Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

After testing numerous pizza dough recipes, I arrived at this, my favorite basic pizza dough. The consistency and texture is similar to that of traditional deep-dish pizza, but this is a great all-purpose dough that works well for all recipes. Follow each individual pizza recipe carefully for exact dough requirements.

(Makes 1 large 16- to 18-inch (41  – 46 cm) pizza or two traditional deep-dish pizzas.)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (355 mil warm water about 110′F to 115′F (43′C-46′C);
  • 1 (1/4-ounce or 7 g) package active dry yeast;
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) sugar;
  • 3 1/2- cups (385 g) all-purpose flour;
  • 1/2 cup (38 g) semolina flour (or fine ground yellow corn meal);
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing bowl;
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g salt).

Preparation

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar In a large mixing bowl, then stir to combine and dissolve the yeast. Set aside until foamy on top, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups (165 g) flour, the semolina, 1/3 cup (75 ml) of the olive oil, and salt. Mix by hand using a wooden spoon until smooth. Continue working flour,1/4 cup (28 g) at a time, into the dough until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth but still tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.

Coat a large mixing bowl with oil, place the dough into the bowl, and turn to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free area to double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough and divide into two equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and store in airtight bags or use according to recipe.

A note about kneading

To knead dough, start by dusting your hands with flour. Use the heel of your hand to push the dough down and away from you. then turn a 1/2 turn, fold the sides in, and push down and away with the heel of your hand again. Repeat this process to add the flour gradually into the dough.

Varying flour amounts

When making pizza dough, the amount of flour needed to complete the dough will vary, depending on the humidity and temperature of your particular location. Always add the last amounts of flour in small (1/4 cup f 28 g for example) increments to avoid overflouring or overworking the dough.

Freezing dough

To freeze dough, wrap it in airtight plastic wrap or freezer bags and freeze for up to four months. Before using the dough, thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, or for several hours at room temperature until it begins to rise again and doubles in size. Punch down and use as directed in recipes.