pepperoni pizza

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Perfect Pizza Dough

From the book The Bread Bible by
Total Time 3 hours


What I like most in a pizza crust is something between a thin, crisp crust and the more bready old style. This pizza recipe makes a 10-inch pizza, which I find perfect for two people.


¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon flour (4 ounces), preferably unbleached all-purpose or Italian-style
½ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
liquid cup water at room temperature (70 to 90 degrees)
4 tsp. olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, instant yeast, and sugar. Whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming into direct contact with the salt, which would kill it).
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the water. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the water until all the flour is moistened and a dough just begins to form, about 20 seconds. It should come away from the bowl but still stick to it a little, and be a little rough-looking, not silky smooth. Do not overmix, as this will cause the dough to become stickier.
  3. Pour the oil into a 2-cup measuring cup (to give the dough room to double in size) or a small bowl. With oiled fingers or an oiled spatula, place the dough in the oiled cup and turn it over to coat on all sides with the oil. Cover it tightly.
  4. If you want to use the dough soon, allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled. For the best flavor development, make the dough at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours ahead, and allow it to sit at room temperature for only 30 minutes or until slightly puffy. Then set the dough, still in the measuring cup, in the refrigerator. Remove it 1 hour before you want to put it in the oven.
  5. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees 1 hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone on it before preheating.
  6. With oiled fingers, lift the dough out of the measuring cup or bowl. Holding the dough in one hand, pour a little of the oil left in the cup or bowl onto the pizza pan, and spread it all over the pan with your fingers. Set the dough on the pan and press it down with your fingers to deflate it gently. Shape it into a smooth round by tucking under the edges. If there are any holes, knead it very lightly until smooth. Allow the dough to sit for 15 minutes, covered, to relax it.
  7. Using your fingertips, press the dough from the center to the outer edge to stretch it into a 10-inch circle, leaving the outer ½ inch thicker than the rest to form a lip. If the dough resists stretching (as will happen if you have activated the gluten by overkneading it), cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for a few minutes longer before proceeding.
  8. Brush the surface of the dough with any remaining olive oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 30 to 45 minutes, until it becomes light and slightly puffy with air.
  9. Set the pizza pan directly on the hot stone and bake for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven and spread toppings (such as Pizza Tomato Sauce) over the dough. Return the pan to the stone for 5 minutes or until the toppings have melted and the crust is golden; or, for an extra-crisp and browned bottom crust, using a pancake turner or baker’s peel, slide the pizza from the pan directly onto the stone. After 2 minutes, slip a small metal spatula under one edge of the pizza; if the bottom is golden, raise the pizza to a higher shelf.
  11. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut with a pizza wheel, sharp knife, or scissors. Serve hot.


You will need a baking stone as well as a steel pizza pan for this recipe.

This content is from the book The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

There are 5 comments on this item
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80% recommend this recipe
1. by anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 3:47 PM PST

i made a thin crust pizza dough using peter r.’s recipe and was extremely happy with the result. I then wanted to compare/ contrast that one with rose beranbaum’s pizza dough recipe - posted here. I don’t think I like rose’s recipe. this is only my personal preference though. the dough came out was like a blob of forgotten “glue” The simplicity of this dough is extremely attractive, but at the same time, I’m not at all impressed....maybe I did something wrong?!

2. by anonymous on Jan 10, 2011 at 3:14 PM PST

Both me and my sister have been using this recipe and each time the thin crust pizza is just delicious.

3. by anonymous on Aug 26, 2011 at 1:23 PM PDT

This recipe is PERFECT! I double it to make three pizzas for our family (2 adults and 2 children - the kids share!) Highly recommend. I’ve made it about a dozen times now.

4. by anonymous on May 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM PDT

I’ve been using this recipe for as long as I’ve had the book, which was before the whole no-knead revolution went viral. It produces the perfect pizza crust every time, whether you leave it in the fridge overnight or use it straight away.

5. by Grace Frank on Dec 29, 2012 at 11:33 AM PST

I’ve been using this recipe for several years now. It’s a little more fiddly than than more conventional method of active kneading, but the the results are worth the effort. The main difference I think is in the taste of the baked crust, which is far more flavourful than the “regular” method. The texture is crispy/chewy. Delicious!

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