This easy homemade rye pizza dough has become a new staple in our house. Made with pantry staples, it makes for a tasty lunch or dinner when you don’t know what else to make!
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Pizza Dough Evolution
As I type up this most recent recipe of mine I’m asking myself, does the world really need another pizza dough recipe, Maria?
Maybe not. However, as you know I love to share my family’s new go-to recipes, and this rye pizza dough is one of them. I think we have made it 4 times in the last 3 weeks.
Chances are, this recipe will evolve and perhaps spur more types of pizza dough creations. I’m intrigued by the many different recipes out there, from doughs that call for a slow, 72-hour fermentation, to ones made without kneading, to the traditional Italian recipes (which apparently don’t have olive oil in them but therefore require the very high temperatures of a wood-fired oven).
However, that is the way it goes with recipes and life, it’s an ongoing evolution.
I wanted to make a pizza dough with rye flour as a tribute to my Swedish heritage. One of my favorite breads is Swedish style rye bread, (which by the way doesn’t have caraway seeds–one of the few ingredients I don’t like). Swedish crisp rye bread is another one of my pantry staples.
Rye flour is a whole grain flour that has a nutty, hearty taste. If you don’t have rye flour on hand you could substitute whole wheat to give it some of that hearty grain flavor plus the extra fiber.
There was a time when I would have tried to make this 100% whole grain–because I tried to make everything as “healthy” as possible–only to realize that the dough became too tough and it didn’t taste as good. Thankfully, as I’ve evolved on my own intuitive eating journey I have gradually left those diet culture-induced thoughts behind.
(And on that diet culture note, just a reminder that it would be totally okay to make this recipe with 100% all-purpose white flour too. Yum!)
We love to make this rye pizza dough into four individual pizzas, that way everyone can choose their own toppings.
My youngest prefers classic red sauce and mozzarella while I love mushrooms, arugula, and onions. (Recipe for that to come!) I’m also a big fan of pesto as a base instead of traditional red sauce.
Another delicious topping idea? This Asparagus, Kale, and Ricotta combo.
Ready to Bake
Ok, so let’s get baking. If you haven’t dealt with yeast a lot, here are a few tips:
- This is the kind of yeast I have. It’s a big package but will last for a year if kept in an airtight container in the freezer and 6 months if kept in the refrigerator.
- You can actually add this type of instant yeast right to the flour, but I prefer to mix mine with water first to make sure it’s still fresh.
- For maximum therapy, knead the dough with your hands. For almost as much therapy but more convenience, go ahead and use that fancy standing mixer.
- After mixing up your dough let it rise in a warm corner of the kitchen…or find another warm spot in the house.
Note, this recipe is adapted from a recipe for “Pizza Dough” in one of my favorite cookbooks, the “Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook.”
Rye Pizza Dough
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 packet active or instant dry yeast ( 2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour plus more as needed
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed
- Measure out one cup of warm water. It's usually ideal at 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit, but refer to your yeast package. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water. (I usually do this all in a liquid measuring cup, but you could transfer the water to a bowl too). Let stand for about 5 minutes, or until frothy.
If Making with A Standing Mixer
- To a standing mixer with the paddle attachment installed, add 2 cups of all-purpose flour, the cup of rye flour, and the salt. Mix together to combine. With the mixer running at low speed, pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Process until just combined, about 10 seconds. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. If the dough still seems sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until no longer sticky.
If Making by Hand
- Add 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, the rye flour, and the salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir together with a whisk. Next, add in the yeast and water mixture and the olive oil. Stir together with a wooden spoon until it resembles a dough. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes. If sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until no longer sticky.
Let the Dough Rise
- Lightly grease another mixing bowl with a little olive oil. Transfer the dough to this bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and let rise in a warm spot for about 1 ½ hours.
Roll Out the Dough
- After the dough has risen, it should have about doubled in size, it is ready to be rolled out. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal-sized pieces. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and then roll the dough into four 8-10 inch individual-sized pizzas. (Alternatively, wrap each piece of dough in plastic and store it in the refrigerator for up to a day or the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to bring to room temperature before using; if frozen begin by transfering to the refrigerator the night before.)
Prepare the Pizza
- Place the rolled out dough onto unrimmed baking sheets or pizza stones. Add desired toppings and bake for 5-8 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is melted.