on the edges for your crust. The center of the pizza where you will put your sauce and toppings should be thin.
Place dough on parchment lined baking sheet and layer toppings on top. Pro Tip: Sprinkle cheese on some areas of the crust. This will make the crust extra crispy in those areas!
To bake, pull the parchment that the pizza is on onto the pizza stone. Bake 8 minutes.
Repeat with other crust.
*You can make this dough in one day, however you will have to start in the morning in order to have enough time for the dough to rise twice. Complete steps 1-3. After the first rise, punch down and divide dough into two dough balls, place back in the bowl, cover, and let rise on the counter until dinner (which will seemingly be all day). Pick up at step 6.
**Use a baking sheet flipped upside down if you do not have a pizza stone.
Why is this the superior pizza dough?
Many homemade pizza dough recipes call for a standard packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsp) to a similar amount of flour as used in this recipe. This is simply way too much yeast, as your dough will end up tasting like a loaf of bread rather than a pizza crust. Using a very minimal amount of yeast also allows your pizza crust to stay nice and thin while still having some lift in the crust for that authentic pizza taste and texture.
Can I make this dough in one day?
You can, and it will still be delicious, however letting the dough rise all night in the refrigerator adds a subtle tang to the dough that is quite desirable.
What if I do not have a pizza stone?
Flip a baking sheet upside down and place in the oven to preheat. Your crust will not get as crispy, however it will still be delicious. You may have to bake a minute or two longer, just keep checking it.
How long can the dough stay in my refrigerator?
The dough can sit in your refrigerator for up to three days, which makes it great for meal prep! If you notice the dough rising too much, just punch it down and reform the dough balls.
Can I freeze the dough?
Yes. After the first rise and reforming, place the dough into a greased ziplock bag and into the freezer. When you want to use it, take the frozen dough out of the ziplock bag in the morning, cover it, and let it thaw in a bowl on your counter until dinner. You can also place the bowl, covered, in your refrigerator and let it thaw there until you are ready to use it within the next three days.
This recipe is an almost weekly staple in our house. Before discovering this recipe, I would make the very yeasty "grandma style"pies, which were okay, but not our favorite. Now, we can have takeout-style pizza any time we want, and much healthier, too! I definitely recommend using a pizza stone; this one from Walmart works great! Pampered Chef also has a very nice rectangular pizza stone.
Remember to stay on the lookout for Whitney's recipe for homemade pizza sauce coming this Friday! Subscribe below to get notified when it is posted.
See you next Monday!