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Tips for Making Great Pizza

by Vincent DiLeo

Like a fine wine, pizza dough needs to be aged.  Let me explain; The aging process for pizza dough is short, it’s only 2-5 days. 

Many people will argue that this is not necessary, and that you can make your pizza the same day that you make your dough. I argue that there is only one way to find out. Try making your pizza both ways and taste it!  The one that tastes best is right for you.

Once you make your pizza dough, you want to slow down the yeast production.  Your dough should rise slowly. 



The way to do this is to refrigerate your pizza dough from two to five days.  Place your dough in a large plastic container that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. Sometimes your dough may rise out of your container, be sure to push it back down and the yeast production will eventually start slowing down.

After the aging process is complete take your pizza dough out of the refrigerator.  It must go through one final rise.  This is the last and most important rise for your dough.  Don’t be in a hurry; you are almost ready to make pizza. 

Find a warm place to let your dough rise.  A good place would be in your oven with only your oven light on.  I create a little warmer environment for my pizza dough.  I use my auto shop light, you have probably seen one, it usually hangs from the hood of a car above the engine. Place the shop light in the oven along with your dough and close the oven door as much as you can. 


This creates a nice warm place for your pizza dough, which means your pizza will rise faster and you will be able to eat it sooner!  Once your pizza dough rises to about twice the size you started with, you’re ready to start making pizza.

Trouble Shooting:

If your dough does not rise, throw it out and start over.  Sometimes, if the water is too hot when you first make your dough it will kill the yeast.  Another reason for not rising may be yeast that is too old.  What ever the reason don’t waste your time trying to make a pizza, it may be edible but it won’t impress your friends.