The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough

mare_pizza_dough_hI’ve been wanting to write this post forever! So this summer, one of our favorite meals was homemade pizza on the grill. I would make the dough in the afternoon and just let it sit, and then in the evening, the pizza would take about 20 minutes on the grill. It was such an easy delicious dinner! And I know I don’t get all let’s do this homemade on you very often, but when it comes to pizza dough, I really do like homemade so much more!

So here is the secret to making your perfect pizza dough at home, water temperature.

Yup. That’s it. You just have to make sure that your water is in the zone. I’m not going to tell you how many seconds to microwave it, because water comes out of the faucet/fridge tap at different temperatures and microwaves all work differently. You really need to use a thermometer. If the water isn’t hot enough, it won’t wake up the yeast. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast. If it is in the window, it will bubble up just perfectly. Believe me, I wasted lots of dough before my mom, fed up with my phone calls to her about why it wasn’t working, just gave me her thermometer :)

You need your water to be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

I use our thermometer every single time, and it makes life so simple! There are even little markers on on my thermometer showing the window! This thermometer is from like the 70s and I doubt you’ll be able to find another just like it, but a candy thermometer will work just as well.

Once you get it in the temperature window (and sometimes I have had to dump my water and start over), you add 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast and one teaspoon of sugar. You don’t really have to stir, it will work it’s way in.

And you just let it sit for like five minutes until it is nice and frothy on the top.

If it doesn’t look like the picture below after you let it sit for five minutes, I would dump it and start over.

In the bowl of a food processor, mix together three cups of all purpose flour and 1 tsp of Kosher salt. Now add the water yeast mixture and then 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, and then drop in your dough. (You know my favorite bowl, right?) Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least one hour, but two is better.

Your dough should have doubled in size. I pull it apart and use it to make two different crusts. I store the extra crust in the refrigerator . . . and we get to have pizza again tomorrow night too! When pulling the crust out the next day, just make sure to bring it to room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start working with it.

Yield: Makes enough for two pizzas


  • 1 cup + 1 TBSP water, heated to 110 to 115 degrees
  • 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil


Heat water to between 110 and 115 degrees.
Sprinkle 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast over the water. Then sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over the yeast. Let it sit until the water has become frothy. If it doesn’t froth as pictured above, dump your water and start again.
In the bowl of a food processor add three cups all purpose flower and salt. Pulse for a few seconds to evenly distribute the salt.
With the food processor running, add the oil. Then add the yeast water combination with the food processor still running until a dough ball forms.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Put the dough ball in and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to double in size, about an hour to an hour and a half.
Pull the dough apart to create two dough balls for two pizza crusts.
And now you can make my favorite pizza!

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