Make pizza dough now, thank yourself later.

By Lisa Cericola
April 19, 2020

Pizza dough in your fridge or freezer is like money in the bank. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been short on time, energy, or ingredients but still managed to get dinner on the table thanks to a pound of pizza dough. Like pasta, it’s a great way to use up odds and ends in the refrigerator. But unlike pasta, pizza for supper actually feels like a special treat. Even if it’s topped with the last cup of shredded cheese and some spinach that you found in the back of the produce drawer, people will still say “Yay! Pizza!”

Most grocery stores sell rounds of premade pizza dough in the freezer aisle or refrigerated section of the bakery department. But it’s easier to make your own dough than you might think, even if you’re a novice baker. Follow along with this recipe.

Like any leavened bread recipe, pizza dough requires yeast. Dissolve the yeast in warm water (100˚F to 110˚F) and let it stand for about 5 minutes. It should look a bit foamy around the edges; this is a sign that the yeast is fresh and activated. Once the yeast has bloomed, combine it with the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar) and wet ingredients (olive oil and cold water) and additional water to make the dough. Our recipe calls for unbleached bread flour, but you can use all-purpose flour with good results. Mix the dough in a large bowl by hand or with a stand mixer that has a dough hook.

Grilled Pizza with Summer Veggies and Smoked Chicken
Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Now it’s time to knead the dough on a floured surface. Using the palms of your hands, push the dough away from you, then fold it back toward you. Repeat this motion until the dough is smooth and elastic. When you’re done kneading, let the dough rest and rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour. Once it has doubled in size, punch it back down. You’re ready to roll it out for delicious homemade pizza.