The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi, bread newbie here

ilovethedough's picture

Hi, bread newbie here

Id just like to introduce myself. First time posting here. I have great interest in baking but little experience. I want to build my skills by trying new recipies, and i am interested in seeing what you all can make.


Today i am going to be baking some pizza dough. Feel free to criticize my method, i know my baking needs work and i want to improve.

I use

2 cups flour

4.5 grams instant yeast

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp of rosemary and oregano

2/3 cups water (about, amount varies)

I first start with a cup of flour and the yeast. I mix that together then add the rest of the ingredients, other then a cup of flour. I add water to all the ingredients and stir till it is doughy, then i begin to add the rest of the flour in little by little. Once it gets firm enough, i knead it for about 20mins then let it rise for half an hour. I preheat the oven to 450 and bake it in a glass dish for 20 mins, take it out, brush olive oil on, and put it back in for 10 min. When its all done i let it cool for half hour.

The problem here is my dough is too..doughy. It is way too chewy on the inside even though the outside is cooked golden brown. What am i doing wrong here? I want nice, airy dough with defined bubbles. i dont get bubbles with my recipe. thanks for the help


cranbo's picture

how big do you make your pizza? the reason I ask:

1 cup water = 236g * 2/3 = 156g water

2 cups flour @ 145g each = 290g flour

At least 446g total dough weight.

For a single dough ball and a 14" pizza, this means your pizza will be pretty thick and possibly doughy. 

If you want a thin crust 14" pizza, shoot for a final dough ball of about 400g. If your making personal size 12" pizza or less, you need to use a lot less dough. 

A few more things:

  1. Do you knead by hand? 20 minutes is a long time, but that's because your dough is so firm. You can make it easier on yourself by using a higher hydration dough (see #2 below), and kneading for 10 minutes maximum. 
  2. By my calculation, your dough is ~54% hydration, which is pretty dry for a pizza dough. 61% hydration will be a nicer, thinner, stretchier pizza dough. This means you should use about 3/4 cup of water, which will put your hydration around 61%. It will be slightly stickier to handle (not much), but it's better this way. Learn to handle sticky dough, and you'll be happier with your pizza (and other dough)! 
  3. Good pizza doughs should sit overnight after being kneaded in the fridge, and then are removed for about 2-3 hours at room temp to warm up before baking. This makes a tremendous difference in extensibility and flavor. Try it, you'll see. If you do that, try reducing your yeast to 3g. 


Try these steps, and you'll find that you get a better tasting, better perfoming dough.


cranbo's picture

Bake your pizza at a high temp (550F) for a shorter time (6-10 minutes). You'll get a better crust that way. 

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

cups are a very poor way to measure flour as it is so inconsistent depending on how much it is packed. I would say that 145 gr for a cup of flour is a lot, based on what I have read 125 would be a better number if spooning into the cup (no scooping!)

this would have the effect of increasing the hydration even with the same amount of water.


cranbo's picture

wayne's right. I'll give you a practical example about the importance of weight.

I just weighed several cups of flour on my Salter scale. 

Test #1: I spooned flour into cup measure, as wayne suggested

  • Supermarket generic "bread" flour: 120 and 121g, respectively
  • King Arthur AP flour: 124 and 128g, respectively

Test #2: I "fluffed up" the flour in the container, then scooped it using my cup measure. 

  • Supermarket generic "bread" flour: 134 and 138g, respectively
  • King Arthur AP flour: 136 and 140g, respectively

As Wayne said, 40g of flour, based on our recipe, will make all the difference in your hydration level. 40g likely represents at least 1/4 cup (but likely 1/3 cup of flour).

so yes, definitely buy a scale! 

ilovethedough's picture

Thanks for the help guys. I do own a digital scale, but ive never thought to use it to measure flour. I will do so from now on.


I want to try a small-scale bake to see if i can get it right this time. Ideally i want the loaf to be around 200g or so. Could you guys give me a recipe in grams for some dough? thanks

cranbo's picture

Makes two 200g dough balls; halve the weights to make one 200g doughball:

Bread flour 100.00% 250.00g

Water 61.00% 152.50g

Olive oil 2.00% 5.00g

Salt 2.50% 6.25g

Yeast (instant) 0.70% 1.75g

TOTAL WEIGHT (g) 415.5g


Mix ingredients and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes by hand or about 6-7 minutes at low speed in stand mixer. 

Form into dough ball(s), place in oiled container, cover, and into fridge for at least 12 hours. 

Remove from fridge, rest on counter for 3-5 hours. 

Preheat oven to 550F for at least 30 minutes; shape & top your pizza, bake on pizza stone for 6-10 min. 

ilovethedough's picture

great recipe! unfortunately i do not have a pizza stone yet so i am just baking it on the rack, still turns out great. thanks for this

ilovethedough's picture