In our family, my husband does a lot of the cooking. Working in a restaurant or food industry for most his life, he enjoys being in the kitchen. I have no problem with this (except for the large amount of dirty dishes he makes!). I am the baker and he is the chef!
Since we have 5 children, all with differing likes and dislikes it is hard to find one thing everyone will eat for dinner. Which means one of our staple dishes is of course pizza. Delivery is way too expensive to have on a frequent basis and making your dough from a box mix and be coin toss. The pre-made crusts that are hanging in bags in your grocery store seem dry to me, and sometimes stale. So we started experimenting making our own crust. We started using the recipe that came with our bread machine, but it took 1 1/2 hours to make, not including the cooking time! So if we wanted to have pizza for dinner, we needed to start making it over 2 hours before we were going to eat it and that did not always fit into our schedule. In addition to that, our littlest one lost the small paddle attachment that turned all the ingredients in the machine. Now it is just a sad looking box on our shelf, yearning for the day it will be used again, if ever the mixing part can be found. (cue the dramatic sad music).
We finally found a recipe that we love, and takes a lot less time to make. It doesn’t need a bread machine either!
I like to call this recipe our Super Easy Homemade Pizza Dough. My husband is always posting pictures of this on his facebook page, and we get a lot of requests for the recipe… so here it is…….
1 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast (this is about one package of yeast)
1 teaspoon of white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour (it has to be BREAD flour.. all purpose will not work)
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
(optional spices to taste)
Now, as for the directions, we make all of this in our Kitchen Aid mixer. I can’t begin to tell you how much we use this machine in our house, it is great for so many things, from making all of my cakes and cookies, to pulling the pork, once it is done in the crock pot. It really is a wonderful investment.
If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer.. then GET ONE!! ha ha..But, if you don’t .. no worries, it can be done with a hand mixer
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In a medium bowl (We use our Kitchen Aid) dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water, stir very minimally. Let stand until creamy and foamy. It should take about 10 minutes.
Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir in bread flour (we always use the Gold Medal brand with good results), salt and oil along with any additional spices you would like to add flavor to the dough. We use a sprinkle of Oregano and dry basil leaves.
Use the dough hook attachment on the Kitchen Aid or hand mixture and start on slow. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl while it is mixing. Mix on slow until it forms a smooth ball. It should be elastic in texture
Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead dough, when you knead, push the dough and fold over(do this about 5 times) so it forms a round ball.
When we make this recipe, we double the recipe and it will make 2 large pizzas. We like thick crust, so depending on how thick or thin you roll your dough, will depend on how many pizzas you get out of each recipe. So at this step, we cut the ball in half and use each side for a pizza.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll it into a semi-round circle about 1″ thick.
Then transfer to a greased round pizza pan. We use PAM spray to grease the pan. We also use a dash a salt in the pan for flavor, you can also use cornmeal or Parmesan cheese if you like.
Using the rolling pin, roll the dough till it touches the edge of the pan. The dough will be stretchy, so once you roll it, it will want to retract a little. If you don’t have a small rolling pin like this one, you can always use your hands to shape the dough into position. Just make sure to not stretch holes in the dough. You should have plenty it fit in the pan, so this doesn’t happen. If it does, just pinch the dough together and flatten with the palm of your hand.
Use your fingers to push the edges of the dough up the sides of the pan to create the boarder of the crust.
Dock the dough with a fork.
Which is just a fancy term for saying get your fork out and poke it a bunch of times. Just like you would a pie crust. If you don’t do this step, the dough will form large bubbles in the center. ( I speak from experience!)
Par bake crust in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, or till lightly brown.
Remove from oven
Spread pizza sauce and cheese. We have picky eaters and most of the kids are just fine with cheese pizza, so we stop here. But, we have been know to go crazy and put Canadian ham and pineapple, or pepperoni on the pizza as well.
Place back in the oven until cheese in completely melted and golden.
Should be another 20 minutes.
Cut into slices and enjoy all this cheesy yummy goodness.
This really is a great recipe, so easy and inexpensive to make, and the kids love to help sometimes too. You can use this same dough to make garlic knots and bread sticks as well. We make this pizza on our Friday movie nights, when friends are over for playdates, and when we just don’t have the energy to be creative for dinner.
Once you purchase the bread flour and yeast, they will last for many pizzas. Which makes it a great go-to meal. Just add a salad on the side and dinner is ready.