Are you in town this weekend while all the good people of the US and A have jetted to some, any edge of the country? Do you not feel bad because it is so gorgeous out, you have to pinch yourself to believe it is so, and now that the city has emptied out you have it the playground all to yourself for once?
Fine, as usual I am talking about me, me me, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t hope you have it this good. Walking around the city on these three off-days of the year when all the sidewalk-cloggers had the good sense to scatter elsewhere is a dream. You can make pretend, once again, that the land is yours alone, and you’ll put your house right there and your boat tied to that pier and when you’re hungry for a snack, you’ll climb into the cave at Murray’s and whittle yourself a little something to schmear on a tear of a Balthazar baguette. You won’t have to share the swing set with any short people and when you go the Union Square Greenmarket, you won’t be knocked into even once. At 4 p.m., good tomatoes will remain.
All too fitting with this holiday weekend theme, the New York Times ran an article a few weeks ago about Mario Batali’s vacation home in northern Michigan replete with a pizza oven from Italy installed outside. They included what he said was his pizza dough recipe, but for the life of me, I cannot fathom why he’d be using 6 packets of dry yeast (1.5 ounces, he says) unless he meant cake yeast, and even then, 3 cups of flour makes for a seriously thick pizza dough that is nothing like his famed Otto pie…
Sigh, Otto. We went there in late June for a large group dinner with unlimited wine included in our party’s prix-fixe which led to… well, a staggering hangover but also the absolutely best pizza I have ever had. Ever. And although I have been pretty pleased with my pizza results in the past, this made it clear that there was significant room for improvement. I just couldn’t figure out where.
So, I lined Batali’s recipe up to my standby and adjusted things I just assumed were wrong (like the size of the dough and the crazy amount of yeast), and realized that the only differences between our two recipes are a tiny bit of honey and his replacement of some of the water with white wine. And so I did the same, topping it with a small of fresh tomato sauce from four roma-shaped heirloom tomatoes (shh, we are all allowed some spoiling sometimes) that was so good, I still can’t believe I made it, torn up buffalo mozzarella and some basil from the Greenmarket and oh my god.
I know it’s mainly the peak-season tomatoes that made the difference, but that difference will put all earlier sauces to shame. The hint of wine and sweetness in the dough doesn’t hurt, either. So I’m not saying that if you’ve been using my old recipe and non-heirloom tomato sauce, you need to ditch them immediately for the following recipe. I’m only saying that if you do, you will never go back.
Still Looking for Something to Bring to that Labor Day Barbecue?
- Coleslaw City: Blue Cheese Coleslaw, Napa Cabbage and Sesame Seed Slaw, Spicy Radicchio Slaw with Pecans, Pickled Coleslaw, Not Your Mama’s Coleslaw, Green Onion Slaw
- Potato Salads: Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad, Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad
- Other salads: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes, Israeli Salad, Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad, Zucchini Carpaccio Salad, Black Bean Confetti Salad, Salsa Fresca
- Barbecue Standards: Ina Garten’s Barbeque Sauce, Hot and Smoky Baked Beans, Corn Bread with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Green Onions
- Meats I Actually Like: Tequila Lime Chicken, Pork Riblets
- Some new stuff the grill: Smoke-Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed With Garden Vegetables, Grilled Spicy Citrus Ribs Recipe and Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Hot Dogs [at SimplyRecipes.com]
- And too many desserts to list.
A slightly gussied-up version of my standby.
Yield: One small, thin-crust pizza. Can serve two with a big salad.
6 tablespoons warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more water)
2 tablespoons white wine
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Flour for dusting counter
1/2 pound torn-up buffalo mozzarella
Few leaves of torn-up basil
Whisk wine, water and yeast in a medium bowl until yeast has dissolved. Add honey, salt and olive oil and stir. Add flour and no matter how dry it looks, work it with a spoon and your fingers until it comes together as a dough. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if you need, but in my experience, this is almost never necessary.
Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead the dough for a minute or two.
If you’re like me and always trying to reduce the number of dirty dishes left at the end of the night, wash the bowl you made the dough in, dry it and coat the inside with olive oil. Put the dough in, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for an hour or up to two, until it is doubled.
[Easiest way to tell if a dough has risen enough? Dip two fingers in flour, press them into the dough, and if the impression stays, it’s good to go. If it pops back, let it go until it doesn’t.]
Meanwhile, make some sauce
Preheat your oven to its highest temperature. If you have a pizza stone, sprinkle it with cornmeal and put it in the oven. Otherwise, sprinkle a baking pan with the same.
Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured counter and gently deflate the dough with the palm of your hands. Form it into a ball and let it rest on a floured spot with either plastic wrap over it (sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so it doesn’t stick) or an upended bowl. In 15 minutes, it is ready to roll out.
Do so on the floured counter until pretty darn thin, then lift it onto a cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet or pizza paddle. Add the sauce, torn-up mozzarella and slivers of fresh basil.
Slide the pizza from the paddle to your preheated pizza stone, or just put the baking sheet in the oven as is.
Bake for about 10 minutes, checking at 7. Slice and serve immediately.
Moderately Easy Tomato Sauce
A more involved, seasonal update of the Basic, Awesome stuff.
Makes enough for one small/medium pizza.
4 roma tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Splash of white wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Poach the tomatoes for one minute only, and then drain them. As soon as they are cooled off enough that you can touch them, peel them. The peels should come right off. If they don’t, make a slit in the skins. This always does the trick.
Drain and dry the pot. Put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and let it heat completely before adding the garlic and stirring it for a minute with a wooden spoon. Add the red pepper flakes and stir it for anther minute. You do not want the garlic to brown. Put the peeled tomatoes in the pot, along with the wine, sugar and salt. Break the tomatoes up with your spoon.
Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down. Carefully taste without burning your tongue and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
139 comments on pizza, updated
I’ve had your pizza recipe “clipped” forever – and I can’t wait to have the time to use it (with these revisions). Your description of New York this weekend is kind of like I felt every summer living in a college town – when the students were gone – heaven.
Happy Labor Day!
Mmmmm…. Otto. We haven’t been there in a while. Maybe we can squeeze that in on our next visit. Sounds like you’re enjoying the holiday weekend….
Ha, I looked at that recipe and did the exact same thing you did- checked it against my standard. I usually use a tbl of honey (the yeast needs something to feed on after all), so I just shrugged it off as being basically the same, except using a bit of white wine for the water. I didn’t even clip the recipe.
So, thank you for pointing out that this is worth a second look, and for figuring out that nonsense about the yeast (I didn’t even think about it when I read the recipe). I see my favorite eggplant pizza in the near future, made with this crust. It’s still perfect weather for those early evening dinners, a homemade pizza, a glass of wine, and the sun just setting in the distance.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never added honey to my pizza dough. But now I’ll try your recipe, because honestly, looking at those photos, it does look like the best pizza ever.
Your blog continues to be wonderful – I so enjoy reading it! I just have a question…I’m sort of an a 100 percent whole wheat flour and bread kick. How would I make your pizza crust with that change? Using whole wheat pastry flour? More water? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated :)
I definitely understand the part about the joys of having a normally hectic city emptied out. ItÃ‚Â´s almost like a free vacation, love it.
Now this is something IÃ‚Â´m willing to try, I had never in a million years considered using either honey or white wine in a pizza dough, very interesting indeed. Now that I think about it, IÃ‚Â´ve made beer bread, but never beer pizza dough, I need to work on that. Have you tried it?
Even though I usually like to wing it when it comes to pizza dough, itÃ‚Â´s good to follow recipes sometimes… i mean, there must be a reason why people take the trouble to try and record tons of recipes and do all the work for me.
Great looking pizza and terrific story about Otto’s. Love your writing, photos and your blog in general!
That photo is making me hungry!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I look forward to reading your blog almost daily, and it makes me sad that I’ve no time to cook. I’m eating vicariously through you, and you never let me down.
Strange coincidence – I was near Batali’s Michigan vacation home when on-line reading the article about it and it made me not feel so bad about moving away from New York and to this part of the world. I am so jealous of his pizza oven – I’m dreaming of building one of those myself one of these days. So wine and honey make a really big difference? I’m on that one, ’cause pizza is on the menu this week.
Wow. That looks fantastic. It’s 10:00 on a Sunday night and all I can think about is where can I get my hands on some fresh roma tomatoes at this time of night… I might have to make this for brunch tomorrow. Thank you for this yummy treat on a lazy holiday weekend.
Were we in the same city? I was jostled as usually at Union Square and had to fight throngs crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, not to mention the interminable waits when we crossed. I long for the city you mention but I didn’t see it yesterday!
That looks amazing… I am going to check and see if I have all the fixing’s in the (under renovation) kitchen and give it a go…Otherwise, it will be made once the reno’s complete!
Your photography is just wow wow gorgeous on this post. You definitely make pizza sexy. I have my own favorite pizza recipe, but I’m game to give yours a try. Never get stuck in a recipe rut!
So I just got home from having some incredible pizza at Pepe’s in New Haven, and I’m stuffed. I was just thinking a few minutes ago “man, that pizza was good, but I ate so much I won’t even be able to think about pizza again for some time.”
But now I’m sitting staring at your pictures and printing out your recipe. You’re that good at this!
Interesting! I saw Emeril put honey in his dough also and I thought that was odd. I guess that is the secret ingredient though!
For the first time in eons we actually went away for Labor Day. It was amazing to come home from a weekend in the country to the hubub of the city, and I know it was a quiet day, too. I kind of miss that weird slowness that NYC gets on a holiday weekend, but I’d trade it for a porch, a bottle of wine and a sunset just about any day. Your pizza however, I’d do just about anything to try. Maybe I’ll have to bring you some homemade mozza and then you’ll make it for me??
Can you freeze this dough? It would be great since 2 hours too long to wait for dinner :o)
and oh my god.
Yeah, that came to mind as I looked at the shockingly delicious-lookin’ photos. Gotta say, that’s one of the loveliest pies I’ve ever seen, and I need to get on making this recipe post-haste!
I will try your Basic, Awesome tomato sauce but I have to say that speaking of Batali, I never got the results I wanted from fresh-Roma tomato sauce until I did his Basic Tomato Sauce. The grated carrots gave the right kind of rich sweetness to take the acidity down. Something about our black sandy northern Indiana soil makes for tart Romas here…
MMMmmmmmm. Pizza. Did you know that Alexis & Molly are on my roof right now smoking the second rack of ribs and making salads? I am so lucky. I feel like Bill Paxton from Big Love…maybe those Mormons are onto something. It would be great to have multiple wives!
If you and your husband decide one day to have kids, may I suggest you adopt a 30-something mother of three? I’m available…and hungry.
Made the pizza and sauce last night. Wonderful! I doubled the recipe, threw everything in the mixer and let it go. It DID look dry (just like you said), but I left it alone and it came out perfect. I used Early Girls from my garden for the sauce. Unbelievably good. Super easy. Loved it!
We had this pizza for dinner last night. I used my homemade tomato sauce and topped it with thinly sliced eggplant (roasted in the oven during its preheating), fresh basil and some leftover cooked bacon.
Shayna – to answer your question: I made the dough on Sunday, let it rise and then froze it in a ziploc bag. On Friday morning before I left for work, I threw the bag on the counter and let the dough thaw all day. Worked great.
One modification I have made to all my pizza-making: I roll my dough out on a square of parchment paper. Then I just trim off any extra paper from around the edges and slide the pizza onto my peel and into the oven. It’s not authentic and I feel like I’m cheating a little but the pizza never sticks to the peel.
Just made this today in preparation for some US Open watching. I doubled the crust and sauce recipes and made one margherita and one with chopped kalamata olives. . I think I didn’t roll the dough thin enough for the first pizza. It was still delicious, but a little doughier than I prefer. Second one was thin and crisp and nicely toasted on the edges. Everyone raved about the sauce (I used heirloom tomatoes from the Prospect Park farmer’s market–not sure what they were called, but the long, thin red ones that look almost like peppers). My only complaint is that it was so good there are no leftovers to take to work tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe!
perhaps he meant 1.5 packets of yeast? I am a newcomer to your blog and enjoying it.
I just made the pizza sauce: it’s so amazing I can’t stop eating it. Right out of the pan. The white wine I used was a pretty good quality (I use whatever I’m drinking at the moment in recipes), and that really made a difference. The sauce practically sparkles! Thanks so much!
Deb, I have had ZERO luck with most pizza dough recipes and have been a regular comsumer of the Trader Joe’s pizza dough. But, I ran out and gave this recipe a shot. I was sure the recipe was perfect, but expected the worst from myself. But I did it, and holy, Deb, this stuff is outstanding. We made it Friday night and it is truly one of the best pizza doughs I’ve ever had, much less made.
This was my first time making tomato sauce, and it turned out superb! It had way more “true” flavor than any store-bought brand I’ve tasted (and my mom’s homemade stuff too–just hope she never reads that!) and was a cinch to put together.
I used red wine as that’s all I had on hand. I also accidentally threw too much red pepper flakes in, so in a panic, I threw in a half-can of diced tomatoes with garlic to balance it out again. Turned out fabulous! I went pretty easy with it on my pizza, and totally regretted it in the end. Good thing I have some left over to load on next time.
thanks forthe post!
WOW! This was so great! The sauce was phenomenal. I just added some dried basil to it since I didn’t have fresh stuff. I topped with preshredded mozzarella in a sack and it was still great. I like really thin, crisp pizzas, so I rolled mine out to ALMOST fill a cookie baking sheet. Each batch as described in this recipe seems to serve 2 very hungry people. I’ll have pictures and all on my blog soon, but until then THANK YOU!
Interesting idea. I like the idea of sweetening things that aren’t normally sweet and saltifying things that aren’t normally salty. This sounds worthy of further experimentation! Thanks.
– The Peanut Butter Boy
On a recent trip to NYC, I waited in line for the one restroom at the back of Grimwaldi’s pizzeria for 15 minutes. Crazy, eh? Yes, but it afforded me an undistracted opportunity to spend 15 minutes watching their crew put together pizza after pizza….probably about 20. After seeing this I had to try it myself, and was thrilled to find that your recipe followed their routine to the letter. Unbelievable…..and the final product was very close to the original. Thanks a heap.
i just spent all night making this and going to the store for fresh mozzerella, and then just now that it’s popped out of the oven i realize i can’t eat it or i might ingest toxins!
a few months ago i read in a julia child cookbook to get unfinished ceramic tile to cook french bread on in the oven. lowe’s and home depot didn’t have any, so i bought porcelain tiles that looked similar. i’m such a dummi, i realized they have a slight glaze on them! heating them up past 500 degrees and then eating the food on it just sounds like an awful idea. so it’s going to waste but it sure looks great. i like the way you transcribe your recipes.
just made this for the second time with fresh mozz, fresh basil, and pizza sauce and grilled chicken italian sausage from trader joe’s. this is hands down my favorite pizza dough recipe – a perfect blend of crispness with soft tender bread-i-ness.
I made this over the weekend with 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. white flour. It was amazing! The honey made the whole wheat dough so tasty with a touch of sweetness. This will definitely be my go-to whole wheat pizza dough recipe.
I had some leftovers screaming pizza and you convinced me to try this crust. WOW. How could such little changes make such big moves. Totally Fab. I topped it with pesto, leftover grilled chicken (shredded off the bone) with a nice smoked paprika rub, some grilled onion, peppers and zuchinni thin a smidge of fresh amish jack cheese. And it beat the Heck out of delivery options here in central Indiana!
I tried this for dinner and it was so, so good! I was hoping to use a Mario Batali pizza recipe, but it called for fresh yeast (which I don’t happen to have lying around). This pizza was so delicious and so simple! Thank you!
Thank you for this recipe and the pictures. This was the first time I made pizza and it turned out great, some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. Warning for other unexperienced bakers, if you use parchment paper, trim the excess around the pizza. I didn’t. Due to the high heat of the oven, the paper not under the pizza turned black and started smoking after 7 minutes. I should have known better. Luckily, the pizza survived. Yum, yum.
Wow- I’ve made this twice in two weeks, and for my money it is the best ever! I have made many different pizza doughs before, but I hated that they were always a little gooey on top under the sauce. Not so this, rolled very thin and baked on parchment on a stone. Mine barely took 7 minutes. The dough has so much flavor, and the sauce, too. Fed it to friends who also loved it, including a 10-year-old boy with a notoriously selective palate!
I’ve tried pizza recipes from the site twice now – the first one was the super simple, and the dough did not rise! barely at all! I kneaded it up again and rolled it out, and it was still pretty tasty, but was difficult to roll out.
The second time, last night, I made one dough all white flour with the wine/honey, and one 2 parts white flour to 1 part wheat flour, and the white flour one rose pretty well, and was much more elastic, but the wheat one didn’t rise at all and would not roll out very much. Maybe my climate requires more water? I’m not sure. How ‘smooth’ and soft should the dough ball be when it’s ready? My wheat one was almost completely dry, and the white was more moist, but still not very.
Kimberly, the same thing is happening to me. Maybe I’m a little early to be panicking, but it’s been almost an hour and my dough hasn’t moved a centimeter. Maybe I killed the yeast? I can’t imagine how. I didn’t use overly hot water. My dough is also really dry, even after adding 3T water. I don’t attribute my problems to the recipe at all. I have this weird problem where yeast commits seppuku upon seeing me, it’s really a bread curse. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this pizza dough tonight. I’m hungry!
Although I used a store-bought dough last night (I was in a rush) I did make the sauce. I cooked the sauce for about 1 hour as the tomatoes were not at their peak. I was very suspicious as to how the sauce would turn out because I’ve never been successful with italian recipes, especially sauces. Result? Superb!! My husband and I were both stunned at the depth to the sauce. I’m going to make it again tonight and can’t wait! Tomorrow (Saturday) I will make the dough and am very excited about it!
I used this dough recipe for family lunch today and cooked our pizzas on the grass grill. Best dough recipe I’ve used yet. Thanks!
Okay, this recipe is amazing. I’ve probably made homemade pizza recipes before but this is my new favorite dough. I don’t know whether it was the wine or the honey — neither of which I’ve used before in pizza — but it was amazing. Perfect chewy texture without being too bready or too crispy, with a nice snap to the crust and beautiful color. I doubled the recipe and added about a 1/2 tsp. of dried oregano to the dough too, because I normally do. After I mixed and kneaded the dough, I let it rest/rise in the fridge for about 2 hours. I topped it with my usual tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes and mushrooms sauteed in roasted garlic and olive oil — I topped it with whole basil leaves from my garden when I took it out of the oven. After I rolled the dough out on my pizza pan, I brushed it with olive oil and baked it at 500 degrees for about 3 minutes — I don’t like my crust to be soggy at all and this is my failproof way of preventing it. Then I added my toppings and cheese and baked it for another 5-8 minutes. It was one of the best pizzas i have ever made. Thank you!!!
Also, my dough didn’t rise a huge amount (it didn’t double in size, more like 50%) either, but I rolled it pretty thin and it rose a lot in the oven during my pre-bake, and the final product wasn’t dense at all.
This pizza is amazing. I’ve made it twice now. I doubled it both times.
My question for all of you is this, could the sauce tripled, quadrupled or more, using fresh tomatoes and then frozen. It also seems it would be a great sauce for pasta.
Thank you so much for the recipe!!!!
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Everyone says the sauce is amazing but mine looks nothing like the picture. More like tomato soup. It’s very, very runny. Should I be de-seeding the tomatoes before they go in the pot?
If your tomatoes are particularly juicy, they might need to be cooked longer before they’ll thicken up. Make sure you’ve broken up the tomatoes — a lot. If it’s getting annoying to do it with a spoon, try an immersion blender. Hope that helps.
So I just tried this, again, after several tries at the dough. The dough came out awesome by now using bread dough instead of all-purpose, but on a brand new pizza stone, everything stuck. I used corn starch, but to no avail. Should the pizza stone be at cooking temp b/f placing the completed, ready-to-cook dough on it? Overall tasted great, but would like to eat it without having to scrape it off the stone. Any input would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
Cornmeal, not cornstarch, should keep it from sticking. Pizza stones definitely work even better when they’re already hot, but it is not a requirement to use them.
I did use cornmeal…mis-spoke. I’ll give it another go with a little more cornmeal on a preheated stone and hopefully that’ll do the trick! Thanks!
Deb.. I tried to made pizza dough from another recipe a while ago.. It came out pretty awesome considering it was my first time. but the recipe was for 3 pizzas and i ended up making a 13×9 pan pizza… way too much dough.. I want to try your recipe but it doesn’t say at what temp the oven should be.. Thank you so much for all your wonderful post..
I myself am an avid cookie baker!.. i make tons and tons of cookies for all occasions.. I love your cookie recipes.. some take me back to reminisce and others make you indulge!.. you’re the best!
Sarah — You are to bake it at your oven’s top temperature, however hot it goes. (6th graph) Professional pizza ovens run ridiculously hot, 900 and more degrees. Our best chance of recreating that at home is to let our ovens fully preheat as hot as possible.
I just made the sauce tonight to be used for the pizza tomorrow. I tasted it and it just seems really salty to me. Did anyone else think so? I have checked some other recipes just for comparison sake and most of the other recipes use less salt to a greater proportion of tomatoes. Perhaps once it is baked on the pizza it won’t taste so salty? Is it just me? Can I mix a can of plain tomatoes with it to tone down the salt?
An update from my previous post above: I did add one can of plain petite diced tomatoes to the sauce (drained, I had doubled the recipe)…and then made two pizzas, one “turkey” pepperoni and one onion and bell pepper…and they were wonderful! My husband gushed over it…so when the husband likes it, it’s a keeper! And I think next time I will not add the canned tomatoes, but just cut back a tad on the salt, maybe to 1/2tsp, but over all we thoroughly enjoyed the end product! I have been trying to master the pizza sauce to make it taste “authentic” like what the pizzerias produce…and this is it! Very very good, very easy…we won’t be buying pizza out nearly as much!
THANK YOU! I made this for dinner (topped with roasted zucchini, garlic and mushrooms) and it was exactly what I have been searching for. :)
I know it’s been a long time since you posted this recipe, and the comment thread is long since dead, but that won’t stop me. I just wanted to let you know that I make this recipe every single week because i love it so much! I always double it and make two pizzas – one of which my husband takes for lunch the next day. Seriously – best pizza ever.
Not dead! Glad you’re enjoying it. It’s still one of the two doughs we use again and again.
Hi Deb! Love the site from all the way here in Tennessee. I made your yellow cake yesterday and it was wonderful.
Do you think this pizza crust can be made in the bread machine?
i’m sure smitten by your kitchen:) this is the fab pizza base. i don’t drink alcohol so obviously don’t have it at home either. substituted the wine with sparkling water. the dough was rather sticky but with a good knead came around well. but tell us how you could roll a ’round’? the dough was silken and all that but would never oblige to stay in a circle. we had an amoeba shaped pizza, tasty so it didn’t matter.
and the sauce… oh so lovely! i didn’t use heirloom but it’s a good german ‘eier tomaten’.. the shape is very much like Roma so may be they are. there’s something about the way you write or give your recipes. i have made the sauce the same way but it never turned out this good. must be the chili flakes or the blanching tomatoes in water for only one minute…
please if you can only guide me to make a round pizza i’d love to try it again soon…
This was my first time making my own crust and sauce, and it was a success! I was a little worried, because it didn’t seem like my dough doubled in size, and my sauce seemed a little runny. It turned out great, though. The sauce, especially, was delicious. Amazing paired with a nice Chianti. As recommended, I just topped it the pizza with the sauce, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. So simple, yet so delish.
Seems like this post may still be alive…I usually use this recipe for pizza dough and it’s great!, but this time I decided to try something different and used the recipe for Neopolitan style pizza in the most recent issue of Cooking Light. Anyways, I found their measurements to be off (or maybe because I didn’t weigh the flour) and ended up having to add more than 1 cup extra flour to get it the right consistency and now I have waaaay too much dough (I also had already doubled it)! Can the extra be frozen for later use and what would I have to do to use it from the freezer?
Hey Deb…I’ve been making every pizza dough recipe I could find trying to find that “perfect” one – no-knead, 24-48hr fermentation, 30+ minutes of kneading, etc etc….and I have to say, for how easy this one is, it’s my favorite so far. No mixer, barely any kneading, and it rose beautifully and was easy to work with. It doesn’t have the chew that you get from the longer fermentation doughs, but next time I’m going to try it with an Italian type 00 pizza flour to see if that makes a difference. I also might add a hair more salt (and yeast) since that’s my personal preference. And this time, I used instant yeast, because that’s what I had, using the conversion table to come up with .6 tsp. I did a heaped half tsp and it turned out great.
It’s always good to report back that a certain food/approach falls into the “changed my life” category and this one does!
I worked at a pizza parlor all through college and while I didn’t think what we did there was all that complicated, it did require fairly specific equipment. Seeing this, I was ready to give pizza at home a try. (No one delivers to our neighborhood!)
My first effort was a disaster. I tried to broil it but first I couldn’t get the dough transferred onto the stone; my peel handle melted (with a potholder stuck to it); and somehow the stone broke. Despite this and a fairly soggy interior, the salvagable parts tasted pretty good. I reconsidered my professional pizza roots and the equipment we used then and decided a $5 pizza screen transferred to the stone was the way to go. New peel, new stone, and screen in hand, I hit one out of the ballpark last night with the oven set to 500 degrees.
I have ordered some 00 flour and some dough relaxer because it was still a bit hard to get the dough rolled out perfectly (and sometimes I like it thick; I think a dough relaxer helps with that). I expect to be known for the best pizza in “generic Orange County surburban city” quite soon. :)
Thanks for the recipe!
We use a pizza stone, reserved just for this purpose as it’s a pretty thick one, on the grill. We put the crust on for just a minute or two, flip it…put on the toppings, close the lid and let it back/melt the cheese for 7 or 8 minutes. The key is to have plenty of cornmeal (or semolina flour works well) on the underside of the dough so it slides onto the hot stone…then as it quickly cooks a little crust…We have done this many tijmes and love it. Honestly, I’ve never actually cooked one in my oven, but I’m sure I need to try. One key is, if you use any toppings other than veggies, or want certain veggies more cooked, it’s best to precook and just have everything ready to go. ;) I will definitely be trying this crust variation with the white wine addition! other than that it is very similar to my current recipe(which I took from Tyler Florence). Yum!!!
I tried your moderately easy pizza sauce and it tastes unbelievable! Slight moderation: mixed roma and vine tomatos and added a bit more than a pinch of crushed red pepper. I made it in the morning so all of the flavors could settle and blend nicely together. I had a craving for black beans, so added that along with yellow peppers, carmelized onions, and sour cream sauce on the side for dipping— was to die for! Thanks for your wonderful recipe!
I actually quadrupled this recipe after trying another pizza recipe listed on this site. Unfortunately, the dough maintained being far too dry and so I added extra teaspoons of water (about 10) until the dough came together with a little more elbow grease. The texture of the dough seemed to be right and it is on the counter as we speak.
Keep updating us with more pizza related recipes! <3
SO good!! I just made this for dinner tonight – the dough is just so tasty. From the bottom of my stomach, thankyou.
I made this last night and everyone loved it, especially the sauce! Does anyone out there know how I could go about canning it?
I have to tell you how much I love this recipe. I’ve seen so many recipes for homemade pizza dough, but they make so much dough and I just cook for me. I knew I had to try this one when I saw it was made for one or two. Not only is it the perfect amount, it works well on the grill or in the oven.
Holy moly, we just made this. Sooo good!
I decided to whip up this pizza dough recipe while waiting for your “best blueberry muffins” to bake. I was intrigued by the addition of wine given that I am one of those people who loves to cook with wine, but no matter how hard I try liking it as a beverage, I just can’t seem to acquire a palate for it. As such, I have bottles and bottles of wine waiting to be used up given to me as housewarming gifts. In any event, given the small amount of yeast, the pizza dough took over two hours to rise: but the wait was more than worth it. Other pizza dough recipes simply taste yeasty, but this one tested like it’s suppose to: like wheat… with slight fruity undertones of the wine. It was beautifully easy to work with, it stretched out wonderfully and all it needed was some lovely tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil to make it perfect. My husband (well, husband to be in exactly 24 days) and I are eating the pizza right now and feel like we are back home in Croatia (we are from the Mediterranean cost), sitting in a little cafe and enjoying a romantic dinner. Thank you!
I’ve made pizzas before but my doughs always lacked something. Apparently that something is bunratty mead’s honey wine and a good dose of honey. Doubled, this recipe made two thick fluffy pizzas for my boyfriend and I. Divine. Our pizza had sauce from a jar (don’t judge) and tomatoes, chicken, and spinach over an Italian cheese blend. Every recipe on here that I try turns out to be delightful and rewarding. I was a convert before, but now I’m a smitten kitchen zealot. Is there nothing baked that doesn’t turn out sublime by following your instructions?
help! I just made this dough and it won’t rise!
I proofed my yeast and it was fine. My wine was a little cold…I’m wondering if that could have been the issue? I also used half wheat/half regular flour (per your simpler recipe), so I don’t know if THAT could have been it. I’ve never had trouble with bread rising (I live in south Louisiana and my kitchen is always super warm.) Maybe I overkneaded? I’m trying to 150 degree oven trick right now to see if that helps. Any ideas of what could have gone wrong?
Do you think chicken broth would work ok instead of wine?
I would use additional water instead. Or use this wine-free recipe.
I just made this recipe again and didn’t have any white wine, so I used a pale ale. It was just as delicious!
made this last night, topped with a quick roasted garlic tomato sauce, mushrooms and mozzerella. AMAZING. dough came together perfectly and it actually cooked all the way through (i’ve always had trouble with store bought dough, even when letting it come to room temp). anyway, this is going in the regular rotation. any advice on making a few batches of dough at once and then freezing? sadly, not all weeks at work are as slow going as this one. (i looked through the comments and didn’t see any tips on this, sorry if i missed it!)
Btw, parchment paper is flammable at 550 degrees.
Deb, you have NO idea how many crust recipes I’ve tried over the years. After the birth of my last child, I seemed to lose my pizza-making mojo even with the subpar crust recipe I’d settled on. And then I tried this one. It’s my holy grail! The texture is perfect! There is flavor! Swoonworthy. Thank you so much for sharing.
Now you have me thinking, maybe a Hawaiian pizza, making the dough with honey and replacing the wine with pineapple juice, plus a little fresh grated ginger. mmmm
Thanks for the ideas
I’m pretty sure (OK, positive) I will never buy jarred sauce again. Thanks for the recipe. I threw in some fresh basil- so good! I wrote about grilled pizza on my site, and gave you a shout out-of course!
Deb, can you please tell me about cooking with alcohol… Does it all cook out?
I think food scientists would tell you that it doesn’t. But it’s never noticeable in the end.
I used this recipe to make pizzas for my son’s birthday party (after a test run the week before — my first time ever making pizza dough from scratch). I LOVE this recipe (fyi, I did substitute water for the wine). Very tasty and surprisingly easy. And to make the evening of the party more sane (as much as you can when having 8 7-year-old boys over to your house), I prepped as much as I could earlier in the day — making the dough, rolling it out, and topping the pizzas — then covering them with plastic wrap and placing in the fridge until I was nearly ready to bake them (for half of the pizzas I thought I’d need — the other half I made up “fresh”). Worked beautifully!
I’ve been making this every week for about a year. I started with half whole wheat, and worked up to 100% whole wheat. You don’t need to make any special changes (more water or something). I’ve started making it with 100% whole spelt and like that even more! You might have to add a tiny bit of flour until it’s not sticky. It’s the best pizza ever. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like whole grain things. Definitely put it on a stone! It makes a HUGE difference. And don’t put it on the stone, create your pizza, and then put it in the oven like I used to. Do it properly and you’ll have the best pizza ever. I also sometimes use only water and no wine and sometimes no honey. It’s all good! And I add some Italian seasoning to the liquid mixture before adding the flour. We look forward to this pizza every week and haven’t gotten tired of it yet!
I need lots of do ahead recipes for visiting grand kids any thoughts?????
Thanks for the great recipe! I let it rise in the fridge for 3 hours then out at room temperature for 2 hours. The flavor was great. Used your tomato sauce with onion and butter recipe for the sauce (+ 2 basil leaves and 2 garlic cloves). It really complimented the sweetness in the crust.
can i make the dough without the white wine?
Leora — I have a recipe without white wine. Or you can replace the wine with water.
hey guys, what do you think would happen if i left the dough out for the first rise for about 4 hrs instead or 2?
wanted to make this for dinner tomorrow night (friends coming over), but we were planning to go out for a few hours just before.
i live in amsterdam, where’s it cold and rainy (vs. a hot nyc kitchen)–thinking since the temp is lower here, we’ll be ok…anyone have experience w. this?
Amy — The risk in leaving it out too long is that the dough will overly expand and the yeast will, well, die. You might try dialing the yeast back a bit so that it needs longer to rise instead.
This Pizza is so good, that I have to bake it once a week! Wish I could spinn the dough around like a proper Pizzaiolo. Thank you very much for this recipe!
i just made this for the first time tonight…and i am hooked. it was so good, and so easy! thank you so much for the wonderfully written recipe. earlier this week i tried to make homemade pizza for the first time with a different recipe and was so disappointed. crust turned out way too dense, heavy and soggy – blagh. i was determined to figure out this pizza crust thing and so spent much of last night online, researching and stumbled across this recipe. so thankful i did! was nervous trying it out today, thought i might ruin it, but it was so beautifully easy and tasted just perfect. crispy/chewy texture, wonderful complex taste. it’s definitely a keeper. will use this again and again! doubled it, and husband and i topped ours with homemade sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni for him, and half mozzarella/basil/tomato and half kalamata/carmelized onion/feta for me. smitten!
We quadrupled this recipe for a party the other week. We only ended up making three pizzas, and I froze a single batch of prepared dough (formed into a ball and wrapped in plastic wrap.) I defrosted it and used it last night, and while it was a little less stretchy, it was still excellent.
Make sure to bring the white wine to room temperature otherwise Yeast will deactivate! otherwise, amazing
I don’t think that is true. Yeast is not deactivated by cold, just slowed down and there’s not enough wine here to significantly alter the speed of the dough’s progress.
Deb, can you make this without wine? Thanks!
Hi Kelly — There are two other pizza dough recipes on the site without wine, a very basic one and an overnight version.
I just made this dough, and it’s fantastic. So easy to make and delicious. I used 100% whole wheat flour, and the only change I made was adding about two more tablespoons of water when the dough didn’t form initially. 7 minutes was perfect. Thanks! I love your blog.
Hi, I’ve never made any pizza from scratch, but everyone makes it sound easy enough.
I just had some questions before diving in.
What does it mean to deflate the dough?
How much cornmeal should I sprinkle on my pan to make sure my pizza doesnt stick?
And does adding meat or veggies alter the cooking time?
Hi Dominique — To deflate the dough, you turn it out onto a floured counter and gently depress the dough with the palms of your hands. It’s like a sponge, filled with air, and will flatten after that. I find it helps to sprinkle a good coating of cornmeal, but my pans are old and very prone to sticking. If you’re using a more finished surface it may not be a problem. Adding meat/veggies doesn’t usually increase cooking time, if you only use a scant amount (I often just use 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped vegetables, often pre-sauteed, on a 12-inch pizza). If you add a lot, it can. However, you really don’t want to follow baking times alone for something like pizza. Oven temperatures can vary, ovens heat differently and the thickness of your pizza may be different from another persons, leading to needing more cooking time anyhow. You’ll want to eyeball it, looking for a blistered top and toasted crust.
I’ve tried many dough and sauce recipes, and this is the BEST I’ve found. I also grill the pizzas because standard ovens just don’t get hot enough from my experience.
i’ve been a long time fan but i just had to post about this one. i have made it 3 times in the past 3 weeks. SO good. i LOVE the sauce especially. next time i’ll try with some whole wheat flour. thanks!
Deb! Help! I want to make some pizza dough for tomorrow but I know we’re going out to dinner tonight… If I make the dough this afternoon, can I throw it in the fridge and then just bring it to room temperature before I roll it out? If so, am I right that I would let it rise fully on the counter, punch it down, roll it into its little ball and then toss it in the fridge? Or should I just let it rise in the fridge right from the get go? So. Many. Doubts.
Laura — Usually you can refrigerate the dough at any point in the process. If it’s fully proofed (though better to put it in the fridge when it’s just shy of fully since it will still proof in the fridge, just very, very slowly), you can roll it out as soon as you get it out. If it’s not proofed, you’ll probably need to get the chill off of it before it starts rising again.
Laura – with Deb’s guidance, I also found out that you can make ahead and freeze! (Per Deb’s suggestion, I make the dough (on the weekend) to the point of letting it double via the first rise, pressing it down, and then sticking in the freezer. Then, on the morning I want to use it, I just transfer from freezer to fridge, and when I get home from work I pull it from fridge and let it rest on the counter for 20 or 30 min, and its ready to go! Genius!).
I tried the pizza, and guess what I used a stove! It was such a fabulous experience and it tasted so good. I added onions to the tomato paste though and I used chicken. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes. I’m a huge fan.
P.S.: I’m looking to make steamed chicken momos. Would you know any good recipes? I couldn’t find anything on the site :/
Thanks again :)
It took me 3 tries to get this right, but boy did it turn out like something from a restaurant! This dough recipe is fantastic! I used 1/2 cup wheat flour, which I prefer to solely white. Also, I had to get a thermometer to make sure the water temperature was right for the yeast. Thanks for a fabulous recipe!
My sistes just went to your book signing in Chicago and you signed my book! I follow your recepies every day! I know you prob. Won’t write back but I’m Swedish, love your cooking and was wondering if you could but Celsius instead of or next to Fahrenheit :) love every meal you do, could be even mooore happy with more meat recepies :) big Swedish hugs from Jenni
What is the weight equivalent of the 1 1/2 cups of flour you use here? Like you said in your cookbook, weights are always accurate.
1 1/2 cups is 190 grams.
I am so excited to try this! I have a decent pizza dough stand-by, but it’s not mind-blowing. I’m very, very curious about the wine addition. Yeasts produce alcohol as a waste product after the consumption of sugars, and continue to do so until their environment becomes too toxic (which is why wine seldom gets past 15% alcohol before the yeast die). By adding wine during the rise, you’re not only adding flavor, but providing an already toxic environment: possibly why the dough doesn’t rise as much as many expected. I’m going to try two batches: one with the wine added with the honey, and one with the wine added after fermentation…I’ll report back as to whether the (theoretically fluffier) 2nd dough is better, worse, or just different.
I tried the recipe from your book for the pizza. The dough came out really dry. I let it alone to see if it will rise but it did not look good when I made it. I also made the pizza sauce from the recipe above. It did not come out uniform. There was some liquid that did not thicken and then the cooked tomatoes. I tried to use hand blender to even out the consistency and the color kind of changed from red to orange. The whole thing kind of looked like tomato soup so I went ahead and ate it. It tasted good. Anyway I would like to try this again. The book had 1 1/2 cups flower and 1/2 cup water. Should I increase the water amount? In terms of the sauce, is it supposed to come out uneven. If it does, won’t it make the pizza dough soggy?
Hi Anna — Sorry that you had trouble. This is a different pizza recipe. I’m not which one you used in the book, there are two, a quick one and an overnight one. I still use both almost once a week (literally made the quick one last night), and haven’t had trouble with dryness. For your flour, you might need an extra splash of water. As for the sauce, if your tomatoes are very watery (cans really do vary by brand), you can always drain off a little of it before using the puree on your pizza. You used 1/3-cup for a 12-inch or 9×13 pizza, right? I’m surprised it tasted soggy, since it’s used so thinly.
Thanks for the tomato sauce recipe! I love the hint of wine and sweetness, even though I’ve been making it with canned tomatoes since it’s not tomato season. My preferred pizza: whole wheat pizza dough, your sauce, mozzarella, and arugula with lemon-parmesan as a topping.
Deb – I absolutely love your website – yours is the go to site when I am in search for a recipe to try because 99% of the time, your recipes delivers exactly what I expect after reading a post from you :) I came upon this pizza recipe two nights ago and decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, my first go around with this recipe didn’t quite turn out… I don’t know what happened… it was really dry, didn’t quite double in size and didn’t taste right after being baked. So, not wanting to feel like this recipe wasn’t a success, I tried it again tonight with a few modifications and it turned out wonderfully! I added 3 tbsp more water, 1/4 tsp more of yeast, and replaced all-purpose flour with bread flour. WOW… yummy! The tomato sauce was also very tasty and pleasantly easy to whip together. This is my new pizza crust recipe! Love it – thanks for sharing!
I have yet to make a pizza crust that isn’t tough and flat. It never really rises and looks sad even when unbaked. Not sure what I am doing wrong… I’m guessing it is with the first step with the yeast. I always use brand new active yeast and let it sit in the lukewarm water a few minutes. Any suggestions?
Hi Julie — Are you at a higher elevation? Is your kitchen on the cool side? Your water on the hard side? It’s hard to say exactly which thing causes it, but it sounds like you just need more rising time than the recipes are estimating.
Thanks Deb… I live in Virginia, my water isn’t hard that I know of. My second thought is that I’m not letting it get to room temperature after I take it out of the fridge, I always let it rise a day or two in the fridge. The oven in my rental townhouse is from the year approx. 1783, so that could be it. Thanks!
Made this tonight and, OMG, the sauce. That was the best sauce of my life. I made it with fresh from the garden Roma tomatoes. I ran to the store for basil, and when I came home, hubby was eating the sauce with a spoon. It was all we could do to save enough for the pizza.
Deb, I have made at least dozens of recipes from this blog over the years, and they have all been amazing. I swear I make your herbed summer squash and potato torte at least twice a month all summer. And the scalloped tomatoes with croutons… I mean seriously, that could be my deathbed dish. Thanks for being so awesome!
So I love this recipe. It’s the go to quick. (Go to slow is the CI 2 day version – so much flavor.) Tonight I was thinking of making a 24 hour for tomorrow and got out your book. Quick question – why don’t either recipe in the book contain sugar? I thought the yeast needs sugar? Is there more yeasty flavor without? Thanks!!
Laura — Yeast does not need sugar to grow; it can just speed it up. I prefer pizza doughs without sugar in them.
Deb, you say to knead the dough for only a minute or two (after mixing everything together) What should the texture of the dough be at this point? I did about 2-3 minutes of kneading, and the flour was all nicely incorporated, but the dough itself what very heavy and not at all elastic. My instinct was to keep kneading to get it softer and more elastic like, but because you said only 2 – 3, I didn’t. With that said, my dough didn’t rise very well and took way too much time. Is there a possibility my flour and water type may have required more kneading? From other recipes in the past that I have made from other sources, there always seemed to be a lengthy kneading process prior to rising it. But I am not sure. Also, was doing this with my 2.5 year old boy, and that may be the reason in itself. Haha! (PS…the flavor of the dough was great!) :)
Julie — You can definitely knead it longer if you have more time. It doesn’t harm the dough and will improve the pizza’s texture. I wanted to give people an idea of the minimum that was needed (it was really hard to resist a pun here, but I persevered!) as my pizza doughs on this site are really geared towards speed.
Thanks Deb! I will give it another try during nap time! ;) Love your site and your recipes! I was in a rut for awhile heating up frozen organic processed food for my little ones for dinner way too much and you def turned me back to cooking again. Keep up the awesome work!
In Hungary we much more prefer our “wet” yeast included germs alive. As I heard the original pizza is made of this if it is available you should try it. You will get a looser dough.
I, too, have been so scared of working with yeast, but this recipe was so easy and tasted great! I made this dough and for the toppings used fresh porcini mushroomss that I scored at closing time at the farmers’ market, and caramelized onions (recipe here: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/bestof/toprecipes/bestpizzarecipes/recipes/food/views/Wild-Mushroom-Pizza-with-Caramelized-Onions-Fontina-and-Rosemary-230633 )
So delicious! My one-year-old even gobbled it down too. I will no longer be afraid of yeast, or of making my own yummy pizza!
Sidenote- the smitten kitchen cookbook may be my favorite book of the year. All the recipes I’ve tried so far have turned out wonderful. I’ve gotten brash and have even cooked a few for the first time to serve to company, something my mother trained me never to do. But with these recipes I have no fear. Thanks!!
I make this pizza dough all the time. It’s my go to.
I’m thinking to switch it up and wonder if you think the recipe would work as a calzone? Would you recommend baking the same amount of time? Thanks!!!
Ohh lovely.. U can also try college Grill , Stoke On Trent.. I think they offer the best takeaway food in Stoke. The most important part is u can order online also.
The recipe appears to be missing the flour….
It’s the last ingredient under Dough.
Can a non alcohol option be substituted for the white wine?
Yes, just use extra water.
Hi Deb- we LOVE this recipe but are wondering how long the dough will keep in the fridge? Erin
If you put it in before the first rise, probably a full day if not two. Once it has doubled, I’d limit it to a few hours in the fridge.
I made this pizza today. It is so delicious and easy! Thank you so much for your website and your recipes. I felt as though I was back in San Sebastian having tapas and pxintos (sp?)
I also made your Flag Cake for the Fourth. It is marvelous! It was so beautiful, I even posted it on Facebook.
Thank you for sharing your creativity and nutritious foodstuffs!
Can you substitute instant yeast for the active yeast? I made this recipe today and it was delicious! However, my crust did not rise like yours on your website, but the flavor was amazing. We are from St. Louis and we love our thin crust pizza so this fit the bill perfectly. If I want to freeze dough for later, do I mix it, let it rise for 1 -2 hours and then wrap in plastic and freeze? Or do you even need to let it rise before freezing? Also, how long can you freeze it? Thank You.
Yes, but I find it takes longer to wake up. I do a 1:1 swap, just know that the rising time will be different. You can freeze dough for as long as your freezer can keep it fresh.
For anyone still looking 15 years and several pizza dough recipes later (!!-Deb, you workhorse, you): I doubled this tonight, using Great Lakes Oktoberfest beer instead of wine and not increasing the yeast, and made a fairly deep-dish pie of it in a very oiled enameled 12”-ish cast iron skillet. Jazzed up a tiny can of tomato sauce with a few things, shredded an eight-ounce chonk of mozzarella, sauteed a bunch of veggies with smoked paprika, and piled it all in. Gosh, it was delicious.