Cooks: Pizza Crust

Every single Sunday evening in recent memory has been pizza night and movie night. I should admit that at first, I rebelled at this. I mean, it seems like such a cop out to ALWAYS have the same meal on the same day.

But, I’m a convert. I love know exactly what we will have on Sunday, especially because Sunday’s are crazy busy at our house. And, it helps me save money: I know what ingredients to look for on sale/clearance or to look for pizza coupons.

Probably once a month, we splurge and get pizza from a restaurant. That means that I’m making pizza crust dough at least three times a month. I’ve gone through a lot of mixes and recipes (mostly bad ones) in an attempt to replicate the crust my picky family likes: yeasty and bready for me and Nathanial and crackery thin for Micah. I’ve decided that pizza crust is a fine art…and I’m still trying to master the nuances.

Making the crust can get very specialized. King Arthur has special pizza crust flour and pizza dough flavor, neither of which I’ve ever tried but I plan to order some with the other specialty baking things I order for my Christmas baking. (West Texas is awesome, but for weird things like that, you have to order out if you know what I mean).

Here’s the pizza crust recipe we use the most at this point. It is adapted from the recipe on the back of the Fleischmann’s pizza crust yeast. This West Texas girl believes in working smarter and not harder, so if the recipe on the back of the package works, use it 🙂

Pizza Crust Recipe
1 3/4-2 1/4 c flour (I usually use 1/2 whole wheat/regular or all whole wheat pastry flour if I can find it.)

1 envelope yeast (I use stuff called pizza crust yeast because you don’t have to let it rise and it makes a great thin crust. Also, its one of the few specialty things like this I can find in town and at a reasonable price. HEB carries it; United does not.)

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I use stevia in most of my cooking now and it works fine.)

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 c very warm water

3 tablespoons oil (I use EVOO)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Combine 1 c flour, yeast, sugar, salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil. Mix until well blended.

3. Knead and add additional flour until smooth and elastic. Usually takes 5 minutes in my Kitchen Aid mixer.

4. If you use regular yeast, you need to let it rise for about an hour at this point. If you use pizza yeast, you can start rolling out the dough. I use a little EVOO to coat the dough and make it roll out better.

5. Add toppings and then bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese bubbles and crust is brown. In my family, that means Nathanial gets Alfredo sauce and cheese with an occasional pepperoni or hamburger topping. Micah gets tomato or Alfredo sauce and always pepperoni with cheese. I just use whatever sauce is left, any veggies I have around, and spinach.

This makes 1 12-inch crust or 2 thin crusts. I usually triple this recipe for my family of 4.

 

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