Get ready for the cheers when you learn how to make pizza dough from scratch. Not just any dough, mind you— authentic, chewy dough that tastes fabulous and cooks up in minutes.If your family is anything like my family, then everyone likes different ingredients on their pizza. This easy recipe for pizza dough solves the problem and lets everyone have their own pizza, just the way they want it.
3 1/2cupsall-purpose flourplus extra for dusting and to finish the dough
2teaspoonsrapid-rise yeastor instant yeast
1 tablespoonsea salt
1 tablespoongranulated sugar
1/4cuplight beerroom temperature
2tablespoonsolive oilplus 1 teaspoon to oil the bowl
To make the Dough:
In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients with your fingers. Add the warm water, beer, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until everything is too stiff to stir. At that point, mix with your hands in the bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Dust a work surface lightly with flour and turn the dough out onto the surface. Knead gently, dusting the work surface lightly with more flour if needed, for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky.
Oil a large clean bowl, then add the dough and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, place in a warm part of the kitchen, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough to deflate and turn out onto a well-floured work surface. Divide into 8 pieces (about 4 oz. each); shape each into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand 15 minutes before stretching dough. Or, transfer balls to a floured rimmed baking sheet and chill until cold.
To par-cook the Dough:
Working one at a time, press and stretch dough balls into 9”–10” rounds, sprinkling with more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking (use as little as you can).
Using a rolling pin or your hand as a guide, shape a slightly thicker rim around edge. If dough resists or shrinks back as you shape it, let it rest a minutes before proceeding; do not overwork dough.
Heat a 10”–12” cast-iron skillet over medium heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Working one at a time, carefully transfer dough to skillet and cook, flipping once and rotating crust to encourage even cooking, until barely tan and browned in a few spots, about 5 minutes total. Press any thicker parts against the pan to help cook through.
Transfer crusts to wire racks or baking sheets as you work, brushing off any excess flour. Let cool.
To bake the par-cooked Dough:
Pre-heat broiler to high and adjust the top rack about 6" away from top of oven.
Place par-cooked pizza dough on a baking sheet. Add toppings and ingredients, then place in oven under broiler.
Watch pizza carefully at this point. Look for the cheese to melt and begin to bubble, and the crust to get a little char on the edges. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
To skip the Par-Cook and make one big Pizza:
Preheat your home oven up as high as it will go, and cook the pizza on a cast iron pizza pan or pizza stone. Put the pan/stone in a cold oven and let it heat up as the oven heats.
Add sauce, toppings, then place pizza on stone and bake, watching carefully, until cheese is bubbly and crust is toasted.
Par-baked crusts can be refrigerated overnight or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks.