Deb’s homemade pizza dough for busy people

December 2, 2016
Recipe, Homemade Pizza Dough, Easy, Weeknight, Quick, Simple, Fast, Homemade, Healthy, Flexitarian, Flexitarian Recipe, Recipes for Vegetarians and Non Vegetarians, Cooking for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters, Vegetarian Cooking for Meat Eating Husband, Italian, Comfort Foods, Pizza, Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen, Tips, Cooking Tips, 7 ingredients or less

Deb Perelman (aka Smitten Kitchen) totally gets me—her homemade pizza dough recipe means real, scratch pizza in less than an hour. Busy people rejoice!

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Who’s hungry for pizza?

It is a well-documented fact on zee blog that pizza is a long-standing tradition obsession in ma house—like, a weekly affair for close to 10 years now. We tend to rotate between frozen pizza (the shame!) and takeout and once in a long while, we’ll go the homemade route…like that time we had leftover lamb.

But homemade pizza dough? Nope. Never. Not a one.

Now, it’s not like I didn’t want to. In fact, I’d always seen myself as “a person who makes her own pizza from scratch” so I very much liked the idea…but I was seriously scared of the dough. As a non-baker (and therefore afraid of ALL types of dough and yeast), I figured I would somehow screw it up. I also assumed it would just take toooooo long. And so my pizza-eating days continued, these assumptions firmly entrenched.

Enter Deb’s homemade pizza dough for busy people.

Flash back to November 2015: It’s my mother’s birthday and I decide to buy Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for each of us, so we can cook “virtually” together. Deb is pretty much the godmother of food blogging so a reliable cook. She eats everything (something we have in common) and her recipes are approachable but interesting. I figured my mother would like her, and I figured right.

One recipe (of many, btw) that my mother tried—and quickly loved—was Deb’s recipe for shaved asparagus pizza with rushed pizza dough…aka, homemade pizza dough for busy people. The whole thing takes about an hour, which, for scratch, is basically as good as it gets, non? Knowing my love for pizza and all things fast, my mother was quick to point out the recipe as one that I should try. Like asap. But…I’m afraid of dough, remember? Finally, after repeated encouragement by my mother, I finally gave this recipe for homemade pizza dough a go one Friday night.

I can now officially say that “I’m a person who makes her own pizza from scratch” and guess what? You can too.

Make Deb’s homemade pizza dough work for a Friday: 

Deb’s trick to save time is to let the dough rise for 30 minutes in an oven that was heated at a low temp (Important! The oven is NOT actually ON when the dough is in there). While the pizza dough is rising, it’s time to prep yo ingredients. Once the dough is ready, take it out of the oven and immediately preheat the oven. The pizza bakes at the highest temp your oven can muster so best to get on it asap to not waste any time. From there you just roll out the dough, top with ingredients (maybe from your fridge?) and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Here’s the recipe:

Deb's weeknight pizza dough for busy people

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-4


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for counter
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • Olive oil, for coating bowl



Preheat oven to 200-225 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. Keep the oven warm for 5 minutes then turn it off.


Pour the water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let it stand for 5 minutes.


Add the flour and salt to the water-yeast mixture and stir until a "rough, craggy mass" forms.


Turn onto a floured counter and knead for 5 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and smooth.


Coat a bowl with olive oil and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the still warm oven for 30 minutes. THIS IS THE TIME TO PREP YOUR INGREDIENTS!


Take the dough out and preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or 260 degrees Celsius.


Roll out the dough on a baking sheet and top with desired ingredients. Bake pizza for 12-15 minutes.


If you have a kitchen scale, I strongly recommend you weigh the flour.

Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

So folks, lots of lessons today:

  1. Your mother is always right.
  2. Dough is not thaaaaat scary.
  3. Homemade pizza can be as fast as takeout.

Until next time, happy cooking!

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