I don’t do dough. I don’t do bread. I don’t do yeast. Or so I thought …
Alton Brown first introduced me to the wonderful world of bread-making a few months ago, but it wasn’t until a recent culinary school lesson that I really felt I’d perfected the simple yet finicky process of making dough. Once frozen with intimidation, I can now finally say “Fear not, my fellow dough doubters!” Check the list of tips below then tie on an apron and let the flour-flinging begin with my recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough.
Tips + Tricks for Total Doughmination:
- When dissolving the yeast, use hot water – as in water that’s at a temperature your hand can stand. If your hand likes it, the yeast will like it.
- Adding a tablespoon of flour to the yeast while it’s dissolving will make for a better rise (better rise = better dough).
- “Knocking down” the dough refers to throwing it firmly against your work surface while holding on to one end. Fold the dough in half, then do it again. This helps to evenly distribute the yeast.
- For storing the dough in a “warm dry place,” try your dryer shortly after it’s been used.
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- 1 pound all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Extra flour for dusting work surface
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast, sugar and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour in the hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Mound the flour on your work surface and sprinkle in the salt. Use a fork to incorporate the two ingredients then form a large well in the center of the flour.
- Pour the dissolved yeast mixture into the center of the well and then little by little, use a fork to pull flour from the well into the center. Continue until mixture begins to thicken.
- Using your hands, begin kneading the dough until it comes together. Continue kneading until all of the flour has been incorporated evenly into the dough. Shape it into a ball.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with a greased piece of parchment paper. Let it rest for one hour in a warm, dry place until it doubles in size.
- Knock down the dough on your floured work surface then cut it into the desired amounts.
- Place the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and cover it again with a damp towel. Let the dough rise a second time for one more hour.
- Knock down the dough sections a second time then roll it into the desired shape, top it with your desired toppings and bake it in a 500ºF oven until golden brown.
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This is my go to pizza dough!!!!
Love reading this, Joann! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
Hello. Looking forward to trying this dough recipe. One part of the instructions has me confused and I have another question..
1) Instructions say: ‘Pour the dissolved yeast mixture into the center of the well and then little by little, use a fork to pull flour from the well into the center. Continue until mixture begins to thicken.’ Isn’t the well in the center? Shouldn’t I be pulling mixture out from the center?
2) Should I sift flour before weighing? (I.e., does it make a difference in weight whether it’s sifted first or not?) Thanks so much in advance for clarifying! :)
Hi Chris – You pull the flour into the well :) And no need to sift!
Fabulous recipes, as always !
As one of your fans from the other side of the world, I wondered if it would be possible to list cooking temperatures that everywhere but America uses, ie 450°F/232°C/gas 8. It really would make a difference for all of your non American fans.
Thanks, Neil! We’ll work on that functionality :)
Hello! I was wondering about how long for the first proof to double in size??
Hi Phoebe! About one hour. :)
can you froze this?
To make a smaller number of crusts, a search of the internet for the number of cups in 1 pound of all-purpose flour shows a range from 3 1/3 cup to 3 3/4 cup. What is the correct amount?
Hi Lynn! The flour should be weighed on a scale and it’d be closer to 3 1/3 cups. But You’d want to use a scale so it’s more accurate. Hope that helps!
I am a pizza dough novice :-). Can this dough be made the day before you want to use it? Thanks so much!
Hi there, Shiela! Yes, you absolutely can make it ahead of time and keep it sealed in plastic wrap in the fridge :)
Easy and tasty! My family LOVED this crust!!!
Woohoo! So thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Mary!
I tried this recipe…..it is fabulous!!! My family loved it! I was a little concerned because there was no oil but it was great! No need to worry about the oil.
Thrilled you and your family enjoyed the pizza dough, Joann!
There is no oil in this crust,correct?
Have you tried Roberta Restaurant Overnight Pizza Dough. ( In the Fridge!!!)
I haven’t tried that one yet!
Love your recipes!
Thank you so much, Merlene!
Hi kelly i love this recipe of your dough i always use it but this time have trouble about the scale dont know what 1pound un cups bec the scale im using broke…i search web but seem there alot of difference conversion…pls
Is there a way for me to let my pizza dough fluff more so its thicker?
Hi there! The thickness of the dough wouldn’t necessarily have to do with the proofing/fluffing. Do you mean a thicker dough? If so, you could roll it out less so it’s more of a thick crust than thin crust. Hope that helps!
I found this very easy but ended up in a soup. my dough wasn’t a dough it was batter kind of thing. However, I added two cups which i guess is equivalent to one pound.
Hi Neha, One pound of flour doesn’t equal 2 cups. The flour should be weighed on a scale and it’d be closer to 3 1/3 cups. But You’d want to use a scale so it’s more accurate. Hope that helps!
I know that a cup of flour is 5 oz, is a pound of flour 16 ounces? I know not everything measures the same.
Thanks for your time.
I can’t wait to try your recipe.
Can I use whole wheat flour for making dough instead of all purpose flour?
Hi Julie – I’ve never tried subbing whole wheat flour so I’m not sure what the ratio would be.
I let any dough, with yeast, rise in my oven, with just the light turned on. It’s free from drafts, and just the right temperature to rise beautifully. My washer and dryer are in the main bathroom upstairs, and it’s too far away from the kitchen. I’d never heard of using a dryer before.
Jim, the tossing is only for entertainment.
No pizza baker will even eat, or let you, the dough they have been tossing around.
Just roll it out and save the tricks for entertainment only
For the ultimate pizza dough recipe, how do i measure a pound of flour? I don’t have a kitchen scale. Thank you!
Hey there! Was looking for a pizza dough recipe…one thing, I wish it included rising time in the “prep time” calculation! Even though it isn’t active time, a recipe skimmer might not think to calculate all those various rising times when choosing a recipe…and I know pizza dough rising times can very wildly by recipe. Some even need overnight. :)
Can this dough be tossed, or do you recommend rolling only?
I am curious, if you don’t use all of the dough at one time (since you suggest it makes 3 12″ crusts, I assume you can freeze it? And if you do freeze it, do you just thaw and roll out?
Definitely, Leann! Just remember to wrap the dough securely in plastic wrap so it doesn’t get freezer burn, and then when you want to bake it, remove it from the freezer at least 30 minutes prior to rolling/baking. Keep in mind it’ll be way easier to roll once it’s come fully to room temp. Enjoy :)
Regarding the Ultimate Pizza Dough: After baking the crust until golden brown, then put the toppings on and bake further?
Thanks for your comment, Alison! I’ve updated the recipe directions – you top, then bake!
Does this make two large pizzas?
Hi Donna! It depends on how you define large and how thin you prefer your pizza crust, but it will make about three 12-inch pizzas. Hope that helps!
I have tried other dough recipes, but I must say this is EXCELLENT dough and I love the tips with sticking dough in dryer to rise worked magic!!!! Thx for sharing
I just made this dough and did everything you suggested. Oh my goodness! I have tried plenty of doughs. The pizza I currently have in my left hand is a testament to how I couldn’t wait to finish to wait to write this to you! Thank you do much!!!
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, and thanks so much for your comment!