Pizza is #1 (by, like, a mile) on the list of “meals my whole family loves”. (Umm, now I’m trying to think of what else would be on that list. Anyone? Bueller?) And it’s a good one to be able to make at home on the cheap, and a little on the healthier side, so you can rejoice in a weekly pizza night!
Now. You can certainly buy a refrigerated bag of dough at the grocery store. But this is better. And in pizza: part 3 I’m going to make making your own dough SO WORTH YOUR WHILE. But for now you’ll have to trust me.
Simple, simple ingredients – flour, yeast, salt. Olive oil, honey (in that order, for honey that slides right out of the measuring spoon), and water. I always use my KitchenAid mixer for this, although I’m sure you could get in there and knead it by hand!
If you have any fears about making your own dough, take heart! This super helpful pizza video tutorial from A Couple Cooks is here to help you. Over the years I’ve adapted the recipe I use somewhat from theirs, but I still use the exact technique from the video and have made dough this way dozens of times. Seriously, you should watch it before you start out!
Once the dough is kneaded, dust a pan (or your counter) with flour. Plop the dough onto the floured surface (it shouldn’t stick to your hands much!) and make it an even-ish shape that you can divide into two equal pieces (or more, if you made a big batch). Then shape each portion into a boule: lightly stretch the top of the piece of dough and tuck the edges under, until you have a smooth, rounded top and a pinched together bottom (here, just watch the video). Rub a drizzle of olive oil onto the tops and tuck them in for a little rest under a damp towel.
After about an hour, the dough balls are puffed and ready to be made into a beautiful pizza!
Transfer a piece of dough to a cornmeal-dusted pan. (I usually use the non-stick pan pictured below. Recently, I used the shiny one above and was sad sad sad because my pizza stuck. So if your pan isn’t non-stick, use a lot of cornmeal!) Press it to flatten it, then pick it up and set your inner Italian chef free while you stretch it on your hands a little. (Have I mentioned this awesome video?) A problem I sometimes have is that the middle of the pizza gets kind of thin but I still want to stretch out the outer edges, so I usually end with a pinky-side-of-the-hand move where I rock my hand toward the edge of the crust (you can kind of see the indentations from that on the bottom left picture below). But an imperfectly shaped homemade pizza still tastes delicious, so no pressure on this part!
Then top, and bake! Isn’t that so doable? Just one little step at a time. My older daughter loves helping with every part of this process, and it is so satisfying to transform humble ingredients into a homemade pizza masterpiece. And I don’t think that’s just my inner food nerd talking! Stay tuned – I’ll be back soon with a toppings extravaganza and a make-ahead option that you.will.love!Print
For 2 pizzas:
- 3 cups (450 g) flour (I use half white whole wheat and half all-purpose. It’s good with all of either, though!)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast (aka bread machine yeast, aka rapid rise yeast)
- 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1-1/3 cups warm water – don’t add it all at once (I just use warm water from the sink)
For 3 pizzas:
- 4.5 cups (675 g) flour
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt (plus a bit; that was hard math)
- 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 Tablespoons honey
- 2 cups warm water (don’t add it all at once)
For 4 pizzas:
- 6 cups (900 g) flour
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2-2/3 cups warm water (don’t add it all at once)
- Sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice!
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, leaving out a little water. Give it a stir with the dough hook to form a loose dough. If it’s not coming together or seems dry, add the rest of the water. If it’s very wet or sticky, add a little flour (just a pinch).
- Attach the dough hook to the mixer and mix on low speed until a ball forms (about 30 seconds). Watch the dough – if it is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add a bit of flour. If it seems very dry, add a small splash of water.
- Knead for 8 minutes on medium-high.
- Lightly flour a pan or countertop. Using your floury hands, scoop the dough onto the floured surface and divide evenly into two pieces (or 3, or 4, depending on your batch size – the pieces will weigh about 14 oz each). Shape each piece into a rounded ball by lightly stretching the surface and tucking the ends under and pinching the bottom together. Lightly rub each piece with olive oil and cover the dough balls with a damp towel, giving them room to puff and rise. Let rise for about an hour (45 minutes if you’re in a hurry). Set a timer so you remember to crank the oven up to 500 about 30 minutes before you want to cook the pizza.
- Place risen dough ball onto a pan dusted with cornmeal (be generous, especially if your pan is not non-stick). Flatten it gently into a circle, then tuck your hands under the edge and stretch it over your knuckles, letting gravity pull on it. If the middle is getting thin before the edges are fully stretched, resist the urge to fold the dough! Instead, put the dough down on the pan and use a rocking motion with the pinky side of your hand to push the outer edge further out. If, umm, that makes sense.
- Top as desired and bake at 500 for 8-10 minutes or until the exposed edges of the crust are brown and the cheese is bubbly!
Dough recipe adapted from A Couple Cooks