Adam Raguse’s Pizza Dough


Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; allow to sit for a few minutes (to activate the yeast).

Add the salt and olive oil, mixing well. Next, gradually incorporate bread flour to form a soft yet elastic dough, adding more as necessary. If necessary, additional flour should be added if the dough becomes tough to work with.


The type of flour used in making pizza dough greatly impacts its overall flavor. New York-style pizza typically calls for high-gluten flour that produces a chewy texture; other varieties exist, including bread and pastry flour with various levels of water absorption (hydration).

High hydration yeast allows the dough to rise more rapidly, which makes for fluffier pizza dough; however, it can make it tough and harder to work with when it comes time to knead or spread out thin.

Lower hydration yeast works best when creating pizza dough that needs long cold rise times – such as overnight in the refrigerator or one hour at room temperature before baking. Once the dough has rested for its initial cold rise period, roll it onto a preheated and well-dusted peel before topping with sauce and toppings.


Adam makes use of an unusually high water/flour ratio (65%), which differs slightly from the more commonly found 70% hydration level found online. By adding more liquid, his pizza dough becomes much softer, fluffier, and easier to work with – though stretching and sliding it onto your home oven’s peel can become more challenging.

He suggests using a stand mixer, though it’s not mandatory; I believe he is right to warn that wet dough may be difficult to manage without assistance (especially without a generous dusting of flour on hands and workspace). If making pizza without using one of these handy gadgets is your plan, aim for speediness once shaping is completed!


Sugar is used in this recipe to aid the dough’s rise and to enhance the flavors of other pizza ingredients. With a lower water-to-flour ratio than many other recipes, stretching and shaping thin-crust pizza is easier. Knead for about 10 minutes to develop gluten and give the dough its distinctive texture; allow to rise in the fridge overnight before preparing pizza!


Yeast is a single-cell fungus (it takes 20 billion cells to make up one gram) that thrives in environments rich in sugar and starch. When digesting these foods, yeast produces alcohol and carbon dioxide – producing leavening properties for baked goods like bread.

Yeast can be purchased in either active dry or instant forms; active dry has larger granules that must be mixed into water before use while instant can be mixed directly into flour. Both products can be found in grocery stores; one packet of instant yeast equals two 1/4 teaspoons of active dry.

Making pizza dough using a poolish takes longer than using regular yeast recipes, but most of that time is passive as the poolish and bulk fermentation take place on their own.

Olive Oil

Add water, sugar, and yeast to a large bowl and allow to stand until the yeast turns foamy (this shows it’s alive). Combine olive oil, salt, and bread flour before mixing to form dough. Knead until elastic without becoming sticky – add extra flour if necessary if your dough feels too wet.

Target an ideal hydration level between 60% and 70% for your dough. Higher hydration levels tend to create puffy and soft doughs, yet can be harder to work with as they stretch and tear more easily.

If olive oil is out of reach, other neutral oils like canola, vegetable, or sunflower oils may work just as well – though without having the robust flavor profile of olive oil.


Pizza making with wet doughs is easier due to their increased flexibility, creating thinner crusts more easily and tasting better depending on the style of pizza being created.

Salt is essential in pizza dough because it strengthens its gluten network while helping regulate yeast. Too much salt decreases leavening by increasing osmotic pressure on yeast colonies, while too little hinders fermentation. Lewis recommends choosing fine salt that dissolves easily in water for best results.

An ideal method for using salt is using fine or flaked varieties as these dissolve more easily in water and leave behind gritty deposits on dough. Furthermore, to minimize its osmotic effect and minimize its osmotic impact use a premium quality sea salt such as Durango or Yakima to achieve greater results.


Cornmeal is an integral component of cornbread, a staple in many Southern recipes. Furthermore, it plays an integral role in regional dishes like hushpuppies and Johnnycakes.

Cornmeal is a flour-like product composed of ground dried kernels of yellow, white, or blue corn, ground into fine to coarse pieces for use as food or in recipes. Available at many grocery stores as well as specialty mills like Anson Mills.

At its core, flour serves two distinct functions in recipes: to add flavor and change texture. If your supply runs short, be mindful to use other alternatives like semolina and ground oats that could work equally as well.