Everyone knows that 90% of a pizza’s “mmm factor” is contingent on the quality of the crust. Anyone can put good toppings on a pizza, but if the crust is bad, it won’t taste good. With that said, this post is going to guide you mainly through making pizza dough, because I don’t think you need too much help putting toppings on! To me, this is the perfect crust. It’s on the thinner side, and is nice and crispy (I’m not a fan of the soft pizzas). Part of that is the dough, and part of it is baking it on a crisper, which is just a pan with holes in the bottom (if you like your pizza dough soft and fluffy, you should use a pizza stone instead). Now, if you’ve never made pizza at home, I hope this inspires you to give it a try because making pizza dough is VERY easy, fun, and a ton cheaper. Let’s get to it:
Yield: Enough dough for 2 pizzas
12.5 oz (2½ cups) bread flour (sometimes I swap out 5oz of this with whole wheat flour)*
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2.25 tsp quick rise yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
*Don’t go beyond using 5 oz (1 cup) of whole wheat flour. The bran present in the whole wheat flour makes gluten development more difficult, and if we don’t get that gluten, your pizza dough will tear when you try to stretch it out. Also know that using whole wheat flour makes for a slightly thicker crust.
Stir the sugar into the warm water until dissolved. Stir in the yeast, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Knead with the dough hook for 10 minutes on medium low (or you can do this by hand) until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough tears when you pull at a small piece of it, knead it for longer (this means it will tear when you’re trying to stretch it out).
Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes so the gluten can relax and rise a little bit. When it’s done, it will look all stretchy and pretty, like this:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Split your dough in half, then shape each half into a ball. Start pressing the dough out, and you can either roll it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface, or you can get underneath with your knuckles and stretch it, like this:
I learned that while I worked at a pizza place in high school named Pennini’s. How handy!
Place the dough onto a crisper pan and prick it all over with a fork so the dough doesn’t bubble up:
I like to prebake my crust for 10 minutes, then add the toppings, and bake for 12-15 minutes longer. Enjoy!
What I topped my pizzas with:
After the prebake I brushed on 1 tbsp olive oil and 6 cloves worth of minced garlic (but you could do tomato sauce or something else if you like). I then added 8 oz of mozzarella cheese, and grated some parmigiano and pecorino romano over it as well. I added thinly sliced red onion, thin slices of soppressata, and grape tomatoes. As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, throw on a handful of arugula so it wilts ever so slightly. Cut it up and enjoy!