How to: Recipe Makeover – Homemade Pizza Dough

I’ve found it!

The best homemade pizza dough recipe EVER.

Not surprisingly, it’s inspired by one of my favourite food blogs – Smitten Kitchen, whose author Deb Pearlman has just released a cookbook.  A really really really good cookbook. As in, put it on your Christmas list.

I’ve made a number of pizza doughs in my day.  At most, I’ve been mildly satisfied with the results.  Jim Lahey of no-knead bread fame has an excellent pizza dough recipe to be sure, but it’s a two day process with all the rising and the waiting time.

Relatively speaking, this is a quickie at less than an hour, with 40 minutes of inactive wine drinking waiting and rising time.

This recipe also requires zero special equipment and get this, it’s 1/2 whole wheat!

Pizza Dough

Serves Makes one 12" round pizza
Prep time 45 minutes
From book Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook


  • 3/4 cups warm water (as warm as a really hot shower)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon active or instant dry yeast
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil for coating


This recipe uses 50% white/whole white flour. You can use less whole wheat flour (even none), or a little more (up to 1 cup).


1. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees F for 10 minutes and then turn it off
2. Pour warm water into a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over the surface of the water (do not stir), and let it stand for 5 minutes.
3. Add flour and salt and mix with a wooden spoon until a rough, shaggy looking ball forms. Turn dough and any loose bits out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 5 minutes.
4. To knead, push ball down with the palm of your hand to flatten, fold dough over once, turn the dough clockwise 45 degrees and repeat, repeat, repeat.
5. In a clean mixing bowl, brush the inside with a coat of olive oil, place dough back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in pre-warmed oven for 30 minutes, or until about double in size.
6. Remove dough from oven (and preheat it again for your own pizza recipe), turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll, flatten or stretch the dough out to the desired configuration (round, oval, square, trapezoidal) and thickness.

When I was testing this recipe, I used my mixer with a dough hook for one batch, and my good old fashioned hands for the second – both turned out perfectly. Take that, technology.

After the initial mixing, this is the shaggy looking mass you’re looking for.

If you have work related stress or anger management issues, I recommend therapeutic pizza dough kneading.

Before rising…

and after.

If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can press the dough out with your hands and fingers – which will look impressively rustic and homemade.

I like a nice thin and crispy crust.

I’ve loaded this pizza up with tomato sauce, spinach, goat’s cheese, cremini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.

Goat’s cheese is a great alternative to the standard mozzarella for pizza.  It’s stronger flavour allows you to use less and it is typically lower in fat (%M.F. – which means % milk fat) and calories.

I also used dried sun-dried tomatoes rather than oil-packed.  They need to be rehydrated in boiling water for about a minute before slicing them up.

Going meat-free is a good way to save on calories too, and pizza is one of those foods you can get away with not having meat fairly easily if you’re trying to a adopt the meatless Monday trend.

Piping hot from the oven.

I’m lucky enough to have a pizza stone, a handy piece of kitchen equipment that I pre-heat in the oven and slide the pizza on top of to ensure the bottom of my crust will be crispy – but you don’t need one!

You can also use a preheated cookie sheet.  Before topping your pizza, transfer the rolled out dough on to the back of a floured cookie sheet (if you have a second cookie sheet, preheat it in the oven at the highest temp possible – usually around 500F). When the pizza is oven-ready, carefully slide it from the back of one cookie sheet the other.

At 500F, my pizzas need about 10-12 minutes to achieve optimal pizza-ness.

If you haven’t yet forayed into homemade pizza territory – I beg of you, start here!




5 thoughts on “How to: Recipe Makeover – Homemade Pizza Dough

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