Single Dough Ball

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| Servings: Makes one pizza ball


  • First fermentation 2 hours
  • Shape and cover dough 10 minutes
  • Second fermentation 6 hours
  • Hold time for use at room temperature 4 hours, or refrigerate to extend the use until the next evening
  • Sample Schedule Mix the dough at 9a, knead it at 9:20a, shape into dough balls at 11a, make pizza between 5p and 9p or the next day; for next day pizza refrigerate the dough ball 4 hours after it is shaped, then let it sit out at room temperature for 1 hour before making pizza.


  • Water 116 grams (Scant ½ cup)
  • Fine sea Salt 5 grams (Scant 1 teaspoon)
  • Instant dried yeast 0.1 grams (1/10 of ¼ teaspoon)
  • White four, preferably 00 – 166 grams (1 ⅓ cups)


  1. Measure and Combine the Ingredients. Using your digital scale, measure 116 grams of 90° to 95°F (32° to 35°C) water into a container. For a recipe this small, a large bowl will be fine–you don’t need to pull out the dough tub. Measure 5 grams of fine sea salt, add it to the water, and stir until it’s dissolved. Measure o.1 gram (1/10 of ¼ teaspoon) of instant dried yeast. Add the yeast to the water and stir or swish it around until dissolved. This takes a couple of minutes. Continuous stirring is not required. Add 166 grams of flour (preferably oo) to the water-salty yeast mixture.
  2. Mix the Dough. Mix by hand, first by stirring your hand around inside the dough tub to integrate the flour, water, salt, and yeast into a single mass of dough. Then use the pincer method (see page 86) to cut the dough in sections with your hand, alternating with folding the dough to develop it back into a unified mass. Continue for just 3o seconds to 1 minute. The target dough temperature at the end of the mix is 8o°F (27°C); use your probe thermometer to check it.
  3. Knead and First Rise. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, then knead it on a work surface with a moderate dusting of flour for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The skin of the dough should be very smooth. Place the dough ball seam side down in a lightly oiled container. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Hold the dough for 2 hours at room temperature (I’m assuming 70° to 75°F/21° to 24°C) for the first rise.
  4. Shape. Shape the dough into a medium-tight round following the instructions on pages 88 to 91, working gently and being careful not to tear the dough.
  5. Second Fermentation. Place the dough ball on lightly floured plate, flour the top, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 6 hours for the second fermentation. Alternatively, you can rest the dough ball for 4 hours at room temperature, and then refrigerate to hold for up to the next evening.
  6. Make Pizza. Make pizza anytime in the 4 hours following the second stage of fermentation. If you refrigerated the dough ball, let it come to room temperature for an hour while you preheat the oven and prepare your toppings.

Source: The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish