How to Make a Great Pizza From Scratch

by Shaun Pies

I lied. This makes a great all purpose dough. I make dinner rolls and focaccia bread with it as well.

Supplies

  • 689 Grams All-Purpose flour
  • 448 Grams Water
  • 2 Grams Instant Dry Yeast
  • 21 Grams Kosher Salt
  • Large mixing bowl and wooden spoon or stand mixer
  • 4 Tupperware containers with lids
  • Pizza stone or cookie sheet
  • Pizza peel
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    If your experienced with bakers percents it's 100% flour 65% water 3% salt 0.3% yeast

    Step 2

    For the flour I used King Arthur brand All-Purpose flour. You can use any brand you want and you can use bread flour if you want to. Bread flour will probably make it more chewy

    Step 3

    WARNING! This dough will be VERY sticky at first the more you knead it the less sticky it will be. I also use a gram scale to measure out all ingredients its more accurate. Now on to the guide.

    Step 4

    Pre-measure all your ingredients. It's best to use a gram scale to get more accurate measurements. Check the supply list for ingredient measurements.

    Step 5

    Pour all the water into the mixing bowl or stand mixer. I like to use cold water because it slows yeast development and we don't want the yeast to start developing just yet.

    Step 6

    Add salt to water and stir to dissolve the salt.

    Step 7

    Pour in about 75% of the flour and all the yeast into the mixing bowl. DO NOT ADD ALL THE FLOUR AT THIS TIME! I usually start out with the paddle and later switch to the dough hook.

    Step 8

    I use fleischmann's bread machine yeast. It's basically the same as instant dry yeast and can be added to the flour without proofing first unlike active dry yeast.

    Step 9

    The mixture should look like a very thick batter. Not like a dough.

    Step 10

    Cover and let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. This is called autolyse and is basically just the flour getting hydrated. So go walk your dog, have a beer, or watch a sitcom.

    Step 11

    It's usually about this time I switch from the paddle to the dough hook. You can use the dough hook the entire time if you want though. Or if you're using a wooden spoon go ahead and keep using it.

    Step 12

    Mix on the slowest setting for 5 minutes. Or if using a wooden spoon mix slowly for 5 minutes. Ok from now on all wooden spoon directions are the same as mixer directions.

    Step 13

    After 5 minutes of mixing, slowly add the rest of the flour. It should take you about 3 minutes to incorporate the rest of the flour.

    Step 14

    After all the flour is fully incorporated into the dough lightly flour a working surface and dump the dough out onto the surface. The dough will be VERY sticky and difficult to work with at first.

    Step 15

    There are many ways to knead dough. This is just one. You can YouTube other methods like the stretch and fold method which is actually a lot easier than what I showed you. Not sure why I did this way.

    Step 16

    Knead the dough by hand for a few minutes. This step isn't really necessary but does help to develop the gluten in the dough (the stuff that makes the dough stretchy). Try not to tear the dough at all

    Step 17

    Once the dough is smooth and elastic put it in a large Tupperware container. See how smooth the dough is. And not sticky anymore! It should be slightly tacky but not stick to your hands anymore.

    Step 18

    Let the dough sit at room temperature for about two hours.

    Step 19

    Oops I didn't use a big enough container. Oh well. After 2 hours your dough should have risen by about half or so. Looks like this rose a bit more though.

    Step 20

    Dump your dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 4 equal portions by weight. For this dough each portion was about 282 grams.

    Step 21

    4 dough lumps that are roughly 282 grams each. Now we get to ball the dough.

    Step 22

    Balling isn't really that hard to do. Just lay it flat and pull the sides into the middle.

    Step 23

    I should have taken a video of this but my photographer was busy painting while I was doing this so I took some pictures. They're not great but hopefully you get the idea.

    Step 24

    Just take the corners and fold over. Sorry abut the horrible picture quality.

    Step 25

    Step 26

    Step 27

    Step 28

    Pick up the ball and tuck the part you folded into the dough.

    Step 29

    Once your done you have 4 nice smooth dough balls.

    Step 30

    Put the dough into 4 separate containers and put them in the fridge over night. They will last several days in the fridge. Probably 4-5 days max.

    Step 31

    Now for the fun part!!! Also the hard part. It's time to stretch the dough. Take the dough out of the fridge and let warm to room temperature. About 45 min to 1 hr. keep covered with a clean dry towel

    Step 32

    At this point put your pizza stone in the oven and pre heat the oven as hot as it will go. I just go ahead and put my stone on the floor of the oven. You want it hot. Very very very hot.

    Step 33

    If your stone doesn't have handles just pre heat it by the broiler. If you have a bottom drawer style broiler sorry. It's very difficult to work with. Just pre heat the stone in the broiler.

    Step 34

    If your using a cookie sheet don't put the cookie sheet in just yet. No need to pre heat a cookie sheet. The pizza won't be as good as with a stone but its pizza so it'll still be good

    Step 35

    Gently press the dough from the center out stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. This part is rather tricky. Then gently pick it up and stretch it around the edge. Be very careful and try not to tear

    Step 36

    Once I have this part down a little better I'll put a video here. This part is tricky. Did I mention to do this very gently? I did? Good! So be careful.

    Step 37

    Slide the pizza skin onto a lightly floured peel before topping and give it a little shake so that you know it's not sticking. Cornmeal or semolina flour work well on the peel too.

    Step 38

    If you don't have a pizza peel a strong piece of cardboard works well too. Like the top of that pizza box from your last domino's pizza that you ordered that left you unsatisfied.

    Step 39

    Top with your favorite toppings. For this pizza we used fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, red onions and a small amount of shredded mozz on top.

    Step 40

    Nows when things get interesting. If you have a broiler in the main compartment of the oven turn it on add move the stone to the top. Careful that stone is HOT.

    Step 41

    Slide the pizza off the peel and onto the stone. Or if your using a cookie sheet slide it onto that and put it on the top rack right below the broiler.

    Step 42

    Cook the pizza for 3-4 minutes. Possibly longer if your broiler is weak. Just cook it until the top is golden brown and maybe a few slightly charred spots.

    Step 43

    This pizza cooked in about 4 minutes and was one of the best I've ever made.

    Step 44

    Perfectly slightly charred underneath.

    Step 45

    Nice light and fluffy interior with a slightly crispy exterior.

    Step 46

    Now eat. I didn't get any pictures of us eating this pizza. We were too busy eating pizza.