Okay, I have a confession to make. I am a big advocate of making all things homemade but I have never made homemade pizza crust. I make “homemade” pizza all the time…homemade sauce, freshly shredded cheese, and store bought crust, and have always been happy with the results. I figured it was still better for us than a frozen pizza or ordering from a pizza shop. Well, I am now officially a convert to real homemade pizza. I tried this pizza crust and it was so GOOD that I am now ruined, and will never ever be able to go back to store bought crust. I think we stopped at least 20 times during this meal to exclaim “Wow! This crust is so good!” I honestly think its better than the crust at most restaurants. And one of the best things about this recipe is that it makes two dough balls…one to eat and one to freeze for later. I am already dreaming about the possibilities for the dough waiting for us in the freezer!
If you are not good at working with yeast, don’t be afraid to try it here. I quite often kill my yeast, and I even had a backup dinner planned for when I ruined this dough, but this recipe was seriously fool proof. For the same reason, please excuse the poor picture of the dough at the beginning! Since I thought I would fail, I didn’t take many pictures!
And what did I make with this little ball of delight? I will be sharing the recipe on Wednesday, but here’s a sneak peak!
Perfect Pizza Crust
Source: Annies Eats
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting*
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
*Weighing your flour will give you much more accurate results then if you use a measuring cup.
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the yeast-water mixture and then the olive oil.Mix until the dough is formed and then switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough around once to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and then place a kitchen towel on top of the bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1½-2 hours.
After doubled in size, press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and then divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. If only using half the dough, this is the point where you freeze it. (Wrap the not needed dough ball in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag.) The dough that you are using, cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. (Using a pizza stone is CRUCIAL HERE!) It will make your dough get super crispy on the bottom. Don’t skip the 30 minute preheat either) Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.