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Measure warm water (between 100°-110°F) in a measuring cup, then add the yeast and sugar. Stir gently, then let sit until it’s active and foamy. This will happen within 5 minutes. If it doesn’t, your water may have been too hot or cold or your yeast may be old. It is important to use a thermometer to measure your water temp. An instant read thermometer is best but in a pinch a meat thermometer will do.
Stand mixer preparation: add salt, oil, and 2 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Stir the flour mixture gently while adding the proofed yeast mixture. Run the mixer on low speed until the mixture is combined and wet and then add the third cup of flour. The mixture should come together into a ball that is just a bit sticky.
By hand preparation: stir salt, oil, and 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl, stirring in the yeast mixture as you go, using a wooden spoon. Add the third cup of flour and then stir until you can’t anymore. Remove the spoon and then use your hands to work the dough into a ball that is slightly sticky.
Spray a second large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, add your pizza dough ball, then spray the top lightly with cooking spray and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area of the kitchen and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
Mix 1 cup flour with salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside. If doing this by hand, just mix it in a large bowl.
Measure warm water (between 120°-130°F) in a measuring cup. Add the oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with dough hook, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until a wet mixture forms. Add one more cup flour and continue mixing, then add as much flour as you need for the dough to come together in a ball (about 3/4 cup - 1 cup). If doing this by hand, use a wooden spoon until you can't anymore then get your hands in the bowl.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead for just a few minutes, or until the dough comes together and springs back when pressed with two fingers. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Note: this pizza dough can make 1 thicker crust or 2 thin crust 10-12” pizzas, or 4-6 small personal sized pizzas.
When ready to make pizza: turn out dough onto a lightly floured cutting board or a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with more flour if needed so you can stretch and flatten the dough into your desired size.
Cut parchment paper to fit the pan you’re using, hanging over just about an inch on all sides our circumference. Preheat oven to 500°F. Place pizza pan in the oven while the oven is preheating. Place your pizza dough on the sized parchment paper and top as desired. Once the oven is up to temperature, carefully transfer the pizza to the hot pan (be careful - pan is HOT). Cook until the cheese is melted and crust is slightly browned, 10-20 minutes depending on thickness, size, and toppings.