Make it from Scratch: Pizza Dough

From our house-warming party to family dinners, our pizza dough has consistently gotten rave reviews. So I decided it was time to share the recipe for all to enjoy as part of StopTheRide’s Make it from Scratch carnival! You can see the rest of this week’s entries here:

Pizza Dough (Recipe courtesy of the good folks at River Cafe in London)

Makes 2 large pizzas.

4 t dried yeast
125 ml water (1/2 cup)
150 g rye flour (about 2/3 cup)

250 ml warm water (1 cup)
2 T milk
4 T olive oil
1 T salt
500 g flour (about 3-4 cups)

Mix the ingredients for the sponge and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour. We’ve tried other flours and rye really does impart the best flavor and texture!

I then throw the sponge in the bread machine with the rest of the dough ingredients and process on the dough setting. If you don’t have a bread machine, you can mix, knead for 10-15 minutes, and leave covered in a warm place to rise for 2 hours. This dough is really good if you keep it in the fridge after rising over night and will get a mellow sourdough flavor to it the longer you let it sit.

We typically make one pizza for the four of us on Friday night, then throw the other half of the dough in the fridge for a quick dinner or lunch later in the week. It will keep up to a week if it’s tightly wrapped so that it won’t pick up fridge smells.

The dough should be fairly wet and will require an ample dusting of flour on the counter and on top of the dough before you roll it out. It’s best rolled thin (1 inch at the thickest, 1/2-1/4 inch is even better!). Some good topping combinations:

  • The Kids’ Choice – tomato sauce, mozarella cheese, black olives
  • Parents Preference – pesto, kalamata olives, herbed goat cheese
  • Veggie Meat Lovers – Boca Italian sausage, Quorn pieces, tomato sauce, black olives, mozarella
  • Three Cheese – Ricotta, mozarella, and provolone with pesto or tomato sauce

Pizza is pretty much sacred in this household, and this is really the best of all the dough recipes I’ve tried. Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Make it from Scratch: Pizza Dough

  1. Sue, I think that some rye flours are definitely more dry than others–perhaps adding a couple tablespoons more water might help? The sponge is definitely less puffy than other sponges that are given longer to rise, so if the finished product tastes good, you’re probably doing it right 🙂

    I don’t think mine browns significantly on the bottom when I use my stone either and I think that’s fine. I often use metal pizza pans now that have lots of holes in the bottom of them–it does yield a crispier crust and doesn’t require the preheating that the stone does. The reason I switched, however, was just because the metal pans are larger and my kids are big enough now that we need the extra large size to fill everyone up.

    🙂 Julie

  2. I have attempted to make this dough twice but was so disheartened by the look of my “sponge” I didn’t complete the recipe. It simply looked and felt like an ordinary but sticky rye dough, not a sponge. Is this how it is supposed to be? As well, I use a pizza stone at the hottest temperature, well preheated oven but the underneath of my pizza is never browned. It is cooked and firm but I wonder if I need a different stone?

  3. I’ve just been informed that I forgot to include the baking instructions–eeks! We bake our pizzas for 10 minutes on 450 and then bump it down to 400 for between 6-10 more minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

  4. Thanks Julie!!
    This really is the best pizza dough recipe I have tried. We can’t wait to start having pizza Fridays! Thanks for sharing your sacred recipe.
    Amy 🙂

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