Saturday, January 06, 2018

Pizza dough

Regular reader Evelyn recently asked for the recipe that I use to make pizza dough. We made pizza for lunch on Friday, so I hastily took some photos during the process. The recipe I use makes two individual-sized pizzas, and it was inspired by Jim Leahy's pizza book (a gift from friends and pizza aficionados in Illinois). I've adapted the recipe a little, but I believe it's faithful to Leahy's no-knead original.

The dough looks like this after rising for 18 hours.

First, I use standard all-purpose flour. Once in a while I'll make it half all-purpose, half whole wheat. Other flour mixtures would probably work just as well. The flour is measured by weight, not volume, so a kitchen scale is a handy tool to have. Here are the proportions: 333 grams (11.75 ounces, or about 2.5 US cups) all-purpose flour, 223ml (a little less than 1 US cup) of water, about a teaspoon of active dry yeast, and a dash of salt.

The sticky dough after being turned out onto the work surface. Obviously not gluten-free!

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, then seal with plastic wrap and cover with a towel. Set aside (or put in the refrigerator) for 18 hours. If you refrigerate it, take it out six hours before using so that it comes back up to room temperature. When I plan to make pizza for lunch, I make the dough around 6:00pm the night before. That way it's ready to use at noon the next day.

Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape them into smooth balls.

When it's ready to use, turn it out of the bowl onto a floured surface. The dough will be very sticky at this stage. The flour helps you to handle it, but be careful not to over-work it. Cut the dough into two equal balls and put one back into the bowl, covered with plastic wrap, until you're ready to make the second pizza. Gently roll out the first ball of dough into a disk shape, using plenty of flour to keep it from sticking to the work surface. Cover the disk with a damp towel and let it rest for five minutes or so.

Roll the dough ball into a disk and let it rest before topping and baking.

When the dough has rested, I transfer it to a pizza peel sprinkled with semolina to keep it from sticking (cornmeal or flour will work, too). Then I quickly add the toppings and slide it onto a preheated pizza stone in a 220ºC (about 425ºF) convection oven. A higher temperature is probably better for a standard, non-convection oven. Wood-fired pizza ovens are considerably hotter, often over 700ºF, but you can't do that with a standard home appliance.


  1. Wow! Thank you for the recipe! I’m printing it off and will be making it for my grand quadruplets when they come to visit!

  2. This is beautiful and I'm sure it's delicious. My recipe is a bit different -- simply because I don't have a pizza stone. 1) Buy a frozen pizza. 2) Follow instructions on box.

  3. This looks happy to see a bit of cooking on your blog.

  4. Thank you for this recipe. We're moving to B'ham next week and this pizza crust will be tried out soon. I like the long rest time and simplicity of ingredients.

  5. Yes, it is fun to see a cooking post from you:)

  6. I'm going to try it. What are some of your favorite toppings?

  7. Saving this for future reference. There are enough ready-made gluten-free flours out now that I think it could be made that way. At some point, I'll find out.

  8. linda, great!

    mitch, I use that recipe too, from time to time.

    thickethouse, it happens, every once in a while.

    evelyn, good luck in the move!

    judy, ha! Ken does most of the cooking around here, but I have my moments.

    diane, I like ham and cheese and tomato sauce. I guess that's my favorite. But I also like smoked chicken and roasted bell peppers. And more. ;)

    emm, let me know if you do, there are other gluten-free people who read the blog who might be interested.


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