What to CookItalian

Pizza Dough You Can't Mess Up

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Italy Week is here! With our friends at Prosciutto di Parma, we're sharing recipes, stories, and lots more from our favorite Mediterranean boot.

Like many a young New Yorker, I find myself longing for pizza quite often, particularly the warm, gooey, chewy masterpiece over at Roberta’s. But I can’t count myself lucky enough to live in the Roberta’s delivery zone (you, too?), nor can I stomach a two-hour wait every time I want to scarf down a whole pizza. So I recreated the masterpiece at home, beginning with the crust—perhaps the most magical part.

Photo by Alpha Smoot

I shy away from yeast and nearly all pizza dough recipes include it, so making dough from scratch felt daunting. Yet armed with 5 ingredients—pizza flour, all-purpose flour, dry active yeast, sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil—plus a damp cloth, a little time, and a lightly floured work surface, a pizza that's crunchy, chewy, and crispy in all the right places is within reach.

Here's how to do it:

First, make the dough (and figure out what pizza flour is).

'00' Flour (2 Boxes)

'00' Flour (2 Boxes)

Heritage Pizza Flour (2 Boxes)

Heritage Pizza Flour (2 Boxes)


Pizza flour (aka Italian flour, or 00 flour) is what makes this pizza dough a notch above most homemade varieties. You should be able to find it in your local grocery or online.

In a big bowl, combine 1 part 00 flour to 1 part all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt. How much flour you use depends on how many pizzas you want to make: A cup total will yield two 10-inch pizzas.

Follow with dry active yeast (I use a teaspoon per cup of flour). Add 1 part lukewarm water to the flour mixture and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Knead until just combined, cover with a damp cloth, and let rest for 15 minutes, which you can use to text your friends about the excellent pizza dough you are making.

Dough! Photo by Alpha Smoot


When you return, knead the dough for a few minutes, until it feels smooth and relatively easy to handle. If you used a cup of flour or more, separate it into two balls of dough—one crust for now, one for later. If you used less than a cup of flour, you’ll have one crust. Shape the crust(s) into a ball, and leave to rest on a very heavily floured surface. Pop it in the fridge for at least 8 hours (though you can leave it there for up to a day).

Dough ball!
Dough ball! Photo by Alpha Smoot

Shape it, don’t break it.

Here comes the fun part—the shaping! Play with your dough, remembering to generously coat each side in flour as you toss and stretch it like the pizza twirler of your childhood dreams. Half sport, half interpretive dance, you can stretch your dough with fists, elbows, or fingertips. You will find your pizza is ready when it measures about 10 to 12 inches around—don’t forget to generously flour the bottom, so it doesn’t get stuck to your pizza stone.

More: How to stretch pizza dough.

No circle, no problem.
No circle, no problem. Photo by Alpha Smoot

Top it.

Top with whatever you have on hand—I like a heaping ladleful of tomato sauce, burrata, a bunch of basil, prosciutto, pepperoncini, red onion and garlic, though the options abound:

White Potato Pizza

White Potato Pizza by melissav

Salad Pizza

Salad Pizza by Posie (Harwood) Brien

16 Recipes to Make Tonight a Pizza Party
16 Recipes to Make Tonight a Pizza Party

Bake it.

Heat your oven to the highest it’ll go—500°F for me. Once your pizza topping spree has concluded, bake your pie in the very oven on a pizza stone or a baking sheet for 5 or so minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

As fast as delivery? Not quite. As satisfying? Perhaps even more so. If your dough yields two crusts, you can freeze the second once stretched and return to it up to a week later, armed with different toppings and an insatiable hunger for pizza.

Better than Roberta's?
Better than Roberta's? Photo by Alpha Smoot

Tell us: How do you top your homemade pizza?

We teamed up with Prosciutto di Parma—that all-natural, 100% Italian, soft, buttery prosciutto—to talk all things Italy, all week long.

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Pizza, (Not) Recipes, Italy Week