All-Purpose Dough for bread, pizza & more
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.
This recipe is now part of my new site, Simmering. It can be found by searching the archives here.
Thanks for the recipe in weight! I am always frustrated when recipes call for “a large onion” or something like that. Weight is the way to go!
I was lucky enough to meet Peter Reinhardt once. Such a nice man and great baker. I’m sure this is wonderful!
Thank you for sharing this recipe in grams and you wisdom on using a scale. As an American, I can not understand while people do not want to weigh out their ingredients in grams. They would prefer to use the old cup method and then wonder why a recipe fails. Measuring flour by volume is just insane. Use densely packed flour and you get a lot, use freshly sifted and it is much lighter, use the scoop method or spoon and sweet and you end up with different weight And they you complain you can not get the recipe to work properly. When you weight out an ingredient is does not matter how dense it is, 685 grams is 685 grams no matter what the volume.
This looks like a great recipe. I will give it a try this weekend if not sooner. Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely agree with the choice of weight in grams. It is the best.
I love that you’re posting a base recipe and then variations (like this, like the AMAZING pop-tart recipe)! P.S. I fully agree with the comments about posting in grams – I’m a total convert to weighing ingredients!
Absolutely agree about the scale. I learned when we owned our two restaurants, that if I wanted someone to be able to duplicate one of my recipes – it all needed to be by weight. This is true, as well, when you are simply sharing a recipe with a friend.
Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and glimpses into your life Jennie! I am ready to convert to weighing ingredients but would appreciate a recommendation. I am looking at a OXO stainless with pull-out display.
That’s the one I have, Carla, and love it. xo-Jennie
Hmmmm. I already have a scale, but it’s not my favorite and I just saw that scale is on sale at William Sonoma right now. I use your pizza dough recipe from Homemade with Love regularly. I’ll be trying this one next time.