Alton Brown’s Pizza Dough

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Anyway, as this post was a bit outdated I decided to redo it with some pictures and better formatting.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

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