Pizza is definitely up there on my favourite foods list. Partly because it involves melted cheese, but also because it can be as versatile as you want it to be. It’s no uncommon for me to get very over complicated with my pizza toppings, to the point of not really being able to pick up a slice. What can I say, an empty pizza dough is like a blank slate!
That isn’t to say that I don’t love the classics! Marinara sauce has held a special place in my heart since I was a child and found out that you can dunk bread into things. (Whoooooa) And a good crust can absolutely make or break your pizza.
This one is straight forward and simple. It can be used to make thin or thick crusted pizzas, and can be left to cold rise in your fridge over night for a deeper flavour the next day. (or you can forget it there and then pretend that’s what you meant to do all along…ahem..)
I absolutely recommend acquiring a pizza stone for baking your pizzas in the oven, but this dough bakes up well no matter what you use. I have used this dough for pizzas in my skillet, on the barbeque, and once in a toaster oven. It’s very forgiving!
Once you get the hang of a good pizza dough, you will for sure go on a pizza binge. I encourage and support your future choice.
Easy Pizza Dough
- 4 cup Flour, Type '00' is best, but All purpose will work just fine
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/3 cup Warm Water
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Dry Active Yeast
- 1 tbsp Italian herbs (optional)
Mixing The Dough
- Whisk your flour, salt and herbs (if using) together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine the Water, Yeast, and Olive Oil in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- With the dough hook attached to your mixer, turn the speed on to the second lowest setting. Slowly and carefully add the wet ingredients. Then turn up the speed by one or two notches and mix for about 5-10 minutes. The dough should be springy, stretchy and still a tiny bit sticky. Then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1-2 hours.
- Once your dough is roughly doubled in size it can be divided into your pizzas. This dough is large enough to be divided into about 5x Personal Pizzas, or 3 larger ones. The dough can also be left to sit for up to 2 days in your fridge before dividing. This "cold proving" can help develop flavour and will make for a more bubbly dough. Once its divided, roll each piece into a ball and allow to sit for a further 20 minutes to rest before stretching and topping. This dough also freezes quite well if you aren't feeling like making 5 pizzas!
Stretching The Dough
- To stretch the dough into a perfect circle, it's best to start with nicely rounded dough balls. Then, gently pick up your dough ball, and holding at the edges with the dough hanging down a bit, move your hands along the outside rim. This lets the weight of the dough pull itself into a large disc. By holding back some of the edge, you can also make your crust a bit thicker if you'd like. If you are happy with more irregular shapes then this step isn't wildly important, as the pizza will taste delicious either way! Once you have your Stretched dough you are ready to top it and bake it!