The Best Pizza Dough – a photo tutorial packed with tips on making the best pizza at home!
1 1/2 cup water (warm from your hot water faucet) 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon active-dry yeast large bowl
1. Have your ingredients ready. 2. Combine all in a large bowl. Stir gently to help the yeast to dissolve. 3. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until you see bubbles forming on the surface. 4. Gather the rest of ingredients: 3 cups of flour, pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon oil. 5. Add flour to your yeast mixture. Begin with 3 cups of flour. It might be enough but you will know as you work with the dough if you need a bit more. Not enough flour and it will stick to the counter, your hands, rolling pin etc.. 6. Sprinkle the salt over your dough and add the oil. Stir until the dough forms and separates from the sides of the bowl. 7. Turn the dough onto a floured surface or baking/pastry mat. ( or some nonstick mat my wife uses for her modeling chocolate decorations ). 8. Flatten the dough with your hands, 9. Now the fun begins! You get to fold and punch the dough!
10. Fold from right…. 11….. to left… 12. … punch down… 13…. really doesn’t matter just eventually form into a ball. 14. Like this. 15. Clean the bowl you mixed the dough in and coat slightly with cooking oil. Place your ball of dough inside. Turn it few times to coat the dough with the oil. 16. Cover the bowl with a cloth or a towel. 17. Let rise until it doubles in size. A tip my wife taught me is on a cold/cool day to heat up a cup of water in the microwave and then placing my dough inside. Not a problem right now with the heatwave we are going through in the Midwest ;). In theory you want your dough to rise as slow as possible at cool temps such as a refrigerator overnight but in reality I am unable to plan that far ahead and need to spend as little time on prepping dinner as possible. 18. This is how your dough should look like after rising.
19. Turn your dough back onto the flour surface or a mat. Flatten down. 20. Form it into a log…. 21. …like this. 22. Divide into three equal parts. You can always divide the ingredients but we usually have three pizzas with leftovers for tomm’s lunch. (Or you can freeze a ball or two they will keep for some time.) 23. Form each part into a ball and let sit a few minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 24. One by one, flatten each ball into a disk. 25. After hand flattening to a circle use your rolling pin to get it as thin as you are comfortable handling and it staying together. Your dough will be pretty flexible and if it does rip or develop a hole you it is very forgiving. Simply fold over where it ripped or take a little piece from a thicker part of the dough and smash it in. Worst case scenario: roll it all back up and roll it back out again. I try to roll it out as circular as I can and as close to the size I want so I don’t need to stretch it out a whole lot to get to my edges. You don’t need these pizza pans. Free form pizza works even better and is much easier, but my kids are familiar with commercial pizza and believe that the perfectly round pizza tastes infinitely better. 26. Have your pizza pan SLIGHTLY greased with a cooking oil or sprayed with it. Place the pizza dough on top. 27. Now here is the trick: use both hands to create the edges. With one hand pushing /squishing the dough towards the edge of your pan and over and the other hand flattens it so it will stay in place.
28. Push and flatten. 29. You a-like-a-the pizza crust, no? 🙂 30. After you form your crust it needs to proof a bit; you can do this by letting it set for a while or pop it in the oven for about 5 minutes, pull it out and then add your toppings. 31. Your crust is ready to be finished and topped. 32. Brush the edges with melted butter… 33. … and sprinkle with cornmeal. 34. Spread the sauce in a circular motion. 35. …until it’s nice and coated. 36. Top with your favorite toppings and bake 15 – 18 minutes. Enjoy! For condensed instructions and a printable recipe, please click the button below.