This pizza dough is the best Italian pizza dough you will ever make. It’s an easy pizza dough recipe that’s soft and fluffy and bakes up with a crispy base and pillowy edge. This is not urban style thin crust pizza. This is soft and fluffy Italian countryside style pizza dough. Classic Italian farmhouse food.
There are as many pizza dough styles as there are people in the world. The two most popular being crispy thin crust, or the one that I’ve always granted to- soft and fluffy country-style pizza dough.
The Best Italian Pizza Dough Step By Step
- Step 1. This pizza dough starts with the most humble ingredients. Flour, water, salt, yeast, olive oil and some honey. Measure them all out before you begin, so that it’s easier once you get started.
- Step 2. Add the yeast to the warm water and olive oil. Add the honey (or sugar) and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to help it activate. You’ll see a thick foamy froth appear on the top of the liquid. This is the yeast. Stir back into the liquid.
- Step 3. Add the yeast and olive oil mixture to the flour while it’s on the mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let it mix, on low, for about 5 minutes, until a shaggy but not sticky dough forms.
- Step 4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring it together with your hands until it forms a soft smooth dough. This should only take about 2 minutes of kneading.
So, what makes this the best Italian pizza dough
- It’s easy and quick.
- It’s made with active dry yeast.
- You can make it in a Kitchenaid mixer.
- And you can freeze the dough!
- As a bonus, this pizza dough also doubles as a focaccia dough. Simple drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary and it’s perfect.
What’s the best flour for making pizza dough?
This recipe uses a combination of all-purpose (bread) flour and type “00” flour. Using a mix of the two flours is the classic Neopolitan way. Type “00” is finely milled in Italy and adding it to the recipe helps to give the crust a very light texture. This article in Saveur explains it all in more detail if you’re interested.
It’s made with traditional Italian “00” flour and semolina and it has a touch of blossom honey to help activate the yeast and add just a kiss of sweetness to the dough. Not enough that it tastes sweet, just enough that you’re left trying to figure out why this pizza is better than any other that you’ve ever had. Something you just can’t quite put your finger on.
This is pizza dough made to be eaten al fresco with simple tumblers of wine and lots of olives and olive oil. It’s not merely a vehicle to get the pizza toppings to your mouth, but it’s an integral part of the pizza itself. Lending the whole affair a sense of substance and nourishment.
Why do you use honey?
In order to get the yeast to do its job, especially in 30 minutes, it needs a little help. Yeast feeds on sugar. Whether that be the natural ones present in the air, or sugar that you add to the yeast to help it along. Sugar gets added to the yeast to encourage it to activate. I use honey because it lends a depth of flavour that sugar just doesn’t have. If you’re in a pinch and you don’t have honey then, by all means, you can use some sugar. But, I strongly recommend that you try it with honey.
Perfect Pizza Dough Tips
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil in the dough. No veggie oil ’round here.
- Use honey instead of sugar to activate the yeast
- Use fine semolina to roll out your dough.
- Use a Pizza Stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, simply use a baking tray in it’s place.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or about 5 on medium/low speed in a mixer with the dough hook.
- Let all the whole batch of dough rise before you divide and freeze any portions.
The perfect partner for this pizza dough is this fig and prosciutto pizza.
The Best Easy Italian Pizza Dough
In a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer place the flour and sea salt. Pour the water, olive oil, and honey into a measuring cup. Add the yeast and mix. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes just to ensure the yeast is activated.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour half the water mixture in. Start to mix the dough with your hands or the dough hook if using the mixture. Continue adding the water slowly, until the dough comes together into a shaggy but not sticky dough. If making by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured and knead for 10 minutes. If using a mixer set the speed to medium/low and mix with the dough hook for 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and leave in a warm place to prove for about 30 minutes covered with a clean tea towel. Once the dough has proved, knock the air out and divide into 4 and freeze whatever you don't use., Roll the remaining dough out and make your pizza. Roll on a work surface dusted with semolina or flour.
- Bake in a 200c or 390f oven for about 12-15 minutes. Use a pizza stone if you have one.
- Variation: Replace 100g of the flour with 100g of semolina.