This step-by-step guide gives you all the tips and tricks you need to make the perfect dough

Some things are just better when they're made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals, and it offers you the flexibility to adjust your recipe for dietary or taste preferences.

In 2020, I provided some tips about making your homemade pizza even better, and one of the most important ones was making your dough from scratch. There are many ways you can do this, and much of it depends on how much time you have. But, if you plan ahead, you’ll get some of the best homemade pizza you’ve ever had.Christine McAvoyChristine McAvoy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ teaspoons of yeast (if you are going to cold ferment it overnight) or 1 tbsp (if you are making the dough for the same day)
  • 2 cups of lukewarm water  
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar  
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour  
  • 3 cups of 00 flour (or AP flour) 
  • 2 teaspoons of salt  
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil  
  • Semolina flour
  • Pizza sauce and toppings of your choice 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the yeast, sugar and lukewarm water in a bowl and whisk together. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes until you see it is bubbling and smells yeasty. 
  2. Stir in the salt and olive oil, then add 2 cups of AP flour and 2 cups of 00 Flour. 
  3. Mix loosely and add more flour until the dough isn’t wet. Let rest for 10 minutes. 
  4. Transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead the dough for five minutes. 
  5. Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel and let sit for 10 minutes so the water can absorb more.
  6. After resting, knead for 4 to 5 more minutes until you have a smooth ball. 
  7. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rest until it doubles in size. This can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on your environment. 
  8. Once the dough has doubled, you can cut into 3 or 4 even pieces (depending on the size you’d like), then shape into balls. 
  9. At this stage, if you are using it right away, let the dough rest on an oiled sheet pan a while longer. 
  10. If you are cold fermenting, place some semolina flour on a sheet pan, place the balls on top, then smooth some olive oil over the top so the crust doesn’t get hard. Cover the dough with cling wrap and you can place it in the fridge for 12 to 72 hours (the longer it ferments, the more flavour it will have). 
  11. Before you use the dough, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (for at least an hour). 
  12. You can shape your dough balls either with oil or semolina on the counter. Do NOT use a rolling pin! 
  13. Press your fingers into the dough to create the crust and work it from there. You can use your knuckles and slowly rotate the dough to stretch it out as well. 
  14. Place semolina on a pizza peel if using a pizza stone, then place the dough on top, followed by your chosen sauce and ingredients.
  15. Cook the pizza at the highest temperature your oven will reach for about 5 minutes (watching it the whole time). After the crust has started to rise, and with a few minutes left, turn on the broiler to brown the crust and get the cheese extra melty.
  16. Every oven is different, and the time of year and your location will make for differences in rise, so write down your progress and take notes—adjusting as you go—to find your best dough and crust.