Quick Pizza Dough

Mitchell Davis

James Beard Foundation, NYC

"This is my sister Carrie's recipe for a simple, tasty dough that can be whipped up in a pinch to make a pizza, focaccia, or any number of baked (or even grilled) savory pies. According to the guidelines of the governing body of Italian pizzas, Verace Pizza Napoletana (I'm not kidding), there should be no olive oil in the crust. But without the benefit of a long fermentation, I think the dough needs a little olive oil, which adds flavor and texture when baked. There is also quite a bit of yeast in the dough, given the amount of flour—another way to cheat by adding flavor while cutting back on time" –Mitchell Davis


2 1/4 pounds dough, enough for two 14-inch pizzas or four 10-inch individual pies


  • 4 teaspoons (1 1/2 packets) active dry yeast or 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the bowl
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour or a combination of 2 cups all-purpose flour and 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


To Make the Dough by Hand:

Place the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the lukewarm water and stir with the paddle attachment on low to dissolve. Add the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 cup of the flour and beat on medium-low speed for a minute or so until smooth. Switch to the dough hook. Add another cup of flour and the salt and mix well. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and put the machine on low until the dough forms a mass around the hook. Let the machine knead the dough for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and scrape out the bowl. Knead for a minute or two, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball.

Place a teaspoon of olive oil in the bottom of a large, clean bowl. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and move it around to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and set in a warm place, such as near a preheating oven or in an oven that has a pilot light, to rise until the dough doubles in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Punch down the dough and divide in half (or into quarters, if making smaller pies).