This easy dough is perfect for everything from pizza to monkey bread, thanks to the magic of yeast.
In liquid measuring cup, combine water and oil.
Add flour, yeast, and sugar to food processor and lock lid into place. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until ingredients are combined, about 5 pulses.
Turn processor on, then slowly pour water mixture through feed tube until dough comes together and no dry flour remains, about 30 seconds.
Stop food processor. Let dough sit for 10 minutes. Add salt to food processor and process until dough forms smooth ball, about 1 minute.
Stop food processor. Carefully remove food processor blade (ask an adult for help). Transfer dough to counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds.
Spray large bowl with vegetable oil spray. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to use dough, remove bowl from refrigerator and let dough come to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours. To bring dough to room temperature faster, place cold dough in zipper-lock plastic bag, squeeze out extra air, and seal bag. Place bag in large bowl filled with hot water. Turn and squeeze dough a few times until warmed to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Pizza dough recipes have two parts—making the dough and then letting it rise. As the dough rises, the yeast is doing its job and creating air bubbles. These bubbles make the dough grow larger—or rise. You have two options for when and where to let the dough rise.
You also have the option of letting the dough rise in a bowl in the refrigerator—you can make dough on Saturday afternoon for a pizza party on Sunday. If using this dough to make Monkey Bread for breakfast, follow the refrigerator instructions. When you wake up the next day, warm up the dough on the counter or in a bowl of hot water as directed above in step 6.
Yeast is a living, single-celled organism. It’s actually a microscopic fungus! You buy yeast in small packets at the grocery store. The yeast is “sleeping.” Mixing the yeast with a liquid (usually water) wakes up the yeast so it can turn flour into bread dough. So how exactly does that work? Yeast feeds on the starches in the flour and produces carbon dioxide in the process. Carbon dioxide causes the dough to rise, much like blowing air into chewing gum to make a bubble. All those tiny holes inside a loaf of chewy rustic bread? That’s the handiwork of the yeast. Instant yeast (sometimes labeled rapid-rise yeast) is the most reliable option for home bakers. Keep yeast in the refrigerator and check package dates—old yeast won’t work.