An all-around favorite for pizza night, this homemade pizza dough yields a chewy crust and great flavor, all with a same-day rise. The perfect middle road for crust preferences of all types. (Need something quicker? Try my Almost-Instant Pizza Dough.)Yum
You'd think we had enough pizza going around here, between the artisanal Famous Original New York Pizza and the last-minute, weeknight Almost-Instant Pizza. But nope. In fact, we need another pizza dough recipe, the golden mean, the exalted middle path. This one requires a bit more time than the almost-instant (what doesn't?) but not as much time as New York pizza. It's chewy, plump but still crusty, and delicious. It's not as low maintenance as almost-instant, but a lot less high-maintenance than New York. For instance, it's happy to be hand-stretched and baked on a pizza stone, but if you don't feel like fussing with that, it'll turn out lovely for you rolled out and baked on a regular sheet pan. Basically, when we need pizza, stat, I make the almost-instant. And when we're having a pizza party and pulling out all the stops, I'll go all in on the Famous Original. But for all other times? This is our beloved pizza night pizza, the one to satisfy all the pizza opinions in this house.
Mixing homemade pizza dough
This is a throw-it-all-in-and-knead kind of dough. Literally, if you have a stand mixer. Of course, as always, you can also mix by hand, which requires a bit more time and elbow grease.
This pizza dough has a fairly long rise, but not as long as overnight or long-ferment pizza doughs. The first rise is a two-hour bulk fermentation—when you leave the ball of dough to increase substantially in size in a large bowl. The second rise is another two hours, after the dough has been subdivided into individual pizza portions. After the second rise, you'll be ready to stretch, top, and bake.
Shaping the pizza
Pizza purists will insist that rolling pins have no place near their pies, but I usually do a combination maneuver, first rolling out the dough and then picking it up and stretching it over my knuckles. I find this gives it a nice round shape, even thickness, and just enough stretch so it doesn't snap back and shrink.
Topping your pizza
This dough is a jumping-off point for any of your favorite pizza recipes. To make a standard cheese pizza, use my pizza sauce from the New York pizza post and top liberally with shredded mozzarella (plus any of your favorite additions: olive and mushroom—the mushrooms can go on sliced, raw—are favorites at my house). For a shortcut, you can get canned pizza sauce all ready to go; I like Muir Glen Pizza Sauce and Eden Organics Pizza Sauce (see the hechsher for Eden here on their website).
As well as regular red-sauce pizza, I use this pizza dough for barbecue chicken pizza, wild mushroom pizza, white pizza, pissaladière (a Provençal caramelized onion, anchovy, and black olive flatbread), lachmajun, and many other things on the pizza end of the flatbread continuum. (I hope to share recipes for all of those with you soon.)
Baking the pizza
This pizza dough is baked at a fairly high, though not maximal, temp—425F / 220C—for about 10 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned but still soft and the cheese on top is bubbly. As always, if you'd like to brown up your cheese a bit more, turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes of cook time, watching closely.
Pizza Night Pizza Dough (dairy)
- Stand mixer fitted with dough hook
- 4 ½ cups flour
- 1 ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ¾ cups warm water
Mix the dough:
- Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast using a dough hook. add the oil and water and mix until incorporated. Continue mixing for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and sticky, but not tacky.
- Line sheet pan and mist the parchment with spray oil
- Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, mist with spray oil, and cover.
- Rest for 2 hours.
- Flatten the dough into discs about ½" thick and 5" in diameter. Cover and let rest for another 2 hours.
- 45 minutes before making the pizza, preheat the oven to 450F (with a baking stone inside).
Shape the pizzas:
- Flatten and stretch the balls of dough as thin as possible, about 9-12" in diameter. They can be stretched over your knuckles or rolled out.
- Place on peel or parchment paper and add toppings.
- Place on prepared baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.