Skip to Content

The best pizza dough, chewy thin crust with a puffy rim

FYI: If you buy something through a link in our posts we may get a small share of the sale.

The best pizza dough is a bold claim. I know.

And it’s obviously highly subjective.

At any given time there is a heated argument on the Internet on the relative merits of New York style pizza versus Chicago style pizza, with some arguing the latter isn’t pizza at all.

Adding flour to bowl on scal

So, I’m here to say I get it. I will never please everyone. Nevertheless, my opinion here is absolutely correct.

This is, as of now, the best pizza you can make at home without installing a special high temperature oven or disabling the self-cleaning cycle lock on your oven.

Water added to flour

This dough results in a pizza with a thin crust and a puffy, chewy cornicione (which is the fancy Italian term for the edge of crust around the rim).

It’s simple to make. It’s just flour, water, salt, and yeast.

But there are a few tricks to getting it right.

One is a long fermentation. The dough should rest overnight, and I think it gets even better after two or three days of resting in the refrigerator.

Another is using bread flour for the extra gluten formation, which is so helpful for developing that pleasing chew. (I usually use King Arthur which has a protein content of 12.7%)

Pizza dough covered with plastic wrap for proofing

The other is using more salt than you think. Salt inhibits yeast, and it helps prevent the dough from over-rising during its long rest in the refrigerator. It also makes everything taste better.

And while you can use active dry yeast, your life will be easier and results more reliable if you use instant yeast, which you don’t have to proof in water and can just mix in with the flour.

Pizza Dough from Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

The other tricks are not ingredient-based, they’re in the handling and cooking.

Step away from the rolling pin and gently stretch your dough into place.

This makes a very wet, sticky, slack dough that can take some practice to handle.

One trick to make handling easier is to wet your hands before touching the dough. Damp hands won’t stick to it so much.

When people ask me what temperature to cook pizza at, my answer is always as high as your oven will go. For most of us, that’s 500-550°F.

And preheat the oven with the pizza steel or pizza stone inside for a half-hour before you put your pizza in the oven.

Best Pizza Dough. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

You can use a peel if you want. Or just build your pizza on a piece of parchment paper and slide it into the oven from the back of a baking sheet.

Also, don’t overtop your pizza.

Apply a very thin layer of simple sauce. Go easy on a layer of grated dry aged mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano. And apply your other toppings sparingly or you’re apt to wind up with a soggy mess.

Best Pizza Dough. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

But keep this one bookmarked. Or print it out and laminate it.

You’ll be making it again and again.

Best Pizza Dough. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net
Best Pizza Dough. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

[Edit 6/5/2019: I think I figured out where a few folks have run into trouble. This recipe is not designed for Italian-style 00 pizza flour, which is generally only available from specialty suppliers in the US and why I’ve opted for the much more widely available bread flour.

The tipo “00” (doppio zero) refers to the fineness of the milling and has nothing to do with the protein content of the flour.

It is much finer than American all-purpose or bread flours. Tipo “00” is less absorbent than bread flour, which means if you use the amount of water called for here, it will be too runny.

If you are using 00 flour, try reducing the water to 275 g or a 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons to get the hydration right. And note that the texture will be more delicate and crisp and less chewy than the bread flour version I’ve described.

I’ve tested this dough with bread flour hundreds of times and that’s still what I recommend for this recipe.

It also works pretty well with all-purpose flour (especially if you have a higher protein all-purpose flour like King Arthur). You can reduce the water to 350 g or 1 1/2 cups for an easier to handle dough.]

Yield: 2 14-inch pizzas

Best Pizza Dough (for thin crust pizza with a chewy, puffy rim)

Pizza Dough from Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

This dough needs to be made a day ahead of time (though it can hang out in the refrigerator for another four days and in the freezer for a few months). The slow overnight rise in the refrigerator allows the dough to develop a complex flavor and improve its browning and crumb structure. Bread flour helps to give pizza that pleasing chewy texture, and instant yeast lets you skip the step you find in many recipes for proofing the yeast in water ahead of time. I strongly recommend applying your toppings with a light hand. I like baking pizzas on a baking steel, which is totally worth the investment, but you can also bake it on a baking sheet. This makes enough dough for two pizzas, which means you can have pizza again later in the week or you can tuck the extra dough in the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight the next time you want pizza.

Prep Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 days
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 1 days 1 hour 8 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, salt, and yeast to a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the water and stir until you don't see any dry flour. Then stir with a metal or wooden spoon for about 50 strokes (your arm should be getting tired and the dough should be shaggy but starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl as you stir). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour.
  2. After about a 30 minutes of rising, gently stretch and fold the dough over itself a few times. The dough should start to feel stretchier and sturdier. Cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough over itself two or three more times. The dough should no longer look shaggy, but have a smooth appearance when pulled into a taut ball. Divide the dough in half and stretch each half into a ball. Coat lightly in olive oil and place each dough ball into a quart-sized zip top bag and refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. (If there is any dough you don't plan to use in 4 days, put it in the freezer now. When ready to use, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight and continue as directed.) 
  3. On the day you plan to make the pizza, pull the dough out of the refrigerator about an hour before you want to eat. If you have a baking steel or baking stone, make sure it's in the oven on the top rack. Preheat the oven as high as your oven will go (500°F or 550°F) about a half hour before you want to eat.
  4. After the dough has been at room temperature for about an hour, gently stretch the dough into a circle about 14-inches in diameter and place on a sheet of parchment paper set on the back of a baking sheet (if you feel comfortable using a peel you can, of course skip the parchment paper and build your pizza on a floured peel). Top the pizza lightly with whatever toppings you want. Slide the parchment paper and pizza onto your baking steel or stone (or if you don't have either of those, slide the whole inverted baking sheet into the oven on the top rack).
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the dough is deeply browned in spots. Slide the pizza onto a wire cooling rack and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cutting board and slicing.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 602mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
Carrot Chickpea Quinoa Bowl from Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net
Previous
Carrot Chickpea Quinoa Salad (in poblano yogurt sauce)
Next
13 Gifts for Cocktail Lovers (all under $25)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Angela Harris

Thursday 30th of July 2020

I grew up in a little Central California town called Coalinga. They have a pizza place there called Fatte Albert's that is filled with so many fun memories for me: After sports dinners, walking there for lunch in High School, birthday parties and the like. I now live as far across the country as you can get in Washington DC, but long to go back to that special place. I have looked for YEARS for a duplicate recipe: Thin botton with a thick chewy "bread dough" crust, greasy delicious moz cheese, crispy thin-sliced pepperoni... THIS is that recipe!!! A complete clone. I am soooooo happy!

Brian

Monday 27th of July 2020

Uh oh, I just experienced my first fail using this recipe. I made it almost exactly the same as the last time, but went with 3% salt (instead of 2%) and tried to give it 75% hydration instead of the normal 78%, thinking this would make it easier to work with. I also used the 1.5g of IDY, instead of 3g.

Strangely, this time it seemed even MORE sticky, but I soldiered on, thinking it was only my imagination. I went through all the normal steps, letting it sit for an hour after mixing (and folding it over a few times as usual), then I sealed it in the fridge for 3 days. On baking day I took it out 4 hrs before bake time as I normally do to get it to room temp and relax a bit more, and I noticed it felt slacker than usual.

Then 4 hrs later when I went to shape it, it instantly fell apart in my hands, as though no gluten had formed at all. It actually just disintegrated the second I picked up, and the bits fell to the counter.

This has never happened to me before, and TBH I can’t see how any of the tweaks I made this time could have caused it. One thing that did go sort of wrong this time though, is the lid of the Tupperware container I used, apparently popped off in the fridge. My wife found it that way and resealed it, but who knows how long it was like that. I’ve since purchased a new container, but I wonder if that was the cause. Or maybe it somehow over-proofed? Although I was vigilant to use cool water and even less IDY than last time. I’m not as bothered about the meal being ruined, as I am about the fact that I’m not sure what I did wrong, and won’t know how to avoid it next time. :-(

Brian

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Thanks @Mary Kasprzak, I've come around to a similar conclusion. I know that variances in mixing and proofing time can cause minor differences, but this was hilarious -- when I picked up the dough to stretch it out, my kids couldn't contain their laughter as they watched the dough instantly part like curtains, revealing my confused sad face on the other side of it. :-)

Later that night as I begrudgingly ate lousy takeout pizza, a plausible theory occurred to me. Maybe I was fixating on the flour weight while I was portioning the water, and thus made a 100% hydrated dough. Can you imagine what kind of pizza that would have been if I'd been able to pull off 100% hydration? (Also it hadn't occurred to me that low batteries could affect the scale accuracy, so I'll be sure to change them for next time as well).

Mary Kasprzak

Monday 27th of July 2020

If the dough is falling apart it's a sign of low gluten development which can be because either the flour has a lower protein/gluten content, the dough was under mixed, or there was a measuring error somewhere (it happens to all of us sometimes).

Lowering the hydration should make the dough easier to handle, so if it was stickier from the beginning my guess is there was too much water. If there's any difference in the flour (either the protein content, the fineness of the milling, the whole bran content) that could be the difference here.

If it's the same flour you always use, my best guess is good old fashioned measuring error, which can happen if your scale got off balance or somehow tared accidentally or needs its batteries replaced. My guess is it's a one off and the next time everything will be fine.

Brian

Monday 20th of July 2020

I think there’s a discrepancy between the weight and volume measurements for instant dry yeast. The recipe calls for “3 grams (1/2 teaspoon)”, but in fact 1/2 tsp of instant yeast weighs ~1.5 g — and by extension, 3g of instant yeast is ~1 tsp. So one measurement is correct, and the other is either half or double, depending on which one is the correct measurement. :-)

Note that IDY weight/volume seems to be universal, regardless of the brand.

BTW I used to use volumes but recently switched to using baker’s weights (highly recommended) so I’ve tried this recipe with both quantities of yeast. TBH I couldn’t tell you which one was better, but both were amazing!

Brian

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

Thanks @Mary Kasprzak!

BTW have you tried any tweaks or improvements to this recipe since initially posting it? I’ve found that adding a bit of olive oil (not much, maybe 7 grams) enhances the flavor and tenderness. Neapolitan pizza purists might object, but it’s a good little workaround for the longer more drying baking time required by a conventional oven, even when using a stone or steel.

YMMV, but I tried it once and now my family won’t let me go back.:-)

Mary Kasprzak

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

Thanks, Brian. Looks like you're right. Should be 1.5 grams yeast and I'll fix it. The recipe is flexible enough that, as you've seen, it will work either way.

Mrs K

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

You're right. This is THE BEST pizza dough, hands down. I've been on a several-year search for a good homemade pizza dough recipe, and my quest is now over. My husband is on a low sodium diet, so I have to reduce the salt, but it still works beautifully. Thank you for sharing!!! If you have more delicious bread recipes to share, the world (or at least my family) would be very grateful!

Mrs K

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Also - I always use a stand mixer and double the recipe for 3 large pizzas.

Margaret Patterson

Monday 25th of May 2020

My husband and I loved this pizza! We have joined the national trend for baking bread while we are in self quarantine, and we have tried several pizza recipes. This one is by far our favorite and we want to thank you for posting it and providing us with some wholesome entertainment during these unprecedented times.

I do have some questions. When I followed the recipe, I used the weight and not the measurements. 390 grams of water was significantly more than 1&2/3 cups water, probably more like 2 cups. Did I do the right thing? As you mentioned in your post, our dough was very sticky.

Also, our pizza was not crisp on the bottom. I assume this is because we do not have a pizza stone and because our oven is inconsistent in maintaining temperature. Also, I may have put too much stuff on top, even though I tried to be light handed.

Either way, it was really delicious and we’re looking forward to making it again. In addition to making more pizzas, I plan to try to make a plain focaccia with this recipe. Thanks for a great post!

Mary Kasprzak

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

The weight and volume of water should be consistent. If you have a liquid measuring cup that has milliliters on one side, you could double check it that way. (1 ml of water weighs 1 gram.)

A pizza stone or steel definitely makes a difference on how the bottom of the crust cooks. If you find yourself making pizza more often, it's definitely worth investing in one of those tools (the steel is my favorite for the best bottom crust, but stones are less expensive and lighter weight and still make a big difference).