Making pizza dough from scratch is a straightforward process, and you only need a few simple ingredients. Here's a basic recipe for making delicious pizza dough at home:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (around 110°F/43°C)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Activate the yeast: In a small bowl, mix warm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast becomes frothy and starts to bubble. This indicates that the yeast is active.
Combine the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
Mix the dough: Add the activated yeast mixture and olive oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon until the dough starts to come together.
Knead the dough: Transfer the mixture to a floured surface and knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth, elastic, and not too sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour as you knead.
First rise: Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough: After the first rise, gently punch down the dough to release any air bubbles.
Divide the dough: At this point, you can divide the dough into two equal portions for two medium-sized pizzas or keep it whole for a larger pizza. You can also refrigerate or freeze any extra dough for later use.
Second rise (optional): If you have the time, you can let the divided dough rest for an additional 15-30 minutes to rise again slightly, but this step is optional.
Stretch the dough: Take one portion of the dough and shape it into a round ball. On a floured surface, use your hands or a rolling pin to stretch and shape the dough into your desired pizza size and thickness.
Add toppings and bake: Once your pizza dough is stretched and placed on a pizza peel or a baking sheet, add your favorite pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature (usually around 475°F/245°C), and bake the pizza for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
Now you have freshly made pizza dough ready to be transformed into a delicious homemade pizza! Enjoy!