Easy Homemade Italian-style Pizza Dough recipe that can quickly become your favorite. With thin crust in the middle and fluffy crisp edges on the outside, this (Neapolitan) pizza dough is a family favorite. Made in advance (up to 48 hours in the fridge to rise slowly), this scrumptious pizza dough can be pulled out for a quick pizza night at home.
If you are looking for an easy pizza dough recipe that will bring you back to Italy, this is the recipe. The dough is extra easy to prepare (in advance), which makes it perfect for a quick pizza night at home. It’s rich, smooth, extra crispy & fully on the edges – just perfect. This Italian pizza dough can be used for a favorite Neapolitan pizza or with all sorts of toppings. Depends on your preference really. The slow rising times, combined with the right type of flour and yeast give this pizza dough an irresistible charm.
Italian Pizza Dough – Ingredients
- Lukewarm water – adding lukewarm water helps the yeast rise just right. If water is too hot, the yeast will be killed. And if it’s too cold, the rising process will slow down way too much for the initial 30 minutes of rising at room temperature.
- Yeast – I personally prefer working with fresh yeast, but depending on where you live there might be none available. In that case, the closed substitute would be active dry yeast. Active dry yeast needs activation in lukewarm water, as opposed to Instant yeast for example. Instant yeast lacks the protective coating and can be added directly to ingredients without activation.
- Olive oil, extra virgin – adding olive oil to the dough brings in extra elasticity and helps ingredients blend better together.
- Flour – the type of flour I use is the 00 flour – also known as Italian white flour (doppio zero). It’s often used in Italy to make pizza and pasta. As it is finely ground and provides perfect elasticity, it’s the optimal type of flour for a pizza crust. The best alternative to 00 flour for pizza dough would be the so-called bread flour. It has high gluten content which ensures its stretchiness.
- Pinch of salt – for preservation purposes.
- Pinch of (brown) sugar – needed for activating the fresh yeast /active dry yeats.
- Optional: Flour – for sprinkling on the surface while kneading (that is optional dough, I do the kneading in the large bowl by hand).
What is 00 flour
In Italy and across Europe flours are usually given numbers that indicate flour grind size. The number usually starts at 00 (milled to the finest) and goes to 2. These numbers do not indicate the amount of protein or gluten though. The Italian 00 flour is fine with high elasticity for kneading, therefore ideal for making the best (Neapolitan) pizza dough ever.
How long does pizza dough last in the fridge?
This Italian pizza dough lasts up to 48 hours in the fridge before it should be cooked. However, you can use it after 12 or 24 hours if the dough has risen enough to be used.
How to make Italian Pizza Dough at home – tips
- Use 00 flour if possible – that way the dough would be strechy, smooth, and soft ensuring you get the closest to an Italian pizza as possible. Type 00 flour can be found in supermarkets or specialty stores (or amazon), depending on where you live.
- Let the dough rise on the lowest shelf in the fridge – usually, the lowest shelf is the coolest part of the fridge. If the temperature in the fridge is too warm, the dough rises quickly. If that happens, do not fear. Simply knead the dough again (while still in the bowl) and leave it in a cooler place in the fridge. It will begin to rise again and you can use it in 8-12 or24 hours whenever ready.
- Kneading – the first round of kneading can be done by hand, with a kitchen robot or bread machine. Personally, I always leave the kneading to the kitchen robot as it saves me a ton of time.
- Grease your hand slightly with olive oil before starting to work with the dough to make pizza. That way you can take it out of the bowl easier. Some flour or wet hands work too.
- The dough should double, or triple in size. You should be able to feel the bubbles of air while rolling out the pizza dough.
MORE EUROPEAN RECIPES
- Homemade sausage patties (basic recipe)
- Oven Roasted Eggplant Wedges (with olives and tomatoes)
- Easy Braised Beef Recipe (VIDEO)
- Baked Lemon Mustard Steelhead Trout (VIDEO)
- Simple Brown Rice with leeks, tomatoes and olives
Italian Pizza Dough Recipe (homemade)
- 500 ml (18 oz) water, lukewarm
- 20 ml (0.70 oz/3 tsp) olive oil, extra virgin
- 42 g cube of fresh yeast (1.5 oz), or 4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 930 g (7, 1/2 US cups) white flour (type 00), or same amount bread flour
- pinch of salt
- pinch of brown sugar, for activating yeast
- pinch of flour for kneading/rolling out the dough
- In a small bowl add yeast, 2-4 tbsp lukewarm water (from the 500 ml) and pinch of (brown) sugar. Cover with a cloth and let yeast activate.
- In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl add remaining water, 00 flour, olive oil and salt. Once the yeast gets activated, add it all in.
- Then knead (with hands/bread machine/kitchen stand mixer) a smooth, soft dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 20-30 minutes on room temperature (20-25C/68-77F).
- Once the dough rises, knead again. The dough should shrink in size. Then cover with kitchen towl/cling film and place onto the lowest shelf in the fridge (usually the coolest part). Let sit for 12-24 or up to 48 hours.
- The dough begins to rise slowly in the fridge (due to being kept in colder conditions). When you want to start cooking pizza, take dough out the fridge.
- Then (with oily hands) remove dough from bowl and divide into 4-6 small balls. Roll out each ball onto floured surface and add your preferred toppings. Then place onto parchment paper and bake in preheated oven (180C/360F) for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
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