The Basics: Homemade Pizza Dough

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The Technique

Homemade Pizza Dough

Simple recipes sometimes need a little time to develop the best possible result. Really outstanding pizza dough falls into that category. The ingredients are basically nothing more than flour, yeast, water, oil & salt with a touch of honey or sugar. The secret to a good dough lies mainly in the time & patience you are willing to put into the process to produce a stellar crust. It’s not difficult to do in the least. Expect to spend about 5 minutes to mix, then allow it to rest & develop the flavors in the refrigerator. Once you’re ready to prepare the pizzas, simply shape the dough & allow it to rise. Do not rush the process at any stage. Following these steps will yield a flavorful dough with a good chewy texture & when you hit the mark just so, strike up the band because you will have hand crafted something quite spectacular.

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makes 2 1/2 lbs dough

A refrigerator-rise dough is simple to make & develops more complex flavors the longer it rests. Be sure to place in an extra large bowl as it will expand a good bit. 

2 cups warm water {about 105 degrees}
1 envelope active dry yeast
5 cups ap flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey

Stir together the water & the yeast in a measuring cup. Let stand for 5 minutes. The mixture should be dissolved & foamy on the surface. Whisk together the flour & the salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture, the oil & the honey.
Blend on Medium speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer & scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Remove with a bowl scrapper onto a lightly floured board. Form the dough into a ball & place in a large lightly greased bowl. Coat the surface with cooking spray & cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Punch the dough down & divide into 10 {4-oz} portions. Roll each piece into a ball on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be a little sticky but easy to work with & it will feel heavy once punched down & divided into the smaller portions. Place 5 dough balls 2-inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Lightly grease the dough & cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot 1 hour. The dough will not double in bulk however, you will notice bubbling under the smooth surface. It should be room temperature to the touch when ready. Use as directed in individual recipe applications.

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{testing notes}

Pizza Dough At Home Family Dinner Pizza Night RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLIpstick WBRC Tide & Tigers Today Gameday Tailgating recipe football hostess entertaining partyHow To Make Your Best Homemade Pizza Dough

Some of our favorite foods begin with simple ingredients.
Stir in a little prep & patience for pizza the whole family will love.
Follow these tips for success in your own kitchen.

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The Technique

No. 1

The Yeast

Dry active yeast can be purchased in 1/4-ounce packets or in small jars. I use both when preparing bread recipes, generally based on what my store has in stock at the time.

If purchasing a jar of yeast, store it in the refrigerator after opening. Just be mindful of the expiration date so you don’t find yourself in a jam.

You’ll find that 2 1/4 teaspoons is the equivalent to 1 envelope of active dry yeast. It’s a good idea to dissolve dry yeast before using. Simply stir it into warm water & allow to stand for several minutes.

Many times a baker will add sugar to the mixture to proof the yeast. The yeast feeds on the sugar & creates air bubbles, proving it is active, alive & good to use for your dough.

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The Mixing

A heavy duty stand mixer fit with a dough hook is a bread makers friend. It will take care of all of the muscle work when it comes to kneading the dough.

Bread doughs will give your mixer a good workout. Don’t leave it unattended as it will rock & shake a bit as the dough mixes.

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The Work Bowl Removal

The pizza dough is soft & sticky. Push the dough away from the hook with well floured hands. Sprinkle a good bit of flour over the dough in the work bowl. Shimmy some between the sides & the dough using a rubber spatula. Allow it to tumble out onto a heavily floured surface. Notice the loose, easy texture. It’s not a stiff ball of dough but rather a soft, supple mixture. A few quick spins will have it shaped into a ball.

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The Resting

Preparing pizza dough in advance helps develop the flavor. It’s also a time saver when planning to entertain.

Place the squirmy dough ball into a lightly greased, very large bowl. It will expand as it rests in the refrigerator. Grease the top of the dough as well. I’m not kidding about the sticky part.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. You don’t want any vents that could result in tough spots later on. Place in the refrigerator up to 3 days before using.

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The Divvy

It’s aliveAfter 2 days in the fridge tightly covered with plastic wrap, your dough may look something like this. It has risen almost to the top of the bowl.

The dough will be sticky & cold. Remove it from the bowl & place on a floured surface. It will feel heavy. Punch it down & shape into a large dough ball. Divide the dough into 10 {4-oz} pieces. Use a kitchen scale for accuracy if you’d like to.

Roll each piece into a ball. Space evenly on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Spray the surface with a little cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.

If you want to make larger pizzas. Divide the dough accordingly. Expect the rise time to increase up to 45 minutes, if necessary.

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The Rolling

Lightly flour a board & pat the dough flat. Lightly flour the top & begin working the dough into a circle with a rolling pin.

If you feel as though you’re not making much progress, pick up the dough & stretch with your hands. Place back on the board & continue rolling until you reach a nice sized round. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased sheet pan & top away.

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Cooking Lessons
Put this technique to the test

Homemade Pizza

The Tune
“Sing, Sing, Sing” Benny Goodman

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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