Is this the most authentic pizza dough ever? No.
We’re not going to pretend this is straight from Naples because there’s a tradition and a lot of specific technique that goes into truly authentic pizza dough.
But it is a pizza dough that checks all the boxes. As in it’s easy enough for a beginner baker, has a great flavor (especially if you do a long rise), is versatile enough to be used for pizza or calzones, and is even sturdy enough to go on the grill!
Tips To Make This Dough
Here are some essential tips to make this recipe a success:
- Bubbling Yeast: If the yeast does not bubble in the first step either the water is not at the correct temperature (it should be 100°F to 115°F) or it is old.
- Do The Windowpane Test: To test if the dough has been adequately kneaded (before you let it rise) do what’s called the windowpane test. Grab a small piece of dough between your thumb and forefingers then pull them apart into a 2-inch square “windowpane.” If the dough stretches without breaking, you’re good to go. Otherwise, keep kneading or mixing.
- Let It Rest: As we say with pretty much all our dough and cookie recipes, you want to let this rest so that it really develops flavor. Yes, if you’re in a hurry, you can cook it as soon as it has doubled in size (anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes). However, if you have time, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 8 to 48 hours so the dough can develop a lot of flavor. Just be sure to let it sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before you roll it; otherwise, you’ll have a hard go of it!
- Make It Ahead: Want to make this well ahead of time? Go for it! To do so just wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap then place it in a resealable plastic bag and freeze it for up to 1 month. But, yes, you’ll need to let it defrost in the refrigerator before you can bake it.
- Switch It Up: This dough is durable enough that you can use it for pizza or calzones or cook it in the oven or even on the grill!
Basic Pizza Dough Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 100°F to 115°F)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 ounce (about 2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour of 00 flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for coating the bowl
- Combine The Yeast: Place the water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.)
- Mix In The Flour: Meanwhile whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps. When yeast is ready, add the flour and mix over lowest speed until dough just starts to come together and looks shredded or shaggy, about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, increase speed to medium, and continue to mix until dough is elastic and smooth, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl easily, about 6 minutes.
- Let The Dough Rise: Gather the dough into a ball, place in a large, oiled mixing bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a clean, damp dish towel, and let rest in a warm place until it doubles in size (and the dough does not spring back on itself when poked), about 45 minutes. Once the dough has risen, punch it down, then shape as desired then let it rest at least 5 to 15 minutes before baking.