Master Pizza Dough

  • Serves

    makes two 12" pizzas

We developed this recipe by watching a real Neapolitan pizzaiuoli (pizza maker) at work in a New York pizzeria.


  • 1 (7-gram) packet active dry yeast
  • 1 12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 12 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 cup cornmeal


Step 1

Dissolve yeast in 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water in a large bowl. Set aside until yeast begins to activate (it will foam a little), about 10 minutes. Combine flours and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Step 2

Add 1 cup of the flour mixture to yeast and stir well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Mix in 1⁄2 cup water, then add another cup flour mixture and continue to stir. Add remaining 1 cup flour mixture, then gradually stir in about 1⁄4 cup water and mix well. The dough should be fairly soft, but not too wet.

Step 3

Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead with the heels of your palms until it has a smooth, uniform texture, about 10–12 minutes. Divide dough into 2 even balls. Coat the insides of two medium bowls with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil each. Place dough in bowls, cover bowls with damp cloths or plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 1⁄2–3 hours.

Step 4

Place pizza stone or unglazed tile in oven and preheat at highest setting (not broil). Sprinkle a baker's peel or inverted baking sheet with cornmeal. Punch down dough from one bowl, make a ball, and flatten it on the pan. Taking care not to overwork dough, stretch it into a thin 12" circle with a slightly raised edge. Add Margherita or Marinara toppings and slide onto hot pizza stone.

Step 5

Bake until crust is golden brown and crisp, about 12–15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare second pizza. Remove first pizza from oven and bake the second on the same stone. Drizzle a little olive oil on each and serve.

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