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Basic Pizza Dough

Basic Pizza Dough

An easy basic homemade pizza dough - can also be used to make foccacia

Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package rapid rise yeast (equivalent to one scant tablespoon active dry yeast)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached regular flour (divided)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups very warm water
  • 2 T. olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix the yeast with 2 cups of the flour, and with the sugar and salt. Add water and oil and stir to mix. Add enough extra flour (1 1/2 to 2 cups) to make a soft, smooth dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rest in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. For pizza or calzone, shape as directed in the individual recipe. Makes two 12-inch pizzas, or six to eight calzone.

  3. For focaccia, shape into two 1/2-inch thick rounds. Let the focaccia rise a second time, about 30 minutes. Make thumbprint indentations in the dough every 1 or 2 inches. Continue following individual focaccia recipe as directed.

  4. Note on shaping the dough: As you shape the dough, it is easiest to shape it onto a pizza paddle and then simply slide the dough onto a baking stone in the oven. If you do not have this equipment, shape the dough on a large baking pan that has been brushed with oil and dusted with flour or cornmeal.

For active dry yeast

  1. If using active dry yeast, begin by adding the yeast to 1/4 cup very warm water and stir to dissolve. Add 2 cups of flour, plus the sugar, salt, remaining water, and oil. Stir to mix. Add enough extra flour (1 1/2 to 2 cups) to make a soft, smooth dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 to 60 minutes. Shape pizza or calzone and bake according to individual recipe directions. For focaccia, flatten the dough onto a pan and let it rise a second time until doubled in bulk, about 30 to 60 minutes. Follow individual recipe directions for baking.