This traditional, Italian pizza dough recipe is the “BEST”. Step-by-step instructions are given, making this flaky, crisp dough, virtually foolproof! Thick or thin crust is up to you, as well as the pizza toppings, and be sure to try it using a true Californo pizza oven, Yummy!

Servings: 6

Main Ingredient: Flour

Difficulty Level: 2

Ingredients to make Italian Pizza Dough

4 1/2 c Unbleached all-purpose

White flour 1 ts Salt

1/4 c Olive oil

2 pk Dry yeast

1 1/2 c Warm water

2 ts Light brown sugar

Directions to make Italian Pizza Dough

Step 1:

Measure 1/2 cup warm water (110 F) into 2 cup container and stir in the brown sugar. (Make sure water is warm, not hot – too hot will kill the yeast). Dissolve the 2 packages of dried yeast in the water and set it aside for 5 minutes. Will become frothy. (about 2 cups worth!) Sift 4 cups of the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a depression in the middle of the flour and pour in 3/4 of the olive oil and 1 cup of warm water. When the yeast is ready, add it also.

Step 2:

Dust your kneading surface with flour, then mix the ingredients in the bowl with your hands. Place dough ball on the floured surface and knead from 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour to the kneading surface if the dough is too sticky or wet. Eventually the dough will become elastic.

Step 3:

Rub the insides of a clean bowl with the remaining olive oil and place the dough in it, coating the dough with olive oil by turning it in the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place until double in size, 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. An oven with the light on or a lit burner pilot will provide suitable heat for rising dough.

Step 4:

When dough has risen, divide into two halves, then roll each out on floured surface. A round shape may be cut out with table knife using 12 inch bowl or plate as template. Sufficient for 2 12 inch thin-crust pizzas, or 1 12 inch thick-crust.

Step 5:

Cook on a pizza stone or oven tile at 500 F. The unglazed oven tile makes a huge difference in the crispiness and texture of the crust. It absorbs moisture and keeps oven temperatures even. May even be removed with pizza and set on a rack on table – will keep pizza warm much longer.

Who doesn’t love pizza? Well, we have made hundreds of homemade pizzas and experimented with flours, yeasts, and doughs. Here is a simple, easy recipe for home-made pizza that includes the crust. It’s so good that it will make you famous.

 

Ingredients for the Crust

  • 1 package (7 g.) of active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • Tiny pinch of sugar or honey
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 

How to Make the Pizza Crust

  1. First, turn your oven on to warm setting. If you’re using a wood fired oven, make sure to choose a firewood that will complement your tastes.
  2. Then, to your cup of very warm water, add a tiny pinch of sugar or honey. But make sure that the water is not so hot that it kills the yeast.
  3. Add a package of yeast. Yeast is alive, so a taste of sugar or honey will make it happy. And happy yeast rises. 
  4. Stir the yeast, water, and sugar mixture enough to get everything wet. 
  5. Let the mixture sit for a minute. In a large mixing bowl, add this mixture to your flour. Then, add a pinch of salt. 
  6. Stir the mixture with a fork or spoon until it starts to clump together. Then, get your hands in there and start kneading. Mashing the mixture down constantly, and fold it for a minute or two. Do this until it starts to get rubbery. Add enough warm water to keep the mixture moist and sticky, not overly dry. 
  7. Turn off the oven. 
  8. Now, form the dough into a ball. Then, rub a tablespoon of olive oil over it to moisten the surface. 
  9. Place the ball of dough back into mixing bowl. Cover it with a towel. Then, place it into the warm oven for a ½ hour or longer, until it doubles in size. The time will depend on how happy your yeast is. 

 

Assembling Your “Special” Pizza

  1. Prepare your toppings while the dough is still rising. You can use tomato sauce with garlic, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, olives, and chopped green peppers, but the sky’s the limit
  2. After the dough has risen, punch it down and spread it onto your lightly greased pizza pan. Whether you use a square pan or a round one, it doesn’t matter. 
  3. Then, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If you like a thin crust, then you may have enough dough for two pizzas. You can even freeze dough to make a quick pizza some other time. 
  4. Spread tomato sauce, cheese, and all your ingredients onto the dough. Sprinkle Italian herbs to taste. Then, slide the dough into your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Voila! Wasn’t that an easy pizza recipe?