A really simple 3-step process explaining how to Pizza Dough from scratch at home! If you panic at the thought of making pizza dough, read on because I have a LOT of pictures in this post to make you understand better! Use this recipe and make anything from your favorite pizzas to calzones to garlic breads at home in no time.
If you think bread making is difficult and yeast is something that terrifies you, you’re not alone! There are a million others that think the same way. This post is for all you people that have always wanted to make restaurant quality pizzas at home from scratch using the most basic ingredients. Don’t worry because I’ll cover everything step–by–step with a LOT of pictures and by the end of it I’m pretty confident that your fear of working with dough and yeast will disappear.
WARNING: Too many pictures today! It’s actually really fun!
(PS – Don’t be intimidated by the size of the post, I lost control while writing it! :p It’s actually really simple and easy to understand so read on..)
Before we get onto making the dough let’s just understand what ingredients you need and why.
What We Need to Make Pizza Dough:
- Active Dry Yeast, 2 ½ teaspoons
- Lukewarm Water, 360 ml
- Sugar, 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon
- All Purpose Flour, 440 grams
- Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- A warm place
You didn’t expect it to be that simple did you? The fact is..IT IS. Making pizza dough is really simple and the only thing you need to understand is how yeast works. If you nail that, you’re going to be making pizzas from scratch all your life. Never going back to those ready-made bases, are we?!
This is the only thing you need to understand in this entire recipe so don’t panic. We’ll not get into the science of it but yeast is what makes the dough rise. How? Something about it releasing CO2 I believe. But all you need to know is that if you “activate” the yeast properly, your dough will rise.
Now what’s “activating” the yeast? Yeast comes in two types- Instant Yeast and Active Dry Yeast. The one I use for all my recipes is active dry which is cheaper than instant and more easily available. Active dry yeast needs “activation” for it to work, which simply means adding it to a lukewarm water and sugar mixture.
What do you need to activate the yeast?
- Active dry yeast
- Lukewarm water (microwaved for 25 seconds approx.)
- A jar
- Cling Film
The only thing you need to look out for is the temperature of the water. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and if it’s too cold your yeast won’t wake up. I microwave my water for 25 seconds and insert my finger in it. What you’re looking for is the temperature where you can “comfortably” keep your finger in the water for at least 6 seconds. If it feels hot wait for it to cool down before you ad in your yeast or IT WILL DIE. Every microwave is a little different so I can’t pin point the time, but 25 seconds at high power should suffice.
Now that you know how yeast works, let’s get onto the easy part..
How to Make Pizza Dough at Home?
STEP 1: Activate the yeast
If you don’t “activate” Active Dry Yeast, your dough won’t rise which means your pizza base won’t rise and we don’t like flat a gooey mess in the name of a pizza do we? So lets learn how to do this.
Microwave your water for 25 seconds. This time is an indication only, to make sure the water is the correct temperature try finger testing it (explained above). Once your water is lukewarm, mix in ½ teaspoon of sugar to it. Sugar acts as a catalyst in this entire process, it accelerates the yeast activation so make sure it’s completely dissolved. Yeast needs to eat!
Now add in your yeast to the water and mix until its almost dissolved. Cover the jar with a cling film and let it stay in a dark place for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you will notice that the surface of the water is foamy which means the yeast is “Active” and ready to be used (if it’s not, the yeast is dead either because of really hot or cold water or it’s expired). If the surface is not foamy throw it away and start again.
STEP 2: Make the Dough
Mix flour, olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the activated yeast water from step 1 to this and form a dough ball. Now toss this ball onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes by hand. No less than that! Set a timer on your phone. Works for me!
Brush oil in a bowl and transfer the dough into it. Cover the bowl with cling film and keep it in a warm place. (If you can’t find a warm place, simply preheat your oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes and keep your bowl in it for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
After an hour or two your dough would’ve doubled in size due to all the air. Punch the dough to knock out all the air and knead it lightly. Your dough is ready to be used! You can use this dough to pizzas, pizza rolls, foccacia breads, calzones, pretzels etc..here are a few recipes you can get started with!
Classic Veggie Pizza or a pizza with the topping of your choice.
Wholewheat Calzones (If you’re looking for a healthier option)
STEP 3 (OPTIONAL):Store the Dough
If you’re not in the mood to bake right now, you can keep this dough in the refrigerator for a month. To store, divide the dough into two equal parts. Now take two air tight plastic bags, cover the insides of the bags with oil and keep a ball of dough in each bag. Seal it properly and freeze it for up to a month.
To defrost, transfer the bag from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it stay there for 8 hours or overnight. When you’re ready to bake, take out the bag and keep it on the kitchen shelf. Once the dough reaches room temperature you can use it as normal!
I hope you have no doubts after this HUGE post but if you do, write to me! I’d love to help you out!