Monday, January 31, 2011

Sometimes it has to be pizza

and sometimes it has to be homemade.

I love my homemade pizza crust. The dough is easy to make. Sometimes I just drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle on a little kosher salt and some grated parmesan cheese. Other times I add sauce and shredded cheese and toppings.

Pizza Crust
2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup warm water (Not hot or you'll kill your yeast, just nice and warm. If you're neurotic about it, you can use a thermometer. It should be 115-120 degrees.)

Mix 1 cup flour with yeast, sugar, salt, and oil. Slowly add warm water and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. (If you are using a big mixer like a KitchenAid, change from the paddle to the dough hook for the next step.) Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean dish towel or some cling wrap and let it rest for 10 or 20 minutes.

Roll out on a floured surface into a round shape that will fit on your greased pizza pan. If it's a small pan and you like thin crust you can probably get two out of this recipe. You can let it rest and rise for a bit, or bake it right away. I usually make one super ginormous pizza and let the dough rise for a thicker crust.

Prick the dough a lot all over with a fork. Bake at 425 degrees for 7-15 minutes depending on thickness of crust. It should be set and very lightly browned. Take it out and add a thin layer of sauce and toppings on the hot crust, then bake for 7-15 minutes more until cheese is bubbly and toasted and crust is golden-brown and cooked through in the middle.

Topping ideas:
Barbecue sauce (instead of tomato sauce), mixed cheese blend (cheddar and mozzarella is good) shredded rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced red onion (my personal favorite).

Taco sauce, taco meat, cheddar cheese. Add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes after baking.

No sauce, shredded mozzarella, sliced raw or roasted vegetables, any kind.

Sweet and sour sauce (the kind you would dip your egg rolls in), mozzarella, diced cooked chicken, thinly sliced green onions.

Be creative and use up the leftovers in your fridge to invent your own custom family favorites. It's pizza, for heaven's sake - you can't mess it up!

Well, actually, you can mess it up. I did, once. I got all healthful and crazy for a minute and used whole wheat flour instead of regular white flour. Tomato-y pizza sauce and whole wheat bread=definitely not tasty.


  1. This looks great. I made a chocolate cake using King Arthur's whole wheat flour. It had crunch bits. Not so good.

  2. I like bechamel sauce w/parmesan, chicken, onions and sauteed mushrooms with mozzarella on top. White pizza! mmmm