Jessica DeMay

Pizza Dough Recipe

The secret to making a mouth-wateringly delicious pizza is using the right pizza dough recipe. To create a homemade pizza crust with the flavor and texture of a professionally-made pie, try this fool-proof recipe. Once you taste the results, you’ll never go back to your old pizza dough recipe again.

Like to make authentic pizza at home, but you have no idea of where to start? Here you will find what you have been looking for and learn how to make delicious different kinds of pizzas, namely:

  • Neapolitan pizza
  • American pizza
  • Sicilian pizza
  • Roman pizza
  • Sourdough pizza
  • Pre-fermented Biga pizza

Let’s start from the basics...

How to bake the dough from scratch

The secret in Italian food is keeping it simple. For the standard pizza dough, you will need a few ingredients and a bit of patience to let the dough rise.

In this article you will find recipes for each type of pizza, but first, you’ll have to learn a few secret techniques that will turn your pizza making into a success.

How to mix

It is usually better to mix all the ingredients, such as flour, water and yeast in a big bowl. But before you throw in everything at once, you have to know there’s a specific order to follow.

First, add the flour with yeast and a pinch of sugar (yes sugar, it makes the fermentation more natural), then start pouring the water in the bowl and mix everything with a wooden spoon. It depends on what kind of yeast you are using, but be careful about how you “activate” it. For example, if you use fresh brewer's yeast, you will get a better result if you first melt it in a glass with a little bit of lukewarm water. Once melted, add it to the flour along with more water.

Then mix all the ingredients using one hand or a wooden spoon until the dough looks compact.

Add some extra flour if it feels still too wet, or some more water if it feels too dry until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.

How to knead 

The best way to knead is by using your hands. Transfer your dough to a working table dusted with some flour. Push the dough with the heel of 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 the dough is sticky, just add some more flour to the surface of your working table and continue kneading. While kneading, remember you must fold the dough and stretch the dough repeatedly with strength, just don't tear the dough.

You know the dough is ready when it will grow smooth, supple, and springy.

Do's and Don'ts

DO

  • Let the dough rise in the fridge for 18-36 hours, if you don’t have the time you can let the dough rise for at least 8 hours at room temperature in a bowl covered by a kitchen cloth.
  • Let the dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before kneading it.
  • Roll it out with a rolling pin, working from the centre to outside of the crust on the edges.
  • Store your dough to rise in a fridge for a controlled and slow leavening process. If you run out of time leave your dough at room temperature for half a day. 
  • Cook your pizza in a pre-heated oven.

DON'T

  • Don’t melt the yeast in hot or cold water.
  • Don’t roll out the dough if it starts to spring back. Let it rest a few minutes and soften up so it stretches easily.
  • Don't forget to let the dough sit for at least 8 hours. 

Secret tips for the perfect pizza dough

  • Use Tipo 00 flour and add 50% Manitoba for real crunchy and tasty results.
  • Add a pinch of sugar. Sugar is essential to facilitate leavening. It is generally added together with the yeast to activate it. Instead of sugar, you can use a bit of honey or malt too.
  • After rolling the pizza, let it rest a little bit on the pan before adding the toppings.

FAQ

How much yeast do I need for 1kg of flour? 

If you use fresh brewer yeast, the standard measure is 20/25 g for 1kg of flour. So, if you use only 500 g of flour, you will need 10/12.5 g of yeast.

If you choose to use dry yeast, you will need 7 g of yeast for 1 kg of flour. 

For how long should the dough leavening? 

The time varies depending on the type of pizza and the amount of yeast. For standard pizza dough, it takes 4-5 hours at room temperature. 

For better results, let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Slowing down the leavening process will help to add some flavour and texture to your pizza. 

General instructions for the pizza dough recipes below

  1. Put the sifted flour in a bowl and add the finely crumbled brewer's yeast.
  2. Then mix using a wooden spoon while pouring warm water into the bowl.
  3. Continuing to mix so that it is absorbed by the flour and the yeast dissolves completely.
  4. Add salt, a pinch of sugar, and pour in the extra virgin olive oil, always mixing. This type of dough, mixed roughly, is called 'no knead'.
  5. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Then, transfer the dough to the working table and fold it back on itself. 
  7. Repeat the operation on all 4 sides.
  8. Keep kneading the dough by pulling it towards you with your hands. Do not worry if the consistency is sticky, spread a layer of flour on the surface to help you. 
  9. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes.
  10. After 20 minutes, repeat the kneading one more time.
  11. Get yourself a decent pizza oven. A conventional electric oven will only take your pizza journey so far.
  12. Lastly, before putting the dough back into the bowl, pour a little oil in it and finally let the dough rise at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or 24 hours if in the fridge.

Recipes for each type of pizza

Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan Pizza

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. All the Italian food is delicious because you need to add a secret ingredient called patience.

Oven tips: Most Neapolitan pizzas are baked in a wood-fired pizza oven that’s around 800 to 1000 °F. The stone in the wood-fired pizza oven will burn the pizza in the right spots.

If you cook it at home in a standard oven, set it at 500°F and put your pizza on a pre-heated pizza stone.

Ingredients for 4 balls of dough:

  • 500g of Tipo 00
  • 15g fine sea salt
  • 3,5g instant dry yeast, or 10 g of fresh brewer yeast.
  • 300g of room temperature water 
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and yeast with a wooden spoon or dough whisk.
  2. Pour water and mix until the flour absorbs all the excess water. If needed, add more flour or water. 
  3.  Use one hand to turn and knead the dough until it looks homogeneous. 
  4. Let the mixture rest for 18 to 24 hours, until it has doubled in volume.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 small pieces on your working table dusted with some flour. 
  6.  Knead the small dough into balls. 
  7. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you plan to cook pizza. 

American Pizza Dough

american pizza

American or New York-style pizza dough is a close relative of Neapolitan-style dough—still a thin-crust pie, but slightly thicker than its Italian cousin.

Oven tips: Cook your pizza at temperatures ranging between 450 to 500°F (the Ooni Koda is perfect for this). However, if you're cooking a pizza with a thicker crust (such as a deep-dish style), you may need to set the temperature to 400°F.

Ingredients for four 14 inch pizzas

  • 500 g of flour, all-purpose or bread 
  • 300 ml of water
  • 3.5 g instant dry yeast 
  • 10 g of salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  1. Combine flour, salt and yeast mixture into water and mix until all the flour has been fully incorporated.
  2. Add oil and knead for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into four balls and let it rise on a work surface at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Then, refrigerate overnight up to 72 hours.
  5. Let it rest at room temperature for one hour before stretching it. 

Sicilian Pizza Dough Recipe

sicilian pizza

This classic Sicilian style pizza recipe is cooked in a large sheet pan. It is thick and soft, and its texture is similar to a focaccia.

Oven tips: for a basic square pizza, you will need a squared backing sheet. Cook it at 450°F.

Ingredients for a large pan 

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g of sea salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 3 large tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 10 g of fresh brewer yeast 
  • 300 g of cool water
  1.  Mix and knead together flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and a pinch of sugar using just enough water to create an homogeneous mixture. 
  2. Let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. 
  3. Use olive oil to lightly cover the bottom and edges of a half-sheet pan.
  4. Transfer the dough to the pan, and use your hands to stretch it. When the dough starts to shrink back, let it relax, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes, then stretch it again. 
  5. Let the dough rise in the pan for at least 1 to 2 hours before adding toppings. 

Roman Pizza Dough Recipe

roman pizza

The Roman Pizza has a paper thin crust and just melts in your mouth.

Oven tips: Cook your pizza at temperatures ranging between 450 to 500°F. However, if you're cooking a pizza with a thicker crust (such as a deep-dish style), you may need to set the temperature to 400°F.

Ingredients for three large pizzas

  • 1 kg of stone-ground whole-wheat flour
  • 25 g of fresh brewer yeast
  • 600 ml water at room temperature 
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 20 g of salt
  1. Put flour into a bowl.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml of the water and add to the flour together with 400 ml of water and a pinch of sugar. 
  3. Mix until it looks homogeneous and all the water is absorbed.
  4. Add the oil and salt and keep mixing. 
  5. Add the remaining water only if the dough still looks dry and keep mixing.
  6.  Continue mixing for 8–10 minutes
  7. Rest the dough for 10 minutes in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
  8. Once the dough has been briefly rested, it needs to be folded and knead for a while. 
  9. Oil your hands with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, then lightly oil the work surface and start kneading the dough.
  10. Turn the dough, and repeat the fold.
  11.  Return to the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes, then fold again. 
  12. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and leave it for 18–24 hours in the fridge.

Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe

Sourdough Pizza

Sourdough pizza is a bit more advanced to make, but the crispiness and chewiness is definitely worth it. It's a dough that holds all your favorite toppings and bakes to perfection every time. A fair warning however, this dough may take up to 4 days in total.

Oven tips: Cook your pizza at temperatures ranging between 450 to 500°F. However, if you're cooking a pizza with a thicker crust (such as a deep-dish style), you may need to set the temperature to 400°F.

Ingredients for four pizzas

  • 100 g of sourdough starter discard
  • 10 g of fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 100 g of whole wheat flour
  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 300 ml of water
  1. Add flour, yeast and water in a bowl and use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. 
  2. Add salt and olive oil and keep mixing. 
  3. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to grow at room temperature overnight.
  4. The morning after, wet your hand and start working and kneading the dough inside the bowl.
  5. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge, up to 36 hours
  6. After 36 hours, remove the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.
  8. Shape the 4 pieces in balls on a working table generously covered with flour. 
  9. Cover the mounds with a kitchen towel and let them rest for 30 minutes before stretching them into a pizza shape.

Biga Pizza Dough Recipe

biga pizza

Biga is a type of pre-fermentation used in Italian baking. This method is using a small amount of fresh brewer’s yeast and makes the pizza much lighter and more digestible.

Oven tips: Cook your pizza at temperatures ranging between 450 to 500°F. However, if you're cooking a pizza with a thicker crust (such as a deep-dish style), you may need to set the temperature to 400°F.

Ingredients for four pizzas

For the Biga

  • 1 kg Tipo 00 pizza flour
  • 600 ml of cool water
  • 25 g of fresh yeast

For the Dough

  • 100g of water
  • 80g of iced water
  • 20 g of sea salt
  • 20 g of diastatic malt powder
  • Q.s. semolina flour
  1. First, dissolve the yeast into warm water.
  2. Put flour in the bowl, and add the yeast and water mixture in the bowl. 
  3. With a wooden spoon, roughly mix the ingredients to create the Biga mixture, until it looks homogeneous. 
  4. Let the Biga mixture rest for at least 16 hour. 
  5. After 16 hours, start preparing the rest of the dough.
  1. Mix the Biga with water and salt. 
  2. Add some malt to the mixture, so that you will have elastic results. 
  3. Keep mixing and slowly drop the iced water in. It depends on the level of hydration you want to reach. For a 75% add at least 100 ml of cold water. 
  4. Stop adding water when your dough looks silky and stretchy, and mix for another 5 minutes.
  5. With wet hands, pull and gather the dough from the bowl and transfer to an airtight container. It has to rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature. 
  6.  After two hours, place it in the refrigerator for a further 2 hours. 
  7. After 2 hours, transfer the dough to a floured work surface.
  8. Divide it into four 250g portions. Fold and shape each piece into a ball. 
  9. Leave the balls to sit for 4 hours at room temperature, or leave overnight in the refrigerator to use the next day. 
Jessica DeMay
Jessica is the lead content creator of Dishcrawl. She has lived in Italy (Napoli) for 7 years and has since become absolutely obsessed with pizza.
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