This homemade pizza dough made by hand produces a crust that when you sink your teeth into is both a crispy and chewy. It lays a foolproof foundation for a variety of sauces, meats, veggies, and cheeses.
Prep Time:15 minutes (not including rising time)
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:2 hours (with rising dough time)
Yield:3 medium size pizza crusts 1x
1 package Dry Active Yeast
1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 cups Lukewarm Water
3 cups Bread Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons Olive Oil and extra for the bowl
Cornmeal, for sprinkling on the pizza stone
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and sugar. Add the lukewarm water and stir until the yeast and sugar are both dissolved.
Set the bowl in a warm place, like a microwave or an oven. Let it sit for 10 minutes until the yeast has doubled in size by the foam on top.
Add the flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the well.
Stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until well combined. It will still be somewhat sticky at this point.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough has a silky, smooth feel.
Smear a large bowl with olive oil and place the ball of dough into the bowl. Roll the ball around until it is fully coated with oil.
Place a dish towel over the top of the bowl and set it in a warm place. Let it rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to its hottest setting – 550°F is preferred and place your pizza stones in the oven to preheat as well.
Remove the dough and separate it into however many pizzas you are planning to make. 1 large, 2 medium-large or 3 medium pizzas.
On a floured surface, flatten out the ball of dough. With a rolling pin, begin from the center and roll out in all directions until you have the desired thickness.
Remove the pizza stones from the oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. Add the rolled out dough and your favorite sauces and toppings.
Baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown and the cheese is nice and bubbly.
When adding the water to your yeast make sure it is the right temperature. It needs to be luke-warm to the touch. Not too hot or too cool. You may want to use an instant-read thermometer initially. You are looking for a temperature of 105°-110°F.
Sugar is food for the yeast and helps activate it. All you need is one little teaspoon.
Make sure and use yeast that is not outdated. It will not be near as effective otherwise.
Within 10 minutes after adding the lukewarm water, the yeast will have produced a foamy layer on top and will look as though it has doubled in size. That’s how you know you have good yeast. No foam means bad yeast.
My favorite go-to flour for pizza dough is by far bread flour. In general, it has a higher protein factor which produces more gluten. That is what gives the dough a stretchy elasticity resulting in the crust having a chewy characteristic.
Kneading the dough – with the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you. Turn it 90 degrees and fold the dough in half toward you and start again with pushing it outward. Continue this kneading process for 3-5 minutes until the dough has a silky, smooth texture.
Set the dough in a warm place to rise. A microwave is a good choice for the dough to rise. Another option is an oven that has been heated to 170°F and then completely turned off for 10 minutes.
If you are not making the pizzas right away you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap after it has been kneaded and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to make your pizzas, remove the dough let it sit at room temperature for one hour.
If you want to freeze the dough, tightly wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place in a ziplock bag. It can be frozen up to 3 weeks. Remove the dough one day before you’re ready to serve the pizzas and place the dough in the fridge to fully thaw. When ready, remove and work as the above note mentions.
Turn the oven temperature as hot as it will go. 550°F is preferred if yours will go that hot. The hotter the temperature, the better the crust turns out, both in crispiness and chewiness.
I recommend a pizza stone because it holds heat better and distributes it more evenly. Place your pizza stone in the oven while it is preheating, which will create a burst of heat to the crust which helps form even a crispier crust on the bottom.
After the stone has been preheated, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal then place your dough on it. This will keep your dough from sticking to the pan.