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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Perfect Homemade Pizza Crust

Saturday night is always family pizza and movie night at our house. We rent a movie, pop some popcorn, and bake up a yummy pizza to munch on. It's a fun event my family looks forward to every week. Not just any old frozen pizza or delivery will do though, we make homemade pizza! When you use my tried and true Perfect Homemade Pizza Crust recipe, it comes out just right every time.


I've perfected what I think is the perfect pizza crust. Not to thick or thin, but a just right medium thickness, with a soft and chewy texture. I've tried quite a few pizza dough recipes, and this one is the best by far. My family loves it and told me it's the only one I can make from now on. Now if that isn't a great endorsement, I don't know what is!



If you prefer a thin crust, divide the dough into thirds instead of halves, and make 3 pizzas. Or make two pizzas, and freeze the third dough ball for another time. After allowing the dough to rise the first time, lightly grease the dough ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place into a ziploc freezer bag and seal, squeezing as much air out as possible, and freeze. (Be sure to use a gallon size freezer bag, as the dough will continue to rise and expand a bit before it actually freezes). Dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, move frozen dough ball to the refrigerator, and allow to thaw for 10 - 12 hours. Move to the kitchen counter to come to room temperature, (about 30 minutes), then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

This recipe can be made with either a bread machine, or a stand mixer. Directions for both methods are below.

Perfect Homemade Pizza Crust


Ingredients

1 cup very warm water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour

Bread Machine Directions

Place water, sugar, and yeast into a bread machine pan and allow to proof for 10 minutes. Mixture should look foamy and bubbly.
Add salt, olive oil and flour. Set bread machine to dough setting and turn on. Check dough after 10 minutes to make sure it's not to wet or to dry. If it is, add water or flour, a tablespoon at a time until it is the right consistency. (It should be forming a ball, slightly moist to the touch, and clearing the sides of the bread machine pan)
Once the machine reaches it's first rest cycle, (20 minutes) allow it to rest for 15 minutes, then take dough out and press it out onto (2) 12-inch pizza pans that have been lightly greased. (You may need to put a little oil on your hands to keep dough from sticking to them)
Prick dough randomly with a fork, and let rest again in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Top as desired, then bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Stand Mixer Directions

In a bowl, stir sugar into the warm water, then sprinkle yeast over the top of the water. Set aside to proof for 10 minutes.
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Pour the olive oil in and mix on low speed using the dough attachment, just until combined.
Pour the water mixture over the flour, and mix just until combined. (about one minute)
Once dough is mixed, turn speed up to medium-low and allow to mix for 7 minutes. If dough is to wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time, until the dough starts clearing the sides of the bowl and forming a ball. At the end of the mixing time, the dough should be smooth and elastic, and slowly bounce back when poked with a finger.
Shape dough into a ball, and place in a large bowl that has been lightly greased with olive oil. Turn dough ball over to make sure all sides are greased. Cover and set bowl in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes.
Divide dough in half and pat it out on two 12-inch pizza pans that have been lightly greased. (You may need to put a little oil on your hands to keep dough from sticking to them) .
Prick dough randomly with a fork, and let rest again in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Top as desired, then bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.


*Cooks notes: If the yeast doesn’t foam, your water was either too warm, or your yeast was too old. For best results us instant yeast, as it rises quicker.

For a special treat, and to make your homemade pizza taste more like a restaurant pizza, sprinkle the baking pan with a little cornmeal after you grease it.


What are your favorite pizza toppings?


Have you tried one of my recipes?


I’d love to see what you've made! Take a picture and use the hashtag #myhomesteadrecipe on Instagram or Facebook. I may feature it on social media!

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