Pizza Crust

Who doesn’t love pizza? I think it’s one of almost everyone’s favorites and there is no end to the combination of toppings you can use. Several weeks ago we were in Munising in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and I enjoyed a wood fired Savory Blueberry Pizza with mozzarella cheese, bleu cheese, ham, bacon, onion, and blueberries topped with a blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. It was delicious! They also offered a pimento cheese, jalapeño, and bologna pizza and a fig and pig to name just a few. Last night I made a pizza that I found in Cuisine at Home that starred roasted potato, garlic, rosemary, broccolini, leeks, and gruyere cheese. My husband’s favorite pizza needs lots of tomato sauce, and preferably some meat, although we do enjoy a good veggie pizza. Regardless of the toppings, a good pizza, in my opinion, begins with a good crust. I prefer a thinner, crispy crust. I don’t want to feel like I ate a loaf of bread after a couple slices of pizza. Several people have asked me to share my crust recipe and this is my favorite place for sharing. I have no idea where this recipe originated, but I’ve used it for years.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups room temperature water

2 T olive oil

2 1/4 tsp (one packet) instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 T sugar or honey

3 1/4 cups AP flour and more for kneading

1/4 cup cornmeal

Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and cornmeal. I use instant yeast because it can just be mixed in with the other dry ingredients and doesn’t need to bloom in water. Make a well in the center and add the sugar or honey, water, and olive oil. Stir well with a wooden spoon and turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface to knead. Knead for 5-7 minutes. As you’re kneading you may need to add additional flour. The dough should be elastic and slightly sticky. If you prefer, you can use a stand mixer with a bread hook to mix and knead your dough.

Once you’ve kneaded the dough return it to a bowl that has been lightly brushed with olive oil. Flip the dough over once coating both sides, cover with a clean dishtowel, and put in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, approximately one hour. While your dough is rising preheat your oven to 450 with your pizza stone on the middle rack.
Punch the dough down and divide into two pieces. Shape each into a ball and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. Put one of the dough balls onto a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with PAM. Place a second piece of parchment that has also been sprayed with PAM over the top and roll into your desired shape. Mine never seems to be round but the shape really isn’t important.

Use a fork to make pinpricks in the dough. This prevents the crust from bubbling up when you par-bake it. Cover with a dishtowel and let the dough sit for another 15 minutes. Transfer the crust on the parchment to the preheated pizza stone, and allow it to bake for 5-6 minutes. This helps to keep the crust from getting soggy, particularly with a saucy pizza. Remove the par-baked crust from the oven and add all of your toppings.

These were the toppings on the potato and broccolini pizza. The little balls are fresh mozzarella cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board.

Slice. Enjoy.

NOTE: Occasionally I add some dry herbs like oregano or basil to the dry ingredients in the crust. This recipe makes two crusts. You can divide the recipe in half or refrigerate half for another time. Or just make two pizzas. Last night I rolled the second crust out and transferred it to a pizza pan still on the parchment and put it in the refrigerator. The plan is to make a traditional pizza in the next few days.

Earlier this year one of my pandemic purchases was a baking steel that I ordered from King Arthur. I absolutely love it, and use it always when I make pizza. A pizza stone works great as well. If you have neither, just use your favorite pizza pan. You’ll still get a great pie.

2 thoughts on “Pizza Crust

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