How to Make the Perfect Pizza Dough
Everything you "knead" to know
Do you knead your own pizza dough? What makes it perfect? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
I’m going to dive straight in to the most important questions—because all that really matters is how *you* like your pizza. Personally, I love a thin pizza, but not too thin—and the crust itself should be crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. The dough shouldn't be soaked with tomato sauce, so I can lift a piece without the topping sliding off. Much-loved Neapolitan-style pizza, I have to say, is not my thing.
But—a perfect pizza dough. Now that’s relatively simple.
The perfect dough
In Italy, type 00 flour is preferred for pizza baking, but if you can’t find it, all-purpose will do. If you like, try a mixture of half type 00 or all-purpose flour with half spelt flour or the wholewheat flour.
Fresh or dry yeast?
It doesn’t matter whether you use fresh or dry yeast. Dry yeast is nothing more than fresh yeast from which the water has been removed. It can be stored for longer and can often be added directly to flour without being activated beforehand. Fresh yeast, however, is the old-fashioned version, can only be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, and must be dissolved with sugar, lukewarm water or milk before it can be incorporated into a dough.
Do you have a food processor with a dough hook? Jackpot! If you only have your hands at your disposal, then it's kneading, kneading, kneading, for about 10-15 minutes to activate the gluten in the flour. Alternatively you can choose the lazy version: You stir in a little more yeast water to the flour with your fingers than you would with a basic pizza dough recipe. The dough should be relatively moist, then leave it to rest overnight. The next day, just knead it briefly and you can roll it out. Don't be surprised if the dough still seems very moist the next day: This is the secret of no-knead pizza doughs.
Rise and shine
No matter whether you want to prep a quick pizza dough, a classic basic dough or a no-knead dough: all yeast doughs must be left to rest. Once you’ve made a few, you’ll notice that you can influence the resting period by changing the amount of yeast and use more or less heat. However, patience still pays off. If you give the dough time, it will thank you with wonderfully airy pizzas and richer flavor. The long resting time not only makes the dough more flexible, but also a thousand times better in taste.
Homemade pizza dough – let’s knead!
For a basic pizza dough, try two sachets of dry yeast or one sachet of fresh yeast per 1 kg of flour. You can read more about this and other types of dough here. This one, for example:
Quick pizza dough
If you want a quick dinner, your favorite movie is about to start, or you’re just impatient, you can either buy a pizza dough or: double the amount of yeast in your recipe, add a spoonful more sugar to the yeast water and let your dough rise in a warm place for only as long as it takes you to make your red sauce, slice your ingredients, and prep the cheese.
Low-carb pizza dough
Those who consider pizza an unhealthy food should know that toppings count. If you’re concerned about calories, pay attention to ingredients like cheese and salami rather than focusing on the pizza dough. However, if you're looking for low carbohydrates in your diet, doughs made from vegetables such as cauliflower are a great alternative.
Spelt pizza dough
Light spelt flour can be successfully exchanged with regular wheat flour in classic pizza dough recipes. But note: The darker the flour, the more water is needed to hydrate the dough. This also applies if you use wholemeal flour.
Gluten-free pizza dough
Skip back to the section on low-carb pizza dough or check out this guide, which explains in detail how gluten-free baking works. You’ll also find a flour mix that, once mixed together, can be used for all kinds of recipes, including pizza dough.
What about the toppings?
Once you’ve mastered the dough, the perfect pizza isn’t far away. You can start with these recipes in case you need inspiration:
Published on April 13, 2020