The Only Pizza Dough Recipe You Need

The Only Pizza Dough Recipe You Need


For those of you that have seen my culinary variety show, The Edible Inevitable Tour, you know that pizza is near and dear to my heart. I would receive a decent amount of inquires after the show asking for my dough recipe.

When I decided to add a pizza demo to the my live stage show, I knew I needed a dough that was easy to mix and could stand up to considerable tossing, twisting, mangling, stretching and baking while producing a great looking and tasting pizza. Building on my original Good Eats Pizza Pizza, which I’ve counted on for years, I think I’ve finally formulated the final pizza dough I will ever need.

Yes, you will need a scale for this and yes, you need to work in grams. Luckily, most digital scales these days have a “tare” function, which means you can zero-out each ingredient before you add the next.

THE FINAL PIZZA
Yields 3
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SOFTWARE
  1. 690 grams bread flour, (plus 1/2 cup or so for shaping)
  2. 9 grams active, dry yeast (I use Red Star and no, they don't pay me to say that)
  3. 15 grams sugar
  4. 20 grams kosher salt
  5. 455 grams bottled water
  6. 15 grams olive oil (plus extra for brushing crust)
  7. Sauce and pizza toppings as desired
HARDWARE
  1. Stand mixer with dough hook
  2. Large mixing bowl (optional)
  3. Plastic wrap
  4. Wooden pizza peel
  5. Pizza stone or pan
  6. Ladle
  7. Basting brush
  8. Bench scraper (dough blade) or serrated bread knife
  9. Pizza cutter
  10. No-stick spray (or more olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Scale the dry ingredients together and place all the dry ingredients in the work bowl of your stand mixer. Scale the liquids into a measuring cup then add to the dry ingredients.
  2. Install the bowl on the mixer and attach the dough hook and turn the mixer to "stir."
  3. Mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid) and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough to a lightly floured countertop and smooth into a ball. Spray a mixing bowl (or the mixer’s work bowl) with no-stick spray or rub with the oil. Place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
  5. Remove dough to counter and punch down into a rough rectangle shape then tightly roll into a log 12-15 inches in length. Split the dough into 3 equal parts using the scraper or either a large serrated knife or a dough scraper. Flatten each into a disk, then shape it into a smooth ball by folding the edges of the round in toward the center several times and rolling it between your hands on the counter. You may want to moisten the counter with water to up the surface tension a bit so that the ball tightens up instead of sliding across the counter.
  6. Cover each ball with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes. (At this point you can also transfer doughs to air-tight plastic containers and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Just make sure you bring them to room temp for half an hour before forming.)
  7. To bake, heat oven (pizza stone inside on lower rack) to 500 degrees F, or hotter if possible. Give the oven a good half hour to heat up.
  8. When you're ready to build the pizzas, sprinkle a couple teaspoons of flour on a peel and place the dough right in the middle. Pound the dough into a disk with your hands, then pick it up and pull it through your fingers to create the outer lip, a critical feature that cannot be created with a rolling pin. (In fact, rolling rather than stretching will just ruin the whole gosh-darned thing.)
  9. At this point you need to start stretching the dough. The most-efficient way to do this is to spin the dough so that the weight of the outer lip stretches the dough via centrifugal force. You can also stretch the dough on the board by turning and pulling it, and turning and pulling. Shake the peel from time to time to make sure the dough doesn't stick. Sticking would be bad.
  10. Brush the lip with oil, then dress the pizza with olive oil and tomato sauce. Even distribution is tricky, so you may want to ladle an ounce or two into the middle and then spread it out with the back of the ladle. Top with fresh herbs (oregano and basil) and a good melting cheese. I usually go with a mixture of mozzarella, Monterery Jack and provolone, but that's me.
  11. Slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone. To do this, position the front edge of the peel about 1-inch from the back of the stone. Lift the handle and jiggle gently until the pizza slides forward. As soon as the dough touches the stone, start pulling the peel back toward you while still jiggling. While a couple of inches of dough are on the stone, quickly snap the peel straight back. As long as the dough isn't stuck on the peel, it will park itself nicely on the stone.
  12. Keep an eye on the dough for the first 3 to 4 minutes. If any big bubbles start ballooning up, reach in with a paring knife or fork and pop them. Bake for 7 minutes or until the top is bubbly. Then slide the peel under and lift to check the underside, which should be nicely brown.
  13. Slide the peel under the pizza and remove to the counter or a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 2 minutes before slicing with a chef's knife or pizza cutter (one of my favorite multitaskers).
ALTON BROWN http://altonbrown.com/

99 Comments

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  1. 1
    Chris

    Can I make this in a 12″ cast iron pan? Thinking I would preheat the pan instead of the stone and the just form the dough in the pan? Yes no maybe so?

  2. 3
    Jessica

    This is warm water that’s used. 100 to 105 degrees. Just found this recipe in his good eats book, and it says the temp in there and also uses easier measurments.

  3. 6
    Bob

    I’ve been a big fan since “Good Eats!” – enough sucking up – really need a gluten-free version of this so my daughter can enjoy as well!

  4. 8
    Kaleb

    You’re the bomb Alton! Just remember that there’s no such thing as “centrifugal force”. It’s actually “centripetal acceleration”. Just an FYI to a fellow man of science.

  5. 9
    Jeff Forrester

    Add a tablespoon of any off the shelf Italian seasoning that’s made up of dry herbs. Nice background flavor for the dough and you’ll see people eat all of the crust.

  6. 10
    Susanna

    Made similar AB dough for barbecue grill. (The recipe that uses malted barley instead of sugar). Called for a Tbsp of salt. Crust was way too salty. Just FYI.

  7. 12
    Rysn

    That dough looks hideous! Sorry Alton but if you don’t see that I’m really worried… It’s shocking you didn’t even try to photoshop that. Are you guys at food network even trying anymore?! Cause let me tell you, there’s plenty of us out here that aren’t part of your club that are striving everyday to just get a tenth of the piece of pie you guys get for cooking this garbage and blogging it like its gospel while Chuck E’ Cheese has better looking crust.

    • 17
      Crystal

      You can use a food processor for this…just pulse until it comes together and knead on the counter a bit. Worked perfectly.

    • 20
      David

      Please invest in a low cost food scale and trust me its worth it. For any baking and for anything truly culinary you need this. Its 10x’s easier to measure things when you know what they weigh.

      For example a cup of all purpose flour is around 120 grams. Put your bowl on the scale hit the TARE button, drop a few spoonfuls of flour, when you get to 120 grams you are good to go.

      Baking is 1 part science and 1 part art.

      If you make too much guess work, you are likely going to mess up the balance of the formula. My level cup may not be yours. Cheers!!

    • 21
      Ryan

      Also, ingredients can settle and make for improper measurements. Say for example I really pack a cup of flour tight, vs a cup of sifted flour. The measurement is “technically” the same. But I guarantee you that they will weigh differently. to be certain that you have a specific amount, the only way to truly know is by weight. That all being said, I don’t have a food scale in my home yet. But it is one of the things on my list!

  8. 27
    Matt Wernecke

    I just found this site. Really great stuff here! I’m learning so much from you all.
    I met Alton years ago on the Square. I also have his first book.
    I have a few questions: 1) what flour do you prefer?; 2} what bottled water do you use? Do you use a natural mineral water?
    I believe that the quality of water has a lot to do with the quality and flavor of the dough. No?
    Also, I remember a great pizza place in Denver that used honey in it’s dough; I miss that place, I don’t recall it’s name or if its still in business.

    Thanks, and warmest regards,

    Matt

  9. 28
    Sylv

    Alton, I once loved your TV show but now on Facebook you make recipes too complicated I.e. Your pizza recipe and your on the grill grilled cheese. Consult problem…e-mail me

  10. 29
    shelia

    AB,
    Did you ever use a flat iron round pizza steel to cook your pizza?
    I have used pizza stones and they can crack.
    Yes, I did follow the details. It happens. Should I preheat with a lower degree oven. Say 450 or cook the pizza with less time so it will not burn? Should I use corn meal under the crust? It might burn from the steel? I could use some help.

    So many thanks. We can’t wait for your new tour. We have tickets!

    • 30
      Astrid

      @shelia: I have had the the same problems with pizza stones cracking. I live overseas and only get poor quality. Many cheaper stones need gentle handling, even standing it too hard on its edge can create an invisible crack that will open up later. Also, do not clean a hot pizza stone with water, that can crack it, too.

      These days, I use a large (14″ or 35 centimeters 🙂 ) cast iron round griddle, sometimes called a baking pan. Lodge and other companies make them, not expensive either once you’ve cracked a few stones. Cast iron also stores heat very well, and is an Alton Brown staple!
      My griddle is flat with handles – I preheat it on the CENTER rack of my stove at maximum temp for about 15 minutes, and pop the pizza on there from the wooden peel. (You can make your own peel out of thin wood, doesn’t have to be perfect. Just sand one side well and put on food grade oil.)

      Another trick if things stick is to use baking paper. Put some on the peel and roll/ build the pizza on top, then slide the pizza with the paper on the stone or the pan. Browning on top and bottom works perfectly!

  11. 33
    Josh

    I totally get using the scale for accuracy and consistency. I have a pretty good scale, but when getting down to 6 grams and the like, I don’t trust the accuracy. For the salt and yeast, that would be good to have in tsp, etc.
    Haven’t tried this recipe yet, but looking forward to it.

  12. 34
    Dirkjon

    Tried this twice now. Oven at about 565ish F, pizza stone on lowest possible rack without being on the bottom of the oven. 4 minutes and the bottom of the pizza is a solid char, not nicely browned, and the rest of the pizza not cooked enough to consider it close to done. Going to try it and move the stone up to the middle of the oven and see what happens. Anyone else dealt with this prob?

    • 35
      Felix

      I have this issue as well and my solution is to turn the broiler on and use the flame to give the ingredients on top the final crisp. Usually it requires a minute or two at most.

    • 36
      Brian

      Put the stone on the highest rack. The reflected heat off of the top will cook the top as quickly as the bottom. This has worked well for me.

  13. 38
    Chri

    Would it be possible to get nutritional information on this recipe (and your others)? Nice to have when you are watching what you eat (or not eat).

    • 39
      Michael

      If you’re serious about watching what you eat (and in my opinion, cooking in general), then you should really get in the habit of doing this yourself. I know it’s preachy, but once you get in the habit of doing it, you get used to it and not only does it become easy, but you get good at estimating things in general. Additionally, I find that doing so encourages me to make more simplistic recipes because I hate updating my Excel spreadsheet! Lecture, over. From what I see above:

      Calories: 2880
      Carb: 551g
      Fat: 16g
      Protein: 100g
      Sodium: 7750 mg

      The recipe says it makes three crusts. I’m sure a serving size is 1/6th of a crust 😉 I know, life sucks!

  14. 40
    Paul Golanoski

    Seeing Alton’s super sized EZ Bake in action has upped the # of pizzas made in our home. This recipe is awesome!! We have taken to cooking pizza on the grill.I’m still working out the logistics to cook one in the fireplace..hummm.

  15. 42
    Johnny 5.2

    Did a blind taste test with this recipe and the one from The Joy of Cooking with some friends (unfortunately it wasn’t the squirrel skinning edition). AB’s recipe won unanimously.

  16. 43
    Jen

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I have a scale and made it to specs; couldn’t have been better. I’ve made my share of pizza doughs and this is one of the few that ended with the flour “suspended” in the water – the way it is SUPPOSED to look/feel after it rises. I didn’t have time to cold rise in the fridge, so threw it in a warm oven for 1.5 hours. I will plan for it the next time, but it turned out well even with the shorter rise. Kudos!

  17. 45
    Dennis

    Anyone who wants to know why the scale is used vs cups. He is using about 5 cups of bread flour. Anyone with a scale measure out 5 cups of bread flour and see how close you get to 685 grams. I bet you are at least 10% off. Now considering you would be off on every single other measurement you are doing without a scale, your end product would not be what he made at all nor would you ever be able to repeat it because your error would be different every single time. If you really want your inaccurate measurements, use an online calculator to convert grams to whatever you want. Just blame yourself when the end product isn’t what you expected.

    • 46
      Homunculus

      If people want to measure, by all means do so, but your math is wrong and your insistence on weight is a bit misguided.

      690 grams of flour is roughly 5.5 cups of flour. (exact conversion is 5.43) If one was off by 10% (69 grams), that’s an entire half a cup (0.54 cups, to be exact). That’s not being a little bit off. That’s being WAY off. If you use cups instead of grams, you’re likely to be off the exact mark of 690 grams by a matter of around 10 grams, which is roughly 1.5% of the total volume. Being off by 1% or 2% isn’t going to ruin the dough.

      Furthermore, you act like consistency cannot be achieved using volume. No pizza restaurant has employees exactly weight out the flour for a batch of dough. Having worked in fine dining halls, up-scale restaurants where people pay $50 to $100 a plate, fancy country clubs, and a few mom-and-pop diner-style restaurants, I can safely say that volume is the measurement of choice due to it’s simplicity and general reliability. If you can’t make something consistently using volume, then that is a personal defect, not something wrong with volumetric-based recipes. The only time professional kitchens use a scale is when they need to weigh out portions to help the line more quickly and more accurately serve proper amounts.

    • 47
      Homunculus

      The one major exception to using volumetric measurements in a professional environment is when you are doing pastries, cakes, and doing large-scale batches in a bakery. Any time you are doing a baked good where you need very accurate measurements of flour. Measuring the salt and sugar by weight is completely unnecessary. Professional bakers use scales because it’s easy to compact flour and get the exact amounts wrong when using a measuring cup, sometimes up to 50% more flour than you intended. The way around this is to make sure your flour is sifted before measuring, but most bakers aren’t going to go through that hassle and it won’t really do much when you’re dealing with 30 to 50 pounds of flour (it will just compact again).

      So, really, using a scale for flour has little to nothing to do with being accurate down to the exact gram as possible and has to do with the very nature of dry flour and how the degree in which it is compacted changes the mass and volume dynamic of flour.

      • 50
        Homunculus

        It’s easier because not everyone has a scale that goes down to grams. Most kitchen scales are based around ounces, not grams. Everyone has teaspoon-sized spoons or at least actual measuring spoons.

        Given that a teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon will yield you 16 grams of sugar. Shave off 1/4 of a teaspoon and you have 15 grams.

        • 51
          Matty

          Most kitchen scales switch between units, and include lbs, kgs, grams, and ounces. I’ve owned several, both mechanical and digital. You can make this, you are choosing not to. There is a difference between those two statements.

        • 52
          Dr. Science

          Well Mr Physics you’re not exactly right. There is a relationship between the volume and the mass. It’s called density. You are assumung that all sugar the world over is of the same density. Wrong. Sugar, like all commodities can vary in density as much as 20%. Therefore, a teaspoon of sugar could weigh anywhere from 3.6grams to 4.4 grams, depending on the density, assuming that your 4.0 grams is average. This difference in fact effect the taste. With all your experience, I can’t imagine how you didn’t know that. See, knowing everything should be left to those of us who really do.

          • 53
            Nick

            Don’t kid yourself…I’m sure he can cook far better then you ever dreamed of, myself included. I’ll use onces as well..

          • 54
            Shannam

            Dr. Science, perhaps you should brush up on your English skills. Your statement, “This difference in fact effect the taste.” is grammaratically incorrect. The word, “effect “is a noun. You should have used, “affects”or “will affect.” —- Proof you don’t know everything, as you proclaim you do.

  18. 58
    Doug

    Please everyone, yes it is alright to ask for ingredients in cups and tablespoons of you must, but don’t come on to the mad scientist’s (a.b.) site complaining about not having a $10 kitchen scale. There are times you need to be accurate! If you love Alton…..and who doesn’t…..you know he’s into the science of cooking, so why would you complain that he wants to give recipes in grams? GET A SCALE!

  19. 60
    Connie

    Chicago style pizza dough. I just moved out to Utah and can not go out for deep dish pizza. Please can this recipe be used for deep dish, or does AP have a Chicago style pizza crust recipe? Thanks

  20. 61
    Sarah

    Made the dough last night and we had pizza for dinner tonight…it was fantastic! I made cheesy bread with the smallest dough ball and it worked beautifully. Another foolproof recipe, thanks Alton!!

  21. 62
    Sarah

    Made the dough last night and we had pizza for dinner…it was fantastic! I made cheesy bread with the smallest dough ball and it worked beautifully. Another foolproof recipe, thanks Alton!!

  22. 63
    Alex

    Tony, I had the same problem for a long time. I eventually figured out it was because we keep our house on the cold side, particularly the kitchen for some reason. 24 hours in the fridge is great (it’s for flavor, not rise), but give it at least a couple of hours of bench-proof (second rise, after you’ve split the dough)…depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Don’t let it rise like crazy, but give it some time to puff up more. It’ll be a more workable temperature, and stretch things out a bit more for your to give you a head start

    (Also, if you like a puffy crust, let sit for about 15 minutes after shaping the crust but before topping it…a tidbit from Good Eats that I swear by)

  23. 64
    Marcel

    Excellent update to the classic AB recipe.

    One thing that’s always bugged me about making pizza is the nightmare of sticking to the peel or counter. I read a tip online about using baking parchment and it worked great. I was able to form all 3 pizza at the same time, and the pies were easy to move around so other people could customize their toppings in elsewhere in the kitchen.

    My only worry is that the parchment is rated for about 425 F, and my oven maxes at 550 F. The parchment was well-browned but not burnt, and the part directly under the pie was still white (presumably because the pizza kept it relatively cold). It didn’t off or chemically and the pizza tasted great. Has anyone else tried this? Another thought it so use a sheet of aluminum foil sprayed with Pam.

    • 65
      Gary

      Use cornmeal on the peel. That’s what pizza joints use. If the pizza dough is the correct liquid/dry ratio it won’t stick. Mine slides right off the peel to the baking stone perfectly every time. Avoid one day rise.

    • 66
      Guido Skinnero

      First off, that’s my pizza making name. Guido has been making pizza at home nearly every week for 20 years, and found that pizza screens are the way to go. You can find them online rather cheap, and they last forever. 14 inch works best in a standard oven. Stretch your dough, lay it on the screen, top it, put it in the oven, then transfer the pizza off of the screen and to the stone after a couple minutes, or leave it to bake on the screen. You’ll get a better bake when your rack is higher in the oven.

      Also, don’t waste your money on name brand pizza stones. Go to your local home improvement store, and buy “unglazed” quarry tiles. Make sure they are unglazed. Glazed tiles could poison your guests, and we don’t want that. Quarry tiles are the exact same material as pizza stones at one-tenth the cost of name brands. They come in sizes 6×6 and 11×11. Hope that helps.

  24. 67
    Tony

    Hmmm. I put it in the fridge for 24 hours, then took it out and covered with a tea towel for 45 mins before stretching. Next time I’ll try an hour or more, perhaps?

  25. 68
    Nick

    If your dough isn’t stretching right you need to let it rest longer or use a higher gluten flour. The gluten is what makes it elastic and not break or crack when stretching. More than likely it should rest at least a few hours.

  26. 69
    Daniel

    I find, oh so funny, reading people who are confused by measures in grams. i mean seriously, you guys would rather have a lot of tools (graduated cups and different sized tablespoons) rather than a bowl and a scale. some recipes require precision and you can’t go wrong with the decimal system.

  27. 70
    Tony

    Made this today (started yesterday), and had trouble getting the dough stretched out. If kept snapping back, so I ended up with fairly small (diameter) pies that puffed up when cooked, resulting in a very thick and doughy crust. We cooked them longer so they were fully cooked, and the taste was good…but would prefer a thinner/larger pie. Any idea what could have gone wrong?

  28. 72
    Paul C

    Thanks for giving the weights of the ingredients. It makes it so much easier to measure. Thanks for choosing grams, it makes it so much easier to adjust the recipe size!

  29. 74
    KJT

    This is my first time making his dough and it was incredibly simple. I was wondering if anyone didn’t cut the dough (or not into 3 pieces) to make a larger pizza size? Also if you wanted to use all the dough at once, has anyone tried to use the dough to make breadsticks?

  30. 77
    Mike

    This recipe has been updated and/or changed recently. Used to provide flour by weight in ounces and all other ingredients in normal measurements of cups, teaspoon, tablespoon, etc. 690 grams is a lot of flour.

  31. 79
    Maybeth Shirah

    Mr. Brown,
    I have one request. Would you please darken the text on your page? That’s not a criticism. I just have difficulty reading it. I couldn’t even finish reading your recipe. 🙁

  32. 80
    Gina Watson-Haley

    This really is the best pizza dough. We did a taste comparison and it was the hands down winner. Although it IS a pain to have to wait a full day before you have pizza! As to the typos – well, if anyone could “Flatter each into a disk…” it would be Alton, don’t you think?

    • 81
      Ashley E

      My thoughts exactly. I can just see AB saying “Oh you beautiful, beautiful dough! You are so smooth and stretchy, yet you have just a certain je ne sais quois of bounciness that we all so adore….”

  33. 85
    lurlino

    1 kg 12-13% protein flour ( Caputo is best)
    620 ml water
    40 g olive oil
    15-20 g salt
    5 g yeast
    I use a bread machine – ingredients in this order- water oil salt flour yeast- and take out the ball after 12 min of kneading. Let stand in a bowl covered with a damp cloth for 2 hours. Cut into 220 g balls, roll each briefly in floured hands to form a neat ball, then place separated into lidded containers to prove another 1h. Ready to use. Fridge or freeze ( cling wrap) as soon as individual balls are formed to delay final prove. If using directly, form into base as in the article with a raised lip all around ( do not roll). Place the base on a baking paper square. Top with Mutti tomato passata or strained Mutti tomato polka, then with buffalo mozzarella chunks, basil leaves, grated mozzarella cheese and a quick drizzle of olive oil. Slide the pizza on the baking paper onto a hot pizza stone in a hot oven. It usually only takes 2-4 minutes to cook- watch for the edge starting to brown. Remove and sprinkle immediately with finely grated Parmesan or pecorino.

  34. 89
    Rodney

    Your ingredient measurements are in cups but step one says to weigh the flour. Do you have weight amounts for ingredients? I prefer to measure by weight as most bakers will say is more accurate. Thanks.

  35. 93
    Martha

    Thank you for the excellent recipe. Spell check made two errors for you. Other than the errors, I love it and will be trying it out today!

    • 94
      Joe

      Martha: I thought the exact same thing. This IS Alton Brown we’re talking about…the staffer that wrote this needs to go back to ENG101!

    • 97
      Frederick

      My thoughts exactly Tom!! I want a gluten free version of this, but that doughy consistency from the gluten is hard to reproduce!! Hopefully AB will hear our cries for help though!!

  36. 99
    Chris V

    This is the exact recipe I use for my thin crispy, cooked on a stone on the grill. Any chance you have a Sicilian dough (thick crust) recipe?

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