Alton Brown’s Homemade Pizza Dough

I don’t have very exacting pizza tastes. I like frozen pizza and thick crust pizza and thin crust pizza. I like Pizza Hut and Aurelio’s AND Lou Malnati’s. I like pizza from a box.
David on the other hand, is a bit more picky. Though he also likes Aurelio’s and Lou Malnati’s. He’s not that into my pizza from a box, and he’d rather not eat frozen pizzas. Of course, when he wanted us to make pizza from scratch, he went to Alton Brown’s recipe. I have mixed feelings about this recipe. We’ve struggled with the recipe a little bit–once it was way too sticky, another time, the dough didn’t really rise or stretch. (Could be due to the age of the active yeast we used, though). You also have to prepare the dough way in advance…it needs to rise in the fridge for about a day.
Really, there’s nothing wrong with this pizza dough recipe, but I’m holding out for one that’s a little bit easier to work with.
Alton Brown’s Pizza Pizza Dough
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups bread flour (for bread machines)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Olive oil, for the pizza crust
  • Flour, for dusting the pizza peel


Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, 1 cup of flour, yeast, and remaining cup of flour into a standing mixer’s work bowl. Using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball. Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed.

Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the baker’s windowpane, or taut membrane, has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead the dough for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Roll the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop. Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Place the pizza stone or tile onto the bottom of a cold oven and turn the oven to its highest temperature, about 500 degrees F. If the oven has coils on the oven floor, place the tile onto the lowest rack of the oven. Split the pizza dough into 2 equal parts using a knife or a dough scraper. Flatten into a disk onto the countertop and then fold the dough into a ball.

Wet hands barely with water and rub them onto the countertop to dampen the surface. Roll the dough on the surface until it tightens. Cover one ball with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Repeat the steps with the other piece of dough. If not baking the remaining pizza immediately, spray the inside of a ziptop bag with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bag. Refrigerate for up to 6 days.

Sprinkle the flour onto the peel and place the dough onto the peel. Using your hands, form a lip around the edges of the pizza. Stretch the dough into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Toss the dough in the air if you dare. Shake the pizza on the peel to be sure that it will slide onto the pizza stone or tile. (Dress and bake the pizza immediately for a crisp crust or rest the dough for 30 minutes if you want a chewy texture.)

Brush the rim of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza sauce evenly onto the pizza. Sprinkle the herbs onto the pizza and top with the cheese.

Slide the pizza onto the tile and bake for 7 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

Note: As far as toppings go…go nuts. This time, we had some tomato, basil & feta pizza for Leah, while Dave and I stuck with a more traditional tomato sauce-sausage-mozzarella combo. Do what you like. 🙂

We were happy with the pizza stone method described in the recipe, and I do recommennd that you go that route if you’re going to make your own pizzas. Even our inexpensive one has made a vast improvement over pan pizza.

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6 Responses to “Alton Brown’s Homemade Pizza Dough”

  1. Mom

    where are the pictures and i still vote for pizza in a box

  2. Test Subject #2

    This crust was fine, but it certainly wasn’t any better than my mom’s recipie, which takes about ten minutes to put together and only a couple of hours to rise.

  3. Teri

    @Test Subject #2

    Yeah…the putting the dough together isn’t all that hard, really. Especially since the mixer does all the work.

    I can’t decide if I’d rather have the dough rise in a couple of hours, or this overnight thing. In some ways, the overnight thing is cool, because the dough’s definitely ready to go by the time you go to make the pizza? I don’t know…just thinking out loud here. It doesn’t sound like I’d ever come home from work and make your mom’s recipe for dinner, though it’d be great on the weekends.

    I do think we probably owe this one more chance with good yeast…the iffy yeast we’ve been using can’t be how the dough was meant to turn out.

  4. Teri


    The pictures are not in Detroit.

    And I like pizza in a box, too. What did I say? 😉

  5. Ysobel

    I’m with you on the whole “I like just about any kind of pizza” thing. Luckily, Luke settles for frozen pizza, and he actually even really enjoyed when I made him pizza in a box! Yay.

  6. Tom

    Hello everyone. I think you all are using the wrong ingredients and or not giving this an honest go. The slow raise makes a world of difference, you will have a heartier flavor, as one person put it, yeast undertones, and the texture as well as the color are better, golden brown with a not to heavy crunch. Exercise some patience and follow the instructions given. Bread flour isn’t an option, high gluten is a must.
    Do not use all purpose, this will make it turn out tasting and feeling like any other pizza dough. Good flour, good fresh yeast and slow raise in the fridge.
    Peace to you all

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