Ahhhh pizza!!!! I mean, talk about comfort food. I have to say, I boycotted making pizza at home for a very long time. It always seemed like so much work! Well, I bought some “00” flour to make homemade pasta (don’t worry, that recipe is coming soon too) and thought that it would be really great to try out some homemade pizza dough. Well, now I am completely obsessed.
The trick is to have the right tools. I recently got a pizza stone and pizza peel from my friend who works at pampered chef and they make the entire process so much easier and the outcome for the pizzas is so much better.
More images and video coming soon!
Tips for making pizza dough at home!
- Make sure the temperature in your home isn’t too cold, this can prevent the yeast from rising. If the yeast doesn’t react to the sugar and water mixture, either the temperature was too hot or cold or the yeast is no longer good and you need to start over with new yeast.
- Warm the bowl where the warm water, sugar, and yeast will be combined. I like to run the bowl under warm water and dry it with a clean towel before adding in the other ingredients. It prevents the water temperature from dropping when you add it in.
- Use good flour! I have used all-purpose flour before and noticed a HUGE difference when I switched to “00” flour. If you use all-purpose, the dough will be a bit heavier and dense.
- Make sure your oven is hot! This is how the magic happens!
- The pizza stone makes all the difference! I tried this before on other baking sheets and it’s just not the same. This helps to create the perfect crust and prevents a soggy center.
- The pizza peel will save your life….and cornmeal. These two things will help you get that sticky dough in and out of the oven.
- 2 1/2 cups warm water, around 110-115 degrees
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 packet of instant yeast, around 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cups “00” flour, plus more if needed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- cornmeal; amount will vary, see details in the instructions
- Pour the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer. *If it is a cool day, prep the bowl ahead of time by running it under some warm water and then drying it with a clean towel. This way the bowl won’t lower the temperature of the water.
- Stir in the sugar and yeast.
- Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, until it becomes frothy. If this doesn’t happen then it means your yeast is not good and you need to start over with new yeast. Once it starts to get frothy you can smell the delicious “bread” smell that yeast creates!
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt together with a whisk.
- With the mixer on low with the dough hook attachment, stir in the olive oil.
- Mix in the flour by adding about 1/2 cup at a time to slowly incorporate the flour.
- As you continue to mix, turn the speed to medium.
- Mix in the rest of the flour and mix until the dough can be pulled away from the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula. If it is too “wet” looking, you can add a little more flour, but this is a sticky dough, so do not add too much more flour. The dough will stick to your fingers when you try to touch it.
- Add some olive oil to a large bowl so that the entire inside of the bowl is lightly covered in the oil.
- Use a spatulas or pastry scraper to scrape the dough into the oiled bowl.
- Turn the dough to coat it in oil.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel, or something similar, and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has double, about 1-2 hours. *I like to put the dough in the oven (with the oven turned off, of course) to prevent any drafts or changes in temperature, especially if it’s cold out.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a well floured work surface.
- Sprinkle the dough with some additional flour as well, and cut it into four equal pieces.
- Use your hands to cover each piece with flour and pull the dough around to the bottom, stretching it to create a smooth ball.
- Cover again with a tea towel until you are ready to use it. If you are using it within 30-60 minutes then you can leave it out, but if you are making this ahead of time you can place it in the fridge.
- When you are ready to make the pizzas, bring the dough back to room temperature. This can take about an hour.
- Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees (yup).
- Use your hands to stretch the dough. You can either use the back of your hands/knuckles to stretch it, or move it like a steering wheel to evenly stretch it out. Whatever way you see fit! Everyone likes to do this differently. If you are feeling ambitious, toss it in the air!
- Place the stretched dough onto a pizza peel that has been covered with cornmeal and add your toppings.
- Use the pizza peel to carefully (and sometimes quickly) place the pizza directly onto the stone and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- Use the pizza peel to take the pizza out of the oven and place it on a large cutting board.
- Cut the pieces with a pizza cutter and eat it while it’s nice and hot!