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Basic Pizza Dough


  • 1 (one-fourth ounce) package active yeast
  • One and one-third cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Three and one-half cups bread flour or regular unbleached flour
  • Three-fourths teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Cornmeal (about one-fourth cup)


  • Combine the yeast and water in bowl; let sit about 5 minutes. Add the oil. Add two cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each cup. Turn the dough onto a well floured work surface and work rest of dough as needed until the dough begins to hold a shape. It will still be somewhat sticky. The amount of flour really depends on the level of humidity, how you measured your flour, what kind you use. Don't go by measurements, go by feel. Dough should not be too sticky, but not dry either. Form into a ball and knead until it's elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the dough evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts (85 degrees) at least 45 minutes or until it doubles in bulk. Punch the dough down; divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. It is very important to let the dough rest; otherwise it is very difficult to work with.
  • Working with one portion at a time (cover the other to keep from drying out), roll the dough into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place the dough on a baking sheet lightly covered with cornmeal. Now you're ready to make the pizza.
  • If you wish to make the dough ahead, you can chill the rolled, uncooked crusts for up to 4 hours or freeze them for up to 2 weeks, wrapped in plastic and foil. Make sure the dough returns to room temperature before grilling.