In the perfect world, pizza dough takes about 2 1/2 hours. In our experience, the real world often doesn’t work that way. Many times, we simply decide to make pizza late in the day (or after work), and don’t have the time for the full 2 1/2 hour rise.
Luckily, pizza dough can be rushed — without too much damage. In fact, you can synchronize your dough with firing your oven. Try to give both 90 minutes. If you really want pizza tonight, and it’s late, you can do both in an hour.
Here is how you should rise your dough, based on how much time you have:
- 2 hours: 90 minute in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 30 minute rest
- 90 minutes: 60 minutes in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 30 minute rest
- 75 minutes: 60 minutes in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 15 minute rest
- 60 minutes: 45 minutes in bread machine, shape pizza balls, 15 minutes rest
Check your dough the first few times you make it, to be be sure that it is not too sticky or too dry. Add a TBS of flour or water to correct the dough if you are off, and remember what you had to do. After a few experiments, you can stop checking, and get on with other things.
We think you will find that your own dough, even under imperfect conditions, is much better than anything you can buy — particularly if you are using great flour and great olive oil. It also doesn’t have any of the preservatives or trans-fats that you can find in pre-made dough.