My family loves pizza. Wait, let me rephrase that. My family LOVES pizza made from scratch hot from the oven. Not too long ago, this made me sweat at making pizza from scratch sounded so very hard!
Then I tried it. And I found that once you get the dough down to a science, it’s all just chop, top and go! But I can say this, getting that dough down can be trying at best and make you want to run from your kitchen at your worst. In fact, one of my past Friday Fails dealt with how I almost gave up on homemade pizza because I could not get the dough to just do what I want and not stick!
But over time, I got there. I started with a basic dough recipe from Betty Crocker and tweaked it a bit to suit my needs. My best tip is that instead of trying to shape the dough into the crust shape to top with my hands and try to do the super cool over-the-head spinning (this does not work for me!) I use a rolling pin. I know this is sort of cheating but, honestly the pizza police have yet to break down my door so I think I’m in the clear. So go ahead, get the rolling pin out, grab some of your favorite toppings and give this a whirl. Before you know it, you will be a pizza machine and can join my family in doing Pizza Friday (or Tuesday, whatever day works for you!)
Pizza Dough (Food Foundations)
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes | Makes: 2 crusts
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon if you buy jars)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup water at 115-125 degrees F
- In a medium sized bowl (or in your mixer bowl) add 1 cup flour, yeast, salt and sugar.
- Stir to combine
- Add warmed water and vegetable oil and mix or stir for 2 minutes until fully combined, scraping the bowl frequently.
- In 1/4 cup increments, add additional flour and mix for 1 minute before adding additional flour, making sure to scrape the bowl to get all flour from the sides.
- At 2 1/2 cups of flour total, gently use your hands to try and lift the dough from the bowl. If the dough is still sticky to the touch and sticks to the bowl, add 1/4 more flour and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Once the dough can be lifted from the bowl mostly without sticking, flour your hands and knead the dough for 5 minutes (I prefer to knead in the bowl to avoid an extra mess, but please do feel free to spread some flour out on a flat surface and knead the dough there if you wish.)
- Once the dough is no longer sticky at all and is soft and springy to the touch, place back into mixing bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and take out a rolling pin.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove towel from dough and punch in center, then divide dough into 2 round balls.
- Take the first ball and gently flatten it out and make it into a circle on the floured surface.
- Gently dust the rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to desired thickness and size, working your best to keep it in the circular shape.
- Take a handful of cornmeal and cover the whole pan the pizza will be cooked on, ensuring all areas have an even and light amount of cornmeal.
- Gently lift dough and place on the pan covered in cornmeal.
- Repeat with second ball of dough.
- Top with desired ingredients and cook for 12-15 minutes, checking after 12 minutes for doneness.
- Pizza's up!
- Many dough recipes state that the dough can be frozen before the rising process has began which will “stop” it and can be reactivated at a later time by slowly thawing out and letting it rise. In my experience, the dough just does not get that same rise and you really have to labor to get a decent sized crust to roll out. If you do not need 2 crusts you can bake the second crust topping free for 5-7 minutes, let it fully cool, then freeze it for later use.
- If you use a frozen crust, let it thaw fully before cooking and bake with toppings in a 425 degree oven for 7-9 minutes, or until all toppings are fully melted.
- Do not skip the cornmeal as this creates a wonderful barrier between the pan and your dough, ensuring crispy, cooked dough without any sticky crust ruining your pizza!
There you have it! Lots of steps yes, but once that wonderful dough hits your mouth all hot and oozing with the toppings of your choice, you will know it was well worth it. You may even throw out all those pizza menus lurking about your hours (well maybe…!)