Recently, I have become a huge fan of homemade pizza. Maybe it was the move to Chicago (a.k.a. the pizza capital of America), or maybe it was the realization that there are literally THOUSANDS of possibilities and they are pretty painless to make; whatever the reason, I am slightly obsessed. So, for the sake of the plethora of pizza recipes that are sure to appear on this blog, I thought I’d begin by sharing my recipe for basic pizza dough.
This recipe makes (in my experience) enough dough for two full pizzas. What I usually do is, after letting the dough rise, I cut it and freeze half in an air-tight plastic bag. When you’re ready to use the saved portion, just let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours; then, roll it out to the desired form and let it rest for about 30 minutes before topping and baking.
Basic Pizza Dough
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
- 1¼ cups water, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Process the flour and salt in a large food processor or stand mixer with a dough hook, pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while slowly pouring in the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons). If the dough does not readily form a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it. Split the dough and freeze half, if desired.
Turn out the dough and press into desired shape. Let rest for 20 minutes before topping and baking.