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Basic Pizza Dough

This recipe is for a long, slow refrigerated rise. For a quicker rise, you can leave the dough in a warm spot for two to three hours, but it will have a slightly compromised texture and flavor.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes enough for three 9-by-13-inch pies
Basic Pizza Dough

Photography: Roland Bello

Source: Martha Stewart Living


  • 4 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast, preferably SAF-Instant or Fleischmann's RapidRise
  • 1 3/4 cups filtered or bottled water, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and bowl


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and yeast. Slowly add water, mixing with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Stir in salt and oil. (The dough will be lumpy and raggedy.) Brush with oil. Cover bowl with a dry kitchen towel and let rest 1 hour.

  2. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and pat with flour. (Flour hands while you work.) Holding two opposite sides, pull dough until about 1 foot long, then fold back onto itself and pinch ends together. Repeat 4 more times, rotating dough each time to stretch alternate sides, until it feels smooth.

  3. Place dough in a well-oiled large bowl; brush with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in refrigerator until doubled in bulk, at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours.

  4. Turn out dough onto floured surface. Cut into 3 equal parts; form into balls. Brush with oil; cover. Let rest 1 hour.

  5. Place dough on fists and use knuckles to begin stretching dough from middle, rotating it slightly as you work. Set on surface and continue to stretch from all sides to form a rough 10-by-14-inch rectangle.

  6. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Pull edges to fill pan.


Reviews (8)

  • haileyalena 25 Mar, 2014

    Has anyone tried leaving it on the counter for 2-3 hours as opposed to refrigerating it for 24-48 hours? If so, is it still good if I leave it out or should I keep it in the fridge? Hmm... I'm so eager to try it!

  • ElkMtnMan 11 Mar, 2014

    I have been making pizza dough for years but I like to try new recipes that are a little bit different. The all bread flour in this recipe was just that. This is a perfect pizza dough! Light and crispy. All of those little bubble around the edges? Delicious! I let it rise for almost 48 hrs and then divided it into 3 rounds. The best pizza so far: Pesto coated chicken thigh, artichokes, bacon, fried shallots, Alfredo sauce and a little fontina. Excellent. (500 degrees- on a stone -10min.)

  • jnokleby 10 Mar, 2014

    I meant to say BAKE THE EXTRA pizza crust, freeze till needed.

  • jnokleby 10 Mar, 2014

    You can bake the extra or put into bread sticks. I have my own recipe, which tripled, the boys always took the balance and made their own sticks.
    I also put together mixes of what was needed, then a taped paper on side (of tupperware) of moisture needed. Stored in spare fridge. Kids could make this anytime they wanted. I would toss into the dough cycle of the bread machine. Dump out, let rise 20 minutes covered and go create!

  • BCE_10 10 Mar, 2014

    I like your recipe better. How long do you usually let it rise?
    Thank you!

  • Coelle 10 Mar, 2014

    I've been making my own pizza dough for years and I question the ingredient list. Too much flour and salt and too little yeast and olive oil. Mine have always come out perfect and I use 2 cups A/P or bread flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons yeast proofed in 1 cup warm water with a teaspoon of sugar (sugar activates yeast), 1/2 teaspoon salt (your choice of salt), 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I mix in Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hook and then place in bowl to rise. Punch down & use

  • Lesley3 10 Mar, 2014

    Extra dough can be made into a bake-later frozen pizza.

  • KristinA1 4 Mar, 2014

    I let the pizza dough rise for almost 48 hours and then I divided it and let rise for another hour. I don't want to use all of the dough, can I refrigerate it? And for how long will it keep?

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