Basic Pizza Dough

“I recommend using bread flour or all-purpose flour – don’t mess with 00 flour unless you’re planning on using a wood-fired oven. If that’s the case, you should also omit the sugar in this recipe. Mixing the dough will take different amounts of time depending on your flour. It’s not an exact science – as long as you get all the ingredients in there, it’s gonna turn out great. Above all, don’t get too fussy about precision: Like all things pizza, the emphasis should be on having some fun with your friends, not stressing about the minutiae of the recipe.” –John Gilbreth

Basic Pizza Dough

Recipe by John Gilbreth, chef-owner, Pizza Tree

Yields | 2 12-inch pies or 3 8-inch pies | 

  • 1 cup room-temperature water
  • 1½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2½ cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pizza sauce (to serve)
  • toppings of your choice (to serve)

Preparation | In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add water, sugar and yeast. Mix on very low speed for 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and mix for 1 minute.

Add flour, ½ cup at a time, sprinkling it in (this should take about 2 to 3 minutes). Mix until dough forms a shaggy mass loosely centered on the hook, about 2 or 3 minutes more. Sprinkle in salt; mix dough for about 1 minute more. If the dough feels sticky, add a little flour; if it feels hard, add a little water and mix until incorporated.

Increase mixer speed to medium and mix until dough looks smooth on the outside with some toughness to it, about 6 minutes. Let dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes.

Using a bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough into 2 equal portions and form each into a ball. Oil a plate with remaining olive oil and transfer dough balls to plate. Lightly oil the tops of balls and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours.

Assembly | Remove dough balls from refrigerator to warm up for about 1 hour. Place a pizza stone in the oven, and set oven to highest heat (likely 500ºF or 550ºF).

Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll out dough to about 11 or 12 inches in diameter. Lightly top with sauce and toppings. Using a peel, transfer to pizza stone and bake until the bottom of the pie is a deep brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

PRO TIP: Pull pizza earlier if the top is browning too quickly.