Homemade Pizza Dough: The Best Flours for Bread Machine Recipes

By Melissa Schneider March 16, 2013 No Comments

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a pizza fiend.  Almost every week, I whip up some homemade pizza dough in my bread machine, and I love to try out different toppings and sauces.  Over the years, I’ve hummed along, using all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, or a mixture, unaware that other kinds of flour could be tried.  Then, I discovered two Italian flours, semolina and “00 flour”, both of which make a tasty pizza crust.  I’ve also successfully delved into crusts made with cornmeal, a high-fiber addition.  I’ll tell you more about the differences between these flours and provide some bread machine recipes to try at home.

Semolina Flour:  This coarse, unbleached flour is made from “durum wheat”, the class of wheat with the highest protein content (12-13% per cup).  It is a high-gluten, low-starch flour, making it stretchy and expandable.  Semolina is usually combined with all-purpose flour to add flavor and crunch to a pizza crust that will hold its shape.

00 Flour:  Also called doppio zero or “type 00″ flour, this finely ground grain is the stuff of authentic Italian pizza dough.  00 flour has a low protein content, between 7-8.5%, like an American pastry flour.  It can be used on its own to make a wonderful, stretchy dough that rolls out like a dream and bakes up into a tasty, slightly soft pizza crust.

Cornmeal:  Made by grinding dried corn, cornmeal can be called “corn flour” when it is finely ground.  It also has a lower-protein content, about 8%, but is high in fiber.  Cornmeal must be combined with other flours to make a pizza crust, and adds a unique flavor to the pie that accents certain toppings particularly well.

Homemade Pizza Dough:  Italian Flours Bread Machine Recipe

  • 1.25 cups warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • OR 3 cups “00 flour” instead of semonlina and all-purpose
  • 0.5 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

Method:  Place the ingredients in your bread machine in the recommended order and choose the dough cycle (usually 90 minutes).  Prepare the bottom of two pizza pans with either coarse cornmeal or a thin coating of oil.  When dough is finished, preheat your oven as hot as it will go (500° or higher if you can).  Then, turn the dough onto a floured surface, and use floured hands to form it into 2 balls.  With a rolling pin, roll the balls into desired pizza shape.  (I use a dough scraper to lift the dough from the rolling surface and throw it a few times, just for fun, like a real pizza chef.)  Fit your dough into the pan and roll the excess over to form a crust.  Let the dough sit for a few minutes, then top with sauce, crumbled dry herbs, cheese, and toppings.  Bake each pizza for 10-15 minutes on lowest oven rack, until cheese is bubbling and crust is firm.

Cornmeal Pizza Crust in the Bread Machine

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 cup finely ground corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
Method:  Follow method for “Italian Flours” pizza above.  I recommend topping a cornmeal crust with sausage (have you tried Smoked Buffalo Bratwurst?), sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and caramelized red onions.  When it comes out, sprinkle it with fresh oregano leaves or fresh arugula and enjoy!

P.S. There are many other types of flour out there, check out this handy reference guide from the National Association of Wheat Growers.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user YAZEED

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