Think it takes hours to make pizza dough from scratch? Think again. Just a couple of ingredients and a few minutes of hands on time will reward you with perfect pizza dough every single time. Pizza night will never be the same again.
Homemade pizza dough was on my culinary bucket list for years. I tried several variations with a billion types of flour and was always left with a chewy, puffy crust. Not a fan of puffy crust…not a fan at all. I like a thin crisp crust, one with some crunch. Not like a cracker but it needs to have some substance and it definitely needs to be able to hold a boatload of toppings if I’m feeling especially gluttonous. I don’t do gluten-free….so don’t ask. I don’t have a gluten-free version, if I ever have to switch to a gluten-free diet….I will say good-bye to pizza….forever.
But in the meantime, let’s make some dough. Let’s talk flour for a moment, shall we? Flour is finicky. There are so many types of flour that you could get lost in the dust if you don’t know what to use. Literally. Have you ever poured flour into a mixer set on high? Dust everywhere. Well, I’d love to make a whole wheat dough but the dough became so sticky and gummy…made for a pretty tough crust. I’ll work on this again later but I see a blend happening here. We’re not ever going to have an amazingly scrumptious whole wheat dough until we cheat a little with some refined flour. All-purpose flour gave me the puffy crust I highly dislike. Two thumbs down. The winner was 00 flour….what is 00 flour, you ask? Caputo 00 flour is a finely ground flour with a lower gluten content than most flours. Less gluten means less elasticity. Caputo 00 flour is commonly found in a lot of Italian pasta recipes, it’s relatively easy to find these days in most well-stocked grocery stores. I found mine at an Italian specialty store but you can also buy it online. If you can’t find it, you can use bread flour in this recipe with almost identical results.
Let’s get started….this simple dough is made in a mixer. Basically, dump all the dry ingredients in and start the kneading process on low. Add the water and olive oil.
When the dough becomes a “ball” and pulls away from the sides. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to rise in a warm, no drafty place until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half, for 2 14 inch crusts, or in quarters for 4 7-inch crusts. Form the dough into balls and lightly oil the surface if storing for later. Place in a zip top bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can make the dough in advance during your weekly kitchen prep session…if you have one. I know lots of people that have a kitchen prep day and I would love to have the discipline to do this…but I don’t. However, I will always have this dough readily available, as well as, my No Cook Pizza Sauce because even on the craziest, head-spinning nights you can whip something amazing up in 10 minutes flat. Pizza always saves the day. Especially THIS grilled pizza or THESE Reuben inspired pizzas.
No Fail Pizza Dough
- 3 1/2 cups 00 flour or bread flour
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup hot water 110 degrees
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Slowly add the water and olive oil and continue mixing until the dough forms a ball and has pulled away from the sides. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest and double in size, approximately 1 hour.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and allow to rest 10 minutes before rolling out. If storing for later, lightly coat each dough ball with olive oil and store in a zip top bag for up to 5 days.