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Pizza Part I (updated)

Written by Leah Schapira on Tuesday, 14 December 2010. Posted in Food Mood

When in pizza

Update: Check out Part II!



Evidently I have an obsession with pizza. I’ve made hundreds of versions over the years. Pizza on pita, Pizza on matzah, on mallawah dough…. And I’ve tried countless pizza recipes. After years of making and eating pizza, I’ve come to one basic conclusion; it all comes down to the dough.  Close to 5 years ago a pizza shop I frequently visited closed down.  If there was one thing I actually liked about their pizza was their dough. With the owner retiring I figured I have nothing to lose and set out to nudge, plead and shamelessly beg for the recipe. It took some convincing but with his retirement in the horizon I succeed.

The problem was it was all in percentages.  100% flour…1.8% salt…I placed the recipe on my desk and it haunted me for months. I regretted the day I made the decision in Eleventh grade for forgo Calculus.  Yet the urge of having recipe took over and late one night I sat down with a calculator and broke down the recipe, bit by bit. Eureka! It was the best dough ever. Some tweaking was done and it was perfect. I then proceeded to tear up every pizza dough recipe I ever wrote down.




Yields: 4 medium pizza pies


2 1/2 lb. white flour (or see note below *)

1 Tbsp salt

3 Tbsp sugar

1 package dry yeast (0.2 oz or 2 1/4 tsp.)

2 Tbsp oil

3 cups water


Place all the dry ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for 10 seconds. Add the water

and mix on low for 2 minutes. Add the oil and mix on low for 2 minutes.  Turn the mixer to high for an additional 2 minutes.

Divide dough into 4 balls**. Coat each ball well with flour and cover. Let them rise 1 ½ hours.

You then can refrigerate it or freezing it by placing in individual plastic bags. (coat with flour again to reduce stickiness.) Bring to room temperature before using the dough.


Measuring flour:

* Weight and cup measurements of flour never equal each other. 8 cups of flour sifted is a lot less then 8 cups unsifted flour. If you have a kitchen scale, measure out 2 ½ lb. of flour. Otherwise, use 7 ½ Cup of unsifted flour. If your flour is freshly sifted pack your flour down.  If you’re a beginner baker, add up to an additional ½ cup of flour. You’ll have a denser dough, but it will still taste quite good. If you are a more advanced baker, let the dough be sticky. Flour your hands well and flour your working surface well. You’ll be rewarded with an airy light dough.


** For the proper way to shape your dough, follow the directions below for an airtight ball:

With the dough in you hands, flatten it to small disk. Gather all corners into a pouch.  Hold the dough so that the gathered edges are in your right hand and the rounded side is in your left. Keep rotating and pulling the corners until you have a seamless ball and no air pockets.



1 ball of prepared pizza dough

5-6 Tbsp of pizza sauce

6 handfuls of grated mozzarella or pizza cheese



Using only your hands and plenty of flour (no rolling pin) stretch and pull the dough until you form a 12”-14” circle.  Sprinkle cornmeal on baking paper and place the dough on top.  Spread 5-6 Tbsp of pizza sauce on top. Sprinkle with 6 handfuls of pizza cheese, or more, to taste. Trim the edges of the baking paper, about 1 inch from the crust. Place the pizza with the baking paper, directly on the pizza stone. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 475°F for 13 minutes.  Check the crust for readiness (it should be golden brown).


Need a quick Pizza recipe?

My favorite quick version of Pizza these days is “lafa pizza”. Place a large lafa on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Spread pizza sauce or ketchup on the lafa. Sprinkle with cheese and your favorite toppings. Bake at 450F until its ready.

Lafah or Lafa is a large Iraqi pita that is of medium thickness, slightly chewy, doesn't tear easily. Mostly used to wrap shawarma or falafel in food stands.


Click here to rate and review the recipe.

Photos by Dan Engongoro

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About the Author

Leah Schapira

Leah Schapira is the bestselling author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. In 2010, Leah launched, the popular online kosher recipe exchange. Her cookbook career began at the age of 21, when she wrote her first cookbook as a fundraiser to begin channeling her passion for recipes. Leah is also a monthly columnist for Whisk, the popular kosher food magazine published by Ami Magazine, where readers appreciate her humor and wit. She has been featured in The Washington Post, The Star Ledger, and The Blue Lifestyle, among many others. When she's not writing cookbooks Leah enjoys traveling the world with her husband and children.

Comments (16)

  • rachel
    14 December 2010 at 06:50 |

    WOW! You must be a true pizza lover. I want to start a community post devoted to pizza lovers.

    • LeahS [Admin]
      15 December 2010 at 06:27 |

      Great Idea. Once you start it I'll add some tips for using a pizza stone. True pizza lovers only bake pizza with a stone.

  • CookMama
    19 December 2010 at 13:29 |

    You are not the only pizza lover out there. All my kids would rather eat homemade pizza than anything else. Love to get more ideas!

  • Doctor
    20 December 2010 at 23:59 |

    Fantastic idea. All my husband wants me to make is pizza. He'll eat it in any shape or form. I'm already bored of eating it so much. Would love some ideas to add some variety!!

  • CHEF102
    23 December 2010 at 16:17 |

    This pizza recipe is A1, can you add the recipe for the garlic bread and pizza sauce. Share the wealth with everyone!

  • LeahS [Admin]
    23 December 2010 at 21:51 |

    Ok, I'll put up Pizza Part 2!

  • Leahg
    04 January 2011 at 01:11 |

    "Life is like a pizza. Even when it's bad, it's good!"

  • kvetchingeditor
    05 January 2011 at 04:20 |

    If you're looking for a delicious gluten-free pie crust that's easy ... check out Bob's Red Mill's gluten-free pizza crust mix. It's easy and delicious. My husband, who isn't gluten-free, actually *prefers* it!

  • kuki
    12 January 2011 at 03:14 |

    I love your website!

    Now i know exactly how to do your pizzas all year 'round, instead of waiting for you to come for sucoss! it wont come out as good as yours but i will try...

  • luv2entertain
    14 January 2011 at 01:36 |

    If you are watching your weight or just want a gluten free pizza, try portabello pizzas. Clean large portabello, fill with favorite marinara or pizza sauce and top with shredded cheese. Can sprinkle on oregano, basil or any other herbs and bake.It even passed the kids test. My eleven yr old son loves it!

  • luv2cook
    14 January 2011 at 02:54 |

    We've been making and eating your pizza recipe for almost a year now. We can't get enough of it. my kids who don't like chees love the galic bread. Just wanted to let people know that it's a great idea to make pizza dough after you make challah and your mixer is out anyways.

  • malkie
    21 January 2011 at 02:41 |

    We love home made pizza. But I'm lazy and make it in my bread machine. It makes it so much easier. I've just been trying to figure out how not to use too much whole wheat because it makes it heavy and hard to work with.
    My kids love making their own pies.

    • LeahS [Admin]
      26 January 2011 at 03:46 |

      Try adding a bit more oil. It might help. Or use half ww and half all purpose flour.

  • chossid
    05 February 2011 at 21:23 |

    Hint from a pizzeria -- add a little oregano and black pepper to your dough!

  • thecookbooklook
    30 May 2012 at 02:49 |

    Hmmmm tnites dinner was a hit with thoose pizza pies! Thx!

    • LeahS [Admin]
      07 June 2012 at 14:18 |

      thecookbooklook, we're glad you enjoyed it. Would you rate the recipe so others know

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