The first time I had tried a yeast based bread, I tried dinner rolls.  They came out okay, but definitely not as light and fluffy as they were supposed to be, so I tried again with this easy pizza dough I saw on Annie’s Eats.  And this time…success!! I used this to make a pesto and fresh mozzerella pizza (to be posted next), and it was quite tasty.  Corrie was excited to take the leftovers for lunch today, which since I’m dorky, makes me happy.  🙂

Basic Pizza Dough

I found at:  Annie’s Eats (who found it at Brown Eyed Baker who had originally found it at Baking Illustrated (WHEW!!))

  • ½ cup warm water (~110°)
  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups water, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for oiling the bowl
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus some for dusting
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Combine the dry ingredients at low speed for a few seconds then add the liquid ingredients slowly.  Continue to mix at low speed until the dough comes together and a cohesive mass forms.  Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.

To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven.  Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Pizza Dough

Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal.   I didn’t have any cornmeal on hand, but it didn’t really stick although I think it would have transferred to the pizza stone much better.  I definitely need to work on my shaping skills though!  It was very…rustic.  Add your toppings and move onto the pizza stone.  Bake until the edges of the crust are light brown – mine was ready in about 9 minutes; it should be about 8 to 12 minutes.  Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.