My all-time favorite homemade pizza dough recipe, this recipe has been tried and tested week after week, making the best homemade pizza. My family now likes homemade pizza better than take-out!
I am fairly confident in the kitchen. If I’m making you dinner, or dessert, or some random snack – I won’t always promise that you’ll love it, but most of the time, I am confident enough that you’ll at least enjoy it.
The funny thing is, though – especially because I’m a food blogger – I will often worry when someone else is actually making my recipes. I know – it doesn’t make much sense, does it? But when I’m talking to someone and they say “I’m making your…” or “I made your ____ for dinner last night” my first instinct is to hold my breath and cross my fingers.
Don’t even get me started on the anxiety that comes with publishing a cookbook.
This is why, even though I’ve had this recipe ready to share with you for quite some time now, I have hesitated. Because while it is probably the recipe I’ve made the most in my home, it’s also a little bit unconventional, and that scares me a little bit.
We are a pizza loving family. And for years, I searched and searched and searched for the perfect pizza dough recipe. I tried dozens, or more. And while some were good, none of them were *that* recipe that would make me stop trying all of the others.
And then, back in 2011, I tried the pizza dough recipe from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day. And I was pretty sure I had finally stumbled onto *that* recipe. If you haven’t tried that recipe, you really should, because it really does rank up there with the best of the best.
The problem with that dough, though, is that it is best when it has had some time to “age” in the refrigerator. And, well, while I am a stickler for a menu plan, I rarely stick to the order on my menu plan, often making what sounds the best on any given day instead of the actual meal planned for that day. And if I had endless refrigerator space, I’d keep some of that dough on hand always, but that’s not the case either.
So even though I adored that recipe, I knew I needed a recipe that could be made the same day. It would just work better for my family.
That’s when I tried this recipe from Budget Gourmet Mom. It was the best pizza dough that I had come across. I made it many times, and claimed that it was my new favorite. But over the past couple of years, I have, at least in my opinion, perfected the method of making the best pizza you will have at home.
I don’t say this lightly. I’m not kidding you when I say I’ve made this recipe dozens and dozens of times.
The secret is in how much flour you add to the dough. This is where I get a little unconventional, because the ingredients are all pretty normal. But my #1 thing that I have said for years with bread making is that I think many times people fail and end up with dry, dense bread because they are adding too much flour. And when I though about the pizza dough recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I thought about how wet that dough was, and how I never questioned it because I always did the ingredients by weight and just trusted.
So where this recipe differs from most is the amount of flour and the consistency of the dough.
My #1 rule – less is more.
I have included step by step photos below to walk you through it, but the most important step is to not keep adding flour until the dough is not sticky anymore. Sticky means you are doing it right in this recipe. (See – told you this was different. This goes against pretty much every other pizza dough recipe out there.) Don’t be afraid about the dough sticking everywhere when you roll it out. It’s not quite as sticky after it rises, and you’ll use some additional flour to shape it and roll it.
This recipe might not come easy the first or second time you try it. It’s one of those recipes that might take a little bit of practice. But believe me – for the perfect homemade pizza, it’s totally worth it.
I know I’m already totally long winded here, but here are a few additional tips:
*This makes 3 1-lb balls of dough. It’s a lot, but I usually make 3 pizzas (we’ll eat 2, and save the third for leftovers). Most recipes call for a 1 lb ball of dough, but in all honesty, we usually like our pizza a little more on the thin side. So I have halved this recipe and made 3 pizzas, or I will make 4 pizzas from this recipe. It is easy to halve, so feel free to do so. Also, not everyone’s mixer has the capacity to make this much dough. Use common sense. 🙂
*I usually make my dough a couple of hours before I need it and just refrigerate the dough until needed. It’s a little easier to roll out when it’s not super cold, but straight from the fridge still works. I recommend making it within 24 hours, though, as the dough will continue to rise, even in the refrigerator.
*When it comes to baking your pizza, I always recommend using a pizza stone. They are pretty inexpensive and make a huge difference. I bought mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20 years ago and have probably used it over 100 times and it is still going strong. I always preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes. I also use parchment paper when baking my pizza because 1) my husband doesn’t care for the cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza, 2) I’m terrible and transferring the pizza from the pizza peel to the stone. Parchment paper works well for me.
To bake the pizza, if you aren’t following a specific recipe, I’ll crank my oven up as high as it goes and bake each pizza for about 10 minutes.
Whew!! That was a lot. 🙂 Here is the step by step – I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
Start by combining warm water with your yeast and some sugar. It should start to froth up after a few minutes. If it doesn’t, toss it and start again. You water may be too warm or your yeast may be bad.
Combine the salt and the flour, and start adding the flour to the mixer, 1/2 cup at a time.
Once you have added the flour, the dough will still look pretty wet and sticky. It will not pull away from the sides of the mixer by itself, but you should be able to scrape it down with a spatula. You may need to add a little bit more flour, depending on your environment, but don’t go crazy.
Most pizza dough recipes will say it should be tacky but not sticky – not this one. It should stick to your fingers still.
Grease a large bowl. I usually just pour some vegetable oil or olive oil in the bottom of the bowl, then scrape the dough out into the bowl. You will need a spatula to scrape the dough from the mixer bowl. Then using greased hands, turn the dough over to coat the outside of the dough in the oil.
Cover the dough with a towel or greased plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled. This usually takes about an hour, depending on how warm the house is. I will often put the bowl in the oven with just the oven light on, which tends to give it a good temperature for rising.
Sprinkle some flour on a work surface. Lightly punch the dough down, then turn it out onto the floured surface.
Use floured hands to start pulling the dough up and around, gathering the ends together and forming a smooth ball on one side.
Turn the ball over, so the top now is smooth.
Divide the ball into 3 equal portions. You can weigh them to keep them even, or I almost always just eyeball it.
Voila! Your pizza dough is ready for baking. If the dough is still a bit sticky when you go to roll it out, just sprinkle on a little more flour. I like to actually use my hands to stretch the dough instead of rolling it, which helps with any sticking as well. But you’ll be surprise at how not sticky the dough is at this point.
Use the dough to bake up your pizza with your favorite toppings!
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- 2½ cups warm water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until frothy. Add in the vegetable oil.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Add the flour to the yeast mixture, ½ cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Continue adding the flour until the dough can be pulled away from the sides of the bowl with a spatula, but the dough will still be quite sticky. You may need to add in a little bit more or less flour, but the key is to remember that the dough will still be sticky and will stick to your fingers when you try to pull it apart.
- Grease a large bowl, then scrape the dough into the bowl. Turn the dough to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and a let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Pull the dough around to the bottom, stretching it to create a smooth ball. Cut the dough into 3 equal portions. Each ball will be approximately 1 pound of dough.
- Roll out the dough to use in your favorite pizza recipe, or refrigerate until needed. (I have refrigerated it for several hours, up to overnight, but the dough will continue to rise, even in the refrigerator, so I try to use it before 24 hours.
*I usually make my dough a couple of hours before I need it and just refrigerate the dough until needed. It's a little easier to roll out when it's not super cold, but straight from the fridge still works. I recommend making it within 24 hours, though, as the dough will continue to rise, even in the refrigerator.
*When it comes to baking your pizza, I always recommend using a pizza stone. They are pretty inexpensive and make a huge difference. I bought mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20 years ago and have probably used it over 100 times and it is still going strong. I always preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes with the stone inside on a high temp. I also use parchment paper when baking my pizza because 1) my husband doesn't care for the cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza, 2) I'm terrible and transferring the pizza from the pizza peel to the stone. Parchment paper works well for me.
dough recipe adapted from Budget Gourmet Mom