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Oct 31, 2009 10:35 AM

Looking for a "quick" pizza dough recipe

I would love to have some warm, comforting pizza this day, but I didn't plan ahead. If I start either Jim Lahey's or Peter Reinhart's recipes, I'll be having pizza for lunch/dinner tomorrow, not the late dinner that I was hoping for.

Does anyone have a good (by which I mean something with a good chew) recipe that I can start and finish within 6 or so hours?

One caveat: I don't have bread flour on hand.

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  1. you should have decent dough in 6 hours with just standard IDY, flour, and water. at room temp, of course. or at 80 degrees, if you've got 80 degrees available.


      Highly recommend Smitten Kitchen's quick pie. She also offers a number of pizza recipes, once you have the dough ready, that are worth a look. Happy pizza-making!

      1. This is the recipe I use and it rises in about an hour, plus 10 min. resting time before stretching. It calls for 00 flour, which is a very soft Italian high-gluten flour especially for pizza but I have used AP with good results or a combo of bread and AP. Thank you Tyler Florence, it's his recipe and the best.

        1 package active dry yeast
        1 teaspoon sugar
        1 cup warm water
        1 tablespoon kosher salt
        Extra-virgin olive oil
        3 cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting

        Put it together in the usual manner. I knead by hand, 8 minutes or so until smooth and shiny.

        Recommend: put your pizza stone in a 500F oven as soon as you make the dough.
        Yes, you can have pizza today!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          smittenKitchen's recipe is the same 3:1 ratio, Tyler's has more yeast for a quicker rise and more salt. I don't think 1 Tsp. salt is enough for 3 cups flour but that's just me.

        2. I'm coming at this from the opposite direction. I've been using my bread machine and generally only giving myself 1.5-2 hours for the dough. I am getting better results by using better flour and experimenting with slightly longer/extra rising times for the dough.

          When I read these two recipes and see they do not call for any kneading cycles I'm puzzled. Shouldn't more kneading = more yeast action = more gluten development = a better chew? Or am I just going about it all wrong?

          I may be off-base with this, but letting the dough rise at room temperature, at least for the first 3-4 hours, and adding an extra kneading cycle or two should be a reasonable substitute for a slow, cool rise. Raise the dough as a single batch up until your final punch down, then form single-pie dough balls on the final knead, as described in your recipes, and refrigerate briefly if at all. That's the direction I've been experimenting with, and the results are better than my quick bread machine doughs.

          But really, in my experience, the oven baking conditions are more critical than slow rising times for the dough. Working with good flour is, I think, also more important than the rise times. And this is a matter of taste, but I've settled on recipes that use EVO. (And no sugar!)

          But I'd love to hear from others if I'm on the right track or not.

          4 Replies
          1. re: BernalKC

            A little sugar feeds the yeast and hastens fermentation. A teaspoon of sugar won't kill you, nor will you taste it. ;-) It's a little insurance.
            How long do you consider a kneading cycle to be? 8-10 minutes, give or take a few, by hand, works for me.
            You can tell by the reaction from the dough that the gluten is developed. I don't have a bread machine, nor have I ever used one, no judgement on them, though. An extra kneading cycle woudn't add to the flavor, just the texture. It doesn't do anything for yeast fermentation, either, gluten strands simply trap the developing CO2, creating dough expansion and structure after baking
            A slow rise time is optimal for flavor development, I often slow rise overnight in the frig, punch down and slow rise again. But not necessarily with pizza dough, simply because I want to eat at some point today. So did the OP.
            "Raise the dough as a single batch up until your final punch down, then form single-pie dough balls on the final knead, as described in your recipes, and refrigerate briefly if at all." Why would you want to refrigerate the dough at this stage? Unless you're not ready to bake, I guess. Let the dough rest at room temp to relax, it will be a easier to stretch. I sometimes coat the dough with EVOO and sprinkle it with cornmeal, let it rest 10 minutes and it's very easy to stretch. Makes for a nice crunchy crust.
            What type of flour do you use? The 00 I mentioned is high-gluten but very soft, like pastry flour. The first time I tried it I was amazed; the dough had a finer texture but with real tooth. Bread flour is great too; all these things, good yeast, oven temp, flour, rise time, work in tandem to give you the results you want. I don't think any are more important than the other, except the yeast, which without, no dough.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Mostly I've used bread flour. I think it's Guisto's but I get it in bulk and barely pay attention to the label at the store. I've experimented with "00" flour. Once mixed 50-50 with bread flour and the last time 100%. I thought the 50-50 came out better. It does yield a nicer crunchiness and a lighter, finer texture. I've experimented with mix-ins like semolina and whole wheat. Couldn't tell you how much since I measure by weight and just toss in small proportions of these. The semolina experiment was actually pretty good. I also like cornmeal crusts, so I've tried a few of those recipes with pretty good luck.

              For rise times I was thinking of 30 minute intervals. And so far I've done everything at room temperature, so I am a bit confused about when and why to refrigerate. Thanks for the tips.

              1. re: BernalKC

                Sounds like you have the flour thing down.
                You can refrigerate as soon as you've finished kneading; if you make a multiple batch, break it down into individual portions, form into balls, put into a ziplock bag coated (on the inside) with oil (or coat the dough balls with oil) and refrigerate. Cold slows down fermentation, thereby slowing down the proofing process, giving the yeast more time to allow it to develop the wheat flavor (of the flour) and gives you a better tasting bread. Leave your dough in the frig until ready to use, even overnight, allow it to come to room temp. (half hour?) and shape. A lot of the leavening process happens in the oven so you don't necessarily have to let the dough double.
                Freeze the dough either right away or after the first cold rise if you're not going to use it all. Too many knock downs and rises can result in off flavors that are released by the yeast and build up in the dough. It can also kill the yeast.

                I'm not clear on what you mean by 30 minute intervals. Are you talking about specific rise times? Room temp or warm rise usually takes an hour but it depends on your yeast, type of flour and the ambient temperature. It really only takes the first rise, then shape and then the final rise, which is usually about another hour, but that's for bread (loaves). Pizza dough just requires stretching, topping and baking, no second rise. But you knew that.
                You know, the whole thing with baking bread is developing an intuitive sense, knowing your ingredients, understanding the process, getting the feel. Sure, there are rules but it's important to maintain flexibility.
                I hope I've answered your questions with some clarity.

            2. re: BernalKC

              Now, I just read the recipe link from Kelli2006 and it has almost no kneading, so go figure...It sure would be quick.
              Sorry if I'm being so zealous but I'm passionate about good pizza dough.

            3. I like the Fine Cooking pizza crust recipe if your pushed for time.