The Art of Making the Perfect Pizza Dough
photo by Tee Lee
- Ready In:
1 14 Inch Pizza
- 1 (2 1/4 teaspoon) packet active dry yeast
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading and dredging
- 3⁄4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons olive oil
Make the dough and let it rise:
- Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until surface appears creamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture does not appear creamy, discard and start over with new yeast.).
- Stir together 1 1/4 cups flour and salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, oil and remaining 1/2 cup warm water and stir until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour (about 1/2 cup) so dough comes away from sides of bowl. (The dough will be wetter than pizza dough you may have made.).
- Knead dough on dry surface with lightly floured hands (reflour hands when dough becomes too sticky) until smooth, soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Form into 1 ball if baking pizza or 2 balls if grilling, put on a lightly floured surface, and generously dust with flour.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.
To shape the dough for baking:
- DO NOT PUNCH DOWN DOUGH. Carefully dredge dough in a bowl of flour to coat and transfer to dry work surface. Holding one edge of dough in the air with both hands and letting bottom touch work surface, carefully move hands around edge of dough (like turning a steering wheel), allowing weight of dough to stretch round to roughly 10 inches.
- Lay dough flat on lightly floured work surface and continue to work edges with fingers, stretching it into a 14-inch round.
To shape dough for grilling:
- DO NOT PUNCH DOWN DOUGH. Carefully dredge 1 ball of dough in a bowl of flour to coat and transfer to dry work surface. Holding one edge of dough in the air with both hands and letting bottom touch work surface, carefully move hands around edge of dough (like turning a steering wheel), allowing weight of dough to stretch round to roughly 7 inches. Lay dough flat on lightly floured work surface and continue to work edges with fingers, stretching it into a 9-inch round. Transfer to a floured tray. Repeat procedure with remaining ball of dough. Lightly dust a piece of plastic wrap with flour and invert loosely over pizza rounds. Allow dough to stand for 10 to 20 minutes before grilling.(dough will be slightly puffy).
- Note: The dough can be allowed to rise, covered and refrigerated in a covered bowl for up to one day. Bring to room temperature before shaping. REMEMBER (repeat after me :=) DO NOT PUNCH DOWN!
- Assemble and bake the pizza according to your favorite recipe.
- It can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw and bring to room temperature, but remember, Do Not Punch Down!
Questions & Replies
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This is a fantastic pizza crust. We used it as a crust for grilled pizza at my father's birthday party and received many compliments. Things to note: during the rising process, make sure there is plenty of room between the balls of dough as they tend to expand a lot. Also, when the directions say to generously dust the dough with flour before covering with plastic wrap; very, very generously coat the dough, or the plastic wrap will be difficult to remove. Finally, if grilling, pay really close attention when grilling to be sure the underside does not become overcooked. We will definitely use this recipe in the future when making pizzas. For a really complimentary sauce, we recommend Recipe #114392 114392. Thanks, Galley Wench!
I have made this twice and it is a FABULOUS recipe! I mix in in my bread machine. I grilled (just can't go back to baking) both times. The texture is perfectly chewy with nice air bubbles. I recently had pizza at Calif. Pizza Kitchen and it was similar (and not one bit better!). I had never heard of stretching the dough in that manner but it's the only way to go! Last night I topped it with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, chopped tomatoes, and mozz. cheese and it was divine. Thanks Galley Wench, for posting my new favorite dough recipe! Roxygirl
This is truly the BEST pizza dough I have made. It was not too chewy, not too thick, not too crisp. It was easy to work with also. I rolled the dough and realized I didn't have enough Italian cheese to make the pizza so had to run to the store. That just gave the pizza another chance to rise some making it even better! No other recipe I have made even compares to this dough! I followed all the instructions exactly and the result was absolutely phenomenal! Thank you!
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