Easy pizza dough without a stand mixer (with active dry yeast)- 5 ingredients (water, sugar, active dry yeast, flour & salt) + 1 hour - fancy stand mixer = Perfectly delicious and easy pizza dough!
Pizza is something my husband (omnivore) and I (vegetarian) both can enjoy and I make them pretty frequently. Sometimes I'm feeling classic red sauce pizza or margarita pizza. And other times, I'm craving white pizza or Detroit-style pizza!
No matter what type of pizza I make, I need one ingredient in common! And that would be the pizza dough! I have a recipe using a stand mixer but I have been making my dough by hand. And this recipe is GOLDEN!!!
Why this recipe works:
- Simple ingredients - water, sugar, active dry yeast, all-purpose flour, and salt.
- No fancy stand mixer required - All you need is a big bowl and your hands!
- Fewer dishes to do - Am I the only person who finds washing the dough hook and the bowl annoying? I don't think so!
How to make an easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer
- Dissolve the sugar in the water.
- Add the active dry yeast and let it bloom.
- Meanwhile, mix together all-purpose flour and salt. By the way, I pack my flour into a measuring cup which is an INCORRECT way to measure your flour (Here is a link to correctly measure the flour). However, this way of measuring flour in this recipe works every single time.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture.
- Knead the dough and let it rise until it doubles the size.
- Shape it into a pizza and enjoy!
Difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast
They both help leaven bread and make the dough "rise" but how it is used in the dough differs.
- Active dry yeast is the yeast that needs to be "bloomed" in water. I dissolve a little bit of sugar in the water to help feed the yeast. When the yeast mixture is foamy, you can add it to your dry ingredients.
- Instant yeast is the yeast that you can add directly to your dry ingredients.
Most frequently asked questions:
I don't want to give a specific time here because it is different for everyone. But you should look for these signs:
Your dough should form and hold a nice smooth ball shape. Another indication is when you pull your dough it should stretch without tearing/ripping.
Add a small amount of flour at a time and work the dough until it comes together. I like to add a tablespoon at a time.
I found out it is very easy to add "TOO MUCH WATER" to the dough. So to avoid that mistake, I like to wet my hands and work the dough and repeat until the dough is not too dry. It takes longer but it is a safe method. If you prefer to just add water, add a teaspoon at a time. A teaspoon of water goes a long way.
The easiest way to test is to gently press the dough with your index finger until your first joint disappears into the dough. If the indentation in the dough remains after you remove your finger, the dough is ready.
Difference between making the pizza dough by hand vs. using a stand mixer
- An extra effort on your part by kneading the dough yourself
- Takes additional time since you have to knead the dough
- Easy clean-up. You just need to wash the bowl.
By a stand mixer
- The stand mixer will do the kneading for you
- A little quicker to make the dough since the mixer will do the kneading
- More to wash - You need to wash the dough hook, the stand mixer bowl, and the bowl you are using to let the dough rise.
Should you kneading the dough on the surface or in a bowl?
There is no difference in the final product and it comes down to your preference. I personally like to knead my dough in a bowl for a couple of reasons:
- There is less clean-up. I don't have to clean the surface before and after kneading the dough. I'm already dirtying a bowl and I prefer to keep the dishes and clean-up to a minimum.
- It's easier to knead. At least for me. I use my fist to push down the dough and push against the side of the bowl. Then I fold the dough over towards the center and push down again with my fist and repeat. I find this method to be the easiest.
Helpful tips on making easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer
- To make the perfect "lukewarm" water, I mix boiling water and cold filtered water in a ratio of 1:2. For example, to prepare 2 cups of lukewarm water, I mix ⅔ cup of boiling water in a 2 cup size measuring cup and fill the rest with cold water.
- Give it a quick stir when you add salt to the flour before adding the yeast mixture. This will ensure the even distribution of the salt in the dough.
- Knead the dough until it won't tear/rip when you pull. The dough should be smooth and hold its shape.
- Coat the dough with oil and cover it while it rises so the dough won't dry out.
- The warmer temperature, the faster the dough rises. And the colder the temperature, the slower it rises.
How to store pizza dough
I like to keep my leftover pizza dough in a gallon-size, freezer-safe plastic bag. The dough will continue to rise even when you place them in the fridge. So I like to place my dough in a large-size bag to give the dough enough room to rise. Plus, the plastic bag will help prevent the dough from drying out.
- The fresh dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- The dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you freeze your dough, you can place the frozen dough in the fridge overnight to thaw or place them on a countertop for a couple of hours until it thaws completely. Make sure your dough is covered completely so it won't dry out.
How to use pizza dough for different types of pizza
If you were to make a thin crust pizza, flatten your dough and shape them into a pizza size of your choice. If you want to make a Detroit-style pizza, let the dough rise in the pan that you will be making the pizza in. The dough will eventually fill the pan once risen. Be careful not to deflate the dough when adding the sauce and toppings.
Pizza cooking temperature
They all say the higher the temperature, the better your pizza will taste! Higher temperature will give the dough the best rise, melts the cheese evenly, and gives the dough the char flavor we all love. Most recipes you will see online will tell you to cook your pizza at 500F.
I'd love to cook my pizza at 500F but my apartment smoke detector is UBER sensitive and if it goes above 475F, it goes OFF. So I cook all of my pizzas at 475F. If you have no problem cooking your pizza at 500F, do so with a couple minutes less of a cooking time that I've provided in the recipe card.
I really hope you would cherish this easy pizza dough recipe without a stand mixer as much as I do. If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out!Print
Easy Pizza Dough without a Stand Mixer (by hand)
Easy Pizza Dough without a Stand Mixer (by hand) - 5 ingredients (water, sugar, active dry yeast, flour & salt) + 1 hour - fancy stand mixer = Perfectly delicious and easy pizza dough!
- Prep Time: 70 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 large pizzas 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Knead
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast ( or 1 packet of active dried yeast) (See note)
- 4 and ½ cups (packed) all-purpose flour (See note below)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water. Once the sugar is all dissolved, add the dry active yeast to water and let it bloom for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the salt and 3 cups of packed flour in a large bowl.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir to mix with either a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. Slowly add in the rest of the flour. Use the rubber spatula/wooden spoon to mix as much as you can.
- Once it gets difficult to mix using a rubber spatula, use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together, about 10 to 15 minutes. The surface of the dough should be smooth and when you pull the dough, it should stretch without ripping.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil. Place the dough back into the bowl. Roll the dough in a bowl so it is completely coated with the oil. Make sure to coat the side of the bowl as well.
- Loosely cover the bowl and let it rise until it doubles its size (it takes me about an hour).
- One packet of active dried yeast equals 2 and ½ teaspoons. However, if you have a bag of yeast as I do, you can just measure 1 tablespoon.
- Packing flour is an incorrect way to measure flour. And I do not recommend measuring flour like this in other recipes. However, this method works in THIS pizza dough recipe.
- Please refer to the "How to store pizza dough" section above for storing information.
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