I’ve noticed that often the most well-worn recipes in my kitchen are ones never published on the blog. It’s not intentional; I certainly don’t sit up at night scheming about which recipes to hide from my readers. It’s that the go-to recipes, the most basic – and therefore the most precious – become such a habit, such a natural part of my kitchen routine that I simply forget to tell you about them.
This pizza dough is that sort of recipe. I have it hand-written on a green notecard and taped to the inside of my pantry door for quick access. It has been there so long and used so many times that I have no idea where I originally got it or if I came up with it myself via trial and error. These, in my mind, are the very best kinds of recipes.
This is my go-to pizza dough. I make it when I want an easy and foolproof recipe for a classic homemade pizza. It has never failed me yet. It’s pretty low-maintenance, too. I can mix it up in the morning, leave it to rise until the afternoon, and it still makes beautiful pizza whether I let it rise two hours or four.
I finally broke down and bought a second pizza pan recently. Our family of five’s appetite has outgrown one pan’s worth of pizza, so I finally gave in and bought another pan. Likewise, I now make a double batch of pizza dough. If you only want to make one pizza, you can refrigerate or freeze your dough for future use, or you can just cut the recipe in half. I made just the half recipe for years and it works just as well.
Basic Pizza Dough
A basic go-to pizza dough that is made with a stand mixer. Makes two pizzas.
Yields: 2 pizzas
- 4 teaspoons yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 1/2 cups flour (bread flour preferred, but all-purpose works also)
- 2 teaspoons salt
In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Stir in the olive oil, then turn the mixer on low and gradually add in the flour and salt. Turn mixer up to medium and knead the dough until it comes together and forms a soft ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour (1/4 cup at a time) if needed. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise two hours. Once risen, turn dough out gently onto a floured surface (you do not want to knead the dough here), and divide the dough in half. Press each half into a greased pizza pan, covering the pan and a little up the sides to form the crust. Top with desired toppings and bake in a 450 oven for around 15 minutes or until crust is firm and golden and center of pizza is cooked through.