How to Make Pizza Dough at Home | The New York Times
How to Make Pizza Dough
If you're tired of ordering the same old pizza for delivery, make your own customized pizza at home. Give yourself enough time to mix together a flavorful dough and let it prove. Once it's doubled in size, roll the dough into any size pizza (or pizzas) you want. Pre-bake the dough and then put sauce and toppings on your pizza. Bake it until the cheese melts and the crust becomes golden brown.
2 teaspoons (6 g) of active dry yeast or instant yeast
to cups (210 to 270 ml) plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of lukewarm water, divided
2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil
3 cups (361 g) of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (7 g) of salt
Makes enough dough for 1 to 2 round pizzas or 1 rectangular pizza
Mixing the Dough
Dissolve active dry yeast in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of water.If you're not using instant yeast, put 2 teaspoons (6 g) of active dry yeast into a small bowl. Add a pinch of sugar and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the lukewarm water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and let it sit for 5 minutes at room temperature.
- The yeast should bubble and foam up once it's activated.
- If you're using instant yeast, you don't need to dissolve it or add sugar.
Put the yeast into a bowl with oil, flour, salt, and cup (210 ml) of water.If you're using the activated yeast, pour it into a large mixing bowl. If you're using instant yeast, measure 2 teaspoons (6 g) into the mixing bowl. Add 3 cups (361 g) of unbleached all-purpose flour to the bowl along with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil, 1 1/4 teaspoons (7 g) of salt, and cup (210 ml) of lukewarm water.
- Avoid putting the salt directly onto the instant yeast because it will kill the yeast.
- You can add the remaining water later if the dough looks dry, but start with the smaller amount.
Stir the ingredients to make a sticky dough.Use a sturdy spoon, stand mixer, or bread machine to mix the dough ingredients. Stir until they're completely combined and you don't see pockets of flour.
- If the dough seems too dry, you can stir in the remaining cup (59 ml) of lukewarm water, a spoonful at a time.
- If you're using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Don't use a hand mixer to make this dough because it's not powerful enough to mix the dough.
Knead the pizza dough until it's soft, smooth, and stretchy.To knead the dough by hand, coat your hands with flour and sprinkle your work surface with a little flour. Use the palms of your hand to push the dough away from you so it stretches. Then turn the dough 45 degrees and fold it in half. Push the dough away again and continue to turn and fold the dough. Knead until the dough becomes soft and elastic.
- To knead the dough using a stand mixer, choose the second lowest speed and beat the dough for 4 to 5 minutes.
- To knead the dough using a bread machine, set the machine to run a dough cycle.
Proving and Shaping the Dough
Put the dough in a bowl and prove it for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.To prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl, lightly grease it before you put the dough in it. Then cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest at room temperature until the yeast causes it to rise. The dough should nearly double in size and become puffy once it's ready to shape.
- If you used instant yeast, begin checking the dough after 1 hour of proving. If you used active dry yeast, begin checking it after 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Decide what size and thickness of pizza you want.Since you have control over how many pizzas to make with the dough, you can also choose how thick you want them. This batch of dough will make one of these options:
- Two 1/2 in (1.3 cm) thick round pizzas that are 14 inches (36 cm) in diameter
- Two 3/4 in (1.9 cm) thick round pizzas that are 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter
- One 3/4 to 1 in (1.9 to 2.5 cm) thick rectangular pizza that's 13 by 18 inches (33 cm × 46 cm)
- One 1 1/2 in (3.8 cm) thick rectangular pizza that's 9 by 13 inches (23 cm × 33 cm)
- One 1 in (2.5 cm) thick round pizza that's 14 inches (36 cm) in diameter
Divide the dough if you're making 2 pizzas.Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and scoop the dough onto it. Then use a knife or bench scraper to divide the dough into 2 equal portions.
- If you're making 1 large round or rectangular pizza, you don't need to divide the dough.
Stretch the dough into circles or a rectangle.Once you've decided the size and thickness of the pizza you want, use your hands to gently stretch the dough. To make a rectangular pizza, start by stretching the entire ball of dough into an oval. Then tug on the corners a little to make a rough rectangle. If you're making round pizzas, stretch each dough half (or the whole ball) into a rough circle.
- Making 1 large rectangle is the classic Italian way to shape pizza dough and it will fit your baking pan better than if you try to make 2 smaller rectangles or squares.
- If you're finding it hard to stretch the dough, you can use a rolling pin to spread the dough a little.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.If you made round pizzas, take bowls that are larger than the diameter of the pizza and turn them over. Place the overturned bowls over the dough. If you made a rectangular pizza, spray a large sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and lay it over the dough. Leave the pizza dough to rest for 15 minutes.
- The dough may puff a little as it rests, but it doesn't need to double in volume.
Spray the pizza pans with cooking spray and lay the dough in the pans.If you don't have cooking spray, spread a little olive oil across your pizza pan. Carefully lay the rolled dough in the pan and stretch the edges so they come close to the sides of the pan.
- The olive oil will improve the flavor of the crust and prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Rest the dough for 15 minutes and finish stretching it.Cover the dough with a bowl or plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature to rest for 15 minutes. Then remove the bowls or plastic wrap and use your fingers to finish stretching the edges of the dough to the corners of the pizza pan.
- You should be able to fill the entire pizza pan with the stretched dough.
Cover and prove the dough for 1 1/2 hours.Cover the dough with the bowls or plastic wrap and leave it to rest at room temperature. After 1 1/2 hours the dough should be puffy.
- If you're proving dough that you refrigerated, you'll need to prove it for an extra 30 to 60 minutes.
Topping and Baking the Pizza
Preheat the oven to 500 °F (260 °C) and adjust the oven racks.Place a rack on the lowest rung of your oven so the pizzas will bake closest to the heating element. This will give you the crispiest crust.
- If you're using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack.
Bake just the dough in the pan for 8 to 14 minutes.Uncover the pans and put the pizza dough into the preheated oven. Bake the dough until it's just starting to set and become brown around the edges. If you're making thin crust pizza, take it out after 8 minutes. For thicker crust pizza, remove it after 12 to 14 minutes.
- The dough won't be finished baking at this point.
- Pre-baking the dough will make the dough chewier.
Spread toppings on your pizza.Cover the pizza dough with your choice of white sauce, red pizza sauce, or pesto. Then top the sauce with your favorite toppings and cheese. Consider using a combination of:
- Pepperoni or ham
- Sausage or ground beef
- Roasted chicken
- Mozzarella, Asiago, or Parmesan cheese
- Broccoli or bell peppers
Put the pizza in the oven and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes.Place the pizza on the upper rack of the oven and bake the pizza until the cheese melts. The crust should become a golden brown.
- If the pizza crust is browning too quickly, move the pizza to the bottom rack.
Remove the pizza and let it cool for 5 minutes.Turn off the oven and transfer the pizza to a rack or cutting board. Let the pizza cool so the cheese firms up a little and it's easier to slice.
- If the pizza sticks when you try to remove it, slide a firm metal spatula under the crust to loosen it.
Cut and serve the pizza.Decide if you'd like to cut the pizza into triangular slices or smaller squares. Serve the pieces of pizza while they're still hot and set out grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
- If you don't have a pizza cutter or knife, use clean kitchen shears to cut pieces of pizza.
- Refrigerate leftover pizza in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.
QuestionCan I use something other than yeast?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it is possible to make a pizza without yeast but there is no guarantee how good it will be. Self-rising flour can pass with a pinch but it doesn't have the same texture and crustiness that yeast will give.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is yeast? Can I use baking powder?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYeast is a product used to make something rise. Baking powder cannot be used as it will not help the dough to rise as yeast does and it may taste soap-like in the dough.Thanks!
QuestionCan I freeze pizza dough?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, because after freezing, it will not thaw easily. In extreme cases it will fall apart.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I know that the dough is 2-4 cm thick? Is it okay not to toss the dough or spin it as well?LOVELY LASCommunity AnswerYou can always roll the dough or press it until it is approximately 2-4 cm and then you can use a ruler and measure it if you want exact. Press the dough into a round shape and guess the thickness, as after you've done it a few times, you'll easily be able to guess the thickness. Exactitude isn't essential and in fact, a good cook doesn't need to use tools to measure but knows by eye and skill.Thanks!
QuestionCan I eat the dough when it is not cooked?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, because you could get very sick from the uncooked ingredients.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to use water even if I'm using fresh yeast?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYeast needs lukewarm water with some sugar to be activated, so you will still need to add water to make the dough.Thanks!
QuestionCan I rub the dough with olive oil?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes - it becomes nicer to roll/knead when rubbed with a little olive oil. The oil gives it a smoother dough.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible to use baby formula as a yeast substitute?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, because yeast is a rising product.Thanks!
QuestionWhat temperature do I need to cook it at?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should cook it at 375 degrees in the oven.Thanks!
QuestionCan I cook this in a tawa?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can cook the pizza on a tawa. You should cover the pizza on top though.Thanks!
To make your own pizza dough, dissolve 2 teaspoon of dry active yeast in 2 tablespoons of water with a pinch of sugar. Then, mix the yeast, 3 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1.25 teaspoons of salt, and 7/8 cup of water in a bowl until they form a sticky dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it with your hands until it's soft, smooth, and stretchy. After it's kneaded, put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it sit for 1-2 hours to prove. When the dough is ready, form it into the shape that you'd like, and add your toppings!
- If you want to make the dough in advance before rolling it and baking it, let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature. Then you can refrigerate the covered dough for 4 to 24 hours. Take the dough out of the fridge 2 to 3 hours before you're ready to bake the pizza so it can come back to room temperature.
- You can mix 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 1 cup of self-rising flour to create easy, delicious pizza dough at home!
Things You'll Need
Measuring cups and spoons
Rectangular baking sheet or round pizza pans
Pizza cutter or knife
Cutting board, optional
Rolling pin, optional
Sources and Citations
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