Fail-Proof Organic Pizza Dough
Here it is folks. Here it is! What exactly is here you ask? Let me tell you. Pizza dough. Yup. Homemade, fresh, tasty, free of funky, fake ingredients, pizza dough. Can you smell it? Mmm, is there anything better than the smell of fresh dough? Actually there is. That would be fresh dough baking in the oven. Now *that* is as good as it gets right there.
I have tried several different pizza dough recipes over the years and I’ve run into the same problem with all of them. They suck. Too blunt for you? Sorry ’bout that. You go right ahead and get over that and we can move on. It seems that people think pizza dough doesn’t matter, so who cares what it tastes like. Well I care, and the dough, which eventually is going to be the crust for my cheesy, saucy, meaty creation should taste good, not just hold up the toppings so the bottom of my oven doesn’t catch fire from all the meat and cheese grease. Wouldn’t you agree?
For years I used frozen doughs, boxed dough mixes. I have no idea why I would shy away from making my own. It’s not like working with yeast is scary. I guess I just figured that working with yeast meant that the entire process was going to take fer-evah, and who wants to take fer-evah just to make some dough? I know I don’t. I’d rather take forever chopping veggies into a perfectly shaped dice, or julienne, but I’m strange that way. TSM says I get this look in my eyes when we’re in the produce department and I flash this big, toothy, Cheshire cat-like grin. He thinks it’s because I’m über excited that I’m going to get to chop ALL these fruits and veggies when I get home. Me? I just plead the 5th.
After trying one crappy dough after another I decided to put on my big girl panties and just make my own dough. I mean, for the love of Bea Arthur. It’s.Just.Dough! So I did that, and now I don’t use anything else. Fresh, homemade dough is the way to go. A bonus for making your own dough is that you only need a handful of ingredients. You don’t need 27 hard to pronounce ingredients like the boxed dough mixes, or the processed dough’s-in-a-blue-tube. R.I.P. Doughboy. Who’s giggling now? Muahaaaahhaa. If you want a thicker crust, only divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls versus 6, which will make a thinner crusted pizza.
My final thought on this dough? It’s easy. I actually have three other pizza dough recipes, but this one is the easiest. The others aren’t difficult, but for people who don’t whip out homemade dough on a regular basis, this one is fail proof. Oh, and if you make this and you do fail at it, I want pictures and a play-by-play of what you did, because after I get done laughing
at you I want to help you figure out what the heck ya did. Oh crimany, I’m kidding. I won’t laugh AT you. I’ll laugh with you. Unless you’re crying. Then I’ll just pour you a vodka and hand you a tissue. There, there.
Oh! Before I forget. I’ll be including my pizza sauce recipe within the next few days as well. I felt having the dough recipe was important, so I’m starting with this first. Be on the look-out for my pizza recipe though. Don’t make me beg. If I have to get down on my knees, you’re driving up here to help me get back up! I often double this recipe and divide the dough into 4-5 evenly sized balls of dough and I freeze each ball, sandwiched between two sheets of parchment paper and place the fresh ball of dough into a zipper top bag. I’ve frozen these for up to 3 months without having any issues. Once ready to use, simply bring to room temp in the fridge over night and they’ll be ready to use the next day. If still slightly frozen, you can keep them at room temp for up to 90 minutes, since they have to rest at room temp for at least 30 minutes prior to being rolled out anyway.
Fail-Proof Organic Pizza DoughRecipe adapted from: The Barefoot Contessa Makes: Six 8-inch pizzas Time: 20 minutes Inactive Prep: 3-4 hours
- 1-1/2 cups warm water (make sure digital thermometer inserted into water reads 100-110 degrees)
- 4-1/2 teaspoons OR 2 packages dry yeast. I use this brand: Bob’s Red Mill– So I use 4-1/2 tsp.
- 1-1/2 TB organic honey.
- 4 TB (real) high quality Olive Oil
- 4 cups organic AP flour, plus more for kneading
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- Combine the water, yeast and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Give the mixture a quick stir with a spoon to ensure the yeast hasn’t glopped at the bottom of your mixing bowl.
- Add 3 TB of the olive oil to the mixture in the bowl.
- When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of the flour, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Mix on medium-low speed.
- If needed, while mixing, add up to 1 additional cup of flour or just enough to make a soft dough.
- Knead the dough (with your mixer, not your hands) for about 7-10 minutes or until smooth, sprinkling it with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to the bowl. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead it by hand for 1 minute. It should be smooth to the touch and elastic. Shape dough into a large round ball.
- Coat the inside of a large bowl with the remaining TB of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and move the ball around to ensure the entire surface is coated with olive oil.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. (I put mine on top of the fridge where it’s nice and warm)
- After the dough has been resting for 30 minutes, turn the dough onto a cutting board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- After the dough has rested a second time, either use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 hours, OR place into a zip top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. If you freeze your dough, thaw it in the fridge and them bring it to room temperature before working with it to make a crust.
- IF YOU CHILLED THE DOUGH IN THE FRIDGE: let it come to room temperature first- then proceed to step 11.
- IF USING IMMEDIATELY: Using your hands, press, stretch and manipulate the dough into an 8-inch circle. You may also use a rolling-pin.
Here is where you can do a couple of different things. I like to use a pizza stone. And, I also like to get it screaming hot. I put the stone in a cold oven and set my oven temp to 425-450 degrees. I have no idea why I can’t decide which temperature I like more. I’ve used both with success so pick one and give it a whirl. Once the oven is preheated, I wait another 10 minutes to ensure the stone is hot.
I have my pizza dough rolled out and ready to go. When I remove the pizza stone from the oven, I sprinkle some corn meal onto the stone, and I place my dough onto the stone. I dock it several times with the tines of a fork (poke holes in it) and I pre-bake it for 5-9 minutes. Just depends. Then I remove the crust from the oven, (while still on the stone) and top it with sauce, meats, cheese and bake it until GBD. Say it with me. Golden Brown Delicious!
The other way you can do this is once you’ve rolled out your dough, place dough rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet, top with sauce and toppings and bake unit done. If you are a bit of a topping cow, I’d prebake the crust first so that you don’t end up with burnt cheese and a raw crust while you wait for that crust to bake through. Burnt food is not good food. Trust me on this one.
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Is this recipe for a thin crust pizza or is it more fluffy like a hand tossed pizza?
It all depends on how thin or thick you roll it. 🙂
Dough in the fridge should be good for upto 48 hours ~ 5 years in the industry. Thanks for the article!
Thanks for the tip! 🙂
I love the words you use to express yourself…and thanx for the pizza dough recipe.
what is AP flour?
Do you use any cornmeal for transfer? I had a traditional pizza stone, but upgraded to a cast iron, and plan on trying your recipe for dough (and sauce) next week!
Everything I’ve read says to prep for stickiness with cornmeal, but I didn’t see that anywhere in your recipe.
I don’t use cornmeal because the flour I use to roll out the dough keeps it from sticking onto anything. I use a pizza stone- I have no idea how this will react on cast iron. My fear is that cast iron will burn the cornmeal and burnt cornmeal tastes nasty! If your dough is rolled out with enough flour to keep it from sticking on the counter or cutting board, you’ll be fine. My stoneware is seasoned, so nothing sticks to it. I don’t grease it or use cornmeal when I place the uncooked dough onto the stone and prebake it. Best of luck. I hope you enjoy!!
Can you only refrigerate the dough for 5 hours? I was hoping to do the dough a day before and stick it in the fridge for the following day – approximately 24 hours. Could that be possible or will it spoil the dough?
You could try it. I’ve not done it, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just give it some time to come to room temp before you try to shape it. 🙂
I made this recipe last night and I danced around my kitchen! I have messed up countless dough recipes, killing yeast, using dead yeast, using too much wheat flour, just being a sucky baker, etc etc blah blah. I finally succeeded in making pizza ” from scratch” , thanks to your recipe. Thank you for sharing!
Yay. I am doing a happy dance for you. I am glad you had success. This recipe is all about bringing homemade dough to everyone who has failed miserably in the past-
myself included. Here is proof that there is truly a no-fail dough recipe. 🙂 enjoy that pizza.
I grind my own white wheat berries as even the organic ap flour has been processed to take all of the good stuff out. Have you ever tried grinding your own wheat berries to make this recipe? If not I wonder if it will work.
I have not. I don’t own a grain mill. I’d love one, but we recently moved across the country and are renting for two years, this house is so tiny I don’t have room to store one more kitchen appliance. I see no reason why you can’t try it. You could also try this with einkorn wheat. That’s an heirloom wheat that hasn’t been hybridized and is minimally processed. I’m sure it will have a different texture with using the freshly ground wheat berries. Worst case scenario, you may have to use a little less flour. 🙂
So…since THIS recipe has made me a pizza artisan, I decided to get all brave and make it with einkorn flour. It came out sooooooo good. Couple differences though. I had to add an additional 2-3 cups of flour before it was in any way workable. It was so wet and then sticky and finally I managed to get it out of the mixing bowl without it all staying stuck to the side and fingers. I have since read that einkorn dough is often sticky, and someone also said its necessary to cut liquid in recipes by a third so I might try that next time. It was also a lot more dense after rising. It still rose quite a bit, but not as airy as modern wheat dough. The taste and texture is what made us love it. It had a nutty flavor without being overpowering, and it was soft and crisp at the same time. That won’t make sense unless you try it for yourselves lol thanks again for assisting me in my kitchen endeavors!
Your first sentence cracked me up!! Isn’t it great to be a professional pizza artisan? YAY!! Thanks for the info on einkorn. I want to start experimenting with that as well. I’m glad you were able to make it workable. You’re turning into quite the crust guru, too! 🙂 🙂
do you have any tips on whether his dough is freezable and still yummy?
Yes. As it is just the two of us and we can’t use that much dough at once, I always freeze the left overs and often times make a double batch all at once so I have frozen balls of dough to thaw as needed. I have frozen the dough for up to 3 months with no issues as long as you sandwich the dough between some parchment paper and put it in a freezer-type zipper top bag to keep it from getting freezer burn. 🙂
You are the funniest of funny people! This post was hilarious, I chuckled the whole time. The dough is fantabulously scrumptious btw 😉
My family is picky about pizza and loved this! said it was better than Papa Murphy’s. The only thing I think would have been better is if it had risen a little more. Overall fantastic. I would love to see your other two recipes. I cannot eat most pizzas due to the corn syrup in them so I love that this is organic. Can you help me find homeade caramel, and marshmellow recipes? thanks
Real Food Girl
Hi Rhonda! I’m so glad your family loved this dough. Words like that keep me doing what I do here.
As far as homemade marshmallows and caramel sauce, I would Google Real Food Marshmallow Recipes and Real Food Caramel Sauce. I know some of my fellow Real Food Bloggers will have recipes for these items. 🙂
You are the best! This recipe worked first time out. I made one large cookie sheet sized pizza and pre baked it. My son made two huge pretzels with the left over dough. Only one survived for the next mornings breakfst.
Thank you, Ian
ps check out my twitter pizza pic at @Envirocite.