Basic Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar or 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cornmeal or semolina, for sprinkling
  1. Pour the warm water in a small bowl (tip: be sure that the bowl is also warm so that it doesn't drop the temp of the water!).
  2. Sprinkle the yeast, sweetening and 1 tablespoon of the flour over the surface of the water.
  3. Stir until dissolved and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 15 minutes.
  4. In the work bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine salt and 1 cup flour.
  5. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir on low to combine.
  6. Add the olive oil.
  7. Beat for 2 minutes, adding the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a dough that just clears the sides of the bowl is formed.
  8. Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook and knead for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy.
  9. If desired, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly by hand.
  10. Place the dough in a greased deep container. Turn one to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until tripled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  11. At least 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500 degrees or its highest setting. Place a baking stone, if using, on the lowest oven rack.
  12. Shape dough as desired.
  13. Immediately after shaping, brush with sauce or olive oil and assemble toppings on the dough.
  14. If using a baker's peel, heavily sprinkle it with cornmeal or flour.
  15. Slide the pizza onto the pan or directly onto the baking stone.
  16. Pizza cooked directly on a baking stone will take 8 to 10 minutes; in a pan it can take 10 to 15 minutes.
My current favorite pizza dough, this recipe is from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. I definitely recommend investing in a pizza stone if you do not already own one.