Homemade Pizza Dough – We eat a lot of pizza in this house–a good portion of it homemade. I’ve been using Jiffy Pizza Crust mix for many long years and while we love it, it’s not so easy to find in my town. Some stores carry it, some don’t and I can never seem to remember which ones do.
I wanted to try my hand at making dough from scratch so I searched the Internet and found quite a few. I thought this one from Giada De Laurentiis sounded good, however, I knew there was a missing ingredient–sugar. Active dry yeast needs sugar in order to “proof” (activate). I checked out the recipes of Tyler Florence and Bobby Flay to make sure there wasn’t something special about pizza dough that didn’t require it. I’m sure Giada used sugar and the ingredient was just missing from the list.
I needed enough dough to cover two large jelly roll pans (11″ x 17″). I’m feeding 4 hungry guys plus me. 😋 My recipe is kind of a conglomeration of all three of the Food Network stars’ recipes.
Let me tell you, this pizza dough tastes fantastic! The yeasty smell is so mouth-watering, it just might knock you off your feet. The extra time and work needed to make this pizza is definitely worth it!
Homemade Pizza Dough
- 1-1/4 cups warm water, 100 to 110° F, plus extra as needed
- 1 (.25 oz.) packet active dry yeast 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 cups unbleached flour, plus extra if needed
- 1-1/2 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. olive oil + more for coating the dough, & hands for spreading in pan
Note: If you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you can use a hand electric mixer in the beginning, but as you incorporate the flour the dough will ride up the beaters. You’ll have to stop, scrape the dough down and finish by hand.
Put the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until it’s nice and foamy.
In a separate large container, combine 3 cups of the flour and salt. Turn the mixer on low and add one cup of flour at a time until a soft dough forms.
If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. Scrape down the dough hook and sides of bowls as needed.
Scoop the dough from the bowl to a floured board or your clean counter. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, 4-5 minutes.
Coat the inside of a clean bowl with oil. Put the dough in and turn it over to make sure it’s completely covered with a thin layer of oil. Cover with plastic wrap, tucking the edges in all around.
Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I turned my oven on to 300 degrees and placed the bowl on the stove top.)
Gently punch down the dough and cut into 2-3 equal pieces. Form the dough into balls and place them in 2 (or 3) separate oiled bowls. Cover each bowl with a plastic wrap and kitchen towel. Let sit for 1 hour.
Remove the dough and use immediately, or wrap in plastic and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.
To Make the Pizza:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Lightly oil your baking pan and hands. Spread the dough to the edges of the pan by pushing, prodding, smashing, stretching, etc. It’s going to want to spring back, but keep working it!
Top with pizza sauce, meats, chopped veggies such as olives, onion, peppers, mushrooms or anything that strikes your fancy.
Top with a lot of mozzarella cheese.
Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is tanned and crispy and the cheese is completely melted and maybe slightly browned on top if you like it that way.
Cut into squares and serve.
Happy eating! 😊