Pizza Dough

Easy Pizza Dough Recipe
Photo by Scott Bartolomei Edmonds. Plate by Jim Shack.
Ten years have passed since I first came across a recipe for herb and onion pizzettes in Food and Wine Magazine. Since then, I have been carrying a cut-out of this recipe in a folder where I keep all my favorite recipes. It’s a bright pink folder with an old rubber band holding all the papers together. Back when I started the folder, my good friend Marcie had sent me a gift in cardboard tube. On it, she scrolled this quote by Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli:
“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.”
A piece of that tube still survives taped to the folder along with some old stickers of pheasants and squirrels that Angelica added. The folder has grown fatter, torn, and stained as time passes, so, slowly, I am working on transferring these recipes to the web.
I have been faithful to this recipe since it was first published back in 1998. This one is a simple, basic pizza dough recipe yielding a light crust to compliment any topping. Kneading by hand is the way to go, but if you are short on time, simply use the dough hook on your standing mixer at medium speed. I often like to substitute some of the flour with whole wheat flour for a nuttier, heartier crust. Also, you can prepare the dough through step 1, cover and refrigerate overnight for the next day.

Photo by Scott Bartolomei Edmonds.
Pictured here are pizzettes topped with white truffle oil, thinly sliced yukon gold potatoes, onion, rosemary, parsley and a slice of white truffle pecorino. We served these last Saturday as an appetizer for dinner with Tausha, my sister in law, who was visiting us during her trip to New York City.
Pizza Dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (105° to 115°)
salt
olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the flour with the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Let stand in a warm place until foamy, about 30 minutes. Stir in 2 1/4 cups of the flour, the remaining 3/4 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to form a soft dough. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until silky and elastic, about 5 minutes; add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
2. Punch down the dough, cover and let rise for 30 minutes longer. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and let the dough rest for 10 minutes before shaping it.
3. Meanwhile, set a pizza stone on a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°.
4. Roll out or stretch dough into desired shape. Set the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or baking sheet and top with your favorite toppings. Slide the pizza onto a pizza stone in the oven and bake for about 7 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Makes 1 large pizza pie.

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