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The Best Easy Pizza Dough

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Easy Pizza Dough? Is there really such a thing? Nancy Silverton talks in her Chef’s Table episode about how she spent 10 years perfecting the Mozza Pizza Dough…. so can it really be easy? (PS if you haven’t gone to Mozza in LA — add it to your bucket list).

While this pizza dough isn’t quite Nancy’s – it’s pretty close. A puffy rim on the outside, and thin, crispy edges with a chewy (but not too chewy) inside. It has the ever so slight tang from the yeast, and acts as a perfect canvas for whatever pizza flavors you can dream up.

PIzza Crust Crumb, Best Pizza Crust, Easy Pizza Crust
tight crumb with larger air bubbles

Pizza Dough How To

So what makes this pizza dough easy? If you have a powerful food processor, it takes about 30 seconds to mix – just dump in all the ingredients and go. Then let it rest in the fridge.

If you don’t have a food processor and will be using a stand mixer – still dump in all the ingredients and go, but it will take about 10 minutes. Still easy!

Pizza Dough Resting Time

Now this dough does need to rest — if you can plan ahead enough to let it rest over night, the taste will be even more spectacular. I understand that sometimes planning that far in advance is impossible though and when the pizza urge strikes, it’s usually pretty immediate.

If you can’t wait or can’t plan that far in advance I recommend making it 3-4 hours ahead of time and letting it rest in the fridge for 2 hours, then pull it out to let it come back to room temp for another hour or two before rolling in out.

Properly mixed dough should be able to stretch enough to create the paper thin bubbles as shown here. You’ll also notice some of these bubbles forming when you roll out your dough.

The Yeast

This pizza dough uses Instant Yeast – not active dry, which is partially why you can get away with a 4 hour resting time if you absolutely have to. You’ll still want to gently heat your water though to get things going!

Check out this post if you want to learn more about the differences between (and how to substitute) types of yeast.

The Flour

This uses good old fashioned bread flour. I’ve tested recipes with bread and all purpose, added in some semolina, and done a whole smattering of different ratios. I’ve got to be honest with you though — the bread flour just works.

Bread Flour has a high protein content, and if you mix it right (not over, and definitely not under) you’ll get those beautiful light and fluffy air pockets (called “the crumb” by professional bakers), with a thin and crisp crust on bottom.

Measuring Ingredients:

A scale is the best bet with this for the reason that all your ingredients will be exact. You’ll get similar results every time, and as a result, you’ll also gain confidence as a baker and cook. The variability in true amounts when simply digging a measuring cup into flour can be enough to thwart an entire project. Also, scales are quite inexpensive. You can find them at Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon, Target, even grocery stores sell them. Invest in one – I highly recommend it.

Also, I use a scale because it’s so much easier to pour directly into the bowl, or to use the same measuring cup for each thing rather than search around (and then wash) each different measuring cup and teaspoon. I am a lazy chef, so less dishes makes me happy.

Just be careful when adding ingredients to other ingredients while you measure – I recommend that you simply have one bowl you measure each ingredient in separately and then dump into the main mixing bowl, to reuse the first bowl to measure the next ingredient.

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The Best Easy Pizza Dough

This dough is great for pizza crusts, flatbreads, and even a cinnamon sugar pull apart! It comes together quickly in a food processor and can be frozen (after sitting in the fridge) for later use! 

Ingredients

Units Scale

415.8g Bread Flour plus more for dusting (~3.5 Cups)

6g kosher salt (~1 teaspoon)

6.5 grams instant yeast (about 2 1/3 teaspoons)**

9g extra virgin olive oil (about 1.5 tablespoons)

9.9g Honey (~0.5 Tablespoon)

252g lukewarm water (about 1 cup)*

Semolina flour for dusting when cooking (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor with a dough blade, or a stand mixer with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on low, or pulse the food processor a few times to blend the flour and salt. 
  2. Combine the warm water, olive oil, honey and yeast whisking together. With the stand mixer on low, slowly pour in the liquid, making sure to get all the honey and ingredients if any settled to the bottom of your liquid cup. If using a food processor, pulse while pouring through the top spout. 
  3. Once all the ingredients have been added, allow the food processor to run until the mixture forms a ball. Continue to let it run for 20-25 seconds after a ball has been formed. Remove from the food processor and knead by hand on a floured surface 10-15 times.
  4. Divide dough in half and place in plastic bags or loosely covered bowls with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight or for 4 hours. I often freeze one the next day, and just use the other. 
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge 1-2 hours before you’d like to use it to let it come to room temperature. 

If using for Pizza in the Oven: Set pizza stone in oven and pre-heat to 425 F. Meanwhile, roll out your dough and set on a pizza peel generously sprinkled with semolina. Add sauce and toppings of your choice. Transfer to pizza stone and bake for ~15 minutes until golden brown and fully cooked. 

If using for Pizza on Grill: Pre-Heat grill to 500 – 600 F, or as hot as it will go. Sprinkle semolina on a pizza peel and set rolled out dough on top, making sure there’s plenty to keep the dough loose. Add sauce and toppings. Slide onto pre-heated grill grates and close grill. Cook for 10 minutes and check base of crust. If the edges still need to be cooked, but the base is getting too dark, lower the grill to its lowest setting and close the lid again. Continue cooking until crust is bubbly and golden brown. 

If baking for Pull-Apart Rolls: Roll room temperature dough into balls and dip into warm melted butter, then roll into cinnamon sugar. Set into cake pan and press the dough balls together so they lightly touch. While the oven pre-heats, set in a warm space to rise again until about doubled in size. Bake at 375 F for ~25 minutes, until a crisp crust on the outside forms, but still soft on the inside. Garnish with berry compote/whipped cream/greek yogurt or toppings of your choice. 

Notes

** If your scale does not do half grams, simply measure to the lower number and then add in a pinch or two more. If the number goes up to the next whole number, remove a pinch. It’s not the end of the world to be half a gram off in most recipes. 

* If using the dough later in the day rather than letting sit overnight, warm water to ~104-110F, this will help the dough proof faster than just using lukewarm water. The water should be hot but you should be able to comfortably hold a finger in it for 30 seconds. 

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Hi! I'm Sydney,

nice to meet you!

I left a marketing career in Hollywood to go to the Culinary Institute of America. After a few years of working in restaurants, I am now a private chef and sommelier in the 30a area.




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