Artisan Pizza Dough

Makes five 12 inch pizza crusts.
*Note: the dough has to rise overnight (12-14 hours) and is best when consumed 1-14 days after rising. The rich flavor develops during the long fermentation process. The dough may be used for pizza, foccacia or Italian bread. Brian weighs his ingredients on a food scale because weight is constant. When measuring flour, for instance, cup volume can vary, depending on how firmly the flour is packed. However, cup equivalents are given here, in case you cannot weigh the ingredients. Brian uses bakery flour, which he buys in 50-pound bags, but also recommends King Arthur all-purpose unbleached flour. He does not recommend bread flour for this recipe.


  • Dough
  • 7 cups (lightly scooped) (1000 grams) flour
  • 3 cups (700 grams) lukewarm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast (not quick rising)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (20 grams) salt
  • Bruschetta
  • Fresh mozzarella


  1. Day 1:
    Remove about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water from the measured 3 cups of water and combine with yeast in a small bowl. (If the dough will be rising in a cool place, add a little more yeast.)
  2. Hydrate the flour by mixing flour and remaining water together in a stand mixer for about 30 seconds. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, the cookie dough paddle works well for this. Mixing can also be done by hand, but it will take longer and the dough may be lumpy. As the dough ferments, the lumps will disappear.
  3. Cover the flour and water mixture and yeast and let sit at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes so that both the flour and the yeast are hydrated in their respective mixtures.
  4. After 30 minutes, sprinkle salt on top of flour mixture. Move the mass of dough to the side and add the yeast into the bottom of the mixing bowl. Mix together until the yeast and salt are thoroughly incorporated using the “cut and fold” method.
  5. Let this mixture sit, covered, for another 30-60 minutes.
  6. Wet hands. Stretch dough until it resists and then fold in on itself. Repeat 3 more times and then let it rest 15-30 minutes. Repeat. Let dough sit on countertop, covered overnight or for 12-14 hours.

    Day 2:

  7. After 12-14 hours, generously flour work surface and place dough on counter. Keep hands floured and flour dough. Measure into five equal dough balls (~340 grams each).
  8. Hold dough with both hands and circle into a tight sphere on the floured surface to lock in the air bubbles.
  9. Transfer to 5 containers (approximately 6 cups). Round disposable plastic containers with lids work nicely. The dough can be frozen at this point. On the day you plan to use it, let it defrost on the counter until it’s warm enough to handle.

    Day 3-14:

  10. Preheat oven to 500-550 with 15″ pizza stone in it. (As hot as the oven will go). The stone should be in the preheated oven for at least 15 minutes before baking the pizza.
  11. Prep all your topping ingredients, such as bruschetta or crushed tomatoes.
  12. Flour surface and 17″ pizza peel. Flour dough, turn over, press out to even thickness. Let it rest one minute.
  13. Toss the pizza dough – hold it on the backs of hands and toss and twirl it until it stretches out to about a 12 inch pizza.
  14. For the next step, keep the dough on the pizza peel (you’ll need to shimmy it onto the hot stone later using the peel). If you don’t have a pizza peel, or don’t trust yourself to slide it onto the stone successfully, place the dough on an aerated pan. (This will still make a crispy crust.)
  15. Thinly spread sauce onto dough. Less is more with sauce. If using crushed tomatoes, add desired salt, garlic or herbs. If using bruschetta, all the salt, garlic and basil is already in the sauce.
  16. If the dough is on the peel, carefully shimmy it onto the hot stone. If it’s on an aerated pan, place the pan directly on the stone in the oven.
  17. Bake 5-6 minutes until it starts to brown.
  18. Remove from the oven and add small chunks of fresh mozzarella. Bake an additional 3-4 minutes until cheese melts.
  19. Top with fresh herbs.
  20. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a smaller portion of dough and make pan pizza in a seasoned cast iron frying pan. Don’t preheat the pan; just add 5 minutes to the cooking time. Place the dough in the pan. Add tomato topping. Bake 10-11 minutes. Remove from oven, add cheese, then bake 3-4 more minutes.