Let’s take the days when I come home from work exhausted and grumpy, when the only thing I want to reach for is a bottle of wine and the Tombstone pizza that’s buried deep within the bowels of our freezer. After chipping away glacial sheets of freezer-burn ice residue to reveal a soggy label, I manage to distinguish that it’s a quadruple-Italian stallion: sausage, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and some other sausage that’s apparently different from the first two.
I know this pizza has been here since Ben’s bachelor days and will taste like its cardboard bottom, yet I am seriously contemplating eating it. I take a gulp of wine for courage.
Surely we deserve better. Like non-freezer-burned Tombstone. Or maybe even Digiorno if we’ve behaved ourselves.
But I think we can do even better than Digiorno. Enter homemade pizza dough.
It’s four ingredients. It’s actually easy and not just for the Martha Stewarts. Yes, it does take more patience than frozen pizza, but the results are worth it.
Use this fail-proof dough as a vehicle for any of your favorite toppings: roasted veggies, cheeses of the world, classic basil + olive oil, and yes, sausage. Your only limit is the size of the pie!
My Secret to the Best Homemade Pizza Dough
If homemade pizza is something you plan to make frequently, it’s worth investing in a pizza stone (you can find one for less than $20).
- Preheat the stone along with your oven for at least a half hour – while the pizza dough rises is perfect.
- Bonus: pizza stones are great for baking loaves of bread, reheating leftover homemade pizza, and even (gasp!) cooking frozen pizza for days when you just can’t help yourself.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Use Within 24 Hours. After Step 3, place in the refrigerator to rise for 6-8 hours or up to 24.
- To Freeze. After Step 3, simply wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then freeze. When ready to use, thaw and let rise at room temperature for several hours or place in the refrigerator and thaw overnight.
100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
To prepare the dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with a paddle), food processor, or a large mixing bowl: Combine 1 1/4 c. flour, yeast, and salt.
- Add water and oil. Mix or process for 30 seconds on medium. Turn to high and continue to beat for 3 minutes.
- If using a stand mixer, switch to dough hook. Otherwise, continue as follows: Add remaining 1 1/4 - 2 c. flour 1/4 c. at a time. If making by hand, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Mix or knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Add flour as needed, but just enough so that the dough is not sticky.
- Divide dough into 2 balls, cover and let rise for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours (longer is better).
- Lightly knead dough a few times. Shape dough into 2 balls. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover with a little flour, and let rest 20 minutes.
- Proceed with your favorite pizza recipe!
To bake the dough, with any number of toppings:
- While the dough rests, preheat oven (and pizza stone if using) to 500ºF. If you are not using a pizza stone, grease a large baking sheet and set aside.
- Roll dough into a 12 in. circle (perfection is not a necessity here). Take your time. If the dough retreats (shrinks back to a smaller circle), just let it rest for a minute and then continue.
- Carefully place dough on preheated stone or greased baking sheet. Poke holes in the surface with a fork to allow air to escape. Lightly brush with olive oil, top with your favorites, then bake for 10-12 minutes until the crust is golden and toppings are hot and bubbly. Let rest for 5 minutes, cut, and enjoy your authentic, homemade pizza.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.Register