Have you even quarantined properly if you haven’t embarked on a homemade bread project? It seems everyone I know has baked up banana bread, started a sourdough starter, or tackled the irresistible world of warm, gooey cinnamon buns. You can also throw pizza dough in the mix—whether it’s a quick version with instant yeast or the slightly more involved version using a sourdough starter or discard. Would it surprise you to know that, yes, you can, in fact, lean on your trusty do-anything Instant Pot to also help proof your pizza dough?
This fun fact couldn’t be more relevant now that it’s October—aka, National Pizza Month. While the run on frozen pizza of earlier this year seems to be over (for now), it’s as good a time as any to make your own pizza dough at home, and we’re here to show you how to make it with the convenience of the Instant Pot.
First, grab your favorite pizza recipe. We turn to the extremely easy tips provided by the Lamberts Lately blog, who uses the Instant Pot’s yogurt setting to help with the proofing stage of the dough. The yogurt setting holds a consistent temperature, making it a warm and reliable “proofing box” of sorts when kitchen conditions can vary wildly depending on climate and time of day, among other factors.
1. Start by getting a hold of your favorite pizza recipe, preheating your oven, and turning your Instant Pot to the “Yogurt” setting.
2. Into the pot, pour your warm water and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and add in your yeast. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes (you should see some foaming activity; this is a sign that your yeast is alive and kicking).
3. While the yeast activates, mix together the flour, salt, and optional seasonings. (Lamberts Lately uses a 1/2 teaspoon each of both garlic powder and Italian seasoning, which Rich also used.)
4. Once the yeast mixture is ready, add your flour mixture. Use a spatula to form a ball. Sprinkle in some extra flour if needed.
5. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the ball and rub over the top. Proof the dough in the Instant Pot for 30 to 60 minutes, or until the dough doubles in volume. (This took Rich about 30 minutes.)
6. Once the dough is ready, remove it from the Instant Pot and knead in another 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You may need some extra flour if it’s too sticky.
7. Proceed with your favorite pizza recipe preparations. (Rich was out of tomato sauce and came up with a delightful mix of blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, arugula, pickled onions and a balsamic glaze.) Enjoy!