Review: America’s Test Kitchen’s Best Pizza Dough Recipe

Looking for a recipe for the perfect pizza dough?  The kind that is light and bubbly with a bit of crispness to the bottom?  Then you have come to the right place!

This weekend I tried the pizza dough recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  This dough is actually very wet going in to the oven, but makes a pizza dough that is light, airy and yet still crispy.

To make this dough, you mix 3 cups all purpose flour with 1 2/3 cups water.  I used my mixer with dough hooks.  You run the mixer until the dough is wet and then you let it sit for 20 minutes.  The next step is to add 1 ½ teaspoons yeast and 1 ¼ teaspoons sugar to the dough.  Then let the mixer kneed the dough for about six to ten minutes.

Once the dough is mixed, add one tablespoon of olive oil to a clean bowl.  Transfer the dough to the new bowl.  Pour another teaspoon of olive oil on top of the dough.  Then, using a spatula coated with more oil, slowly turn the dough around until all sided are covered.  Let the dough sit for about two hours to rise.  An hour before you are going to bake the pizza, turn your oven on to 450 degrees and place a pizza stone in the oven.

This is what the dough looked like when I transferred it to a bowl for rising.  As you can see, the recipe makes a very wet, almost pourable dough:

best pizza dough

Finally, completely coat a rimmed baking sheet with two tablespoons of olive oil.  Pour the dough onto the sheet and begin to spread it across to the edges.  As the show explained, be sure to push from the middle out to avoid big bubbles in the middle.  If the dough begins to stretch back, let it rest for a few minutes and then start again.

Let the dough sit for about five minutes until you see bubbles on top.  Then poke the dough with a fork in rows along the entire sheet.  I added kosher salt to the top before baking.  You can also sprinkle spices of your choice on top as well.

The actual recipe from the Test Kitchen will explain when and how to put on pizza toppings.  It involves putting the toppings on after the dough has baked for about 15 minutes.  I simply let my dough bake for the same amount of time until it “looked done,” approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Just as the show claimed, my crust was soft on top and perfectly crispy on the bottom.  I did have a hard time getting the dough off of the sheet.  Next time I might put a bit of corn meal on the pan before adding the dough.

Notice the crisp bottom and soft top:

pizza dough recipe

I’ve made many pizza crusts in my life, and this by far was the best pizza crust to come out of my oven.  I give a two thumbs up to America’s Test Kitchen’s pizza dough recipe!

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4 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Pizza lover
    22 March 2010, 3:11 am

    This sounds fantastic, and just like the sort of crust I’ve been looking to make. I missed the episode so I have just one question; this crust is intended for a white pizza, so did you make yours white or with the traditional red sauce?

    I’m interested to know how it would turn our with a red sauce and when you might add the sauce and toppings.

    Thanks for the great post!


    Katherine Reply:

    Actually you can use the crust for focaccia, white pizza or red sauce pizza. I’ve used it for red and focaccia… it truly TRULY is a perfect crust!



  2. George
    04 October 2011, 12:31 pm

    I took a leap of faith on this recipe. I had doubts during the process because it didn’t require the yeast to be pre-activated with warm water. I followed the directions carefully, which wasn’t hard and hoped for the best. I punched it down once after a few hours, then refridgerated the dough overnight. The results…..AMAZING! Best pizza dough I have ever made. Crispy on the bottom. Fluffy inside. Delicious! I added some dried rosemary to the dough before baking for extra fragrance. AMAZING! Thank you so much!


    Katherine Reply:

    George… isn’t this pizza dough recipe the BEST?! I watched them make it on tv and was doubtful myself. It seems to go against everything I have learned when using yeast. But despite the lack of heat and the
    “wet dough,” it really makes the best pizza dough crust EVER!


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