Semolina Pizza Dough

This semolina pizza dough is surprisingly simple to work with and remarkably satisfying in a sturdy sorta way. So load ‘er up with toppings and cheese and fear not.

A ball of semolina pizza dough on a floured surface.

Semolina is a protein-rich flour that makes this dough resilient and gives the baked crust a hearty chew and tooth-sinking texture. [Editor’s Note: It’s not every day that we hear of a pizza crust being described as having a “tooth-sinking” texture, as author Brigit Binns describes it. But you know what? That odd little turn of the phrase is an astoundingly accurate adjective. You may wish to consider adding it to your lexicon, just as you may wish to add this pizza crust to your repertoire.]–Brigit Binns

Semolina Pizza Dough

  • Quick Glance
  • (7)
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 15 M
  • Makes 2 crusts
5/5 - 7 reviews
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Ingredients

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Directions

In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the warm water and the sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast and let stand until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes.

Add the room-temperature water and the olive oil to the foaming yeast concoction. Let it rest for a moment.

In a food processor, combine the semolina and all-purpose flours and the salt. With the motor running, add the yeast mixture in a steady stream and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. (If the dough doesn’t form a ball, sprinkle it with 1 to 2 teaspoons of cold water and pulse again until a rough mass forms.) Let the dough rest in the processor bowl for 5 to 10 minutes.

Process the dough again for 25 to 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. 

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn the dough to coat with oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, gently punch it down, and shape it into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. 

Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes before proceeding with your pizza recipe. (You can freeze the balls of dough in gallon-size resealable plasic bags, being sure to squeeze as much of the air as possible out of the bag, for up to 2 months. Thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.) Originally published April 16, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Pizza: And Other Savory Pies cookbook

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Recipe Testers Reviews

I was very pleased with how easy this semolina pizza dough was to make as well as with the flavor of the finished product. I’d been interested in trying semolina flour for pizza dough, and after making this, I want to explore it further.

I liked that the recipe yielded enough dough for multiple pizzas. The recipe says to let the dough rise in a warm place. It would be helpful for some people to know where and how to do that. For example, they can turn their oven on to the lowest setting for about 5 minutes, turn the oven off, and then put the dough into the oven. After the dough is made and divided into 2 pieces, the recipe tells you that after letting it rest for 10 minutes, you can use it or freeze it.

I wanted to use half of the dough later that day and then use the other half the next morning. Not having a lot of experience with dough, I was just assuming that it would work to refrigerate the remaining dough overnight. Someone who needs everything spelled out for them might take the recipe very literally and feel that they either had to bake the pizza right then and there or else throw the dough into the freezer.

This dough was incredibly easy to work with and stretch and it held its shape. It makes a fairly thick crust and can stand up to a lot of toppings. We loaded ours up with cooked crumbled sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and plenty of cheese. It was excellent though very filling.

I froze the second crust, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and used it a couple of months later and it was just as good as fresh.

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Comments

  1. This recipe turned out perfect but I had to go to someone else’s recipe on Pinterest to get an idea of oven temperature and time because this was not included.

    1. Thanks, Y. We’re delighted that you like this dough as much as we do and we’re glad you were able to find a way to cook it to your liking.

  2. I’ve made from scratch pizza crust for years with frustration all the while looking for perfection. Since I recently developed a new love for semolina flour I knew it was time to look for a new recipe and this is it, thank you! Better than the local chain pizza shops. I did rise for 4 hours & after punching down to knead then divide in 2 I let it rest for about 30 minutes. I made 1 large & divided in half again for 2 of my grandsons to make their personal pan creations. I preheated my gas grill to 600 & baked all 3 for 5 – 6 minutes. Deliziosa!!!!

    1. You’re so very welcome, karen! We absolutely love hearing this! Especially that your grandsons are now little pizza makers…we so appreciated you sharing this with us. Excellent tip on the gas grill!

  3. Will this recipe do well using a pizza stone in a 550 degree Kamado style grill, or does it need to be tweaked?

    1. Paul, we haven’t tried it this way, but it should work fine. I’ve never had issues with grilling pizza dough as long as the temperature is similar to what the recipe calls for. Let us know how it turns out!

    1. Hi Bob, you should be fine using 00 flour in place of all-purpose flour. Please let us know how it turns out.

  4. Can I just leave the unused dough in the fridge overnight or do I need to immediately freeze? I want to use it for dinner tomorrow night. Freeze then thaw doesn’t seem to make sense to me?

    1. Hi Matt, you could use the dough hook in your stand mixer. I would use the medium speed until the ball comes together then “knead” with the hook for a few more minutes.

  5. I live in FL n it’s hot every day. I thought why not put the dough in the back window of the car n let it rise there…oh my goodness it did wonderfully. As you can see from the photo., I’m going to use that idea again. Just oiled it covered it with the towel n let it sit 1 n 1/2 hrs. I’ll let u know how the pizza turns out.

  6. This dough didn’t work for me. Perhaps it was the Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour or just the balance between all purpose and semolina flours. It didn’t rise at all even with the yeast fully proofed and well within the expiration date (Nov 2019).

  7. I have used this recipe twice. The semolina flour is fine in texture and adds a light and crispy texture to your crust. The recipe is easy to follow and you actually have enough dough left over for another time. Excellent find!

  8. Instead of semolina I use durum flour when making breads or pizza dough especially if a recipe calls for a higher semolina to flour ratio. I find with durum flour you get all the benefits of semolina but durum acts much more like all purpose flour and none of the “gritty” that some people tend to complain about when using semolina. For those that don’t know semolina is made by coarsely grinding the endosperm of durum wheat. While grinding it, fine powder is also produced. This fine powder is what is called durum Flour. So, in theory, it’s a by-product of making semolina.

    1. Daniel, most pizza recipes call for a relatively high oven temperature of 450°F or more for about 8 to 10 minutes. But I dare say this dough is versatile enough to also handle 350°F for a slightly longer amount of time.

  9. Wonderful! Thank you so much. I increased the honey, other than that followed as written. Very, very good and nice and easy. I’m really starting to like my food processor more than my stand mixer for pizza doughs.

  10. Is this a form of cornmeal, or do you sprinkle cornmeal under the dough? That was a trick used at an Italian pizzeria I worked at years ago but it tasted like semolina flour. Forgot to check the email box on this question when I posted it. Thanks!

    1. Hi Bo, semolina flour is made from durum wheat and adds a great textural “bite” to pasta, pizza, and breads. Cornmeal is often used on the bottom of the pizza as the coarser meal acts like little ball bearings and helps the pizza slip from the peel to the stone.

  11. Does semolina flour have any cornmeal in it? I used to work at a pizza shop years ago that used this flour and before baking they would sprinkle something that looked like cornmeal on the bottom of the pan. Any correlation? Thanks.

  12. Thanks for this recipe. I have been making pizza for last 15 years for my family. Last week I tried this recipe it was just terrific. Now I will switch to semolina dough, it tastes great.

  13. Hey there, Rosie, I made this using an 11-cup food processor. If I was going to make it in a smaller processor, I would halve everything, including the yeast. I didn’t test this recipe that way, so I can’t guarantee how it will turn out, but I have halved other recipes using yeast with good results. Please let us know how it works for you. Enjoy!

  14. Should I assume that this was made in a large (11 cups) food processor.
    I have a small FP (7 cups) – should I halve this recipe and if so, how much yeast should I use?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Rosie, I’m checking with one of our testers to find out what size food processor she used. Will be back soon.

  15. I want to try this pizza dough with suggested modifications. I would half the semolina and increase the other flour by that amount. I would also use 00 flour in place of APF. Could I ask for weights of flours and water instead of volume measurement? I would do a 24 hour cold retardation then half the dough and use one half for my dough and keep the rest for later in the week or freeze it. I would slowly let the half I’m using come to room temp. then rise it at 100 degree proofing oven (Bard & Taylor). Then shape and use it.

    1. Well Stu, that sounds like quite the plan and please do let us know the weight equivalents. Many thanks!

    2. Hi Stu, I was intrigued by your 00 flour thought and pursued it, while doing so, I converted the measurements to grams. The process I used was to first sift the flours into a large bowl and then pull the flour from the sifted sources. Here are the conversions:
      1 tsp sugar = 5 grams
      2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast = 9 grams
      2 cups + 2 Tbs fine semolina flour = 300 grams
      1 cup + 7 Tbs 00 flour = 205 grams
      1 Tbs Salt = 7 grams
      Hope that helps!

      1. I wish all measurements were given in standardized units. A gram is a gram is a gram. It doesn’t matter as much when cooking, but if it involves baking, it would make for a more consistent outcome and a greater probability of success.

  16. This is it! I’ve been making homemade dough for years and I should have known about using the semolina flour. It makes a world of difference. The directions are very well written. My pizza came out perfect to my liking with my homemade sauce. The crust was very chewy so people with plates or dentures might have a hard time eating this. In that case I would cut back on the semolina and add more of the all purpose flour…JMO.

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