Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Introducing the RecipeTin Eats’ pizza dough recipe! An easy pizza crust for homemade pizza that’s everything you want it to be – puffy crust with a chewy, moist crumb on the inside. Enough structure to pick up, but not thin and stiff like a cracker.

Make it in 40 seconds flat using a food processor, or knead by hand in 5 minutes. Top with anything your heart desires – or use our Pizza Sauce and one of our favourite pizza toppings!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Pizza Dough recipe

This is the RecipeTin Eats’ family pizza dough recipe. We stray on occasion, to try different types. But we always return to this one.

It’s a rare thing when the entire RTE family agrees on something to do with food. So when I tell you that we all agree this is the best pizza crust recipe, that means something!

It makes a homemade pizza crust like you get from your favourite wood fired Italian pizza place. Puffy edges that are slightly crispy on the outside, but chewy and moist like Artisan bread on the inside.

The base gets crispy enough so each slice has just enough structure to pick it up with one hand, rather than being a sloppy mess. But it still has that slight bend on the end, so you know the base of the crust is not dry and stiff like a cracker, nor paper thin.

See? Prawn pizza evidence!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
Slice of prawn pizza – shows how this homemade pizza crust has enough structure to be picked up without being sloppy

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

How to make homemade pizza – 3 easy steps

  1. Make dough & Rise 1 – make the dough, Rise #1 for 1 – 2 hours;
  2. Balls & Rise 2 – form 3 balls, then do Rise #2 for 1 hour;
  3. Top & bake – Stretch out to make pizza crust, spread with sauce, toppings of choice, bake 10 minutes!

Useful tip: The dough can be made ahead up to 5 days. And it can sit around for hours once the individual pizza balls are formed. So don’t fret about getting the timing exactly right!


What you need for pizza dough

Here’s what you need to make pizza dough:

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

  • Yeast – instant / rapid rise yeast is what I use because it makes the dough rise faster and eliminates the need to dissolve yeast in water. However, the recipe includes directions for active dry yeast too (ie ordinary yeast powder);
  • Sugar – helps the dough rise and brown the crust;
  • Salt – nobody likes a bland, flavourless pizza crust!
  • Warm water – yeast loves warmth so it helps the dough rise faster;
  • Olive oil – required to keep the crust inside when making pizza in home ovens. Traditional Italian pizza dough doesn’t have oil, but that’s because pizzas cook in 3 minutes in fiercely hot pizza ovens that reach 400°C/750°F. Home ovens will max out at about 275°C/530°F or less = longer to bake = crust dries out unless we use oil.

Part 1: How to make pizza dough

It. Is. EASY! And so many options:

  • Hand knead – 5 minutes
  • Standmixer – 3 minutes
  • Food processor – 40 seconds (yes, really!)

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

  1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar, then mix in water and oil;
  2. It will come together into a rough dough that comes away from the wides;
  3. Scrape out onto a floured work surface and bring it together into a ball; then
  4. Knead for 5 minutes using your hand or 3 minutes in a stand mixer (see below for food processor).

This is what the dough looks like before and after kneading. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth like some bread doughs.

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
Pizza dough before and after kneading.

 


40 Second Pizza Dough – food processor

And here’s how to make it using a food processor. The dough pulls away from the edges and blade so the food processor is easy to clean, which makes this method even more appealing!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!


Dough Rise # 1

After the dough has been kneaded using your method of choice, it’s time to let it rise.

  1. Drizzle the same bowl with olive oil, then put the dough in;
  2. Cover with cling wrap and rise 1 hour in warm place. Once the dough has risen, use immediately or refrigerate up to 5 days for even better flavour!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Optional: Fridge up to 5 days = extra flavour!

The beauty of this dough that it’s fantastic made and cooked right now, but it’s better tomorrow and even better on day 5! This is because dough develops more flavour over time.

Typically, I make pizza dough the night before, leave it overnight then make it the next day.

 

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
Prosciutto and Rocket Pizza – classic Italian

Part 2: Forming balls

If you refrigerated your dough, take it out of the fridge 3 hours prior to bring it to room temp before proceeding with these steps.

  1. Scrape dough out of bowl;
  2. Shape into a log, knocking out all the air, and cut into 3 equal pieces;
  3. Tuck the sides of the dough underneath, money-bag style;
  4. This stretches the dough on one side so you have a smooth surface;
  5. Place on a tray, then cover with a damp tea towel;
  6. Rise for 1 hour until almost doubled in size.

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Part 3: Stretch pizza base

There’s many ways to stretch dough to make the pizza base and they all work just fine, just remember these 2 golden rules:

  1. Don’t handle the edges so you don’t knock the air out = authentic puffy edges
  2. Use a light touch – if you press the dough to death you’ll end up with a dry, super crisp crust

Do not stress about forming perfect bases. Patch tears with extra dough. Wonky and bumpy = hidden once baked. Rustic = authentic!

 I typically use this easy stretch-on-counter method:

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

  1. Use fingers to flatten puffy dough dome and stretch it out slightly. I never press down or pinch the edges;
  2. Once you flatten with your fingers / palm, then start using your hands to stretch and pull the dough to make it larger, rotating as you go, until it’s almost about 25cm / 10″ wide;
  3. Drag onto pizza pan, then continue to shape, pulling right to the edge of the pan.

This method is prone to some unevenness in the base, but once baked you don’t notice / it’s “rustic” and real!


Part 4: The Sauce

Here are our Pizza Sauce recipes. There’s two versions:

  1. Cooked down pizza sauce using canned tomato, simmered to cook out water, then cooled prior to using;
  2. Almost instant pizza sauce made using tomato paste. I like this one because there’s a slight sourness that cuts through the richness of the toppings.
Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
Almost instant pizza sauce made with tomato paste. The tart flavour is perfect for using on pizza!
Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
Supreme pizza. At least 2 types of meat is mandatory – this has 3!

Part 5: Toppings – don’t be greedy!

See the RecipeTin Eats Pizza Toppings menu for recipes for our favourite pizzas.

You can top pizzas with anything your heart desires, but the key thing to remember is this: LESS IS MORE!

Pizza bases like this are not built for fully loading with toppings. It weighs down the dough, prevents the crust from rising, the centre of the pizza ends up soggy and it will be sloppy when you pick it up.

I’m the biggest offender of being greedy with toppings – and I always regret it. So this lecture is really for me!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Useful tip: use freshly shredded cheese rather than store bought which is cut thicker so it’s heavier, so it weighs down the dough and you get less surface coverage.

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
Potato Rosemary Pizza, a personal favourite! Carb on carb heaven….

Part 6: Baking

Pizza stone > pizza pan with holes > baking sheet.

I use a pizza pan with holes in it 99% of the time for sheer convenience. The holes lets the heat have direct contact with most of the base which makes it crisper than using a normal baking tray, and it’s less fussy to use than a baking stone.

If you use a baking stone, you need to assemble the pizza on a paddle, then slide it onto the preheated stone. (See recipe notes for directions)

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Pro tip: look for pizza pans with extra large holes. Holes = crispier base!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!
BBQ Meatlovers’ Pizza

Eating (and leftovers)

If you use a knife and fork to eat pizza, I’m afraid we can’t be friends….

Hands all the way. You won’t have grease running down your elbows because they’re homemade so we use a fraction of the oil of Dominos and Pizza Hut. Which, to my logic, means we can have MORE with LESS GUILT.

If you’ve got leftovers, the microwave is always there for emergencies – though you know it’s going to mean a soft crust. The best way is to use a covered skillet – this makes the crust crisp again whilst also reheating the top. The other way is covered on a baking tray in the oven.

And of course, there’s cold pizza, eaten straight from the fridge. I’m not a cold pizza gal, but I won’t judge. Because I truly believe to my very core that no one should tell you how you should or should not take your pizza. Do as you please! – Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Here’s the recipe video to knead the dough by hand. See below for the 40 second food processor method.

And here’s the recipe video for the 40 second pizza dough. After the dough is made, the steps are exactly the same and the pizza crust comes out exactly the same!

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Print

Pizza Dough recipe

Recipe video above. This pizza dough can be made in 40 seconds flat using a food processor (see 2nd recipe card below), or just 5 minutes of hand kneading. It makes a pizza crust like you get at Italian wood fired pizzerias – puffy edges with a chewy crumb, enough structure so you can pick up slices rather than being a sloppy mess. But not dry and stiff like a thin cracker! Best to use weights provided, if you can.
Course Mains
Cuisine Italian, Western
Keyword easy pizza dough, pizza dough
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dough rising 3 hours
Servings 3 pizzas, 30cm/12″
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 600g (4 cups) bread flour , or plain/all purpose (Note 1)
  • 2 tsp (6g) rapid rise or instant yeast (Note 2)
  • 2 tsp (12g) salt , kosher / cooking salt (Note 3)
  • 4 tsp (20g) white sugar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm tap water (375g, Note 4)

For Working:

  • 1 tbsp Extra Flour
  • 2 tsp Extra Olive Oil

Instructions

Hand Kneaded Dough:

  • Place flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Make a well in the centre. Pour in oil and water. Mix to bring together so it comes away from the side of the bowl.
  • Sprinkle work surface with 1/2 the Extra Flour. Scrape dough out of bowl.
  • Bring together into a ball then knead for 5 minutes until pretty smooth (see video for Before v After, Note 5). Shape dough into a ball.

Rise #1:

  • Drizzle large bowl with Extra Olive Oil (can use same bowl).
  • Place dough in, turn over and rub top with oil.
  • Cover with cling wrap, then put in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours until it doubles in size. (Rise #1)

Optional fridge – flavour development:

  • Refrigerate bowl with proofed dough for up to 5 days. Flavour gets better with time. (Note 7)

Form small balls, Rise #2:

  • Scrape dough into bowls, shape into log, fully deflating dough in the process.
  • Cut into 3 equal portion – 330g / 11.6 oz.
  • Tuck the sides under, money-bag style, so you have a smooth side.
  • Place balls, smooth side up, on a large tray – 5cm / 2″ from edge of tray, 10cm / 4″ from each other.
  • Cover balls with lightly damp tea towel.
  • Leave in warm place 1 hour until almost double in size. (If fridge cold, will take 3 hours).

Stretch pizza base:

  • Preheat oven to 275°C / 530°F, or as high as it will go. Put shelf in top third of oven.
  • Sprinkle work surface with 1/2 tbsp flour. Place dough on top.
  • Without touching the edges, use finger tips and back of fingers to deflate dough gently and spread out into a 20cm/8″ round. Then use your fingers to stretch the dough, working around the circle, until it’s almost the size of a 30cm / 12″ pizza pan.
  • Drag onto the pizza pan, then finish stretching it to fill the pan. Leave 1 cm / 1/3″ of the edge untouched as much as possible (for puffy edges!)

Topping / Cooking (work quickly!):

  • Spread with 1/4 cup pizza sauce, then toppings of choice (see Topping recipes here).
  • Bake 10 minutes, rotating at 4 minutes and checking at 8 minutes, until cheese is melted and has some golden spots.
  • Cut into wedges, serve immediately!!

Notes

1. Flour – bread flour / pizza flour has higher protein and creates a slightly better chewy crust with some big holes aka Wood fired pizzeria style. But I wouldn’t make a special trip for it – all purpose / plain flour works just fine!

2. Yeast – use yeast labelled “instant” or “rapid rise”. If you can only find normal yeast (can be labelled “active dry yeast”) then dissolve yeast in water first (no need to let it foam), then immediately add flour and salt and mix. Proceed with recipe as written.

3. Salt – reduce to 1 1/2 tsp if using table salt (finer grains = less volume for same amount of salt)

4. Water temp – if it’s so scorching hot you wouldn’t bathe in it, it will kill the yeast. If it’s a lovely temp you could sit in for hours in a bubble bath, it’s the perfect temp.

5. Pizza dough doesn’t need to be as smooth as other breads. Dough should be soft and a bit sticky – not so sticky it gets stuck all over your hands, but JUST enough flour so it’s barely sticking to your hands. Softer dough = better pizza crust, tough dry dough = dry pizza!

6. Dough rising – time will vary depending on room temperature, humidity. Over 30°C, should rise in 1 hour. 25-27°C = 1.5 – 2 hrs.

If it’s not rising, move to somewhere warmer – will work fine even if it takes 5 hours to rise.

Warm place ideas – run empty dryer, turn off then put bowl inside. Or oven at 30°C. Do not put in direct sunlight.

7. Fridge & flavour development: fridge = slows down yeast rising = time to let enzymes in the yeast to do their work, transforming starch into sugar which creates a more flavourful pizza crust.

 

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

Print

40 Second Pizza Dough – Food Processor

Recipe video above. This pizza dough can be made in 40 seconds flat using a food processor, or just 5 minutes hand kneading. It makes a pizza crust like you get at Italian wood fired pizzerias – puffy edges with a chewy crumb, enough structure so you can pick up slices rather than being a sloppy mess. But it’s not dry and stiff like a thin cracker. Make and use now, or keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days – like Artisan bread, the flavour gets better with time! Best to use weights provided, if you can.
Course Mains
Cuisine Italian, Western
Keyword easy pizza dough, pizza dough
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 pizzas, 30cm/12″
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 600g (4 cups) bread flour , or plain/all purpose (Note 1)
  • 2 tsp (6g) rapid rise or instant yeast (Note 2)
  • 2 tsp (12g) salt , kosher / cooking salt (Note 3)
  • 4 tsp (20g) white sugar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm tap water (375g, Note 4)

For Bowl:

  • 2 tsp Extra Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Place flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large food processor (8 cups/2L+). Pulse twice.
  • With motor on low, pour oil in quickly. Then pour water in slowly over 10 seconds.
  • Continue blitzing for 30 seconds – dough will come together, but won’t be a neat ball (that’s ok).
  • Take dough out and shape into a ball.
  • Follow recipe above for Rise #1, shaping, cooking etc – this dough is exactly the same as the above dough.

Notes

1. Flour – bread flour / pizza flour has higher protein and creates a slightly better chewy crust with some big holes aka Wood fired pizzeria style. But I wouldn’t make a special trip for it – all purpose / plain flour works just fine!

2. Yeast – use yeast labelled “instant” or “rapid rise”. If you can only find normal yeast (can be labelled “active dry yeast”) then dissolve yeast in water first (no need to let it foam), then immediately add flour and salt and mix. Proceed with recipe as written.

3. Salt – reduce to 1 1/2 tsp if using table salt (finer grains = less volume for same amount of salt)

4. Water temperature – if it’s so scorching hot you wouldn’t bathe in it, it will kill the yeast. If it’s a lovely temp you could sit in for hours in a bubble bath, it’s the perfect temp.

Life of Dozer

I’m surprised the pizza was still there when I turned around.

Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy!

 

The post Pizza Dough recipe – homemade pizza made easy! appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.