This homemade semolina pizza dough has the perfect texture, flavor and chewiness. Best of all, it's ready to go in under an hour. If you've been searching in vain for a great pizza dough recipe, look no further!
When it comes to food, I'm easily tempted by the next shiny object. I might make a brownie recipe and declare it the be all end all, and that the search is over blah blah blah.
The one recipe I am supremely loyal to though is my pizza dough recipe. For years, I never had much luck with homemade pizza dough, and would sheepishly put a ball of frozen dough in my cart whenever the craving struck.
Then one day I decided to put on my big girl pants and conquer pizza dough once and for all.
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I tweaked and tinkered with this recipe for a long time, but then I finally got it and I have not looked back since. I honestly can't imagine a chewier, more flavorful, less cardboardy crust and so I am done looking. Done.
I'm also sharing all this hard work with you, dear reader, because, well, I have my moments.
Alright, let me explain why I think this is the best pizza dough ever.
The Best Flours for Pizza Dough
I think the addition of semolina is really what sets this pizza dough recipe apart from most others I've seen.
Semolina is a coarse flour made of durum wheat. It's often used to make homemade pasta and is pretty easily found in most grocery stores. I particularly like Bob's Red Mill semolina. It adds great flavor and texture to this dough.
All-purpose vs. bread flour
My first attempts used just all-purpose flour, as I'd seen in many recipes. I found the texture too crispy, not chewy enough, and the taste kind of bland.
So I experimented with incorporating varying amount of bread flour, which is higher in gluten and contributes more "chew".
As it turned out, the specific ratio was critical. Too much bread flour and the dough was dense and hard to chew. I find the ideal ratio to be exactly half and half, for the best texture.
It takes less than an hour to make
I've seen pizza dough recipes that call for up to a week of fermenting. Although a long fermentation builds flavor, I've found that the above mix of flours makes for a very flavorful dough, without the long wait.
This semolina pizza dough takes only 45 minutes to an hour to rise, making it perfect for last minute pizza cravings.
How to stretch it out
This dough also happens to be the easiest dough I've ever worked with.
A problem I've had with every other dough, store bought or homemade, was that it would just resist any attempt at stretching and snap back, making it impossible to get anything resembling a circular shape.
To be fair, the culprit is usually not the recipe itself, but the temperature of the dough. Cold dough means the gluten strands are tighter and more resistant to stretching. Letting the dough come to room temperature before trying to work with it will usually help a lot.
The thing about THIS dough is that, because it's so quick to make, it's easy to just make it an hour before dinner time, so it never has to go into the fridge.
So you're working with dough that's all warm and relaxed. I find that plopping the risen dough onto a large parchment sheet and just quickly spreading it into a circle with my fingers works great. No need to spin it in the air, unless you're into that!
See this post from The Kitchn for more tips for handling pizza dough.
The Best Way to Bake Pizza
The VERY BEST way I have found to bake pizza is to use a pizza stone. If you don't have one, they are quite inexpensive (no need to get fancy, I've been using the same $10 pizza stone for 12 years).
To use a pizza stone, simply place it in the oven while the oven is preheating to the highest temperature it can go (mine goes up to 525 F).
The pizza stone will get so hot that once you transfer your dough onto it (parchment sheet and all), it will immediately start cooking the bottom of the pizza and ensure that you don't end up with burnt cheese and toppings and a raw crust underneath.
It can be tricky to transfer the pizza to the pizza stone, so you may want to get yourself a pizza peel if you make pizza often. Otherwise the back of a baking sheet works too!
Freezing Pizza Dough
This recipe makes one large 12 inch pizza. To freeze it, just follow the recipe to the end, letting it rise completely, shape it into a ball and wrap in a couple layers of plastic wrap.
You can also divide it into 2, 3 or 4 smaller balls for smaller or individual size pizzas and wrap them separately.
You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to bring it to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you work with it so it's easier to stretch.
Wondering what toppings to put on this dough? Here are a few of our favorite pizzas.
Sound good to you? If you make my semolina pizza dough recipe, I would be thrilled if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
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The Best Homemade Pizza Dough
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup semolina
- 2 teaspoons quick-rise (bread machine) yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup warm water
- olive oil for coating the bowl
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, semolina, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the water and stir together with a dough hook, just until it starts to come together.
- Fit the dough hook to the stand mixer and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. The dough should still be quite sticky, but if will not come away from the bowl, add an extra tablespoon of flour and continue mixing until it comes together. Do not add too much flour or the crust will be tough.
- Drizzle a little olive oil down the inside of the bowl and roll the ball of dough around to coat it and the inside of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and put in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size. (When our kitchen is particularly cold, I like to turn the oven on for a couple of minutes, then turn it off so that the inside temperature is like a hot summer day, and let the dough rise in there.)
- Punch the dough down and roll back into a ball. Sprinkle some semolina onto a piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough out or spread with your fingers into whatever shape you like.
- Add your toppings and bake (ideally on a pizza stone) in an oven preheated to the highest temperature it will go (mine is 550 degrees F), 8-12 minutes until golden and cooked through.