basic pizza dough

Basic Pizza Dough

This recipe for basic pizza dough is great for making homemade pizza or calzone. Top it or fill it with your favorite sauces, meats, veggies, and cheeses. Try it with my recipe for Pizza on the Grill!

Basic Pizza Dough

(makes 4 mini pizzas or 1 large pizza)

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (equal to 1 individual package if you buy it that way)

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup warm water

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons salt

3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

Gather ingredients. AP flour works well, but if you want a chewier crust, bread flour is a good choice due to its higher gluten content.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, honey, and water. (The water should be warm enough to activate the yeast but not so hot that it will kill the yeast. Just above body temperature, warm to the touch, somewhere between 100 degrees F and 110 degrees F, is good.) Whisk together and wait a few minutes to allow the yeast to become soft before adding additional ingredients.

Whisk in 2 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Add 2 1/2 cups of flour, knead it in, and add the additional 1/2 cup as needed (you may use less or more until it is in a fairly stiff but smooth ball. The stand mixer with the dough hook works great, but you can also knead it by hand; it will just take extra effort.

Coat an extra-large bowl with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and place the pizza dough in it to rise. You’ll want to place the bowl of dough in a warm place in the house or, if it’s a warm (but not too hot) day outside, that works too. It should take approximately 1 1/2 hours to double in size. (Sorry, I didn’t get a good pic of it risen).

Once risen, punch the dough down and turn it onto a cutting board.

The dough could be wrapped tightly and refrigerated at this point, or you can proceed to the next step.

For mini personal pizzas, cut the dough into four equal pieces. Take each piece and knead it by folding it over on itself a few times until it’s in a tight ball. Allow the dough to rest and relax for about ten minutes before shaping it into a 7-inch disc. I use my fingers to gently stretch it and shape it rather than rolling it out.

For a large pizza, knead the dough until it is in a tight ball. Allow the dough to rest and relax for about fifteen minutes before shaping it into a 14-inch disc (approximate size). I use my fingers to gently stretch it and shape it rather than rolling it out, but you might want to use a rolling pin.

Proceed to put on your favorite toppings and bake.

I generally bake pizzas on a preheated pizza stone in a 500-degree F oven or grill. Mini pizzas generally take about 8 minutes, and large pizzas take about 12 minutes.

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Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.

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