Who doesn’t love pizza? I know we do. Once a week in our house, usually Friday nights, is pizza night. I make the dough in the afternoon while the boys are napping, enjoy a cup of tea while the dough rises (or maybe try to catch a little catnap myself!), and then I let the boys help to top the pizza before we put it in the oven.
Turning out a pizza as good (if not better) than your local pizza joint’s requires a few things: #1 – a hot oven. #2 – a pizza stone. And, #3 – practice. When I first started making pizzas at home, I had a really hard time rolling out the dough. They’d tasted great, but were severely mishapen. I think that was my problem; I was rolling, not stretching with my hands and letting the dough do all the work.
After a couple of attempts I was producing perfectly round pizza doughs, and all was right with the world. It’s a rarity for us to order a pizza out anymore; partly because there aren’t any decent pizzerias in our small town, and also because they’re just so dag-gone fun to make at home!
If you haven’t found the perfect pizza dough recipe yet, look no further. Using bread flour is the key to a crispy, chewey crust. And, it’s a dream to work with! Let the pizza delivery guy pass your house by next time you’re craving pizza, and make it at home. I’m sharing my recipe for homemade pan pizza next week, so make sure to check in then!
Perfect Pizza Dough
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast mixture, as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough relax for 20 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500? F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.