A super easy pizza dough recipe that rivals even the best Italian restaurants! Over the years I’ve tried many homemade pizza dough recipes but none of them managed to give me that delicious soft crust and thin and crusty base. Most turned out to be either totally flat, tasting like cardboard or raise uncontrollably, becoming more of a bread than a pizza. So after plenty of experimenting, I’ve put together this ultimate guide for the perfect easy pizza dough recipe with all my secret tips explained in detail. Try it and you will enjoy the best home made pizza ever!
What makes a good homemade pizza dough? Start with the flour!
There are a few tricks that I’ve found to making the perfect pizza dough. The first one is to match the flour strength to the texture you would like your pizza to have. If you want a pizza that has an extra crispy base and strong texture use strong bread flour. The added protein in the that type of flour will firm up the dough and give your pizza that extra strength. On the other hand, you prefer your pizza to have a slightly softer edge, use plain flour, which has less gluten and will make the dough more tender.
Secondly, the best ingredient to use for pizza dough is the right type flour. What I’ve seen from my trips to Italy is that traditional pizzerias always use finely milled flour. Their pizza flour, also known as 00-tipo, has a powder like consistency that sits somewhere in between a finely ground semolina and icing sugar. This traditional Italian Pizza flour is both soft in texture and with high protein and gives the dough that distinctive Italian texture. You can get a large bag from your local Italian deli, supermarket or just have it delivered from Amazon. My personal favourite is a the Caputo 00 Tipo red flour, and with amazon free shipping on a large 25kg bag, I couldn’t be happier! If you want your dough to be slightly softer, I would strongly recommend the Caputo 00 Tipo Blue flour, which has slightly lower protein content and more elastic gluten. If you don’t have any at hand, don’t worry. Substitute it with plain bread flour and take it through a sieve to aerate it. It may take a little longer to knead and prove but it will work just fine if you’re in a pinch.
Semolina – the miracle ingredient for the perfect dough recipe!
Finely ground semolina is arguably the biggest secret ingredient when making homemade pizza dough. What is semolina? It is made from durum wheat, the same type of wheat used to make pasta. Semolina is high in protein and has a much tougher texture than flour, feeling almost gritty to the touch. When you use it in a pizza dough, adds a wonderful chew to the crust as well as extra flavour. Also I love spreading out semolina to my kitchen counter when stretching the finished dough ball. This gives my homemade pizza dough that little extra crisp on the base and edges that my kids love.
Should you use Olive Oil in your easy pizza dough?
One of the most debated topics for pizza aficionados is whether to use olive oil in the dough or not. Traditionally in Italy you will almost never find pizza dough with olive oil added to it. But what most hard core no olive oil fans won’t tell you is that a traditionally made pizza is baked in a wood fired oven at over 370C/700F and that the dough is left to prove overnight. But unless you have a pizza oven at home you will need olive oil in your dough. That is because your pizza dough will need some help to compensate for the lower cooking temperatures. That is where the olive oil comes into play. Olive oil will prevent your sauce from sagging your pizza dough, making it crispier and easier to bake at the conventional oven temperatures.
How to make pizza dough at home the easy way. Hint: use your bread maker or stand mixer.
The biggest timesaver when making an easy pizza dough is to use a bread maker or a stand mixer. Most bread makers are also excellent pizza dough makers as they have a big enough bowl to hold enough dough for 3-4 people, do all the kneading for you, but also control the proofing time and proofing environment. All you have to do is throw the recipe ingredients in the bread machine, set it to the pizza dough setting and let it finish its cycle. After about 45 minutes to an hour your dough will be ready to use and you will have literally put no effort in making it. This is literally the easiest pizza dough you can ever make!
A great alternative to a bread maker for an easy pizza dough, is to use a stand mixer. It will do all the stretching and kneading for you taking away the strain from preparing a strong dough. It will also save you time and energy in the process. You only need to keep an eye on it for the dough to proof. In my pizza dough recipe below I’ve given you steps for both a bread maker and a stand mixer.
How to cook pizza in an oven?
The last part to making the perfect pizza dough is cooking it. Unless you have a wood fired oven, there are two tricks to make the perfect pizza at home. Firstly, turn your oven on its maximum temperature a good 30 minutes in advance of you cooking your pizza. I turn my oven on right before I let my pizza dough prove. This will let your oven soak the heat in and raise its temperature as high as possible. Secondly invest in a pizza stone or a pizza crisper tray. If you use a pizza stone place it in the oven from the moment you turn it on. This will allow your stone to soak the heat in and assist in your pizza cooking evenly underneath. If you use a pizza crisper tray then keep it outside the oven and use it to assemble your pizza on. You will recognise the pizza crisper tray from its round shape, metal construction and holes on the underside. These holes are what make all the difference, as they let air and heat circulate underneath your pizza base, cooking it to perfection.
Can pizza dough be frozen?
Pizza dough is very versatile and can be easily frozen. There are three things that you need to do to freeze your pizza dough successfully while saving time when it comes to using it again. The first one is to let it fully rise before freezing it. Freezing your pizza dough does not kill off the yeast so you could freeze it before it had a chance to rise. But it is a great timesaver to freeze it after it has risen. Remember, it will take time to defrost the dough and the least you want is to wait even longer for the yeast to warm up and start acting again! The second trick is to divide the dough into portions, flatten them out and use a ziplock bag to store them in. If you leave your pizza dough in a big ball it will take a lot longer to defrost so planning a little bit ahead will save you time when you come to use it. To defrost your pizza dough just take it out from the freezer and leave it in the zip lock bag on the counter for about 1 to 2 hours till it is fully thawed and starts expanding.
I hope you find as much pleasure in preparing my pizza dough as I have! Let me know in the comments below what you thought of it! Looking for some topping inspiration? Take a look at my feta cheese pizza recipe! Pizza lover? Then don’t forget to take a look at this delicious boat shaped pizza brought by the Greeks who lived by the Black Sea almost 100 years ago!Print
A super easy pizza dough recipe that rivals even the best Italian restaurants! After plenty of experimenting I have put together this super simple pizza dough recipe for you to enjoy.
- 3 tsp yeast
- 350g lukewarm water (10.5 oz)
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 tsp sugar
- 2.5 tsp table salt
- 400g strong bread flour or 00-tipo pizza flour (14 oz)
- 100g fine semolina (3.5 oz)
- Preheat your oven to its maximum temperature or 260C/500F on the fan setting. Place your pizza stone in the oven, if you have one.
- In a bowl mix the lukewarm water and the sugar using a fork or a whisk. Add the yeast and stir till its fully dissolved. Let it rest for about 10 minutes or until it just starts to froth.
- In your bread maker bowl or your stand mixer bowl add the flour, the semolina and the salt. Stir with a fresh spoon till the ingredients are combined.
- Add the olive oil and the yeast, water and sugar mixture in the mixer bowl or bread maker bowl.
- If you are using a bread maker, set it to the pizza programme. It should last for 45 minutes and have kneaded the dough twice and prooved it. The pizza dough should be ready to use once the programme is done.
- If you are using a stand mixer, install your dough hook and turn it on at slow speed till the ingredients combine. Then turn up the speed to about a third and let it knead the dough for 5 minutes. If the dough is too firm add two tablespoons of water. Continue kneading for another 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky and have separated from the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the hook and let it proof in the stand mixer for 15 minutes.
- Reinstall the hook and knead it for a further 10 minutes on 1/3 speed. Once done remove the dough from the hook, shape it in large ball and cover it with a splash of olive oil. Place it back in the bowl and cover it with cling film. Let the dough proove for another 20 minutes. The dough should have proved by about 1/3 of its size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl or your bread maker.
- Shape it into two round balls with the palm of your hands. Sprinkle some semolina on your kitchen counter and push the dough in the centre with your palm. Spread it out using your palm, lifting the dough from the counter and flipping it over every other time. Take care to leave a thicker crust on the outside of your pizza to get that wonderfully raised crust when baking.
- If you are using a pizza crisper tray place the dough on it and season with your favourite tomato sauce and toppings. If you’re using a pizza stone place the dough on some parchment paper and season with your sauce and toppings. Take the pizza stone out from the oven and put the edge of your pizza on it, gently unrolling the parchment paper underneath till its fully on the stone.
- Place in the oven and let it cook for approximately 20 minutes or till the edges have browned.
- Serving Size: 1/2 pizza
- Calories: 448 kcal
- Sugar: 1.5g
- Sodium: 935.6mg
- Fat: 9.6g
- Saturated Fat: 1.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.5g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 77.9g
- Fiber: 3.6g
- Protein: 11.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: Italian pizza, pizza dough, homemade pizza dough, easy pizza dough