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 https://altonbrown.com/

161 Comments

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  1. 1
    Gary

    Folks, first, skip a few lunches, a few six-packs, whatever, and buy a kitchen scale. I bought the OXO for like $50 on Amazon. After many years of resisting, I admit it definitely does make a difference. You’re only hurting yourself using volume measurements.
    I had been using Alton’s pizza dough recipe or years with pretty good results, but sometimes needed more water, sometimes more flour. That won’t happen once you get the scale. And I do have a ThermoPen for instant read and I heat my water for this recipe to about 105-110 degrees. i also use a Wolfgang Puck option of honey over sugar and it is a mellower flavor to the finished product. I proof the water yeast for about 5 minutes, add the salt and oil, then add it to the flour. I have used my Cuisinart food processor for years for all my breads and pizza dough with great results. Mix for about 30 seconds. Rest for about a minute, then another 30 seconds mixing and you’re done. Also after many years of pizza making I can guarantee a lousy low flavor crust if you do not let the dough rise at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. Only one or two hours on the counter is awful, so plan ahead. Google ATK’s raw sauce or use Serious Eats Sicilian pan pizza sauce recipes.I think they’re the best.

  2. 2
    KenL

    Michelle – apparently, the reply function doesn’t work for me, possibly because this is an old article. So I have to actually post a standard c comment to answer you, rather than a reply.

    To answer your question, “I was wondering if I can use rapid rise yeast in this recipe. I understand it releases CO2 immediately and is therefore better suited to short rises, but could you still leave it to rise for 18-24 hours? Or would it ruin the recipe? Thanks!”

    No, don’t use it. Rapid Rise yeast runs out of steam much more quickly than instant. Instant is merely formulated to have fewer dead yeasts than regular and be able to be blended into the recipe without blooming. Rapid Rise is not the same. You can interchange regular and instant here, although you need a little more regular (because of more dead yeasts in the little granules), and in this recipe you could probably get away with it (as the pre-ferment is very wet). AB is very specific when he makes suggestions, and knows what he’s talking about.

    SAF Red Instant is the Instant yeast to get. Buy it bulk (a pound is about $7), and freeze what you don’t need immediately. SAF Gold Instant is for sweeter breads, such as cinnamon rolls and such.

  3. 3
    Michelle

    I have everything I need (and I have a stand mixer and a digital scale ready) but I was wondering if I can use rapid rise yeast in this recipe. I understand it releases CO2 immediately and is therefore better suited to short rises, but could you still leave it to rise for 18-24 hours? Or would it ruin the recipe? Thanks!

  4. 5
    Bryan

    Do you need to heat the water prior to adding it to the dry ingrediants? I hope I did not ruin it by not heating the water (I used room temp bottled water). I guess I will find out tomorrow when it goes in the oven.

  5. 6
    Pete L.

    Thank you for the few comments on the dough. They are appreciated by those of us who care. It’s AB’s web site – it’s literally his name. He will write what HE does. You can copy, adapt or ignore. If all you can do is complain, call Dominos.

    • 11
      Ken L

      No, because flour settles and compacts when transported and stored, and is milled to different standards by different manufacturers so even sifting doesn’t result in the same amounts. Therefore, by using weight instead of volume, those things don’t matter. No professional baker (or skilled amateur) measures flour, sugar, or other dry ingredients by volume, except things like salt, spices, etc – and even then, most salts differ in weight… a tablespoon of kosher salt weighs less than a tablespoon of table salt, and if you turn that same salt into superfine salt for popcorn, fries, or potato chips, it weighs more, because the smaller crystals pack more tightly together.

      In fact, almost all professional or high-end amateurs use % of weight recipes instead of even just standard “use this much” weights, so that the recipes are infinitely scaleable in either direction [Example: a 65% hydration bread recipe means that the flour weight would == (X), and the weight of the water would equal to 65% of (X), and typically salt == 2% of (X), yeast == 0.1% of (X)] This works for making one 2lb loaf or forty 2 lb loaves.

      Pull a crowbar out and pry open your wallet and pop $15 for a digital kitchen scale that measures in both lbs/oz and grams, either online or at any kitchen store. You’ll find your recipes turn out better, and you’ll find it useful for approximately 70,000 things in then kitchen.

  6. 12
    Erik

    To all those complaining about why this isn’t in pounds, cups, tsp, etc. get over yourself. Google the conversions, get yourself a digital scale and work with these measurements. Furthermore, we aren’t the only country in the world who has access to good eats. Get over your nationalism and learn something. Remember, be grateful you have this internet thing as a low cost resource and someone like AB that will put this stuff out there at no charge to you..

  7. 13
    Rich M.

    There seems to be a lot of people leaving comments about flour and measurments that obviously haven’t researched pizza dough recipes. The internet has a wealth of knowledge out there.

  8. 14
    Jeff

    I always blend in some baby spinach with the water for the dough. Started doing that to get more veggies into the kids. Just a thought.

  9. 15
    Adrian

    You lost me at “grams”. And bread flour? 98% of households have all-purpose flour – 2% have bread flour. Offer an alternative – and measurements that are useful in the US.

      • 17
        Adrian

        You have a pantry I presume. I don’t. I am a consultant and travel. I’d love to make pizza in my hotel room, but don’t have a great deal of room for specific ingredients. AP Flour … yes. A scale? … no.

        • 18
          Joel

          You’d love to make pizza in your hotel room? Thats doesn’t sound like a good idea at all… maybe save the pizza for when you get home…. by the way… weighing out the ingredients is faster and more accurate and it makes a much better dough then measuring by volume. Also, my digital kitchen scale fits in the palm of my hand, and it was $14.

    • 19
      Jessica

      Then find a different recipe with all purpose flour recipe and have mediocre pizza. Digital kitchen scales are cheap and a must for lots of baked goods, and have a setting for pounds and grams. Bread flour is at pretty much any grocery store and they often sell smaller bags so that you’re able take up less space/ not have an excess of something you might not use often. Different flours have different protein amounts which helps gluten form which is what gives things like pizza dough elasticity and chew. I dont think you should expect someone to make a worse recipe to accommodate you.

    • 20
      Ken L

      98% of households who bake breads regularly DO have bread flour in addition to AP flour. It has more gluten, so it produces a stronger dough which gives a better rise. Just because you don’t, don’t ass/u/me others don’t.

  10. 21
    Rob Mende

    Hey, Alton. I’ve been making my own pizza dough for 40+ years (starting at 10 years old), and I am NOT in the restaurant / culinary business – just a bit obsessed. I’ve experimented with different waters (the Pizza place in Epcot imports their water from Italy – I think its marketing more than taste…) and a bunch of other ingredients and techniques. I use a steel plate with a stone on the shelf above rather than just a stone alone, but otherwise, your recipe is what I’ve been doing for a long time. Something I discovered (quite by accident) is that if you refrigerate the dough for about 4 hours before baking, the crust turns out more cracker-y. The cold dough is a bit harder to work with – rolling pin more than hand stretch – but if you like that type of crust, it’s a good technique to have in your pocket.

  11. 23
    Suzanne

    Why the hell are the measurements in grams?? I wanted to make this so much! You were on American television, we’re you not? Please redo this recipe for Americans that watched your shows!!

    • 25
      Andrew

      Grams is a unit of mass whereas cups are units of volume. Since flour is a powdery solid, one cup could be very different for one person vs another person. By using a scale, you ensure consistency.

    • 28
      Austin

      He doesn’t go into details here, but on his show he explains that flour can’t be consistently measured by volume (differences in how different brands produce it mostly. I assume various grinding techniques) but measuring by mass produced much more consistent results regardless of which brand people use.

  12. 29
    Larry Boyd

    Truly I would love to make my pizza’s as you do. Unfortunately It was hard to count the Dollars to spend on hardware. Maybe if I win the lottery. . I have been following you for a very long time, enjoy your shows and recipes. Thanks for sharing yourself.

  13. 30
    Etienne P

    why the wooden pizza peel…. i’m getting there, having my eye on a pizza steel and i need a peel that isn’t too think and looks easy to maneuvre. I just don’t the difference between metal or wooden pizza peel ?

    • 32
      Logan

      I haven’t tried this dough recipe yet, but I’ve made pizza with my pizza stone, and I’ve use flour, cornmeal, and semolina. All of them work just fine, it’s just a matter of flavor. I personally prefer cornmeal or semolina. The course grind of semolina also adds a little texture.

  14. 35
    CJ

    This recipe is awesome. I’ve been using it for the last year, hand kneading as I don’t have a stand mixer. I’ve found that freezing the dough after divided into three is the way to go. When you defrost on the counter, it’s essentially another proofing. I’ve had the same experience as Judy – the dough is stretchier and makes for a bigger, thinner pie.

  15. 36
    Andrew M.

    How the F!!!!! Has no major purveyors of recipes never ever, ever mentioned bread flour??? This is the first time I have ever heard of using bread flour in a pizza recipe. The results are FREAKING AMAZING! I’ve been making pizza dough for 12 years always with AP flour mediocre results (even when measuring in grams).
    Ever other pizza recipe should be banned from existence and from hence fourth our children and children’s children will only speak of this pizza recipe.

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