Want to know how to make the best pizza dough ever? Want it to be just the right amount of chewy and crispy with beautiful scorched bubbles on the crust? Would you also like it if that pizza dough was super easy to make (no kneading required!) and made to bake in your home oven? Thought you might 🙂
You're in luck; I finally figured out how to make high-end pizzeria quality pizza dough. Actually Jim Lahey did all the figuring out; I just followed the recipe. He was kind enough to share it with Bon Appetite (and, therefore, me) a few months ago. You can check out the rest of his recipes in his cookbook,
Tips for perfect pizza dough:
- Put your rolling pin away! Seriously. Using a rolling pin will remove all the little air bubbles leaving you with bad pizza crust. Go put it away 🙂
- Turn your oven to the highest temperature for a full hour before baking the pizza. You want it HOT!
- On a well-floured surface, stretch the dough, starting at the edges and moving in a circle around the dough (or a rectangle if you want to make flatbread)
- Resist the temptation to flatten the pizza dough (see tip #1)
- Make a fist with one hand and drape the pizza dough over your fist. Make a fist with your other hand and slowly rotate with pizza dough around in a circle using your two fists. The pizza dough will look a little like a blanket covering your two hands.
- Once the dough is about 10-12 inches, drop it onto a lightly floured pizza peel or baking sheet.
- Don't worry if it is oddly shaped, it will have more character this way!
- Don't add too many toppings to your pizza. Less is more.
This pizza crust is straight out of your favourite Italian restaurant. It is actually even better than pizza crust I've had at many great restaurants. It's the best pizza dough recipe I've ever used, by far.
- 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping dough
- 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3 cups warm water
- Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl.
- Gradually add 3 cups of warm water and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Using your hands, gently bring the dough together to form a rough ball. Note: you may need to knead it a couple of times to get it to form a ball.
- Transfer the ball to a large, clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm (room temperature) draft-free location for at least 18 hours.
- Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rough rectangle, then divide it into six equal portions (or less if you want bigger pizzas).
- Working with one piece at a time, take the four corners of the rectangle and fold them in towards the middle (like a parcel.) Turn the seam down on a lightly-floured baking sheet and dust the top with flour. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and set aside for at least 1 hour.
To make pizza:
- Position the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Turn your oven on to the highest temperature for one full hour. If using a pizza stone (instead of a baking sheet), place it in the oven before turning it on.
If using a pizza stone:
- Sprinkle the pizza peel lightly with flour. Place the pizza dough on top and add your desired toppings. Slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot pizza stone and bake until the bottom is crisp and the top is blistered, about 5-6 minutes.
If using a baking sheet:
- Sprinkle the baking sheet with flour then place dough on top and top with desired toppings. Bake till bottom is crisp, and crust is blistered, about 10 minutes.
- Allow your oven to reheat for 5 minutes between pizzas.
The pizza dough can be made ahead of time. Complete step 7 then wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for three days. Bring to room temperature for 2-3 hours before baking. Most pizza dough keeps well in the freezer. I haven't tried this with this recipe yet but it should work fine too.
For more great pizza recipes, check out Jim Lahey's cookbook, My Pizza.