Pizza Dough Perfection
I have been working on this recipe for awhile now to get exactly what I look for in a pizza crust: sweet, yeasty flavor with a big rise and chewy, bread-like texture. With some help from some fantastic, amazing chefs from this site, I've finally got it! Thanks again and again to duonyte "Chef #50509" , Dee514 "Chef #34146" , and bakingfool "Chef #1170032" for all the wonderful advice and help for a non-baker like me. This is NOT a quick recipe. It takes 4 days to ferment and really develop the flavor I wanted, but IMO it is WELL worth it!
- Ready In:
- 96hrs 10mins
- 4 1⁄4 teaspoons active dry yeast, divided
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (garlic- or basil-infused are good, as is evoo)
- 1⁄2 cup hot water
- 1 1⁄4 cups warm water, divided
- 3 1⁄2 cups bread flour, divided
- Put 1/2 cup HOT water in a small glass bowl, add 2 teaspoons of yeast and allow to sit for 10 minutes. (This kills the yeast and will add more of a yeast flavor in the finished product without changing the texture of the dough--thanks duonyte.) Put 1/2 cup WARM water in a large glass bowl, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle remaining 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast over the top and stir to combine. Let sit 10 minutes. Add 1 cup bread flour and stir to combine. Allow sponge to sit on the counter overnight.
- Add remaining warm water and olive oil. Measure out remaining flour and add one handful at a time, stirring 5 times after each incorporation.
- After the dough has been mixed, before kneading let the dough rest for about 30 minutes so that the flour and water properly combine.
- Turn dough out onto a clean, dry, very well floured surface and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer completely sticky (about 15 minutes--thanks bakingfool), but still a wetter dough. Allow to rise and ferment slowly in the refrigerator for 4 days, punching down once about 8 hours into the rise. (You can use the dough sooner, but having tested it every day for 4 days, I can tell you the flavor improves each day you allow it to ferment--thanks Dee514.).
- Roll out the dough as follows - keep everything well floured when using a wet dough - take balls of dough (about 1lb for 12" pizza), rotate the sides of the ball downward so that maintain a ball shape but stretch out the top; press down the ball with the tips of your fingers to create a circle; stretch out the dough in a circle by hand; then cover with plastic and let it rest for ten minutes; then finish stretching the dough out to the desired size, ensuring the dough is thicker at the edge to form a nice crust (I get 3 medium-sized pizzas that are not too thick not too thin.).
- Top pizza as desired (leaving a 1/2 inch border so the crust rises properly) and bake pizza in the hottest oven you can find (500*-550*) on a pizza stone that has been well pre-heated (at least 30 min) for 8-15 minutes depending on how well done you like your crust and how much you loaded it up!