Is there anything better than a delicious pizza? We don’t think so and it seems that the rest of the world agrees.
Featuring the classic combination of crust, cheese, and sauce – pizza is beloved for its versatile nature and can be garnished with a variety of tasty toppings.
Beginning its existence in Italy, pizza has become one of the most popular dishes in the world and can now be found in restaurants across the globe.
However, this does not mean that all pizza is the same, as there is one major component that often separates the different kinds of pizza you can purchase – and that is the dough.
Although it may seem like a strange notion, pizza dough can greatly affect how the pizza will taste and look, with different doughs often yielding different textures and thicknesses.
These days, one of the most popular pizza doughs to make is Sicilian pizza dough, which is known for its thick crust and square-like shape.
And although this particular dough is relatively simple to make, it does require some skill for the best results.
So if you want to know how you can make your own Sicilian pizza dough from scratch, then you have come to the right place.
In the following article, we are going to teach you how to make authentic Sicilian pizza dough by using one of the best recipes we could find online.
We will also explain what makes Sicilian pizza dough different and how you can customize the recipe for the perfect crust.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best Sicilian pizza dough recipe that we could find…
Types Of Pizza Dough
Pizza has existed for hundreds of years and is now considered to be one of the most popular foods in the world.
And although toppings have changed over the centuries, the basic composition of pizza hasn’t, with many people still kneading their dough by hand before baking it in a brick oven.
However, there are now different types of pizza dough available, which comes with minor differences that set them apart.
So before we can show you how to make your own Sicilian pizza dough, you must first understand these differences and the types of dough that you can produce.
So let’s take a look…
The Neapolitan is considered to be the most classic pizza dough in the world, with the finished pizza usually taking the form of a large round pie with a thin bottom and wide edge.
Traditionally, this pizza dough is made from a combination of high-protein flour, salt, water, and yeast – which helps to give the finished product its characteristic texture and airiness.
However, this does not mean that the dough is easy to make, as overcooking the crust can render it completely unusable.
If you want to ensure that your Neapolitan pizza dough is cooked to perfection, then you can do this by using a process called cold fermentation, which involves leaving the finished dough in the refrigerator for two days.
Once the dough has been chilled, you can then proof it at room temperature for two hours before transferring it to the oven for baking.
For the best results, it is important to bake Neapolitan pizza dough on high heat for one to two minutes, until the crust has turned golden brown.
When it has been cooked, the dough should now be chewy and should feature a light and airy crispness.
When served, traditional Neapolitan pizza will usually be accompanied by a knife and fork, as the crust is considered too thin to eat by hand.
The New York
Otherwise known as the modern pie, New York pizza dough is actually very similar to the Neapolitan dough, although there are a few differences that set the two dishes apart.
When baked, this particular pizza dough is often distinguished by its thick bottom crust and the ability to fold in half.
Unlike Neapolitan pizza dough, the New York is traditionally baked for fifteen minutes, as this allows the toppings to cook while the crust slowly finishes.
When making New York pizza dough, you will need to combine ingredients such as bread flour, oil, water, sugar, salt and yeast.
It is through the addition of the oil that this pizza dough is able to retain its moisture during the baking process, which results in a workable dough that can be easily folded and consumed.
Although this particular dough does not bear the same storied history as the Neapolitan, it still remains one of the most popular pizza doughs in the world and is commonly sold by the slice in cities across the globe.
Commonly referred to as the square pie, Sicilian pizza can often be identified by its thick and chewy crust, which can measure from one inch or more when it has been properly cooked and prepared.
As a pizza, the Sicilian is usually made from a similar dough to that of the New Yorker, however, it is prepared differently to create the pie’s unique texture and shape.
For example, when it comes to baking this particular pizza dough, you will need to form it into a thick square, which then needs to be drenched in olive oil before finally being baked in the oven.
During the baking process, the oil will work to fry the bottom of the pizza, to create a thick and chewy crust that should be light and spongy to the touch.
Traditionally, Sicilian pizza can be served with a variety of different toppings, although it is most common to cover the pizza in a thick layer of stretchy cheese before serving it to friends and family.
What You Will Need
Now that you understand the different types of pizza dough that are currently available, it’s time to take a look at the various ingredients you will need to make your own Sicilian dough.
Like most pizza doughs, Sicilian pizza dough requires only four basic ingredients to be made, which include flour, water, yeast, and salt.
However, if you want to make a pizza dough that yields a perfect bake, then you will need to adjust the recipe by adding some additional ingredients.
When compared to other pizza doughs, Sicilian pizza can often be distinguished by its thick and airy crust, which means it must be baked on low heat for a longer period of time.
Whereas a brick oven is able to cook a Neapolitan pizza in less than two minutes, a Sicilian pizza will need to be baked for around half an hour at a heat of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because of this, it can be very difficult to brown the dough during the baking process, which is why you will also need to add oil and sugar before the pizza can be cooked.
To help you further understand the importance of each ingredient, we have outlined each one in the sections below:
When it comes to making your own pizza dough, flour is probably the most important ingredient that you will use.
Not only does flour produce the natural flavor of the dough, but it also works to develop gluten content during the proving process.
For Sicilian pizza dough, we recommend using high-quality bread flour, as this will usually yield the best results.
However, you can also purchase great all-around pizza flour from various grocery stores and online platforms.
When choosing the best flour for the job, it is important to consider how long you intend to ferment the dough before baking, as longer fermentation will usually yield a more intense flavor.
It is also possible to ferment your pizza dough in the refrigerator, as this can keep the dough fresh while the gluten develops.
Although it is a necessary part of the recipe, yeast can be a very difficult substance to work with, as it can slightly alter the flavor of the finished dough.
The amount of yeast you will need can also vary depending on the brand you are using, with 10 grams of fresh yeast usually equalling 5 grams of dry yeast and 3 grams of active yeast.
When baking pizza dough, it is important to only use clean water that has been kept at room temperature.
If you use water that is too cold, then you could risk slowing down the yeast and ruining the fermentation process.
If the water is too hot, then it will make the yeast work too fast, which can also result in various problems.
Salt is commonly added to pizza dough for a touch of flavor, although it also comes with the added benefit of being able to slow down the fermentation process.
For this reason, we recommend using fine sea salt or kosher salt when making your dough, as these are the best options for the recipe.
Now we understand that this may sound like a strange notion, but it is incredibly important that you add a little bit of sugar to your pizza dough.
Not only will the sugar add some much-needed sweetness to the final product, but it will also help the dough to brown faster at a lower baking temperature.
Olive oil is another unique ingredient when it comes to Sicilian pizza dough, as it is commonly used to conduct heat during the baking process, which results in a crispy and well-baked pizza.
Using olive oil can also make the overall process much easier, as it helps to bake the dough even at low temperatures.
However, this does not mean that you have to use expensive olive oil to yield the best results, as it will add little to no flavor to the finished dough.
Instead, we recommend using a simple extra-virgin olive oil for the job, as this can be easily purchased from any local grocery store or deli.
Like with any pizza, you can top your Sicilian dough with any toppings that you want, However, adding a layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese is always a great place to start.
If you want your pizza to be more traditional, then you can also top it with authentic ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, and anchovies.
Although if you have guests coming round, you can also entertain the idea of setting up a toppings bar, where they can add whatever they want to the top of the finished pizza.
How To Make Sicilian Pizza Dough
Now that you understand the ingredients that you need to use, it’s time to take a look at how you can make your own Sicilian pizza dough from scratch.
In the section below, we have outlined the best recipe for making Sicilian pizza dough, so that you can attempt to make it from the comfort of your home.
So get your ingredients and let’s make some Sicilian pizza!
Note: this recipe makes a Sicilian pizza measuring around 12×16 inches, but feel free to adjust the recipe to meet your needs.
- Flour (500g)
- Warm water (335g)
- Dry active yeast (5g)
- Olive oil (15g)
- Salt (7.5g)
- Sugar (10g)
Step 1: Make The Dough
To begin making your Sicilian dough, you must take a large mixing bowl and fill it with warm water.
After this has been done, add the sugar and yeast and stir the mixture until they have dissolved, then gradually add the flour until there is nothing left.
Once this has been completed, add the salt to the mixture and work it until the dough is thick and shaggy.
Step 2: Let The Gluten Develop
For this next step, you will need to transfer the dough to an airtight container or cover the original bowl with plastic wrap.
Alternatively, you can also place the dough on a kitchen counter under the cover of an upside-down bowl.
After you have covered the dough, allow it to rest for around 30 minutes.
During this time, the moisture will begin to hydrate the gluten in the dough, which will result in the formation of gluten strands.
This process is commonly known as autolyze and is an effective way to force water into the gluten without kneading.
However, if you still wish to knead the dough, then that decision is up to you!
Step 3: Knead The Dough
After the 30 minutes have passed, remove the dough from its container and knead it on a flat surface until it has transformed into a smooth and bouncy ball.
You can either do this step by hand or by putting the dough into a standard mixer.
However, it is important to remember that this process should only take a few minutes to complete, as you have already released the moisture through the autolyze.
If you want to make sure that the gluten has developed correctly, you can test it by using the windowpane method.
Step 4: Proof The Dough
Once the dough has been kneaded, place it inside a lightly oiled airtight container or bowl covered with plastic wrap. You should then let the dough prove for about 4-6 hours.
You can also cold ferment the dough in the refrigerator for extra flavor. This involves placing the container or bowl into the fridge overnight until it has chilled.
However, you will need to remove the dough 2 hours before baking for the best results.
Step 5: Shape The Dough
When the dough has risen to a sufficient height, remove it from the container and stretch it out on a baking sheet or piece of parchment.
Use your hands to shape the dough into a large rectangular shape, while making sure to create a rim around the edge.
This should result in a nice even crust that will cook perfectly when baked in the oven.
Step 6: Add The Toppings
After you have formed the base of the pizza, add the sauce, cheese, and toppings.
These can be whatever you like, although we do recommend using fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese for the first few layers.
Step 7: Bake The Pizza
Place the pizza in the oven and bake at 400F for 30 minutes until the crust is crispy and golden brown.
If you plan to bake the pizza using a pizza stone or pizza steel, then you will need to preheat the oven on the hottest setting for one hour before adding the pizza.
When the pizza is in the oven, you will then need to lower the temperature back to 400F.
Because Sicilian pizza is known for its thick crust, this means it can be very heavy and therefore difficult to remove from the peel.
So to avoid any sticking, we recommend placing the pizza on a piece of parchment paper before transferring it to the oven.
You will then need to remove the parchment once the dough begins to set. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of sticking while also ensuring a crispy crust.
For the best results, we also recommend that you pre-bake the pizza without cheese or toppings.
This involves baking the pizza with the sauce for about 20 minutes before adding the cheese and toppings for the remaining cooking time (10 minutes).