Basic Pizza Dough


1 cup warm water, body temperature

1 tablespoon of dry yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt


  • Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the water and add the teaspoon of sugar and set aside for about 10 minutes. 
  • Mix together the dry ingredients, flour and salt. 
  • Once the yeast has proofed, add half of the flour mixture. Mix until blended. Add the oil and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour until a soft ball of dough forms. Be careful not to add too much flour (it will dry out the dough). 
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a counter surface until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 6 to 8 minutes). 
  • Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the bowl and cover. Leave the dough at room temperature to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
  • When the dough has doubled in bulk gently punch it down. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 equal parts. Form 2 balls.
  • Place oven rack in bottom third of the oven. Place a pizza stone or tiles on the rack.
  • Preheat oven to 450º F (230º C).
  • Prepare all the toppings for the pizza. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, flatten or roll out dough into desired shape. Dust a pizza peel with polenta or cornmeal. (This will make it easier to slide the pizza off of the pizza peel). 
  • Arrange the toppings on the dough, being careful not to spill over the edge.
  • Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone or tiles and bake until cheese is melted and the crust is well browned on the bottom, about 15–25 minutes.

Yield 2 - 12" pizzas

TIPS:  You can put prepared fresh pizza dough ball in the refrigerator. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap. It will last for three days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator an hour before use to allow it to come to room temperature. 

The dough can also be stored in zip lock bags and frozen for up to 6 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
When yeast is used for making bread, it is mixed with flour, salt, and warm water (or milk). The dough is kneaded until it is smooth, and then left to rise, sometimes until it has doubled in size. Some bread doughs are knocked back after one rising and left to rise again. A longer rising time gives a better flavour, but the yeast can fail to raise the bread in the final stages if it is left for too long initially. The dough is then shaped into loaves, left to rise until it is the correct size, and then baked. Dried yeast is usually specified for use in a bread machine, however a (wet) sourdough starter can also work.

A weak solution of water and sugar can be used to determine if yeast is expired. When dissolved in the solution, active yeast will foam and bubble as it ferments the sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Some recipes refer to this as proofing the yeast as it 'proves' [tests] the viability of the yeast before the other ingredients are added. When using a sourdough starter, flour and water are added instead of sugar and this is referred to as proofing the sponge.

It is not known when yeast was first used to bake bread. The first records that show this use came from Ancient Egypt. Researchers speculate that a mixture of flour meal and water was left longer than usual on a warm day and the yeasts that occur in natural contaminants of the flour caused it to ferment before baking. The resulting bread would have been lighter and tastier than the normal flat, hard cake. FREE Recipes