Bread machine pizza dough

This recipe is based on my friend Kiran’s experience making pizza dough at home for years. One night, we decided to come up with a variation that would work well in a bread machine, since I don’t have the Cuisinart that is the basic appliance used in his method.



Toss all the ingredients together into the bread machine. Set the machine to its knead-only or knead-and-rise-only mode. (This mode on my bread machine is called “manual”; your buttons may vary.) Start the bread machine.

After the dough has completed the kneading and rising cycles in the machine, cut it in half, gently form into two balls, and let it rest for a while. Then, either form the balls into pizza “shells” by stretching gently with your fingers (or rolling), or freeze or refrigerate them.

When you’ve formed the pizza shells, read the notes on making a pizza.


Following the bread machine’s general instructions, I frequently put the yeast at the bottom, followed by the salt and sugar, the flour on top of that, and the wet ingredients on top. I doubt this matters much if you don’t delay starting the machine, though.

Allowing some time for the dough to rest after cutting it into the appropriately-sized balls definitely helps. We find that it’s much easier to stretch the dough into the size of a pizza after it’s rested for an additional quarter or half hour after removal from the bread machine. Before resting, the dough can be very resistant to stretching, resulting in tears and pinholes in the dough. If it springs back when you try to stretch it, then it needs to rest longer.

If the pizza shell comes out in some weird shape, go with it. Resist the temptation to knead the dough, since that will make it tough again, and you’ll need to let it rest for some time before it can be formed into anything resembling pizza crust.

If you’re going to throw the balls of dough into the fridge for use later, then you can use some vigor when forming the balls, since they’re going to rest for some time in the fridge. You’ll also end up with considerably rounder pizzas, this way. Try to form round balls when you throw it in the fridge, though—whatever shape the dough ball forms while resting in the fridge will more or less be the final shape of your pizza.

You may also want to try cutting the yeast down to around a quarter of the amount I give above and allowing the dough to rise over night in the fridge. This will give a nice, considerably more yeasty flavor. Kiran believes that’s because you have the benefit of numerous generations of yeast consuming more of the sugars and causing rising, rather than just one generation producing a lot of gas in one big burst, which is what happens when the dough rises in 45 minutes.

This recipe can be doubled, as long as your bread machine is large enough. I suspect most are.

Here are some of Kiran’s original notes: Water: ideally, you should use “enough” water. That is, depending on the humidity and other factors, you may need to use more or less water to make good dough. Yeast: He prefers SAF, but it’s hard to find in bulk. Sugar: He recommends brown sugar; at home he uses raw sugar. Salt: The salt is important; it slows down the yeast action.