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Tony’s Pizza Dough

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: High
Yield: 3 12 inch Pizza Crusts
Prep Time: 2 hr
Cook Time: 10 min


  • 4 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Packet (7g/.25oz) Active Dry Yeast
  • ¼ Cup Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar or Honey
  • 1 ¾ Cups Warm Water (95-110°F)
  • Cornmeal for dusting or butter


  1. Warm your water to between 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the yeast and sugar to the water and wait for the yeast to bubble. Give it a gentle stir to ensure all yeast is wet.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and 2 cups of flour and mix well. Then add the oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Add 2 more cups of flour in 1 cup increments, stirring as you go until it forms a ball around your spoon. It will be slightly sticky.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and scrape the dough out onto the counter. Knead the dough, adding in the last half cup of flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky.
  4. In a clean bowl rub a light coating of oil. Put your dough ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour in a warm place.
  5. Punch down the dough, then let rise for another hour.
  6. Clean your work surface well, then dust it with fresh flour. Knead the dough so you can handle it easily. Try to add as little flour as possible at this point.
  7. Cut the dough into three, equal parts, then roll out one at a time. Scatter cornmeal on your pizza pan, or brush the pan with butter before adding the dough. Trim the excess dough off the edges for a thinner crust, or roll it for a thick crust.
  8. Let rise on the pizza pan for 45 minutes.
  9. Add desired toppings and bake at 550 Fahrenheit for 8-9 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Savannah Says...

  1. Do I have to let the dough rise for two hours?

    1. Patience is a virtue...
      No, but the dough will be dense and heavy if you don’t. Letting the dough rise gives the yeast a chance to leaven the dough giving you a lighter, fluffier finished product.
  2. Will the pizza dough keep?

    1. Fresh is always better, but...
      Yes! You can wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days or freeze for at least 1 month.
  3. Will the pizza dough keep?

    1. Fresh is always better, but...
      Yes! You can wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days or freeze for at least 1 month.
  4. Do I need to par-bake the crust?

    1. Heavens no!
      This will only cause the dough to puff up. If you roll your crust thin enough and bake it in a very hot oven you should have no problem getting the crust crispy. If you like a lot of sauce, consider using a perforated pizza pan.
  5. How do I get the rolled out pizza dough onto the pan without it tearing?

    1. Just roll with it!
      Dust a rolling pin with flour, very carefully loosen the edges and roll most of the dough LOOSELY onto the rolling pin, being careful not to let it stick to itself. Then you can just lift the rolling pin over the pan and unroll it! If it does get a little tear, just pinch it back together!

Ramblings of a Line Cook

When Tony and I had been going out only a few months, he told me he wanted to make homemade pizza for me. His family used to do Pizza Fridays and he had an excellent recipe. He made it, we ate it and I knew I was on the track to a long and happy relationship.

More than a year later the relationship and pizza eating are still going strong! Now, during our four months in New Orleans, we discovered that New Orleanians eat po boys not pizza when they want comfort food. Oh for sure there are pizza places, but none that I care to have again.

We were so craving pizza we decided just to make our own again. All this time later we are infinitely more comfortable with each other and we have learned that I need to leave the kitchen if someone else is cooking. I never meant to become that person but things just come out of my mouth and suddenly I’m getting “the look” across a bowl of pizza dough which is a sure sign I need to go watch some TV until the cooking is done.

For this go-round, we actually completely switched places and I took photos while Tony made the dough. It was fun watching someone else do the cooking and Tony takes such a different approach to cooking than my “line-cook” mentality. He carefully scraped all the bits of dough from the bowl, kneaded it till he was sure it was right and let it rise twice. God the patience… But it was so worth it when we baked off that delicious pizza. A fun hack is when you don’t have cornmeal for the crust, brush your pan with butter and the crust will crisp right up and have extra flavor to boot!

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