David Murr

My Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe

I can’t remember the last time I had a pizza delivered. That’s partly because I live in the woods, and no pizza place is going to bother getting lost on the winding dirt road to my house, but mostly it’s because making a good pizza is so easy—and cheap!

Pizza is really all about the dough. Sure, there are potentially endless toppings to choose from and a quality sauce is certainly important, but if your crust is terrible, then the pizza will be “just edible” instead of delicious. One of the easiest—and tastiest—basic pizza dough recipes I’ve come across is this one.

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

Makes four 10-inch pizzas (adapted from the “Pizza Primer” over at The Fresh Loaf)

  • 5 cups bread flour (King Arthur Bread Flour is good and easy to find just about anywhere)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups slightly warmed water

I typically throw the ingredients into the trusty old bread machine and leave it on the “pizza dough” setting, which simply mixes the ingredients, kneads the dough, and allows it to rise for about half an hour. If you lack a bread machine or prefer to be more hands-on, head over to The Fresh Loaf for more instruction.

After allowing the dough to rise, cut into three equal portions, shape loosely into rounds, and transfer into oiled bowls. Punch down the dough gently and cover with a thin cloth. Allow it to rise again over 45–60 minutes. In the meantime, put your pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat as high as your oven will go—mine goes to 525 ºF but yours may go a little higher or lower. At that temperature, it usually only takes 7–8 minutes in the oven for the pizza to be done cooking. Just keep an eye on it.