Great pizza always starts with great dough. There are different ways to enjoy the crust, thick, super thin, but my favorite is a blistered exterior with a soft interior. Dough may sound intimidating because of longer rising time, but in fact it is extremely simple to make. Nothing beats homemade pizza crust. It is amazing what incredible flavor comes out of flour, water, salt and a little olive oil. In fact my favorite pizza was something I had years ago in a little restaurant in Rome where it was drizzled with really great olive oil, topped with lots of fresh Arugula and a touch of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. It was so simple, but it tasted amazing. There was so little on it in terms of ingredients that every ingredient was allowed to shine.
We love making pizza around here. We typically make a fairly simple pizza, not too much sauce, not too much cheese but this crust will stand up to any pizza, calzone or flatbread. It can be as simple or as decadent as you wish.
This is my go to recipe when making great pizza at home. As it is, this makes one thicker 12 inch crust or larger thinner crust. I don’t exactly measure what mine comes out to be, but it stretches to a large pizza pan, so it is usually a thin 14 inch crust.
I frequently double or triple this recipe when making several pizzas for a crowd. When doubling this recipe, it works really well as a make ahead. I have frequently made a big batch, let it rise then divide out the dough into 3 portions. Then, on a weeknight I can easily throw together a pizza, or a goat cheese flatbread.
If the dough is too sticky and not elastic enough, it may need a little more flour.
Stay tuned for pizza and flatbread recipes.
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for bowl
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoon instant yeast (quick rise)
- 2 cups unbleached bread flour
- Additional olive oil for the bowl
- If using a stand mixer: Combine water, oil, salt and yeast in a bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the machine running on low, gradually add enough flour to make soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowel. At this point, change to the dough hook. Knead on medium low speed, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from being too sticky. Once it is done, the dough should be smooth and elastic. This can take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes.
- If making by hand: In a large bowl, combine, water, oil, salt and yeast. Using a wooden spoon stir enough of the flour to make thick dough that is difficult to stir. At this point, turn out to a well floured surface. Knead the dough, adding a little flour at a time to keep from sticking, and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes.
- Lightly oil a medium bowl. Shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough into a ball and roll it around ensuring all sides are coated with oil.
- Let stand in a warm place until it has doubled in volume, this can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours.
- To make ahead, place the bowl with the dough in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 12 to 24 hours. Dough will rise slowly and develop a great flavor. Once ready to use, remove from the refrigerator and let it sit for about an hour so that it is no longer cold