Basic Pizza Dough

Pizza, Illustrated, Baking, Homemade, Dough

Howdy folks!  I hope you had a stupendous New Years celebration!  Mister and I kept it simple and celebrated at home.  He had to work today which gave me the opportunity to watch the Rose Parade.  Did you see it by chance?  I haven’t watched a parade in years and I just happened to catch it this morning.

There was a float in particular that really touched my heart – well, the float and the event that followed.  The float honored military dogs who bravely enter dangerous territories to save lives.  On this particular float, a military man sat and waved to the crowd.  The announcers told a story of how he had told his wife and child they had won an all expenses paid trip to see the Rose Parade, having no idea that he would be there to greet them.  The reunion tore at the heartstrings.  It was really wonderful to see.  A wonderful moment that I could never do justice simply talking about it.  Look for a video online if you can.

Anywho, I felt the urge to use up some more of my fridge’s contents today due to my recent decision to clean house, and made homemade pizza.  I had a lot of food odds and ends that I used as toppings.  My original pizza crust recipe is usually my go-to but I thought I’d mix it up and try this Baking Illustrated recipe instead.  The crust turned out crispy and firm, perfect for holding up all of our toppings.  If you haven’t made your own pizza dough at home before you are missing out.  Once you make your own chewy, crispy, crust, you wont want to buy store made dough ever again.  Plus you can freeze any extra dough, thaw to room temperature and use it whenever you need it.  It’s as easy and convenient as any store purchased dough.

If that sounds like a good idea and you don’t plan on using your dough right away, freeze it.  Simple wrap each dough ball individually with plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag.  Be sure to allow the dough to come to room temperature before using it (place it in the fridge, then onto your countertop for best results).

Basic Pizza Dough

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yields: 2 Medium Pizzas or 4 Calzones

Basic Pizza Dough


  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2¼ tsp. instant yeast
  • 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1¼ cup water, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 2 hours.
  2. Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.) Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
  3. To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal or flour. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes. You may need to turn the pizza 180 degrees mid-way through the baking process to ensure even baking.


If you do not have a mixer or the appropriate attachments, simply use your hands. The most important thing to do is to knead, knead, knead. Do not skimp here! Make sure to knead your dough for a minimum of 10 minutes. Adapted from Baking Illustrated.


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