If you’re craving pizza tonight, this 2-hour pizza dough recipe is exactly what you need. My basic California-style pizza dough recipe takes at least 5 hours to be ready, and ideally up to three days. But sometimes you don’t have that sort of time.
Best of all, even though this recipe takes a couple hours, it requires less than 20 minutes of active attention. The rest of the time, you can be doing other things or prepping toppings. (And if you don’t already know what you want to put on your pizza, check out my other posts for tons of ideas for unique and delicious pizzas.)
Note: the metric measurements are more precise, and I recommend using them if you have a scale.
Even if you use the metric measurements, you’ll need to slightly adjust the quantities of water and flour. Different types (and even brands) of flour react slightly differently, and the temperature and humidity of the air can affect things too. Even your kneading style can have an impact! So don’t be alarmed if the proportions don’t seem immediately right. Just do as the recipe says and add a bit of flour or water to adjust after 20 minutes of kneading.
This is part 2 in my Complete Guide to Making Pizza. Check out the link to learn about the next steps!
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 2 ½ teaspoons sugar (divided)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more
Preparing the dough:
- In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) sugar. Whisk, then set aside for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine 2 cups (280 grams) flour, the salt, and the remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir briefly to combine, then add the olive oil.
- When the yeast water is ready, add it to the bowl. Mix, using the dough hook, for about 5 minutes on your mixer’s lowest setting. Every minute or so, pause the mixer to stir in the dry ingredients around the edges.
- Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough, add the remaining 1/2 cup (100 grams) of flour. Mix for another 20 minutes on the lowest speed. Ideally, pause the mixer every 5 minutes or so to scrape the dough ball off the hook.
- The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch and sticking a bit to the bottom of the bowl, but dry enough that it’s not sticking to the walls of the bowl. If the dough feels too tacky or too dry after 20 minutes of mixing, add flour or water just a little bit at a time and incorporate fully.
Resting and rising:
- Remove the dough to a clean bowl, cover, and place somewhere warm for 35 to 40 minutes to rise.
- After 35 to 40 minutes, remove the risen dough from the bowl and place it onto a clean, flat surface such as a cutting board or marble slab. Knead for about a minute to remove any large air bubbles.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a tight ball, ideally keeping an unbroken “skin” on the outside of the ball (pinch the bottom of the ball together to hold the skin shut).
- Lightly coat a flat surface with olive oil. If you don’t have dough trays, a cutting board or baking sheet works great! Coat each ball with olive oil, then set onto the oiled surface, pinched-skin-side down. Make sure the dough balls are several inches apart, as they’ll grow again.
- Place the dough balls somewhere warm (like on top of your fridge) for 45 minutes, or until about doubled in size.
- Your dough is now ready to use! Stretch one of the dough balls (check out this tutorial on how to stretch pizza dough if you’re not sure how), top it with your ingredients of choice, and bake until it’s delicious, gooey, and irresistible.