Dinner with Bittman: Pizza Dough


Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Pizza Dough

Makes: Enough for 1 large or 2 or more small pies

Time: 1 hour or more

You won’t believe how simple it is to make pizza dough at home. And because the dough freezes very well (at least for a couple of weeks), it’s even practical to whip up a batch for one or two people and tuck the rest away for another day.

To make pizza dough by hand or with a standing mixer, follow the directions, but use a bowl and a heavy wooden spoon or the mixer’s bowl and the paddle attachment instead of the food processor. When the dough becomes too heavy to stir, use your hands or exchange the mixer’s paddle for the dough hook and proceed with the recipe.

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube.

2. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)

3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) Proceed to Step 4 or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a zipper bag and freeze for up to a month. (Defrost in the bag or a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature; bring to room temperature before shaping.)

4. When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.


Posted in Italian, Recipes


  1. BerthasMussel said...

    Mark, do you suggest any whole wheat version?

  2. Anonymous said...

    I substituted half of the regular flour with whole wheat flour, and it came out great! It works better to use only part whole wheat rather than all.

  3. Jen Graf said...

    I’ve used this recipe many a time as printed above – however, the last time I went looking for it (because I wasn’t at home w/ HTCE) I found it all over the web calling for 1 teaspoon yeast instead of 2… what’s up with that? What difference will it make, if any?

  4. Matt Ostrokol said...

    In the books there is a conversion chart for yeast that says that 2 teaspoons of the Instant Yeast = 1 tablespoon of Active Dry yeast. (I believe that is the right measurement) Maybe that is where the mix-up happened.

  5. fulham pizza said...

    What is the process of Pizza Dough? Can you reply me the process of Pizza Dough step by step clearly?
    What’s things are use it and how much quantity and how many things are use it?

  6. Karen said...

    I found this dough to be extremely salty with 2 teaspoons of salt. Next time I’ll make it with half a teaspoon of salt.

  7. Penny said...

    Strange, I’ve been making this for a long time, love the results, but the original recipe I used (Mark B’s) skipped the 1st rising. That’s what I so love about it.

  8. Ellery said...

    Make sure the salt is kosher, as it’s less salty per volume than regular salt. However, we all found it too salty as well. Is this an error?

  9. Kate said...

    How many degrees should we bake the pizza?

  10. Xaj said...

    @Kate, bake it at 500 degrees. It should take about 15-18 minutes depending on the oven.

    To make a really awesome pizza, substitute the cheese with a cashew based spread. Put the spread directly on the crust, and then sauce on top. To make it combine the following in a blender/food processor:
    1 bulb of garlic (peel and blend; blend it alone before adding the other ingredients or it will not get blended enough)
    1 bunch of parsley
    2.5 cups cashews
    3/4 cup nutritional yeast
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp mustard powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    2 tsp cayenne
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    1 cup coconut milk

  11. Winny said...

    The difference between using Instant Active Dry Yeast in pizza is this yeast also gives you two separate rises and it can be used interchangeably with active dry yeast. Measure out the same amount of yeast and skip the water-activation step. Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-instant-a-54252

  12. Maria said...

    I make this at home at least once a month. It is perfect and my family always enjoy.
    Thank you,

  13. Cassidy Stockton said...

    I’m way late to this party, but this is the best pizza dough I’ve made at home EVER. I’ve never thought to use my food processor and this makes it so much faster and easier. Thank you for solving our pizza conundrums.

  14. Grace said...

    I made a double batch of this over the weekend and it turned out great! I would recommend adding just one teaspoon of salt instead of two – I love salt but this was a little too much even for me.

    I made this by hand since I have neither a food processor nor a stand mixer, and I found it really difficult to get the dough to take all of the flour in the recipe. I tried adding more of the flour during the kneading process and I still had some leftover. It turned out fine in the end so don’t be alarmed if this happens to you.

  15. This turned out perfect for us, great tasting recipe. thanks.


  16. Laura Rose said...

    I just tried this recipe yesterday and lord was it amazing! I had the luxury of reading through all of the comments before so I was adjusting the salt and taking into account how to make the dough various ways. I highly recommend this and will be sending to all of my friends and clients!

  17. cynthia mendoza said...

    how many minutes and what is the right temperature to make pizza using instant dough?

  18. Theresa said...

    we have to be careful when we hear instant or improved or fat free etc
    Because there is a catch a lot of times .They explained with the instant yeast that there are additives and enzymes . Dig deeper when you read that
    Sooo much is being added to our foods
    If I have time to make bread then I have time to wait a while longer with the regular yeast personally

  19. Donna said...

    Has anyone tried a gluten free flour mix for this? Like Bob’s Red Mill

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