Aliza Green

Chef | Consultant | Author

First Christian Church

Cornmeal Pizza Dough

I have used this light but slightly crunchy pizza dough to make hundreds, if not thousands, of fabulous pizzas in the wood-burning oven in my last restaurant. Although traditional Neapolitan pizza dough is made only with flour, yeast, salt, and oil, this one has an American twist, combining bread flour for strength, all-purpose flour for tenderness, and cornmeal for flavor and texture. It makes a delicious slightly crunchy dough for any pizza recipe but especially for those with vegetable toppings like broccoli rabe and artichokes and for the Sicilian Pan Pizza here. Use a scale for accuracy.

Yield: 2 pounds dough, enough for 2 large or 3 smaller pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound (2 cups) unbleached bread flour
  • 1/4 pound (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package (21/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, bread flour, cornmeal, and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the water, honey, and yeast and allow the mixture to proof for 10 minutes or until bubbling. Beat in the milk and oil. Beat in the flour mixture, then switch to the dough hook and beat on low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. The finished pizza dough should be soft and slightly sticky: you should be able to press a finger into the dough and pull it away cleanly after it sticks briefly.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning it so all the dough is coated with oil. Cover with plastic film and set aside in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise at warm room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 2 or 3 portions and form into smooth rounds. Roll out or stretch out by hand into the desired size: 12 to 14 inches is common.

Note that pizza dough doesn’t freeze very well, although it may be made one day, allowed to partially rise, then refrigerated overnight for use the following day or even punched down again and kept chilled for use the second day. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling or stretching into a circle or tongue shape.

(from Starting with Ingredients: Baking)