Pizza. The legendary loved-by-all. The cross-cultural phenomenon of pizza originated in the early Roman Empire; modern pizza emerged from Naples in the 1880s. Walk into any Italian pizzeria today and you’ll smell the aroma of fresh-baked dough and crispy cheese… but you’d like an Italian pizza dough recipe for yourself, right? If you can’t enjoy Italian pizza in its mother country, simply recreate the experience at home.
This Italian pizza dough recipe is simple. The two main versions of pizza are Neapolitan pizza (with a pillowy crust and classic Margarita layers of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil) and Roman pizza (with a thin, crispy crust and varied toppings). The main difference lies in the crust’s thickness. Which one do you like the most? For this Italian pizza dough recipe, it leans more toward Neapolitan pizza, but you can experiment with ratios and consistency if you want crunchier Roman dough.
Pizza Dough Recipe Ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons oil
Italian Pizza Dough Toppings (Optional)
- Thinly-sliced tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
- Cheese (fresh mozzarella, ricotta, etc.)
- Fresh basil leaves or Oregano
- Peppers, mushrooms or any other vegetables!
Or anything else you like depending on your taste!
Preparation for the Italian Pizza Dough:
Now is time to get to the best part, the preparation of the pizza dough!
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat up your water and place the water in medium bowl. Ensure it is WARM, not room-temperature. Water between 105 and 110 degrees is optimal. Then sprinkle the yeast into water and let sit 5-10 minutes until it is fully dissolved.
- Add 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of oil into the water and mix it well until it is completely combined (will be sticky). Add the remaining flour (1 cup) until a soft dough forms up.
- Lightly flour a clean surface that you will use to prepare your pizza dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead for 6-12 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. If it becomes too sticky, sprinkle a little bit more flour on the table and your hands.
TIP: To knead the dough correctly, use the heels of your palms to press dough into an oblong shape, then fold the top back over. Repeat over and over again.
- Grease a bowl that you will use and place the mixture into the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a clean cloth. Place the bowl in a warm place and leave it for 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, place a pizza stone in oven for at least 40 minutes.
- GENTLY punch down the dough to release the air bubbles. Divide the dough into 2-4 sections if you want smaller pizzas with thinner crust, and leave the dough whole for one large pizza with thicker crust like the Neapolitan style pizza.
- Carefully take the pizza stone out of oven and sprinkle it with semolina or cornmeal. Then stretch dough slightly with hands until circular and place it onto the pizza stone and finish shaping with your fingertips.
- Add toppings, starting with tomatoes/sauce, then adding cheese and other toppings. If desired, sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, or oregano.
- Bake 7-9 minutes until it’s golden brown!
Now you’re ready to slice it up and serve while it’s still warm! Try using only the freshest ingredients to get those authentic Italian flavors. Grate your own mozzarella, make your sauce from scratch – whatever you can. Achieve desired crispiness by cooking under the broiler for a few seconds. Pizza dough is a canvas, and with this recipe you’re ready to create a pure flavor masterpiece. Let us know if you create your own dough!