10/22/10

Never Fail Pizza Dough

I've made a few modifications since I first posted this recipe in 2006, so I thought I'd add my changes in red italics. Try the crust a few different ways to see what your family's favorite version is.  I mix it all up with my KitchenAid mixer now, but it's still easy to do by hand.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I have always been a little hesitant to try any yeast recipes; call me "chicken" but I just knew I would mess things up... Until now.  Seriously, this is absolutely, without a doubt, the easiest pizza dough recipe ever! On top of that, it's totally delicious, and such a perfect recipe for a quick and easy dinner! As an added bonus, this recipe has given me the confidence to try out other yeast recipes without being too scared of failure.  Have I convinced you to try it yet? :o)

3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. water (warm to 115* F)
2 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. yeast
3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
half all purpose, half whole wheat

I start by placing the water in a bowl to be microwaved for about 45 seconds (it doesn't have to be at exactly 115. Just remember not to get the water too hot, or you will kill the yeast; too cold, and it won't "grow"!)  Stir in sugar (OR honey) and yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, until nice and foamy. It's kinda fun to watch; especially in the beginning when it grows so rapidly! :o)  Add salt, oil, and half of the flour (which would be 1 1/4 cups); stir until blended.  It will look something like this:

 Add remaining flour; mix with hands or wooden spoon. Remove from bowl -- it will be very flour-y, but you will just work all of the flour in -- and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes or so. For some extra yumminess in the crust, knead in 1/2 tsp or more each of garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. (or a couple tsp. of Italian Seasoning would work, too)

Roll into a ball, cover, and let rest for at least 5 minutes Better: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and rest in a warm place for 15-20 minutes; it makes such a difference in texture and ease of rolling out! I often make my dough before I head to bed, put it in a greased bowl, and let it rise in the fridge (loosely covered).  Then, the next day, just take it out an hour or two before you need to get dinner started, so it has time to warm up/rise again.

Roll it out (I do this right on my lightly greased baking stone), prick the dough all over with a fork, cover with your favorite toppings, and bake at 425* until done. Normally this takes 12-15 minutes, depending on how heavily you topped the pizza. Just watch it carefully! I've been baking mine at 375* for 15-25 minutes, and that works beautifully.

I normally use Mrs. T's pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni. However, this time I was running low on mozzarella, so I decided to go for a 3-cheese pizza. I added cheddar, Parmesan, and even a little extra garlic powder. Yummmm! My husband loves when I make this pizza. (can you tell?)  Since I couldn't find Mrs. T's post where I got the recipe, I've included it here. Am I nice or what? ;)
Homemade Pizza Sauce
29 oz. can tomato sauce
12 oz. tomato paste
1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1-2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
*1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
*1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Over medium heat, combine tomato sauce and paste. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cool. Pour into freezer containers (6 to 8 oz. yogurt containers work) leaving 1/2" head space. Freeze up to 1 year.  Makes about 5 8oz. portions.  (I use  those little freezer jam "jars" for about $3.50 and they are the perfect size.)

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

Cute picture, Nathan!

Jessica said...

I just ate lunch.....but all of a sudden I'm hungry again.

HEY NATHAN! SAVE ME A PIECE!! ;) ha ha

Happymama said...

Wow, that pizza sure does look great. I'll definitely have to try this one out with my daughter. Thanks for the recipes. I'll be snagging them for the recipe blog. :)

~Kristi

Lau said...

Ahhh, I was going to make this tonight.. but I just realized you didnt say how long to cook the pizza for!!! :-S Ummmmmm, maybe I can just guess??

Dear Abbi said...

Great crust recipe! I tried it tonight and my hubs loved it! Although next time I might try pre-baking the crust for just a few minutes...have you ever done that? I have a pizza crust recipe that I have always used, but the last few times I made it, I've been unimpressed...maybe it's my gas oven. This one has all of the same ingredients, just different amounts, and I like it better...thanks!!

Arlene said...

Hi, Abbi! I'm so glad you and your family loved the crust! A friend gave it to me shortly after my husband and I were married, and it's the one I come back to over and over again! I especially love how versatile it is -- add different seasonings, change up the flours, you can even make it into two thin-crust pizzas if you like the crispier kind of crusts. :o) You might even try making a double batch and freezing one to use for another day!

Anyway, I've prebaked the crust with good results, though you might want to try it at a lower oven temperature so that it doesn't brown and rise too quickly. :o) Hope you enjoy it for years to come!

JenT said...

Ah, the healthier version. :) I had to tell Randy. He said to find out your modifications; I guess he's going to experiment. His is the best pizza we've had in a long time and honestly, it's the dough. When I saw the recipe he was following I recognized it as yours. He was already adding spices to his, but I think he had already tweaked it a little for his taste.

Anyway, things are going well here and we're enjoying pizza about once a week. :)

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

LOL! Nathan sure does look excited about that pizza !:)

A Heart of Praise said...

Yummy! I love pizza:).