How to Make Pizza Dough

We`ve been making our own pizza dough for almost a year-and-a-half.  It`s remarkably simple to prepare, doesn`t take a lot of labor and tastes remarkably great.

How to Make Pizza Dough Pizza Flour Cooking Recipes

We use a food processor with a plastic blade to mix the dough but you could easily substitute your hands for the machine.

I find that most pizza dough recipes emphasize the wrong thing – the recipe.  There`s a lot of factors which affect your dough which include humidity, size of your flour and the temperature of the room.  A recipe is a guideline to get you started but you need to tweak the dough each time you make it – and that`s really easy.

Here`s the guideline:

  • If your dough is sticky, add a bit of flour.  I didn`t do this when I was learning and it made the bowl difficult to clean and the dough tough to work with.  Add a small amount at a time – there should be no dough stuck to the sides of the bowl.
  • If your dough is crumbly, add water – a very small amount at a time.  If you have `crumbly bits`, this will bring it together.

Your finished dough should be a lovely ball.  The consistency is closer to soft bubblegum than a brick or goo that won`t fall off your fingers.

This recipe is scalable up and down and relies on weight for it`s main ingredients as a more accurate way of measuring:

  • 20 ounces flour
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1 ounce olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional – can use sugar or omit)
  • 0.5 teaspoon instant or active yeast

Place dry ingredients in the mixer and give them a buzz.  Follow by adding the oil, maple syrup and then water and add them in a steady stream with the mixer on.  This takes about 20-30 seconds of mixing (I stop halfway to scrape the outsides of the mixer inwards).

Dust the outsides of your dough with flour and place in a bowl and cover with a moist towel.  Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes before cutting it in half and rolling it out flat on a well-floured surface.

If you want a very thin crust, let your dough rest for about 10 minutes after rolling (covered with the moist towel) and then roll again.

We cook the pizza in an oven at 450 degrees – it can take about 10 minutes, sometimes a bit longer.  You know when it`s done when your spatula easily lifts the dough without stretching (this means it`s cooked on the bottom).

We`ll share our ultimate tips for making calzone with this dough tomorrow.
How to Make Pizza Dough Pizza Flour Cooking Recipes

The pizza above included our dough as well as our homemade pasta sauce, dried mushroom and celery powders as well as dried herbs.

Comments

  1. OPur community garden has a bread oven that we are going to fire up this weekend. I think a nice pizza would be a great way to test a recipe and the oven.

    now, what toppings do you suggest??????

  2. Think about switching out the maple syrup with malt syrup sometime – it makes for an amazing pizza dough flavor.

  3. mike moore says:

    Fans of Well preserved will appreciate the flavor of a transitional of full whole wheat dough. Achieving excellent flavor and the blistering bubbles of a delicious pizza crust can be a challenge, especially with whole wheat.

    I use the transitional (ie 50/50) whole wheat recipe using soaker/biga from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor (though he has other books devoted exclusively to pizza)

    I add slightly more sugar/honey and usually make two thin crust pizzas from each recipe four at a time. In other words 8 dough’s and freeze 6 that can be pulled out of the freezer a few hours prior to dinner. I’ve also had good results with using beer instead of water in the dough.

    Search for a TED video with Peter Reinhart sharing his compelling and very scientific argument for (what he later called) the delayed fermentation method, and why it makes bread sooo good.

  4. If you’re seriously interested in learning more about making pizza, there’s a great community of us Pizza freaks on the net at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum. I’ve been there since 2005 and my pizza making kung fu has dramatically gotten greater.

  5. Why so much flour? 20 oz. came out to 5 cups. I made this after using a recipe (a few days earlier) that called for 3 cups and I thought the pizza dough was better. This recipe created pizza that turned out more like foccacia. It was still tasty but much too thick for my pizza liking. I’ll try it again but try to get it thinner.

    • Devolina,

      Sorry that it came out so thick – you can easily cut it in half or make two pizzas from it. We routinely make very thin crust with this (or small variations of it). I’ve lately discovered the magic of letting it rest for several days and I’m not sure I’d go back (although I’d make it fresh like this if I ever wanted a ‘quick’ meal)!

      I hope it goes better for you next time!

      Joel

  6. Can I make extra dough and keep in my fridge for later in the week? I figure as long as I have all my stuff out I could make extra and save my self time and clean up later…..however….don’t want to waste if it doesn’t refridgerate well. Thank you! :)

    • Hi Heather – thanks for your comment! Always exciting to hear from ‘new’ people. I find it gets better with time – to a point. Day 3 was fantastic several times. I’ve waited 4 days once and it wasn’t perfect (but edible) but that may also have been because of how I stored it (there’s a long story but it spent a day in a cooler, was driven more than 100 miles and was disrespected totally). It was, however, still edible.

      You can also freeze it – or partially cook it with nothing on it and freeze it like that. We don’t have a lot of freezer space so I haven’t tried freezing much.

      Let us know how it works out for you!

      Joel

  7. Best pizza dough EVER! Thank you so much!!!!

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