So I have to be upfront by saying that this is not my recipe. The only time I’ve ever modified it is when I can’t find the text message with the full recipe and just try to do it from memory. This recipe was bestowed upon me by my good friend Jason. Jason is a native New Yorker whose couch I used to crash on* back when I worked in the music industry and would frequently travel to NYC. One of the best things about staying at Jason’s place was that Jason is an amazing cook who loves to share this gift with others. It’s been probably 5 or 6 years since I last stayed there and I am STILL craving the homemade breakfast pizza he made for me!
Last year, I was able to convince him to share his sacred pizza dough recipe with me and I hope he’s not mad that I am now sharing it with you!
This is very simple, but it does involve a little elbow-grease and planning.
First, combine your active yeast, water, spices, and bread flour in a large mixing bowl and stir/knead/fold it until it all sticks together and the dry crusties are no longer flaking off. If it’s still really sticky after about a minute, you need to add more flour. If it’s too dry, add more water a TINY bit at a time.
Cover it and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
This next part is the really fun part – knead that baby for 10-15 minutes (Jason’s recipe calls for this amount of kneading but I have never been able to bring myself to knead it for longer than 10 minutes because I am lazy).
When your 10 (or 15) minutes are up, your dough should go from this:
It should feel smooth and sliiiiightly stretchy. It should not feel sticky or dry.
Transfer it to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise for up to 3 hours (but I usually can only wait about 2 because in addition to being lazy, I am also impatient).
After it has risen (hallelujah!), set your oven to broil and place a large (at least 12″) cast iron skillet on the stovetop and let it start heating up (seriously, you want it smoking). Cut your dough in half so that you have 2 balls of dough that are about the size of a fist and transfer one of them to a lightly floured surface and start stretching it out!
I’m sure there is a really great fancy technique to get your dough to be perfectly round, but odds are I’m too impatient to do it anyway, so I say just pull it and tug on it until it resembles the shape and size that you want it to (he he, that’s what she said, he he). Be careful to stretch your dough evenly so that you don’t create holes. And if you do create holes, that’s okay, just roll it back up and start again. I separate the dough into 2 balls because I make personal-pan pizzas for my husband and myself. If you have a giant cast iron pan that can make a pizza big enough for both of you, then by all means you do not have to make two separate pizzas! I like my crust pretty thin, too, so if you want a thicker crust, then it may be better to not separate your dough.
Once your dough is the correct shape, and your skillet is super hot, transfer your dough to the skillet and quickly top it with all your favorite pizza goodies! After they’re all on there, pop the whole skillet in the broiler for about 3-5 minutes and then congratulate yourself because you just made a bomb-ass pizza!
*”couch” is not a euphemism for “bed”
- 1½ cups bread flour
- ¾ cup warm water
- ½ - 1 tsp dry yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 T Italian seasoning *optional*
- Mix together your flour, active yeast, salt, Italian seasoning if you're using it, and warm water until combined
- Cover and let it rest for 20 mins
- After 20 minutes, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it well for 10/15 mins
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and let rest for 2-3 hours (or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days)
- When ready to eat, separate the dough into two fist-size balls
- Heat up a 12" cast iron skillet, get it smoking hot on the stove, literally the pan should start smoking
- Stretch out your dough balls until they are your desired shape
- Carefully put the flattened pizza dough in your smoking pan
- Quickly top with whatever other ingredients you want to use
- Throw the whole pan under the broiler for 2-5 minutes