This pizza dough recipe yields a crispy, chewy, and flavorful pizza crust.
Servings: Two 1-lb dough balls
Prep Time:20 Minutes
Total Time:20 Minutes, plus at least 90 minutes rising time
4 cupsall-purpose flour, spooned and leveled-off, plus more for dusting
1 tablespooninstant/quick-rise yeast
¼ cupextra-virgin olive oil
1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoonswarm water (see note)
Cornmeal, for dusting the pan before baking
Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir with a spoon to combine. Add the oil and water and stir until the dough comes together into a shaggy mass. Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand.) The dough should be slightly tacky and cling just to the bottom of the bowl; if it seems too dry during the kneading process, add 1 tablespoon of water. If it seems too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour.
Dust your hands with flour, then gather the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
When the dough has risen, punch it down and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a ball.
If you’re not using the dough right away, lightly coat the dough balls with olive oil. Place into freezer bags and seal shut, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, let the dough sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to warm up before stretching. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 12 hours), and then let it warm up on the countertop for about 30 minutes before stretching and proceeding with your pizza recipe.
If you're planning to use the dough right away, cover the dough balls with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes (the dough will rise a bit). Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape. Proceed with your pizza recipe, or follow the general baking instructions below.
General Baking Instructions: Preheat the oven to 500°F and set an oven rack in the bottom position. Dust a 13x18-inch baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Place the stretched dough on the baking sheet, and gently stretch it out again so that it maintains its shape. Spread your sauce over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked. Remove from the oven and scatter the cheese and toppings over the sauce. Slide the pan back into the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 6 minutes more. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Slice and serve.
Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant yeast, however the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can dissolve it in the warm water and let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Following that, add it to the mixing bowl with the flour, oil, and salt and proceed with the recipe.
Note: The water should be warm to the touch — not hot — as anything over 130°F will kill the yeast and keep the dough from rising. It’s not necessary to measure the temperature, but you’re aiming for around 105°F.