Knead It

There are certain foods that have perfectly good pre-made options, making it difficult to justify the time and effort it takes to make homemade. Pie crust, chicken broth, and tomato sauce are some examples of foods that have store-bought substitutes that are more than adequate. Sure, the homemade versions are definitely better, but the shortcuts available make every-day cooking more manageable. That’s why when I make homemade pizzas, I always buy the pre-made dough. I’m already making the pizza at home, there’s no need to make the dough as well.

But then there are those rare occasions when you decide to really go for it, and you always appreciate that outcome that much more when you do. I felt like it was a must that I try making my own pizza dough, at least once. It was surprisingly simple to make, and only took a few hours of advanced preparation for rising time. Going the homemade route allows you to know exactly whats going into your pizza crust, while being able to customize it with half whole wheat flour, if you prefer. I can’t say I’m swearing off store-bought pizza dough for good, but making homemade doesn’t seem daunting or difficult anymore. I encourage you to give it a whirl, you’ll be surprised too!
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Homemade Pizza Dough

What You Need

  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little additional
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 26.1 ounces (about 5 1/2 cups) unbleached bread flour, divided

What To Do

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 1/4 cups cold water, oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon 24.9 ounces (about 5 1/4 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, yeast mixture, and cold water mixture in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low 8 minutes or until dough begins to form. Let rest 2 minutes; mix on low 6 minutes or until dough is smooth.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes); add enough of the remaining 1.19 ounces (about 1/4 cup) flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
  4. Drizzle the inside of a clean bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using. You can also freeze the dough in heavy-duty, freezer-safe zip-top plastic bags for up to 2 months; thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator.
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