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Alton Brown’s Pizza Dough

Comments : 9 Posted in : Dinner on by : Chris Tags: , ,

When I first launched The Keenan Cookbook in 2009, this was the first recipe I posted. I chose it to be the first because I use it frequently: for my homemade pizza, calzones and stromboli. Alton Brown’s pizza dough is really the best I have come across, and I’ve been making my own pizza since I was in high school. I would even make my own pizza when I lived in Japan, using a mix of local and shipped ingredients and baking in my little toaster oven.

Anyway, as this post was a bit outdated I decided to redo it with some pictures and better formatting. I hope you enjoy and give it a shot! And if you get into making your own pizza, I highly recommend you pick up a pizza stone. Outside of a brick oven, a pizza stone will yield the best tasting homemade pizza.  I guarantee it.


Recipe: Alton Brown’s Pizza Dough


  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. In a stand mixer, add the following ingredients in this order:
    sugar, salt, olive oil, water, 2 cups of flour, yeast, and remaining 2 cups of flour. Using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball. Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed.
  2. Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the baker’s windowpane, or taut membrane, has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead the dough for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Roll the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop. Then place the dough ball  into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Yields 4 servings. You can easily halve this recipe if it makes too much for your needs.

Want a detailed example of how to make the dough? Watch this short clip of Alton Brown himself. If you’re pressed for time, skip to about 7 minutes in the clip to get to the good stuff!

And here are my pictures:

Just a few simple ingredients for delicious pizza dough.

Alton Brown Pizza Dough Ingredients

When you first start off, your dough won’t hold together very well.

Your dough will tighten up as you mix. If you need to add a little more flour go ahead, add 1/4 cup at a time so you don’t make it too dry.

Alton Brown Dough is ready

After15 minutes, take the dough out of the mixer and place onto a floured work surface.

Turn dough out onto floured surface

Flour and fold the dough over.

Fold dough over

Kneed the dough with your knuckles. Folding over and pushing in each time.

Kneed dough

Once you’ve worked the dough, roll it into a ball.

Roll dough into a ball

Alton Brown dough ball

Place the dough in an oiled  bowl and toss to cover the dough ball. Then cover the  with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. I like to cover it again with a dish towel, as my Mom would always do that when I was growing up. Place the bowl in the fridge over night or for 2 nights.

Cover in seran wrap

This is the dough after rising overnight. I recommend letting it come to room temperature before working it.

Alton Brown Dough after rising

Turn the pizza dough out onto a well floured surface. You can now divide it in half or quarters and use for your recipes.

Turn risen dough out onto floured board

You know you made the pizza dough well when you can hold it up and see light through it without the dough breaking on you.

Your pizza dough is now ready for topping. This one I made stromboli with. You could also do calzones. To be honest, no matter what you do with this dough it is going to be tasty. So enjoy!

Alton Brown pizza dough


9 thoughts

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  • Tora Dewyse
    August 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I love Alton Brown, and I love this recipe!

  • Scott
    February 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    2 TEASPOONS salt NOT 2 tablespoons!!!!!!!!!

    Might want to change that. Ruined my batch.

    • Chris
      February 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Scott. Sorry you had a bad experience with the recipe. It definitely is tablespoon, not teaspoon. Did you use Kosher Salt? On Alton Browns recipe at foodnetwork, here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pizza-pizzas-recipe4.html, Alton does have a footnote about salt. I’ll paste it here for ease of everyones reference.

      *This recipe’s been on the web for some time now and although most of the reactions have been darned positive, some of you have commented that the dough was way too salty. At first we chalked this up to personal preference; some folks are just not as sensitive as others to this basic flavor. And of course salty toppings would definitley change the dynamic. Still, we didn’t want to leave it at that. We went back to the lab and found that the flake size of kosher salt differs quite a bit from brand to brand. This could easily result in a too salty crust. So unless you’ve had success with the recipe in the past, we suggest you cut the salt by one teaspoon, from a tablespoon to two teaspoons. So that the yeast doesn’t go crazy, you should also cut back on the sugar by half a teaspoon. Thanks, AB

      • Ryan
        November 7, 2014 at 6:36 am

        The recipe says 2 teaspoons of kosher salt?

  • Anthony
    February 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Because I was confused by this comment thread, I just cross referenced this recipe on the Good Eats website and that recipe only calls for 1tbsp of Kosher salt (and it does have the starred note you mentioned above, but it was talking about 1 tbsp of salt down to
    2 tsp). This recipe calls for 2 tbsp??! I agree with the above comment, you may want to change that amount since the original only states 1 tbsp.

    • Jon
      August 25, 2014 at 1:54 am

      This recipe is a double size batch of Alton’s.

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