Help . Pizza dough

I am need of direction for pizza dough . I tried the ny times robertas recipe . Followed it to a tee. I saw it as a complete failure. Lifeless with the four hour rise ,24 and 72 hour in the fridge. I have a electric oven that gets to 550. Emile Henry pizza stone . No kitchen aid mixer . Elavation 3 , 500 feet. A neapolitan pie would be great . Pizza Margherita is my favorite . Possible without the 900 degree oven .? Love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

The first suspect was the yeast. The dough should rise, no matter what.


people spend years finding the recipe they think is “right”, so don’t expect this to be an easy fix - everyone has so many opinions about pizza crust.

That said - I agree with naf - are you saying that after 72 hours your dough wasn’t a bubbling mound of yeast and flour? If that’s the case, something was definitely wrong with your yeast. It could have been a bad sample of yeast (not sure what type of yeast you used) or the water could have been too hot and it was killed (I haven’t googled that recipe to really know their process) . . . .

If you’re saying it was lifeless, as in tasted bland like cardboard - then you may want to experiment with various flour mixes - some people really like a little rye in their dough . . . .

It’s worth the effort once you get going on a path that seems promising. Good Luck!

Edit - okay read the recipe - yes, if your water was too warm it could kill the yeast (this happens).

Here is another place that you can spend hours reading different dough recipes and forums just about pizza

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Third-ing @naf
You can always test your yeast before going through all the trouble if you are suspicious. Pour it into warm/hot water and see if it starts getting foamy and bubbly in 5 minutes.

I use a pizza yeast made by Fleischmann’s. It is fast and easy to work with. The flavor isn’t complex but I can make a pizza start to finish in an hour; so I consider that a good trade. Also, I have experimented a bit with adding some extra seasoning which works well. My favorite tip for pizza though is grilling the dough. I make 2 smaller pizzas and throw them directly on the grates for 3ish minutes @ 400ish. Flip and add all my precooked toppings. The only issue with this method is you don’t get that nice scorch on the top. You could throw it into the oven on broil if you were so inclined.


Maybe it rose too much… I didn’t know that was a thing till it happened to me with focaccia dough.

I use the Lahey recipe if I start in advance, or a higher-yeast recipe if it’s last-minute.

Careful with the water for the Lahey recipe - don’t add it all at once. I recommend watching the video once to see what the dough should look like.

Also agree on testing the yeast first with some warm water and sugar.


Apparently with over-proofing it’s possible to save the dough.

Also there is advice on various forums to do the long proof in the fridge first, and the shorter rise at the end before baking (this is where I fumbled with the over-proofing too - short rise outside, then long in the fridge - I would reverse the order next time).


Thanks for the link on over-proofing. Very interesting.

I agree with the others - lifeless at all stages means the yeast was dead. I try to make pizza dough a couple of days before I want to eat it to allow for a long, slow rise in the fridge whether I use commercial yeast or levain, but if it’s dead, it’s dead.

As for a true Neapolitan, 90-sec pizza at max temp of 550 - probably not. My oven gets to 550 and I use a heavy cast iron pizza steel - it takes 6 mins at 550 plus one minute under the broiler to get a properly browned pizza with good leoparding on the underside of the crust. Not a Neapolitan, but delicious and relatively quick - works for me!


Thanks for all your replies. Might have been a yeast issue . I’ll keep working on it .

Next time you buy yeast, consider this brand. I have used the brand for a while. The indiv bag is well priced. The 3 diff types are based on your preferred method of preparing dough. I keep in frig stays fresh.

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You know, I’ve made lots of pizza dough - mostly with good results after the initial experimenting. Nowadays though, I just buy it from a local pizza shop.