Anyway, for me, the key to a good pizza is the crust. And the key to a happy bank account is saving money. And the key to saving money is making things from scratch. And the key to making things from scratch is... okay, I'll stop now.
All tangents aside, I really love making homemade pizza crust because it is cheap and delicious. And really, once you get the hang of it, a lot easier than you might think! So. Here goes:
2 or more cups flour (unbleached all-purpose or unbleached whole wheat or a combo of the both!)
1 package (1/4 oz) pizza yeast
1 cup very warm tap water
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
seasonings of your choice
1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Add warm water and stir thoroughly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl (if you're using a stand mixer, use that bowl here), combine 2 cups flour, salt, and a few dashes of your favorite dried seasonings. I usually add garlic powder, parsley, and basil for a standard crust. Add yeast mixture and oil.
2. Mix together until well blended. I use a stand mixer with a dough hook which makes life verrrrry easy, but if you don't have all that, I'd suggest using a wet wooden spoon. It will probably still be a bit too sticky at this point, so gradually add more flour until you have a nice, soft dough ball that is smooth and elastic. With the stand mixer, you'll know you're done when all the dough comes away from the walls and stays together in a ball. If you're not using the stand mixer, you will need to switch to kneading with your hands for a bit until you reach the right constancy. You're aiming for a dough ball that is just slightly sticky to the touch, but not so much that your fingers get stuck to it. If at any point, you added too much flour, just dash some water in to make up the difference.
3. Put the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, roll it around to cover it all with a bit of oil, then cover the bowl with a damp towel, and let it sit for 20-30 mins. This is a great time to preheat your oven to 400°F and start the prep on your toppings.
4. I've never in my life had much luck rolling out dough, or doing that cool toss into the air and catch with fists flippy thing... so I just use floured hands, and press the dough out to fill in a lightly greased pizza pan or stone. But if you're cooler than I am, and possess such rolling or flipping skills, then have a blast! Either way, once the dough is evenly lain onto the pizza pan/stone, let it rest for about 5 minutes. (Take this time to finish prepping whatever ingredients you'll be using).
5. Now, place the pan/stone into the oven on the bottom rack (no topping or sauce of any sort on it) for aboooout 8 minutes - keep an eye on it. I do this to give it just a bit of firmness and to start the baking process. It helps to not have such a well, doughy crust in the end. Take it out once it has firmed up just a bit, but is still pliable enough to make an indent into it with your finger.
And voila! You have an awesomely scrumptious pizza crust.
|Firm, but pliable.|
|Ready for TOPPINGS!|
Turn oven heat up to 425. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Cook on middle or bottom rack for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown, and cheese is all melty and bubbly and mouth-wateringly awesome looking.
|Maple mustard sauce, mushrooms, sausage, and red peppers :)|