Thanks so much to Natalie from Frugal Ella for this delicious Pizza dough recipe!
Easy, Foolproof, Homemade Pizza Dough
Have you tried Rene’s homemade pizza sauce? I’m usually a pour-the-spaghetti-sauce-right-on-the-dough kind of a gal…but the other day I discovered we had some tomatoes about to go bad.
I chopped those suckers up and tried a paired down version of the sauce recipe. Viola! My family was raving.
So, you make the sauce and then you’ve got to have something delicious to pour it on. Like pizza crust. Which you can make like so….
Pizza Dough Recipe
1 cup warm water
1 T yeast
2 T sugar
1 T oil
2½ to 3 cups flour
Pour water in a big mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar, then let sit for 5 minutes. This is a really important step. Seriously. Just wait.
I swear the dough rises faster and better if you let it sit and allow the yeast time to eat up all the tasty sugar. You’ll know it’s ready when you have a foaming mess of brown bubbly yeast in your bowl.
Then add salt, oil and half the flour. Mix well. This is the perfect time to use the kneading arm on your Kitchen Aid, just get a rubber spatualla in there and scrape the sides and bottoms to get it all mixed up.
No Kitchen Aid? Need an upper arm work out? You can go old school with a wooden spoon.
Kneading to Get it Just Right
When the sticky mess in your bowl is thoroughly mixed, add the remaining flour and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
I like a lighter dough, so I usually put in 2½ cups of flour. The key is to get enough flour that the dough is easy to manage with your hands, but not so heavy that it will sink in your stomach like the Titanic.
If you are new to bread making it takes a bit of time to get a feel for when the dough is ready.
If you’re using your mixer, just let that sucker rock away on your counter while you clean up. If you’re going old school, throw down a bit of extra flour on your counter and knead by folding the dough over and pressing with the heals of your hands, repeat a few times and then turn the dough – fold and press. Keep repeating until the dough is smooth and elasticy.
It’s really not as hard as it sounds. Plus, pizza dough (unlike bread dough) is very forgiving. It will still taste yummy even if it’s a bit under-kneaded.
Rise and Shape
Cut the dough in half, cover and let rise on the counter. Depending on the barametric pressure, room temperature, yeast quality and a host of other ridiculous and finiky variables – your dough should double in size within 15 to 25 minutes.
When it’s doubled, smash the dough flat and shape it into round disks. I can’t toss a crust to save my life, so I shape it by hand as much as I can and then pull out my trusty rolling pin to do the rest. I’ll roll a bit and then flip the dough over and keep rolling until the crust is between 1/8 to ¼ inch thick
Then top the dough with Rene’s super delicious sauce and an assortment of pizza toppings. Bake in an preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Cooked to Perfection
There are two tricks to making sure the crust gets fully cooked.
One is a pizza stone. There really is no substitute for a stone. It heats evenly and will cook the center of your pizza at the same time it cooks the edges. A cookie sheet likes to cook from the outside in, burning the edges and leaving the middle raw.
The other tell-tale sign of pizza done-ness is the outside rim and the cheese. The rim will be a dark golden brown (not to be confuesed with light golden brown – a sign your middle is not cooked) and the cheese will be browned and bubbly.
Once you take it out, let it cool 5 minutes and then dive into the deliciousness.
When she’s not tossing pizzas, Natalie regularly seeks to get in touch with her frugal side. She writes about it on her blog FrugalElla.
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