Pizza dough is basically a bread dough enriched with olive oil. There are numerous recipes for pizza dough. Some people like their crust thin and brittle while others prefer it more thick and spongy. Most people do like a pizza with a crunch to its crust. Most of our recipes are for the thin-crust variety. If you prefer a thicker crust, use 1-1/2 the amount of dough indicated, roll it about 1/2-inch thick, and allow for additional baking time. The number of pizzas that each dough recipe yields are approximate. The amount will depend on how thin or thick you roll out your dough. Thin to medium crust pizzas will bake in about 10-12 minutes in a 500-degree F oven. To bake the pizzas, follow the directions given in each topping recipe.
Making Pizza Dough with an Electric Mixer, Food Processor, or Bread Machine
Although most of our dough recipes describe how to make pizza dough by hand, you can use a heavy-duty mixer, food processor or bread machine.
If you use a mixer, combine the dry ingredients with the liquids using the paddle attachment. Once the dough begins to come together, switch to the dough
hook, adding just enough flour so that the dough forms a ball without sticking to the sides of the bowl. Kneading should take about 5 minutes.
If you use a food processor, add the dry ingredients and pulse to blend them. With the machine running, pour in the liquid. In a few seconds, the dough will gather into
a ball and pull away from the bowl. If the dough is too soft, add flour a little at a time until a ball forms. The dough should be smooth and elastic in about 1 minute.
Pizza dough can also be mixed and kneaded in a bread machine following the manufacturer's instructions.
Basic Pizza Dough
Makes 2 (9-inch) pizzas
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3/4 cup water (110-degrees F), divided
2 cups bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mixing the Pizza Dough:
In a bowl, combine the yeast, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup flour. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining flour, water, olive oil, and salt. Mix and turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic. For a light crisp crust, the dough should be slightly tacky. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place. The dough should double in volume in about 1 hour.
Thirty minutes before baking:
Preheat the oven to 500-degrees F
Place a pizza stone on the bottom shelf of the oven.
Shaping the pizza dough:
Punch down the dough. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Taking 1 piece at a time, flatten it into a disk, pushing it outward with your palm. Working from the center, push the dough out with your fingers.
The dough should be about 1/4-inch thick and fairly even, thickening at the edge. You can also roll the dough into a circle using a rolling pin. Transfer to a floured or cornmeal-coated pizza peel. Let the dough rest on the peel for 5-10 minutes before adding the toppings and baking the pizza.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas
1 package dry yeast
1-1/4 cups water, 100-degrees F.
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add yeast to warm water and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. In a food processor, add both flours, yeast, oil, honey, and salt. Pulse to combine ingredients. Process until the dough begins to form a ball. Remove the dough and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. Dough should be doubled in volume
Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured surface. Knead the dough briefly and divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a floured or cornmeal-coated pizza peel. Let the dough rest on the peel for 5-10 minutes before adding the toppings and baking the pizza.
Neopolitan-Style Pizza Dough
Makes 4 (9-10 inch) pizzas
In Naples the classic pizza has a soft and chewy texture. In Italy the flour is softer than American flour because it is low in gluten. So Italians blend their soft flour with a hard flour to develop the desired chewy pizza dough. In this recipe, we combine cake flour with all-purpose flour to achieve that texture. You may find this dough easier to shape. It is made with less yeast and will take a longer time to rise.
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water (110-degrees F)
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
Add the yeast to the warm water and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, 2-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed.
Coat a bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it once to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place. The dough should double in volume in about 1-1/2 hours.
Flatten the dough and cut into 4 equal size pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a lightly floured surface and cover. Allow to rise about 1 hour, until doubled.
Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured surface. Knead the dough briefly and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch circle. Transfer to a floured or cornmeal-coated pizza peel. Let the dough rest on the peel for 5-10 minutes before adding the toppings and baking the pizza.
Bread Machine Pizza Dough
Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas
1 cup water
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons dry milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
Place all the ingredients in the bread case of the bread machine. Select the dough cycle and start. When done, remove the dough and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch round. Transfer to a floured or cornmeal-coated pizza peel.
Proceed with instructions for your favorite topping recipe and bake.
Garlic and Herb Bread Machine Pizza Dough
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
Place al the ingredients in the bread case of the bread machine.
Process according to the manufacturer's instruction for a dough setting.
EASY-TO-MAKE PIZZA DOUGH
The machine automatically adds yeast at the proper time from a dispenser on the unit's lid. It also bakes non-yeast, quick breads, like banana and zucchini, and sweet cakes. It mixes, kneads, and rises doughs for pizza, focaccia, croissants, and other pastries without baking them.
Some useful food words or terms that you may find in
Italian recipes, while dining at an Italian restaurant, or traveling in Italy.
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