Friday Night Pizza Night is a weekly occurrence in my family. Even before I left my career early this year, every Friday I would pick up the kiddos, race home, and make fresh pizza dough from scratch.
When I first started Friday Night Pizza Night several years ago, I used a slow-rising pizza dough with an overnight rise. But eventually I got tired of making essentially two meals on Thursday nights, so I started developing a faster (and even more delicious) pizza dough. This dough is so amazing that you can actually make it the night before and let it rise until you’re ready to use it!
It’s been five years in the making, but I’m finally ready to share my Anytime Pizza Dough! It goes from initial yeast proofing to pizzas out of the oven in less than 90 minutes with two rises. With planning, this can be an ambitious weeknight dinner, or it can be a special weekend treat.
This dough is herb-y and chewy and versatile and everything that is perfect about pizza. And I hope you love it.
Beginners Start Here
If you’re new to working with yeast specifically, or new to baking in general, these three articles will help you tremendously when working with this recipe! Even if you’re not new to baking, these three articles will have lots of good information to help you with all of your pizza and bread baking endeavors!
- Yeast Basics for Beginning Bread Bakers
- Baking 101: How to Measure Ingredients
- Knowing When to Stop a Technique
Pizza is unbelievably simple, but you will need a few pieces of equipment to help execute it:
*Note: these are Amazon Affiliate links. I get paid a small commission if you purchase from any of these links.**
- A large bowl and spoon, or a stand mixer;
- A pizza stone;
- A digital kitchen scale;
- An oven thermometer;
- A pizza peel or rimless cookie sheet;
- Parchment Paper;
- Liquid measuring cups and measuring spoons;
- A non-stick silicone pastry mat (optional, but helpful for beginners.)
How to Make this Recipe (In Photos)
Making the Dough
To start this recipe, prep your mise en place. It is highly recommended that you use a digital kitchen scale and metric measurement for this recipe. Without a digital kitchen scale, it is much more likely that you will over-flour your dough and end up with a dry pizza dough.
Having everything prepared beforehand will make it much easier to execute this wonderful dough.
The last part of your mise en place should be adding your yeast and your natural sugar to water that is between 110°F and 115°F. After 8-10 minutes, it should look like this:
Next, add the yeast/water mixture, oil, honey, flour (all of it!), salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl.
Using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer, combine all of the ingredients until they form a tacky (but not sticky) dough ball. If the dough is still extremely sticky around the four minute mark, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour. Don’t add more than two tablespoons; the best fix for stickiness is kneading. This process takes about 5-7 minutes in a stand mixer.
Your dough will go from shaggy:
Fellow hand kneaders, fear not! I made a video just for you to show you the technique that I use for kneading bread dough by hand. This video is for my Perfect Sunday Dinner Rolls, but the kneading technique is the same!
Once the dough feels tacky to the touch, it’s time for the Windowpane Test. The Windowpane Test is a quick check that breadmakers use to determine whether their dough is strong enough and elastic enough for its first rise.
To do this test, pull a quarter-sized piece of dough from the dough ball. Working in a circle, gently pull the dough until it is very thin. If the dough stretches to the point of translucence without breaking, then it’s done! For many bread doughs, this will happen between 5-10 minutes with a stand mixer, or 12-20 minutes if kneading by hand.
Here’s a quick Instagram Reel on the Windowpane Test to help you with this technique.
Once your dough passes the Windowpane Test, you’re ready to move on. Spray your hands lightly with cooking spray and remove your dough. Spray the empty bowl lightly with cooking spray, form the dough into a ball, and let it rest, covered lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, for 15 minutes.
(The first rise is an amazing time to prepare toppings btw.)
Shaping the Dough
After the first rise, use your digital kitchen scale to separate the dough into three equal dough balls. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper lightly with flour and place each dough ball on top of the parchment. Lightly dust the tops of the three dough balls with flour and cover again with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel for ten minutes.
Once the second rise is done, the pizzas are ready to shape into your favorite pizza shape. Do you like hand tossed? Me too. This pizza is perfect for that. Do you prefer an artisan-style pizza with a huge, chewy crust? This pizza is great for that too. Are you a native Chicagoan who eschews anything but deep dish? This crust has your back. Is New York style pizza your thing? This pizza dough will go as thin as you need it to go.
For shaping instructions, I’ve (again) attached a quick video. You can use this basic technique to make your crust as thick or thin as you like!
That’s it Friends! Once your dough is shaped, you’re ready to top it with as many toppings as your heart desires.
**To avoid desperate sadness, remember to build your pizza directly on parchment paper or on a pizza peel that is covered with corn meal**
Well, maybe within reason. If you put too many toppings on your pizza, that beautiful crust won’t cook and you’ll be eating undercooked, sad dough with perfectly caramelized toppings on it. Best to use a light hand with the sauce and toppings until you’ve practiced your technique. The good thing about pizza is that even mediocre pizza is great food.
A Couple of Notes About Baking
I use a pizza stone for the best results. Mine lives on the floor of my oven full-time and is well-seasoned. It gives me a perfect crust every time.
I use the convection function in my oven and bake pizzas at very high heat (500°F). This leads to perfectly baked pizzas in 6-9 minutes (I am on the 9-minute train, since I believe that pizzas should be well-caramelized).
Enjoy the recipe!Print