Easy Pizza Dough

Recipe by Tracy K
READY IN: 1hr 10mins




  • To make the dough: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside (a Pyrex 2-cup measure makes for easy pouring; be sure the cup isn’t cold).
  • Put the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade; process briefly to mix.
  • With the machine running, add the water-yeast mixture in a steady stream.
  • Turn the processor off and add the oil.
  • Pulse a few times to mix in the oil.
  • Divide the dough: Scrape the soft dough out of the processor and onto a lightly floured surface.
  • With lightly floured hands, quickly knead the dough into a mass, incorporating any bits of flour or dough from the processor bowl that weren’t mixed in.
  • Cut the dough into four equal pieces with a knife or a dough scraper.
  • Roll each piece into a tight, smooth ball, kneading to push the air out.
  • To use dough that same day: If you want to make pizza as soon as possible, put the dough balls on a lightly floured surface, cover them with a clean dishtowel, and let them rise until they almost double in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, turn your oven on, preferably with a baking stone in it, to let the stone fully heat.
  • Pizza the next day: If you want to bake the pizzas the next day, line a baking sheet with a floured dishtowel, put the dough balls on it, and cover them with plastic wrap, giving them room to expand (they’ll almost double in size), and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To use dough that has been refrigerated overnight, simply pull it out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before shaping the dough into a pizza.
  • To shape, top, and bake the pizzas, see below.
  • To freeze dough: Dust each generously with flour as soon as you’ve made it, and put each one in a separate zip-top bag.
  • Freeze for up to a month.
  • It’s best to thaw the dough in the refrigerator for at least 10-12 hours before you want to use it-- but in a pinch it'll defrost on the counter in about 1 1/2 hours.
  • To shape pizzas: Put the proofed or thawed ball of dough on a lightly floured surface.
  • Dust the top with flour.
  • Using your fingertips, press the ball down into a flat rounds about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Lift the dough and lay it over the back of the fist of one hand.
  • Put your other fist under the dough, right next to your first fist.
  • Now gently stretch the dough by moving your fists away from each other.
  • Each time you do this stretch, rotate the dough.
  • Continue stretching and rotating until the dough is thin, about 1/4 inch, and measures about 9 inches across.
  • Alternatively, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough thinly on a floured surface.
  • Rub a bit of flour onto a pizza peel (or the back of a baking sheet).
  • Gently lift the stretched dough onto the floured peel.
  • Top the pizza, scattering the ingredients around to within ½ inch of the border.
  • To bake: Put a pizza stone or unglazed quarry tiles on the lowest rack of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F.
  • Ideally, let the stone preheat in the oven for an hour.
  • You should place your pizza on the peel before topping it so that it's ready to slide onto your stone.
  • Shake the peel (or baking sheet) gently back and forth to make sure the pizza isn’t stuck.
  • Quickly slide the pizza onto the hot baking stone.
  • Bake until the edges are golden, about 8 min.
  • Using a peel, a wide spatula, or tongs, remove the pizza from the oven.