Aug 17, 2010

My New Best Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

As you must have noticed by now, we love pizza here! It’s okay to be a pizza fiend. No, really, it is. It’s by far our favorite junk food Friday meal. Since I usually top ours with not all too much cheese, my own pizza sauce and add loads of fresh veggies, I’m not quite sure just how junky it still is. Or maybe I have a different perspective on what really constitutes junk food.

I’ve tried lots of recipes over the years. Most recipes called for 3 cups of flour—sometimes even 3 1/2—on 1 cup of water, making the dough very tough to work with while it’s supposed to be incredibly supple. Maybe I just messed up but either way, it wasn’t working for me and the crust came out tasting like card-board. It was depressing.

What was even more depressing were all those times I couldn’t get the dough to rise no matter what I tried. A lot of crusts tasted kinda bland, so I upped the salt and think it really tastes better like this. Plus, I replaced the sugar with honey and that definitely worked to my advantage. Oh boy, I’ve tried and ate so many pizzas over the past few weeks trying to get the exact right recipe for us. After lots of tweaking I think I have the perfect crust for my family. This one is light, fluffy and exactly right.

Now, if you need me… I’ll be on the Stairmaster.


Ingredients:

1 cup warm water
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 1/2 tsp salt (2 tsp also works well)


Directions:

We’ll be needing yeast—I opted for instant yeast but feel free to use active dry yeast—salt and olive oil. Good pizza dough needs oil. Sorry, there’s just no work around or I would’ve found it.
Pizza Dough

You can either use your stand-mixer, food processor or hands for this. Combine the yeast and salt.
Pizza Dough

Add 2 tbsp honey. I really like the addition of honey. It adds something to the crust that I can’t really define but that I miss when it’s not there.
Pizza Dough

And add 1 cup warm water to it. Warm but still very comfortable to touch.
Pizza Dough

I let the machine spin to combine it all. Of course you can also just let it sit in a bowl for 5 minutes to activate it. Not really necessary with instant yeast but it can’t hurt either.
Pizza Dough

Add the oil and 1 cup of flour. Wait for the flour to be fully incorporated before adding the next cup. Then add the last 1/4 cup. I let the machine run until it was a supple dough.
Pizza Dough

The best pizza flour is, by far, Molino Caputo. In Holland that’s very hard to come by so I just use all-purpose flour. Gotta make do with what I have.

I took it out of the machine and kneaded it with my hands for a few minutes as well. What can I say? It works as an anti-stress formula.
Pizza Dough

Lightly oil a big bowl. Check out the timing on this shot! It’s harder than you might think!
Pizza Dough

Place the dough in the oiled bowl and spray a little oil on top of the dough as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a draft-free place—I usually store it in my oven or microwave. I did forget about it once and turned on the oven. It was bad. Really bad.
Pizza Dough

If you’re using active dry yeast let your dough rise twice. If you’re using fresh yeast I assume you know what you’re doing and you don’t need my advice anyway! I’ll just shut up then. At least I’ll try.

 
Fast forward to 2 hours later.

My dough had risen beautifully. This makes for 2 medium or one really large pizza.
Pizza Dough

Punch it down and transfer it to a floured board. Make sure there’s flour on both sides of the dough and then only use more flour if the dough starts sticking to your hands.

Use the sides of your hands to create the border, push it down in the center and use your hand or finger tips to gently stretch the dough while turning it around.
Pizza Dough

Of course I had to get all carried away and stretch it on my knuckles as well. This does work, though, because you get to check the dough for really thin spots this way. I haven’t quite mastered the art of tossing the dough high up in the air. Well, I got the tossing part down but still have some work to do on the catching.
Pizza Dough

And there’s your pizza dough. Wasn’t too hard, was it?

The best part? It magically transforms itself into this during baking.
Pizza Dough

I’ve tried this dough several times now with fantastic results and rave comments every single time. I’m sold!

My New Best Pizza Dough
Ingredients
    1 cup warm water
    2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tsp instant yeast
    2 tbsp honey
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/2 tsp salt (2 tsp also works well)
Directions
    Combine the yest, salt and honey with 1 cup warm water. Warm but still very comfortable to touch. Let he machine spin for a while or let the yest sit in a bowl for 5 minutes to activate it. Add the oil and 1 cup of flour. Wait for the flour to be fully incorporated before adding the next cup. Then add the last 1/4 cup. Let the machine run or knead until it’s a supple dough.

    Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the oiled bowl and spray a little oil on top of the dough as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a draft-free place. I usually store it in my oven or microwave. If you’re using active dry yeast let your dough rise twice. Let the dough rise for a few hours, until it has doubled in size.

    Punch it down and transfer it to a floured board. Make sure there’s flour on both sides of the dough and then only use more flour if the dough starts sticking to your hands. Use the sides of your hands to create the border, push it down in the center and use your hand or finger tips to stretch the dough while. If you can, stretch it on your knuckles as well so you can check the dough for thin spots.
Meal type: pizza
Servings: 2 medium or 1 large pizza
copyright © kayotickitchen.com

    © kayotic.com
    Click here to print recipes older than 2010
    e-mail this post to a friend


    182 Comments »

    1. 1

      I’ve made this dough several times now, and I’m not much of a pizza person, but I can’t seem to get enough of  it using  your recipe!! It turns out so perfect each and every time!!

      Krazy Kook on Sep 27, 2010 @ 7:59 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Hey,
      I made this dough the other day.  It was so easy!  I’d never made any sort of dough before.  And it was great.  I made pizza and then used the rest of the dough for a calzone.  It was also great!  Thanks for showing me how easy making dough can be.

      Sara on Sep 28, 2010 @ 8:21 pm Reply
    3. 3

      i’ve tried a lot of different pizza dough recipes.  none of them have stuck so far.  gonna try yours tonight.  the dough is rising now.  so far so good.  :)  thanks for the post!

      stephanie on Oct 31, 2010 @ 11:11 pm Reply
    4. 4

      it was so yummy!  everyone loved it.  won’t change a thing, except maybe let it rise in the fridge over night.

      stephanie on Nov 1, 2010 @ 6:28 am Reply
    5. 5

      nice recipe, you can also try milk instead of water

      mrsn on Nov 7, 2010 @ 12:37 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Oh Dear! I will so try this the instant I remember to get some honey from the store. I just want to add that I am insanely jealous of people (including the author of this article) who are able to make things that are complicated to me look so darn easy ;) I am by far a Pizza-novice but my new-found appreciation for the doesn’t-have-to-be-so-junky junk-food will definitely try my hand at this recipe.
      Thanks for an intriguing recipe and keep up the good work. Greetings from a snowy Finland

      starting from scratch on Nov 10, 2010 @ 4:49 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Kay
      I can’t believe I just tried almost this exact recipe this morning!! I got it out of a Family Circle article along with several different pizza topping recipes and marinara sauce. The only difference was in the flour and it was 2 1/2 C. and it was sugar instead of honey. But the crust was VERY GOOD.
      Next time I will try the “honey” also.
      I also did mine by hand and just put the “active yeast package” into the Cup of warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. 
      I tried the Marinara sauce too however I stepped it up a bit with a tad more sugar and more herbs and let it sit for several house to blend flavors. It just came out of the oven and was DELICIOUS!!!

      Peggy on Nov 13, 2010 @ 12:29 am Reply
    8. 8

      We made pizza today and used your dough recipe for the base. The base had a great texture with crispy crust. I like the slightly sweet taste of the base and am thinking of using it to make some mini pizzas.

      Salome on Nov 14, 2010 @ 7:52 am Reply
    9. 9

      This recipe made the dreamiest pizza dough ever! I just made it for lunch and me and my mum were raving about it. Thank you ever so much!

      Hannah @ Bake Five on Nov 15, 2010 @ 9:57 am Reply
    10. 10

      I have this dough rising right now and i am soo excited to eat the pizza!  I can already taste the difference in the dough with the honey, so i am excited to see how it cooks up!
      I have a question though..the dough was still pretty sticky after just 2 1/4 cups of flour, but I didn’t want to mess with the measurements that you worked so hard to perfect…is it supposed to be sticky?
      I am a photographer, so i also love the images that you posted with this recipe.  My husband stumbled upon this recipe, as we are always in search of a good pizza dough, i am excited to check out the rest of your stuff! thanks!!

      Rachael on Dec 3, 2010 @ 11:28 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I’ve tried this recipe twice with active dry yeast and it hasn’t really risen either time. What am I doing wrong?

      Skylur on Dec 6, 2010 @ 11:08 pm Reply
    12. 12

      @ Skylur:

      No idea, it’s a fool-proof recipe for me and many people who have tried it.

      Could your yeast be old?

      Kay on Dec 6, 2010 @ 11:25 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Wow…. this dough is incredible. I’ve used it twice with my pizzas already, and it’s perfect. Thanks for sharing!

      Mike on Dec 14, 2010 @ 4:49 am Reply
    14. 14

      Hello!
      Stumbling around i checked your recipe (i heard of honey before instead of sugar, it most change as well the elasticity of the dough, and the flavour since honey is not as abrasive/hard to dissolve in such little amount of liquid) though i can make a little note, add the salt towards the end of the mixture, that way u dont kill the yeast so fast. @ school we do brioche dough (and croissants) and we always add the salt @ the end of the mix (when everything is incorporated), as well u can delay a bit the yeast leaving it in a bit of warm water and then adding it into the flour directly, personally i prefer to knead my dough with my hands, the kitchen aid is an awesome tool but i dont know, it takes part of leaving a part of ur self into the making and i found it relaxing =P .
      I will read other entries of your blog, but so far with this recipe it open already my apetite :D
      For those interested in ratios  and measures for baking,  Michael Ruhlman wrote a book about ’em  called “Ratio”, for those interested (pastry and cuisine) it’s a great tool which will not only give u a better perspective of flour but a whole idea of how to make ur own “consistency” (i like reaaaally spongy croissants and flexible pizza dough)
      A.

      Alex_C on Dec 20, 2010 @ 8:56 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Hello!
      Today, I’m making your pizza the second time around! This time I’m using dry yeast, while the first time I used the fresh one. I prefer fresh yeast because I’m always sure it’ll be alright whereas this dry thing is new to me and I’m still a bit suspicious of it. (for proofing fresh yeast – crumble it into a cup, add 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp warm water, mix gently and set aside. It starts foaming and bubbling quite quickly – if it doesn’t, throw it away and start with a fresh cube)
      Anyhow – your pizza dough (and the sauce) is excellent and I’m sticking with it until something better comes along. So, for a long time, I guess. ;)

      Vesna on Jan 5, 2011 @ 6:56 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Hum ok tomorrow I’ll try this one. Since I left Italy I’ve never been able to make a decent pizza dough, as it looks like that the yeast we use is not available around here ;(
      But I really like your blog and I have already tried few recipes and I loved them all!
      Ciao

      Katia on Jan 6, 2011 @ 3:53 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Kay…. you are a culinary genius. I used several of your recipes and they taste freaking amazing. I can’t wait to try this out!!

      Serina on Jan 10, 2011 @ 4:04 am Reply
    18. 18

      This is BY FAR the BEST pizza dough recipe I have EVER had the honour to follow.

      Jennifer on Feb 10, 2011 @ 5:57 am Reply
    19. 19

      Fantastic pictures. What gorgeous pizza dough.

      sophistimom on Feb 19, 2011 @ 5:41 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Wow this is the best!
      I add some garlic and onion powder just a 1/4 teaspoon each

      Dr Evil on Feb 21, 2011 @ 5:28 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Hi Kay – I have a question for you. So I’ve made this pizza dough a few times before and it turned out wonderful. But for some reason I tried to do it again after some time and it didn’t rise. I know that salt is a yeast-killer when in direct contact and the first step is to combine them. Like I said though, did this step before and pizza dough rose fine. I’m not sure why I got unlucky this time (put it in warm oven over night even) but I just combined 2 1/4 tsp. yeast w/ 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp. of sugar (it sat around and got bubbly after 10 min, so I know yeast is fine) and kneaded it into my blob of unmoving dough w/ some flour. It’s back in the warm place and, fingers crossed, will rise this time. Any idea about what went wrong?

      Diana on Mar 3, 2011 @ 6:23 pm Reply
    22. 22

      I’ve never made pizza dough before and I have VERY little experience with working with dough. But I tried this recipe last night and wow! The flavor is SO amazing.

      But for some reason the texture was very dense and chewy. I have no idea how to work the dough, honestly. Since the dough was so sticky when I turned it out to knead, I added less than a cup of flour while kneading to make it less sticky. I kneaded it for like 8 mins (after letting it run in my stand mixer with the hook attachment for 7 mins). It rose beautifully in a cooling-down oven. I had a little trouble stretching the dough, but that was it. Have any ideas why the texture came out so tough? Do you knead it less than I did?

      I’m definitely trying this recipe again. The flavor is just too amazing to ignore. Thanks for the recipe!! =) Love your blog!

      Melissa on Mar 4, 2011 @ 8:03 pm Reply
    23. 23

      @Melissa:

      So, you added an additional 1 cup of flour? 

      Dough always starts out (very) sticky. That will resolve itself during kneading as the gluten are developed. If you added an extra cup of flour, you used way too much flour and that is probably why it was much too dense.

      Next time try flouring only your hands whenever the dough sticking to your hands makes it hard to knead, but don’t add flour to the dough itself.

      Kay on Mar 5, 2011 @ 6:59 pm Reply

    RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

    Leave a comment