Homemade pizza tastes so much better than takeaway, but making the dough can be tricky if you’ve never done it before.
Do you have troubles kneading pizza dough? Fear not! This step-by-step guide will show you how to knead the pizza dough both by hand or by a stand mixer.
So you can create your own pizza dough and even make the “Neapolitan pizza dough” style at home, never having to purchase it again.
Keep reading to find out!
What is the kneading technique?
The kneading technique is a way of mixing ingredients for baking. It involves combining wet and dry ingredients, then beating them together until they form a smooth batter.
The kneading technique is used in cakes and bread because it helps create a light, airy texture that can be easily baked. The process also helps leaven the dough by raising the air bubbles that form during mixing.
Why is kneading pizza dough important?
Kneading pizza dough is important for several reasons:
- First, it helps to build up gluten in the dough, which gives it its stretchiness and chewiness.
- Kneading also makes the dough more palatable, as the proteins in the flour become more evenly distributed throughout the whole mass when kneaded thoroughly.
- Finally, kneading pizza dough helps to create a nice texture for your pizza crust.
Is it better to knead dough by hand or by mixer?
I’d say that using a stand mixer for kneading pizza dough is more of a convenience than a necessity. A stand mixer will make the job easier, but it’s certainly not necessary if you don’t own one.
When you knead pizza dough by hand, it gives you more control over the process and you can make sure it’s evenly distributed. However, if you lack experience, this process can be difficult. It’s also time-consuming because you have to knead the dough for several minutes until it’s soft and elastic.
On the other hand, using a mixer is going to be faster and more efficient than hand-kneading. You just have to dump all of the ingredients in the bowl and let the mixer do all the work for you. You won’t have to worry about getting flour all over your kitchen or breaking a sweat.
Ingredients and tools you will need
- Bread flour
- Active dry yeast
- Olive oil
- Warm water
- A stand mixer (if you prefer the “mixer” method)
How to knead pizza dough by hand: Step-by-step tutorials
If you’ve ever tried to make pizza dough by hand, you know that it can be tricky. There are so many ways to do it wrong, and the results can be disappointing.
But if you follow these steps for making pizza dough, you’ll be able to make a delicious pizza every time:
- Step 1: Mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar in the bowl for about 5 minutes.
- Step 2: Prepare your dough-kneading surface
- Step 3: Transfer the dough to a flat surface to knead
- Step 4: Start kneading your dough
- Step 5: Let the dough rest, covered with a kitchen towel, for 1 hour
- Step 6: Cut it up into smaller portions and then form each one into a dome.
Let’s dig deeper into each step in more detail to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes.
Step 1: Mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar in the bowl for about 5 minutes.
Mix the yeast with warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes. If you see bubbles form on the surface, the yeast is activated.
The water’s temperature is crucial; if it is too cool, it will not activate the yeast. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. So remember to aim for temperatures between 105 and 110°F.
While waiting, combine your bread flour with salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate bowl. Make sure the salt and olive oil is completely incorporated into the flour. You can mix it with your fingers or a spoon.
After 5 minutes, create a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture to the flour. Mix everything together, slowly adding more flour as needed.
Step 2: Prepare your dough-kneading surface
Sprinkle flour onto a flat surface, such as a marble countertop or wooden cutting board. This step will help prevent the dough from sticking to your surface and make it easier to work with.
Step 3: Transfer the dough to a flat surface to knead
Grab a large mixing spoon or wooden spoon and place your dough in the middle of your floured surface. Dust your hands with a bit of flour, then grab the dough and start kneading it.
Step 4: Start kneading your dough
When kneading dough, I always follow the same three steps: press, turn, and fold.
To knead the dough, use your palm to press it into the surface, turn it 90 degrees, and fold edge to edge. Repeat this process until you have kneaded your dough until it is smooth and stops sticking.
When turning the dough, remember to turn to the side; it doesn’t matter which side you turn it to, just make sure that you always turn it to the same side throughout the entire kneading process. This helps to ensure that your dough is evenly kneaded and has the same consistency throughout.
Step 5: Let the dough rest for a couple of hours until it has doubled in size.
Once your dough has been thoroughly kneaded, shape it into a ball, then transfer it to a large bowl, covering it tightly with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Give the dough at least 2 hours to rise until it has doubled in size.
Step 6: Cut it into smaller portions and form each into a dome.
After an hour, take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into pieces to fit the size of your pizza base. Then shape them into balls and add a few drops of olive oil around the outside of each one.
Lastly, put dough balls on a lightly oiled surface, wrap them tightly, and let them rest for another hour; then, you can start making pizza. If you’re not in a hurry, throw the dough in the fridge and let them rise overnight for an even better pizza crust.
You can also check out this helpful video to knead pizza dough by hand more easily:
How to knead pizza dough with a mixer
To knead pizza dough with a mixer, you’ll need to use a mixer that has a dough hook. If your mixer doesn’t have one, you can buy one separately.
The process of kneading the pizza dough with a mixer will take less time and effort than kneading it by hand, but the end result will be similar. You’ll want to let the mixer run at a medium speed for approximately 5 minutes.
Here’s step-by-step how to knead pizza dough with a mixer:
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
Put the flour, yeast mixture, and salt into the mixing bowl, and then mix the ingredients until they are combined for 30 seconds with a wooden spoon.
Step 2: Start kneading dough
Attach the dough hook and carefully pour in warm water, then start the mixer on low and increase the speed in 30-second time frames until the dough comes together. This process will take about 5 minutes; during the kneading process, if the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time, if it’s too sticky, add more flour.
Step 3: Take the dough out and start kneading by hand
Place the dough on a floured surface and start to knead by hand. Don’t worry—this process won’t take long. We just need a few times of kneading so we can make sure the dough is well-combined and smooth.
Step 4: Let the dough proof
Form the well-kneaded dough into a ball, rub a little oil on top, and then let it rest in a plastic bag for an hour or more, or until it has doubled in size.
You can check out this video about kneading pizza dough with a mixer:
Wrapping Up and My Experience With Kneading Pizza Dough
Kneading pizza dough takes a lot of time, and sometimes it can be difficult to get the desired effect that you like.
However, once you have mastered the art of kneading pizza dough, you will be able to make your own pizza in virtually any situation and still end up with delicious results.
My hope is that this tutorial on how to knead pizza dough has been helpful so that you can use it to make the perfect pizza crust for your favorite homemade pizza recipes!
More to read on milliepham.com: After topping your first homemade pizza base with tomato sauce (remember to check if it’s still good to use if it’s been in the fridge) and other toppings, bake your first pizza on a flat griddle. Or if you are more into a dedicated pizza oven, you can also invest in one to make your pizza cooking experience more unforgettable.