Bakers: why did this dough not work,out?

I used this recipe to make a pizza dough and it didn’t turn out.

I’ve used this recipe dozens of times and never had a problem before. Here’s what happened: the flour almost instantly set like concrete, I could barely knead it and while it did rise, not nearly as much as in the past. The crust came out hard and brittle.

Some factors:
I’m at our cabin and yeast has been in my fridge for a while; but it foamed nicely in the sugar water.
The flour has been in our cupboard a while too.
We run a dehumidifier when we’re not here, it is very dry. Today, I had to add almost 50% more milk just to make simple bisquick biscuits, the mix just seemed to suck up all the liquid.

What do you recommend for the next batch? More liquid? Something else?

Thanks in advance.

Another factor, the cabin is drafty and chillier than our house where I usually make pizza, could that be an issue?

What kind of flour did you use?

Gold Medal all purpose.

Not self-rising? I made the mistake once of using self-rising in combination with yeast. (My fault, just didn’t read the label.) It turned out bad.

Sounds like the dough was too dry. Cold air has less water in it so it could be the flour had really dried out, or it could be that the flour clumped and if you measured by volume and not weight then you could have used too much.

Measuring flour by volume can give poor results. Depending on humidity, how much the flour has settled over time, and even how you measure it (scooping with the cup will compact it), a cup if flour can range from 100-150 grams. That wide variability can totally mess up a recipe.

If the flour you used was sitting in your cabin for a while, it was probably compacted and you ended up using too much. Next time weigh it if you have a scale available. A good rule of thumb for recipes is to assume 120 g for a cup of flour, which would be 450 g for your recipe. But it really depends on the recipe creator, so you might have to experiment a little.

A colder cabin means it will take longer to rise, but it doesn’t sound like that was your issue. I’m guessing too much flour.

Thanks, so basically too much flour for the amount of liquid. I don’t have a scale here, but I can cut down in the amount of flour. Appreciate the help.