Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe (Tons of Tips 🎉)

My yeast preference for all bread recipes is SAF Instant Yeast. The beauty of instant yeast is that you can stir it directly into the flour — no need to “proof” or “bloom” it.

Active Dry Yeast works here, too: Red Star Active Dry is my preference. To use active dry yeast instead, simply sprinkle it over the lukewarm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes or until it gets foamy before adding to the other ingredients.

Store yeast in the fridge or freezer for up to a year. These quart containers are great for storing yeast.


INGREDIENTS
for the dough
4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for assembly
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 cups (456 g) lukewarm water (made my stirring together 1.5 cups cold water and .5 cups boiling water)
toppings for kale & crème fraîche:
extra-virgin olive oil
a couple handfuls of baby kale
1 to 2 cloves garlic
Sea salt, such as Maldon
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
grated Parmigiano Reggiano, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup

INSTRUCTIONS
To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the water. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the water is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball. Pour a drop or two of oil over top and rub with your hands to coat.
Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
If you are baking the pizzas right away (as opposed to refrigerating the dough for another day), place a Baking Steel or pizza stone in top third of oven and preheat oven to its hottest setting, 550°F. Be sure the Baking Steel heats for at least 45 minutes once the oven temperature reaches 550ºF.
Cover a work surface or cutting board liberally with flour — use at least 1/4 cup and more as needed. The dough is very wet, so don’t hesitate to use flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto your floured surface and use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 4 equal portions. With floured hands, roll each portion into a ball, using the pinkie-edges of your hands to pinch the dough underneath each ball. If you are not baking the pizza the same day, transfer each round of dough to a plastic quart container, cover, and store in fridge. (At this point, transfer the vessels to the freezer for up to 3 months. See notes above for thawing.) If you are baking right away, let the balls sit on their tucked-in edges for at least 30 minutes without touching.
To Make the Pizzas: If using refrigerated dough, pull out a pizza round from the fridge one hour before you plan on baking. Dust dough with flour and place on a floured work surface. Let rest for about an hour (a little less, a little longer is fine) untouched.
Handling the dough as minimally as possible, shape dough into a 10″–12″ round. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel, and pour a few drops of oil into the center of it. (Note: the oil is optional. It’s especially helpful if you find shaping dough using the backs of your hands tricky.) Transfer the dough round to the parchment-lined baking peel.
Top pizza as desired or to make this kale and crème fraîche pizza: Place the kale in a small bowl, drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with sea salt, and toss with your hands till the kale is coated in oil and salt. Spoon crème fraîche over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border or so—I use 1 to 2 tablespoons per pizza. Sprinkle with the garlic and a handful of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Top with the kale. Shimmy the pizza, parchment paper and all into the oven.
Bake pizza until top is blistered, about 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Cut and serve. Discard parchment paper.

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