A step-by-step guide to making your own pizza dough at home. This recipe is super easy and ensures a perfect pizza every time!
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Homemade pizza dough is definitely one of those recipes that you want in your kitchen repertoire. It can seem kind of daunting, but in reality is very do-able. Once you go start making your own pizza dough, you’ll never go back to the pre-made stuff again. Pizza is so versatile – the amount and combination of pizza toppings is virtually endless. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll have perfect dough every time.
Start with the yeast. Yeast is essential for the dough to rise and gives it the distinctive flavor that we all know and love. Combine 1 cup of warm water – it’s really important that the water is warm and not hot – and 2 1/4 tsp. of baker’s yeast. This is equivalent to 1 (1/4 oz.) package of active dry yeast. Active dry yeast can be found in any grocery store in those little packages. I buy bulk yeast from a food coop and store it in the refrigerator, but both of these will work equally well. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp-1 Tbsp. of sugar into the water and yeast mixture and let sit for at least 15 minutes. The mixture will get kind of ‘bubbly’ and form a little ‘film’ on top of the water.
After your yeast has proofed, you can add the rest of the ingredients. I like to use a Kitchen Aid mixer when making pizza dough because it makes the process much easier. You can kind of set it and forget it. You can absolutely make pizza dough by hand, though. You will just need your hands to do the work that would otherwise be done with the machine. Kneading the crap out of pizza dough is a really good way to get your aggression out. Either way, combine 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, and the water/yeast mixture in a large bowl. Begin mixing these ingredients using the hook attachment. As it begins to mix, slowly add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to the bowl. This will keep the dough from sticking to the side.
Let the mixer run on low for 6-8 minutes until all the ingredients have combined and the dough is kind of sticky, stiff, and elastic. It shouldn’t be dry and clumpy at all. If you prepare the dough manually, just work it with your hands until it reaches this consistency.
Scrape the dough off the hook and let it sit in a large bowl. You can rub a little more olive oil on the sides of the bowl to prevent it from sticking. The mixture is kind of a dense lump at this point.
Now all you have to do is place a wet towel on top of the bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Let it sit longer if you can. The flavors will develop more the longer it sits. And place it in the warmest room in your house. This will help it rise faster. I like to start my pizza dough a few hours beforehand so that it can rise nicely and develop some awesome flavor.
Voila. After you’ve waited for awhile, remove the towel and your pizza dough should have risen. It will at least double in size. Now your dough is ready to become pizza.
Remove it from the bowl and cut it in half. This recipe makes two pizza crusts. I find that it works well to prepare the dough on a smooth surface that has been sprinkled with flour. Use your hands to smash the dough ball into a disc shape and then roll it out with a rolling pin. You can toss it into the air like you see in the movies, roll it out, smash it. Use whatever means necessary to get the shape you want. Just remember that it doesn’t need to look perfect.
Place the dough onto your favorite pizza pan and add your favorite toppings. You can sprinkle a little bit of cornmeal onto the pan before adding the dough to prevent it from sticking after it has baked, but this is optional. After the pizza toppings are added, I bake it at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I discovered this recipe a few years ago and haven’t looked back. Now you can make all kinds of tasty pizza recipes – like this Smoky BBQ Chicken Pizza or this Arugula Pesto, Prosciutto, and Tomato Pizza!
- Place warm (not hot) water and yeast in small bowl. Add sugar.
- Let sit for 15 minutes. The mixture will get bubbly and form a film on top of the water.
- In a large bowl, add the water/yeast mixture to flour and salt.
- Begin to mix in a Kitchen Aid mixer using hook attachment.
- Slowly drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil into the bowl.
- Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes using the mixer or your hands.
- Scrape the dough off the hook, cover with a wet towel, and let sit for an hour in a warm room.
- Remove dough from bowl and divide in half.
- Flatten dough using hands and/or rolling pin.
- Sprinkle pizza pan with cornmeal (optional).
- Place flattened dough on pan and add favorite toppings.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Dough must sit for at least 30 minutes. Let it sit longer if possible.