How to Make Perfect Pizza Dough at Home

Homemade pizzas have become a taste staple in any family. No matter what you want, no one can resist the aroma of freshly baked pizza, which is enticing, welcoming, and irresistible.

But how do you improve on that pizza? The answer is simple: utilize only the best quality ingredients in your pizzas.

Prepare it with your hands or a kitchen stand mixer. There is no need for takeout, and making your pizza at home will elevate your pizza night to a new awesome level. You may use whichever topping you choose.

After trying a pizza prepared with this dough, I realized that I no longer missed the bakery dough, no matter how excellent it was.

However, this guide will concentrate on the basic foundation of handmade pizza: homemade pizza dough. Pizza dough is one of the most underappreciated aspects of any pizza. The cacophony of taste from its toppings frequently overpowers the dough. However, sour dough is always distinguishable.

Pizza Dough Theory

BeforeLet’s get into the limitless ways you can manipulate wheat, water, salt, and yeast into pizza dough. Let’s cover pizza dough theory.

Hydration

First and foremost, hydrate. Varying types of pizza dough need different moisture levels. The hydration of most pizza doughs is between 60 and 70%.

Pizza Dough Hydration

That means the amount of water in the dough is 60 to 70% of the flour’s weight. The higher the moisture, the softer and more open the crumb of the finished product, but the more difficult the dough to manage.

As a result, greater hydration doughs are excellent for pan pizzas and Sicilian style.

Gluten

Gluten is a protein that has been linked with water. It occurs when glutenin and gliadin proteins in wheat combine with water, resulting in a sticky and elastic substance.

The crucial act of gluten production follows. Some pizzas demand more gluten development than others. There are several methods to create gluten once all your components have been mixed. Hand kneading is the most well-known and much-feared of them.

Pizza Dough Gluten

For newbies to the kitchen, kneading may be a messy, stressful, and tedious procedure. So, if you need clarification on your forearm strength and are okay with what your downstairs neighbors say, try kneading in a dough mixer.

You may attempt the slap and fold technique, which involves slapping the dough down, elongating the downstroke, folding it over on itself, flipping it 90 degrees, and repeating.

This works especially effectively with difficult-to-manage higher hydration doughs. This might take anywhere from six to fifteen minutes, depending on the speed and power of your slaps.

And you’ll know it’s done when the dough becomes soft, pliable, and workable and passes the windowpane test, which is the baker’s standard technique of stretching a little piece of dough as thin as you can handle, and if it becomes translucent without ripping.

it’s had enough gluten development. a stand mixer is a slightly more costly but vastly easier approach, which is as simple as adding your ingredients, attaching a dough hook, and kneading on medium speed for five to seven minutes.

A food processor is a bit more involved but a considerably speedier approach. Whose vigorous, blade-whipping movement can create enough gluten in a dough in as little as 90 seconds. Another simple way that requires no special equipment is the “fold it over on itself every five minutes or so” method.

This approach begins by roughly mixing our components until no dry areas remain, then covering and resting for five minutes before bringing the dough up from the side, turning 90 degrees, and continuing for four complete folds.

Recovering with plastic wrap and resting for another five minutes, and then repeating the procedure four times for 20 minutes, your lumpy beginnings will have smoothly turned into a soft, springy, well-developed dough.

Then there’s the no-knead approach, which involves mixing all of your ingredients until no dry patches remain, covering and letting ferment at room temperature for 18 hours, after which you’ll be happy to discover your lumpy rocky mess has evolved into some oven-ready chewing gum.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of dough, we can move on to producing the greatest dough for whatever sort of pizza you create.

Autolyze

“Auto” refers to oneself, while “Lyze” refers to disintegration. So autolyze implies self-destruction. Don’t worry, “lyze” refers to the self-destruction of internal bonds in protein granules until amino acids are formed, thus the term AUTOLYZE.

Pizza Dough Autolyze

The first stage of the recipe below uses an autolyze baking process. Automation combines flour and water and leaves it for 20-60 minutes to promote gluten formation and flour hydration.

To begin the autolyze process, combine flour and water before adding salt or yeast. Depending on your schedule, the soak duration ranges from 20 to 60 minutes. The crucial thing is to let the flour absorb the water.

The following are two significant advantages of autolyzing for dough development: When water and flour mix, enzymes in the wheat begin to break down starches into simple sugars, which yeast eats during fermentation.

The more starch broken down during the resting period, the more food available when the yeast is ultimately introduced.

Second, wheat includes hydrophilic gluten proteins, which begin as tight coils and rapidly unfurl when exposed to water. With the aid of presoaking the flour, the gluten proteins may uncoil and create linkages with one another, making the dough pliable without ripping.

This form of (passive) gluten development helps you create a strong dough structure. As an added advantage, an autolyze can cut the amount of kneading time required in half.

Kneading

This dough recipe has a hydration level of roughly 75%, which is much greater than the hydration level of most other forms of pizza dough.

Increasing hydration during the dough stage results in a softer pizza crust with more bubbles and a better oven spring when cooked, but it also results in a soft, wet, and sticky dough.

Pizza Dough Kneading

Wet doughs might be tough to manage if you’re new to bread kneading since they adhere to the counter. The temptation will be to battle stickiness by adding additional flour to the dough or the work surface, but this should be avoided at all costs since it will modify the relative hydration of the dough.

When dealing with sticky dough, I knead with my right hand while lifting, spinning, and folding the bench scraper with my left. Every five strokes or whenever it is necessary, I add a tiny bit of flour to my kneading hand, just enough to keep the dough from sticking but not enough to coat it.

Keeping your hands lightly coated with flour and scraping the counter clean after each turn allows you to develop the dough ball without generating a large, sticky mess. After a few minutes, the dough should be more elastic, less tacky, and easier to work with.

Another approach for working with wet dough is the French “stretch and fold” method, which you can see shown here or here (the second link is useful for even higher hydration doughs). Instead of hand kneading, use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook on low speed (1 or 2) for 5 to 10 minutes.

24 Hour Fermentation

A lengthy, gradual fermentation process produces the taste of pizza dough. Most simple recipes online use a lot of yeast and sugar in the beginning to ensure a quick rise and a pizza crust that is ready in just a few hours.

When bread dough is hurried in this manner, the finished crust will most likely be “yeasty” but otherwise bland.

Allowing the fermentation to progress more slowly over a day, on the other hand, fosters the creation of lactic and acetic acids, resulting in a final crust with a more nuanced, complex flavor that brings out more flavors from the wheat. A lengthy bulk fermentation, on the other hand, provides benefits that go beyond flavor.

pizza dough fermentation

The additional time allows yeast to break down the numerous carbohydrates and sugars in the flour, resulting in a lighter, more edible pizza crust.

Finally, a slowly growing dough will deepen the color of the baked crust, giving it a brick oven-like look with some charring and boosting its visual appeal. Going slowly is desirable since rushing bread dough means compromising quality.

The chilly temperatures of the refrigerator allow this recipe to improve crust quality and encourage flavor development over the period of 24 hours without the risk of over-fermentation.

It’s not a difficult pizza dough to make; prepare it at least a day ahead of time. I should also clarify that “24 hours of bulk fermentation” is the bare minimum for this recipe.

If you’re prepared, you could make this dough and chill it for 48, 72, or 96 hours. Up to a certain point, the flavor and texture will improve as they rest.

When the five-day mark arrives, you should also consider mixing a new batch because if you don’t, you’ll rapidly understand why the fermentation stage of bread baking is so titled.

24-Hour Pizza Dough Recipe

Here’s everything you need to know about 24-hour pizza dough!

Ingredients

  • 155 g or 2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (5 g) water at room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cup (166 g) (166 g) white all-purpose flour
  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 g)
  • Table salt, 1 teaspoon (5.7 g), or coarse salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g)
  • 15 g or 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ⅓ cup (40 g)wheat flour (whole)
  • 4 grams of active dry yeast (1 teaspoon)

Procedure:

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and 2/3 cup water. Mix vigorously for at least 30 minutes, up to 8 hours, or until nearly no loose flour remains. Allow the bowl to cool to room temperature (autolyze).
  • Mix the sugar, yeast, and final teaspoon of water in a small basin after the autolyze phase. The yeast should dissolve and activate in about ten minutes.
  • Pour the yeast, salt, and oil over the soaked flour. Fold the dough three or four times to incorporate the fresh ingredients.
  • Roll out and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky initially, but as you knead it, it should become smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave to ferment for one hour at room temperature before continuing the process in the refrigerator for another 24 hours.
  • Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator, shape it into a ball, and set it aside on the counter for 30 to 1 hour before baking. Allowing the dough to relax and warm up makes it easier to stretch.
  • Stretch and shape the dough into a 14-inch-diameter pizza circle on a floured board. Transfer to a peel or rimless baking sheet before adding toppings.

What is the secret to making good pizza dough at home?

The secret to making great pizza dough is to use the right amount and temperature of the water. At home, half of the pizza dough you make should be water. In a home oven, pizza needs to cook longer than in a pizza oven used in a restaurant. So you need to add more water to your dough.

But don’t let it get soggy. It is important to spread the dough evenly and well. If you have a pizza stone, use that instead of a tray to cook the dough. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use parchment paper on top of a baking sheet that has been heated for an hour in the oven.

You have to make sure your water is in the zone. I’m not going to tell you how long to put it in the microwave because the water from the faucet/fridge tap comes out at different temperatures, and each microwave works differently.

It will help if you use a thermometer. The yeast won’t wake up if the water isn’t hot enough. If it is too hot, the yeast will die. If the temperature is just right, it will bubble up just right.

The water temperature needs to be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit for your yeast to proof.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bread dough and pizza dough different?

The main difference between bread and pizza dough is how you handle them. There are also different recipes for them, with different amounts of salt, water, and oil. Both are made with whole wheat and white flour, and some are even made with sourdough.

But with some adjustments to the recipes, you may use them interchangeably. Nonetheless, with enough experimentation, pizza dough and bread may provide equivalent outcomes.

However, the exact proportions of components called for in various recipes might vary.

Pizza comes in many forms, from traditional Neapolitan pies to warm, delicious focaccia. Even though it’s all bread, there are noticeable distinctions in flavor.

How to thaw frozen dough?

Pizza dough should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight or for 12 hours. Get it out of the fridge, remove the bag, roll it into a ball, and put it in a big basin gently coated with oil.

How can I make my pizza dough rise better?

The best location for pizza dough to rise is in a warm oven (turner off). It promotes uniform expansion throughout the dough and contributes to its overall volume growth throughout the rising process. You may let your dough rise in the oven if you preheat it for a few minutes before turning it off.

I am Chef Harunur Rashid Azim. I inherited my family's love of cooking at a young age. I graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in London, UK, with determination and passion to become a chef. Follow me on Twitter: @RashidIsChef, FB: Azim

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