Delfina’s Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe and A Great Pizza Stone

Tomato sauce, homegrown tomatoes, homegrown basil and mozzarella top this pizza we made.

When I spy the words, “best homemade pizza dough we’ve ever tried,” well, you know I’ve got to try it.

Especially since those lofty words come from none other than Sunset magazine’s exacting editors.

That’s just what they proclaimed  this recipe for “Delfina’s Pizza Dough”  from the acclaimed San Francisco restaurant, Pizzeria Delfina.

The recipe can be found in “The Sunset Cookbook” (Oxmoor House), of which I received a review copy last year and have been happily cooking from ever since.

Just as they promised, the soft, supple dough is easy to work with. And it bakes up crisp with a slightly puffy edge.

The recipe calls for 1 generous teaspoon of fresh yeast, which can be found in refrigerator cases of certain supermarkets. I didn’t want to make an extra trip to the store, so I searched online until I found the proper conversion for using active dry yeast instead. Turns out it’s about 1 1/4 teaspoons, so that’s what I used.

The great Emile Henry pizza stone that I got as a sample to test out, fitted inside our Big Green Egg.

The pizza, ready to be served.

You can bake this pizza in the oven. But we did it on the grill, using a new Emile Henry round pizza stone ($49.95) that I got a sample of from the kind folks at Williams-Sonoma. Glazed in black, it’s beautiful to behold, so much so that you could easily serve guests right from it. Sur La Table also carries the pan at the same price, but in flame red.

But the glaze goes beyond looks. We have a regular unfinished, square pizza stone for our kitchen oven. We’ve also experimented with other unglazed pizza stones for the grill. This is by far the easiest to use. The glaze doesn’t necessarily make it non-stick, but it does help the pizza come off the stone more easily than other stones we’ve used.  Founded in 1850 in France, Emile Henry is renowned for its dutch ovens and other ceramic cookware. It’s no wonder that its pizza stone heats up so evenly. It’s also easier to clean than other stones. You can wipe it off or put it in the dishwasher.

Fresh figs top this pizza.

Top your pizza with whatever you desire. We made a Margherita with fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella; and another, in which we topped the dough with fresh figs, rosemary, olive oil and gorgonzola, before baking, then finishing with paper-thin slices of prosciutto and handfuls of baby arugula before serving.

Delfina’s Pizza Dough

Time: 2 hours, plus 4 hours to rise

(Makes enough for six 12-inch pizzas)

1 teaspoon (slightly rounded) fresh yeast OR 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound, 14 ounces (about 6 cups) “00” flour, preferably Caputo OR all-purpose flour (See Tips below)

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (see Quick Tips below)

Put yeast, oil, and 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix, using dough hook, on lowest speed until yeast has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add flour and mix another 8 minutes. If you must mix by hand, stir ingredients together with a wooden spoon until blended; then turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and stretchy, at least 15 minutes.

Cover bowl or dough loosely with a dampened kitchen towel and let dough rise 20 minutes in a warm (about 80 degrees) place.

Add salt and mix on low speed until incorporated and dissolved, about 7 minutes; or, if mixing by hand, sprinkle dough with salt and knead 10 minutes.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut into six equal portions. Roll each into a tight ball. Set on a lightly floured baking sheet.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at least 4 hours at warm room temperature. Dough balls have risen properly when they are soft, pillowy, and full of air.

Heat a pizza stone or baking sheet on lowest rack of oven at 550 degrees (or as high as the oven will go) for at least 30 minutes.

Working with one ball of dough at a time (keep remaining balls tightly covered), set dough on a well-floured pizza peel or rimless baking sheet and stretch it into a 12-inch circle. Flop stretched-out dough onto peel.

Arrange your choice of toppings on dough.

Plant tip of pizza peel (or long edge of baking sheet) on pizza stone and shove pizza quickly onto it. Bake until pizza is puffy and browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle with oil.

Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Quick Tips: Find “00” flour in well-stocked supermarkets and Italian markets. For best results, measure flour by weight rather than volume. Though 1 1/2 tablespoons may seem like a lot of salt, the dough won’t taste too salty as long as you use coarse-grain kosher salt, not fine-grained table salt.

Make Ahead: Dough can be formed into balls, set on a lightly floured baking sheet, covered tightly with plastic wrap, then chilled overnight (dough will rise slowly in the refrigerator). After dough balls have risen, you can freeze them for up to 2 weeks. Let chilled or frozen dough come to room temperature before proceeding.

Adapted from “The Sunset Cookbook”

Another Great Dough Recipe: A16’s Pizza Dough

More Sunset Cookbook Recipes: Chef Bradley Ogden’s Overnight Soft Herb Roll

And: Beef-Ale Stew and Green Onion-Buttermilk Dumplings

Share and Enjoy
Print This Post
Tags »

Date: Monday, 5. September 2011 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: General, Pizza, Recipes (Savory), Restaurants

Feed for the post RSS 2.0 Comment this post


  1. 1

    What beautiful pizzas! Homemade dough is the best. I wish I had such a pizza stone.



  2. 2

    I’m loving that pizza stone! Think I might have to purchase one.

  3. 3

    That tomato pizza looks fabulous. I have never used a stone but assume it really does a wonderful job of making sure that you dont have a crisp outer crust and slightly raw dough towards the center. Enjoy your luxury.

  4. 4

    I prefer thin crust pizzas and yours look pretty spot on. Love that you have done it with figs. Such a beautiful fruit for pizzas!

  5. 5

    Love the look of that Emile Henry Pizza Stone – I love their products, and your pizza looks like it came out nice and crunchy on the bottom.

  6. 6

    That pizza stone looks like it’s worth the price of admission. But the recipe sounds like a definite must try :) Thanks for sharing the pizza dough recipe Carolyn!

  7. 7

    Wonderful looking pizza! William Sonoma is my favorite toy store…love this pizza stone :)

  8. 8

    Beautifully done! I love that you did it on your Egg.

  9. 9

    These pizzas look amazing. Especially the one with figs! Gotta try this pizza dough recipe soon. I got the square non-glazed pizza stone from Sur La Table. Guess I’ll look for the glazed one next time I shop there or in W-S.

  10. 10

    I am definitely going to have to try that pizza dough recipe! And damn…that fig pizza – beautiful.

  11. 11

    Sounds like an excellent pizza dough recipes, all the pizzas look gorgeous!

  12. 12

    Thanks for the review of the pizza stone. Love the attention to detail in the recipe and the tips on dry yeast substitution for the fresh yeast, and coarse salt instead of table salt. Personally love pizza baked on the grill. An excellent blog post and wonderful information. ~ Thanks for sharing, Tom

  13. 13

    Your slightly puffy golden coloured pizza base looks great. Hoepfully I’ll be able to recreate it, although I’ve be using a grill. The freezing tip is brilliant means I can kock up one batch and save some for next week. Thanks again, this page is bookmarked!

  14. 14

    Wow, your pizza dough does look great and I have a case of pizza stone envy going on right now!:)

  15. 15

    four ingredients making way for lots and lots of awesomeness! thanks for sharing this, carolyn!

  16. 16

    […] and olive oil to make the topping that gets strewn over the unbaked crust. We baked our pizza on a pizza stone in our Big Green Egg heated to about 625 to 650 degrees. It was done in 4 minutes […]

  17. 17

    […] to eat said pizza. The dough can be made the day/night before, which is what we did. Here’s the dough recipe here. I also have the Sunset cookbook, which is what I was thumbing through when the pizza brainstorm […]

Submit comment

Current ye@r *