Bake

Lazy Weeknight Pizza Dough

February  5, 2019
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

This is lazy weeknight pizza dough—it doesn’t promise to be the most authentic, or the best fermented, but thanks to a handful of clever shortcuts, it does promise that you can have a delicious, airy-crumbed, crispy-edged sheet-pan pizza on the table in under an hour. And that you'll be heading back for a second slice before you know it. Wine-cheers to that. —Ella Quittner

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for greasing mixing bowl and hands
  • 3 1/4 cups (413 grams) “Tipo 00” bread flour, plus more for kneading (I like Caputo; note that you can swap regular bread flour if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) packet rapid rise instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups water, warmed to about 110°F
  • 1/4 cup medium-bodied white wine, at room temperature (one you like to drink)
  • See last item under Directions for notes about constructing your pizza
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Rub a tablespoon or two of oil inside a large bowl. (This is where the dough will proof.)
  2. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Make a well in the center, then add the warm water. Using one clean hand, start to mix with the dry ingredients until a dry, shaggy dough begins to form. Add the wine. Continue to mix until a wet mound forms.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a surface very lightly sprinkled with flour (like, no more than a few tablespoons). Clean and lightly oil your hands. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes by lifting the furthest end of the dough, stretching into the air, and folding forward. Repeat with the nearest end of the dough, pulling up into the air, and folding backward onto the dough ball. Now again with the far end, and so on. (You can add a tiny bit more flour judiciously beneath the dough as absolutely needed, but the less you add, the airier your final crumb will be. A dough scraper is a big help with overly sticky edges.) After about 3 minutes of this, your dough should be more tightly elastic and able to roughly hold a ball shape (it’ll still be tacky, though). Stop here—we don’t want to over-knead, since our proofing period will be short.
  4. Use a dough scraper to transfer the ball to the oiled bowl. Gently flip it over, so the whole ball is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with a dish towel. Set somewhere warm (like, next to—but not right on top of—your preheating oven) to rise for 25 minutes. It will have grown in this time, but won't have fully doubled—and in this case, that's totally fine!
  5. Feel free to put this dough toward your favorite pizza recipe. Here’s how I like to use it: While the dough is proofing, preheat your oven to between 500°F and 525°F. Coat the bottom and sides of an 18x13-inch sheet pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and gently stretch the dough to fill the pan (the gentler, the better since we’re not really doing a second proof)—stretch it a little bit extra, because it’ll slink back into itself as it sits. Let the stretched dough sit in the pan for about 10 minutes to give it a chance to puff back up a bit. Then, drizzle it with a little more olive oil (you can use what was leftover in your proofing bowl) and sprinkle with salt, and proceed to gently top it. Toppings-wise, figure 1 cup your favorite red sauce or pureed canned tomatoes with a big pinch each of salt and red pepper flakes, and about 12 ounces of sliced, shredded, or grated low-moisture mozzarella. Go crazy with other adornments—some of my favorites are jalapeños sliced into rings with pepperoni or bacon, and slices of yellow onion with mushrooms. I also love to swap some of the mozzarella out for Taleggio. If you’re adding anything more delicate (e.g., spinach, or super thinly sliced garlic, or little dollops of fresh herb pesto), do so midway through the bake time to avoid burning. In terms of cook time, depending on oven temperature, you’ll need somewhere between 12 and 16 minutes. Check in on your pie from time to time and adjust oven temperature as needed—you want crust that’s crisp and golden all around the edges, and cheese that has bubbled up and become dotted with brown spots.

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Ella Quittner is a a writer at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches.