Pizza Crust Recipe

Heather says:

 

Many thanks to Candice of <a href=

Many thanks to Candice of Ragamuffin Designs for letting me use her picture of this recipe.

 

 

I was not content with the pizza crust I originally posted, it was good, but not something I felt others would rave about.  Consequently I have been experimenting with variations for the past few months.  While searching for a simple crust I had some criteria in mind: the ingredients must be both inexpensive and readily available, the directions must be both easy and forgiving, and finally it must taste at least as good as the chain delivery joints.  (There are a few independent places who have a fantastic product that would be difficult to recreate in the average kitchen.)*

This crust is chewier and more flavorful than the original with no increase in difficulty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour + a little more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil + extra to grease the bowl for rising
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning – OPTIONAL
  • cornmeal for sprinkling

Directions after the jump.

Directions:

Add the yeast to the warm water and set it aside.  Place the flour in a large bowl and whisk it to fluff it up.  With your hands, clean please, create a well in the flour.  Remember when you used to make a volcano with mashed potatoes and gravy? Yes, just like that.

To make clean up easier, measure the olive oil and then the molasses.  There is no chemical reason for doing this, other than the oil lubricates the spoon so you don’t have to struggle with the sticky molasses.  Add the salt and Italian seasoning.

Does the yeast and water look foamy?  Wonderful, add that to the well.  If you are using a stand mixer, use your dough hook to stir and knead.  Use the lowest setting and only knead it for about a minute after the dough comes together.

If you are kneading by hand, stir the ingredients until they are moist and well mixed.  Flour your work surface and knead the dough for around three minutes.  Estimate, this is pretty forgiving.

After kneading shape the dough into a ball. (Just like playdough folks, just like playdough).  Set aside.  Grease a large bowl with olive oil.  Place the dough in the bowl, turning it several times to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for at least thirty minutes.

Divide the dough into equal portions.  We make 4 thin crust 12″ pizzas, if you prefer thicker crust you will have fewer pizzas.  If you have multiple pans allow the dough to sit for ten or fifteen additional minutes, before shaping.  If, like me, you only have one pizza stone, immediately begin shaping the dough (with a rolling pin or by tossing)for baking, the other three can rise and your first really won’t suffer.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

If you use a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat for 10 minutes in a 450F oven.  If you are using a metal baking sheet, preheating is unnecessary.

Sprinkle the  stone or cookie sheet with cornmeal; set the shaped pizza crust on the surface and top with your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.  Bake for 10 – 15 minutes (watch it carefully, this depends on your toppings).

Enjoy.

*No comment from those of you who can afford home woodfired ovens.



9 Comments

  1. Oliver on July 16, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I have it every weekend! Big thx!



  2. Kate on July 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    If molasses is scary, use Honey. You can also achieve a more tender crust by letting the dough rise for longer. If you have the time, let it rise one hour, punch it down (squish it to remove the air) and let it rise an additional half hour. It’s totally worth it. (Even better, let it rise overnight. I hardly ever have the patience for that though.)

    I’ve also found that it’s easier to get round pizzas when I shape before I let it rise. Just separate the dough into 4 parts, shape into balls, and let rise, covered, on a cookie sheet. (a little oil on top will prevent crusting, and if they touch, they’ll come right apart.)

    I could go on and on. I might have a problem.



  3. Lenetta on July 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Thumbs up here! I got nervous and backed off the molasses a little and didn’t notice it in the flavor at all. Also, I ended up adding another cup of flour, but I might have been short to begin with – there’s something about cooking with a small toddler hanging on your leg that keeps it interesting.

    Also since I’m short on counter space (organizational issues . . . one of the reasons I’m on this site!) I rolled the dough out on the hot stone which gave me some challenges, but I ended up liking it. I rolled some and then flipped it over, and rolled it out the rest of the way and I think that helped make the crust more crisp.

    I wonder if you could freeze the unbaked dough? I don’t know why not . . . I might try that, since it’s just hubs, the baby goose, and me.



  4. Heather on June 29, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Tracy,
    I would need to know what exactly you didn’t like about the crust. Too chewy, too strongly flavored etc. If you can give me those parameters I can probably offer a tweaked version that should fit your needs. Also, I need to know if you did anything different than the directions stated.



  5. Tracy on June 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I made this dough with black strap mollases, it was all I had. We didnt care for it too much. Did this make a diffrence I wonder? We love pizza but hate the prices. Anyone have any suggestions on how to make a better pizza crust, or maybe explain what I did wrong. Thanks!



  6. warillever on May 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Thank you!
    I made this this evening, and everyone loved it.



  7. Alysa on May 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I got a new pizza pan recently and it came with a pizza dough recipe. It was 2 hours of WORK to get it done. And it wasn’t even that good. Lots of complicated directions and ingredients. I can’t wait to try this out. Homemade pizza is the best. Great for my toddler because I can load it up with all of these healthful things and she just gobbles it down without a word of protest just because it’s pizza.



  8. Ann at mommysecrets on May 19, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    molasses!!! i never would’ve thought of that!!

    homemade pizza is a tradition in our family, so i can’t wait to try it.



  9. Stephanie on May 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I also have a pizza crust recipe on my blog that you may like too. I like the idea of adding seasoning to the dough!

    Homemade pizza is the best! We have it every week!