Pizza Dough | Basics

3 medium thin crust pizza Conversion Chart Print

Ingredients

cups of all purpose flour, chilled
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of instant yeast
cup of olive oil
¾ cup of ice cold water (start with 1 tabelspoon less water in ¾ cup)

Preparation

1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt and yeast.
2. Add in oil and cold water. Using a metal spoon or your hand or a dough hook, bring together the dough till it forms a smooth and sticky dough. It should take about 5-7 minutes. The dough should clear the sides and stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, then add in some flour to help release the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water. The finished dough should be springy, elastic and sticky but not tacky.
3. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to it. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment paper and greasing it.
4. Using a metal scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. You can divide into 2 also if you are comfortable shaping bigger pizza. Dip the scraper or knife in cold water between cuts if the dough is sticking to it.
5. Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a round ball. If the dough sticks to your hand, dip your hands in flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, mist them generously with oil and slip the sheet pan into a zip-lock bag. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to the rest the dough. You can keep it in refrigerator for upto 3 days.
6. At this point you can store these dough balls for future baking. After rounding each ball in above step, just coat them liberally with oil and transfer each ball in a separate freezer bag. Store in freezer for upto 3 months. Transfer the desired number of balls to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.

Notes

Pizza dough adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Using olive oil in the dough is optional, but it is recommended as it gives a moist and supple dough.

You can mix the dough using a paddle attachment on low speed. If you are mixing by hand, try copying a vigorous motion of a dough hook, while rotating bowl in circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion few times to develop gluten further. If you are using electric mixer, then change to dough hooks and do it for 5-7 minutes on medium speed or till the dough comes together as smooth and sticky.

Repeatedly dip the metal spoon, hand or dough hook in cold water during the dough process.

You can use the traditional method of rolling the dough for pizza using your knuckles as described by Heidi. I have not attempted it.