I have experimented with dozens of pizza dough recipes over the years and I find this one to be a really good all-purpose dough recipe, not to mention one of the simplest. I use a food processor to make my dough, but you could do it by hand in a large bowl or with a stand mixer. This recipe will make one large medium-thick-crust pizza, two smaller thin-crust pizzas or up to four personal size pizzas.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour — I use King Arthur brand flour
1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
1 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Olive oil (for coating the bowl)
1. Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Allow the yeast to proof for about 10 minutes before using. It should get bubbly.
2. Next, combine the flour, salt and water/yeast mixture in a food-processor bowl. Process until a single ball of dough is formed. If the dough doesn’t come together, it’s too dry. Add a tablespoon or two of water and continue processing.
3. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead by hand for 6-8 minutes. This kneading helps to warm and break down gluten strands in the dough, which makes for a more elastic and silky product.
4. Form the dough back into a ball shape and place in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place the bowl in the warmest part of your kitchen. Allow the dough to rise for at least an hour. You can let it rise longer, if you’d like. I’ll often make the pizza dough at lunchtime and not use it until dinner. But, be sure to allow the dough to rise for an hour, minimum.
5. When you’re ready to make the pizza, on a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to the shape and thickness you desire. You can divide the dough in half and make two smaller pizzas, or even into quarters for personal-size pizzas.
6. Once the pizza base if formed, I flip it onto a pizza paddle sprinkled with corn meal. The corn meal helps the pizza slide into the oven easily. I only dress the pizza after it’s on the paddle. Top your pizza dough with your favorite toppings and bake. I find that 550 degrees F. is a good temperature for cooking pizza on a pizza stone with this dough recipe.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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