Would you like to make authentic pizza at home but aren't sure where to begin? This recipe is a basic pizza dough that works for most types of pizza. It only uses 57% hydration so it's very forgiving. And by forgiving we mean that the dough doesn't break as easily as a high hydration dough, so this dough is very beginner-friendly.
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Italian food is all about simplicity. For the standard pizza dough, you will need a few ingredients and a bit of patience to let the dough rise.
This article contains recipes for each type of pizza, but before we delve into the recipes, you should be aware of a few secrets that will turn your pizza-making into a success.
In general, it is best to combine all the ingredients, such as flour, water, and yeast, in one big bowl. But before you throw in everything at once, you have to know there’s a specific order to follow.
Start by mixing flour with yeast and sugar (yes, sugar, it makes the fermentation more natural), then pour water into the bowl and mix everything with a wooden spoon.
If you use fresh yeast, you will get a better result if you dissolve it in a glass with a little bit of lukewarm water first. Once your yeast is fully dissolved, add it to the flour along with more water. Then mix all the ingredients using a hand or a wooden spoon until the flour has absorbed all the liquid.
André Guidon, the AVPN President of Brazil says, "Try to learn dough making without weighting the flour, this way you will always have a consistent product despite any humidity changes and you will learn how the dough should feel."
The best way to knead is by using your hands. Sprinkle some flour on a working table and transfer the dough there. Next, push the dough with your palm, fold it over itself with your fingers, and pull it back. Repeat this process several times until the dough looks homogeneous and soft.
If you feel that the dough is sticky, add some more flour to your working surface and continue kneading. Just don't tear the dough, as this will destroy the gluten fibers you have built up through kneading. Work the dough for 15-20 minutes until it appears smooth and springy.
Pro tip: You can test the dough by poking it with a finger. If the dough springs back up, it's ready to bulk ferment.
Now that you know how to make basic pizza dough let's move on to an advanced level and start having some real fun.
Traditional Neapolitan Pizza has a fluffy crust and crunchy base, and it is cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven. The dough is the result of a long leavening process. Italian food is delicious because patience is the secret ingredient.
If you are cooking it at home, set the oven at 500°F and use a pre-heated pizza stone.
👉 You can find our Neapolitan pizza dough recipe here.
Pizza New York-style pizza is similar to Neapolitan pizza, but its dough is slightly thicker.
👉 Check out our full American New York-style pizza dough recipe here.
This classic Sicilian-style pizza recipe is cooked in a large sheet pan. It is thick and soft, and its texture is similar to focaccia.
👉 You can find our Sicilian pizza recipe here.
The Tonda Romana pizza has a paper-thin crust and just melts in your mouth.
👉 Find our Tonda Romana Thin Crust Pizza Recipe here.
The crispiness and chewiness of sourdough pizza are definitely worth the extra effort. It's a dough that bakes perfectly every time and holds all your favorite toppings. Please be aware that this dough may take up to 4 days to make.
👉 Find our Sourdough Pizza Recipe here.
Biga is a type of preferment used in Italian baking. The pizza is lighter and more digestible with this method and it reminds a bit of sourdough, but without the full sour taste.
👉 Check out our full Biga pizza dough recipe here.
Now that you're equipped with the proper knowledge, you ready to start making some delicious pizza. And be warned, making pizza is very addictive but at the same time, it is very rewarding. Have fun!