There’s no shortage of pizza dough recipes on the site, and the same can be said about bread recipes (see here, here, here, and here). The last few years I’ve settled on what I like to call a universal dough recipe, one that can be used for pizza, just as easily as a daily loaf of bread. Let’s call it an All-Purpose Dough.
I know the first thing some of you are going to ask—”Jennie, how can we convert this into cups?” And you know my answer, right? Get a scale—I promise you it will become your best friend in the kitchen. I will never understand why this method for measuring ingredients never caught on in the U.S. I don’t mean to sound cranky or rude, really. I’m just being honest here, and sharing how I do things in my own kitchen.
All you need are four ingredients to make this dough: flour, yeast, salt, and water. It’s by a Peter Reinhart recipe, which I stay pretty true to here, but over the years have also adapted to make a no knead recipe by increasing the water. In that case, you’ll want it to be a bit of a wet dough, so increase the water to 600-625 grams.
I also use a different approach for the water—it can be straight from the tap or bottle, if that’s what you use, no need to warm as with many other recipes. Most recipes call for warm water to activate the yeast quicker. This one gets a long enough rest, that the temperature of the water isn’t a variable. And obviously, if you’re making it into a no knead dough, skip the kneading part in step 3 of the recipe below. This is more often how I make the dough, but lately I’ve been loving kneading in other recipes, and wanted to offer that option for anyone who feels intimidated by working with such a wet dough.
Pull as much as you need, when you need it, knowing the dough will stay fine in the fridge for up to 4 days. Beyond that the yeast over develops, and starts to affect the flavor. You can also portion it out, place into oiled ziptop bags, and store it in the freezer for a grab & go approach to pizza dough. Move it to the fridge the night before you plan to use it, and it’ll thaw out in time for dinner. You can even let it thaw on the counter top the day of—it takes a few hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
I’ll be sharing some techniques for making bread and focaccia with this dough. In the meantime, you can start by swapping it in for your favorite pizza recipe. If you’re using it for pizza the same day you make it, the photo below shows a great way to portion it out before setting it aside to rise. The pieces of paper are parchment. Hope the week is going well for everyone. I’m excited to start sharing more recipes using this master All-Purpose Dough recipe.
Eight years ago: Creamy Homemade Ricotta, Sunday Best Homemade Waffles, Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam, Coconut Peanut Sauce Beef, and Baked Fish Tacos.
Seven years ago: Concord Grape Muffins, 10-Minute Lentil Soup (great for InstantPots!), English Flapjacks, and Carrot “Fettuccine”.
Six years ago: Homemade Chocolate Snap Cookies, How to Make the Best Scrambled Eggs, A Master Plan, and In Search of An Anchor.
Five years ago: Blackberry Conserves, Thoughts on a Clear Blue Day, and Homemade with Love Photo Shoot (see how the cover photo was shot).
Four years ago: Apple Breakfast Bars, Hazelnut Thin Crisp Cookies, Prosciutto & Fried Egg Tartine, and Postcard from Paris.
Three years ago: Sunday Evening Thoughts and When Life Imitates Art.
Two years ago: Whole Grain Concord Grape Muffins (dairy-free, too), and Honey Spice Cake.
One year ago: Honey Chamomile Spice Cake, Turmeric & Ginger Roasted Cauliflower, Oatmeal Banana Muffins, About a Girl, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Basil Cashew Pesto, Salted Thyme Chocolate Chip Cookies, and How to Dry Fresh Herbs.
All-Purpose Dough for bread, pizza & more
- 685 grams bread flour
- 14 grams fine sea salt
- 7 grams active dry yeast
- 568 grams water
- Add the flour, salt, and yeast to a deep bowl. Use your fingertips to "whisk" together.
- Pour in the water. Using your fingertips, "stir" together until it forms a scraggly dough. Knead it in the bowl until it comes together roughly.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough, lightly sprinkling more flour as needed on the counter, until it's no longer sticky, and very smooth, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a deep container, and cover. Let sit in a warm spot until doubled in volume, and proceed with desired bread or pizza recipe. Alternately, you can store the dough into the fridge up to 4 days, pulling what you need from it until it's all used up.