Post Originally Published: January 24, 2013 on Chant3llo.com

To say I love pizza is an understatement, I am OBSESSED with pizza!

Almost everywhere I go, if pizza is an option, I take it. It’s insane…not only that, it’s expensive to have pizza as much as I want to have pizza. So I turned to the book I have started calling “the cooking bible” AKA Americas Test Kitchen’s Cookbook – The New Best Recipe.

I cannot say enough good things about this cookbook or how many times I have made something from it to have people go nuts over what I made (especially the chewy chocolate chip cookies, yum!)! It is worth every penny you pay for it, trust me. It’s not filled with ridiculously good looking pictures either, it’s packed with tested recipes, how-to’s and the whys about things that happen when you cook and bake.

Okay, so back to where I was…I have scoured the internet for a really good dough recipe, that is easy to make and doesn’t need a bread machine to make…I’ve got nothing. So finally I looked through my cooking bible and wah-lah, they have a super easy, amazing dough recipe in there. The recipe below is my modified version of their recipe and I give them LOTS of credit for it! The only reason I modified it is because I like to put a little bit of sugar in my dough and when I cook/bake I never do a good job following directions. Honestly, I’m sloppy in the kitchen, but the end product is always amazing. You can use a food processor to make it (I never have), a bread machine (never done this either), a stand mixer (I use my KitchenAid), or your hands.

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

You will need:

  • 4 cups of flour (nothing special bleached or unbleached, just whatever you have on hand) with a little extra for dusting
  • a packet of instant yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast (I have a big container of yeast I bought in bulk from the wonderful Amish nearby)
  • 1/2 cup of warm-hot-ish water and then 1-1/4 cups of room temperature water (keep them separated)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt (more or less, I eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil that tastes good, if it doesn’t taste good, your dough will taste like it – try for virgin or extra virgin.
  • Some sugar on hand, just keep sugar nearby
  • Cooking spray, I’ve been using Pam in Olive Oil flavor
  • Mixing bowls, one for mixing and one for the dough to rise in
  • Plastic wrap to cover your bowl, I used to use tea towels, but plastic works much better
  • Corn meal, for dusting later

So here we go…

  1. If you are using a stand mixer attach the dough hook, if you don’t have one you can use a paddle, just watch the mix and scrape the sides if everything is not coming together nicely.
  2. Mix the warm-hot water with the yeast and sprinkle a litter sugar over it. Wait about 5 minutes for the yeast to swell up.
  3. While you are waiting for that, mix your flour, salt and sprinkle at least a tablespoon of sugar in and mix your dry ingredients.
  4. You are probably still waiting – so now measure out the 1-1/4 cup of room temperature water and dump your two tablespoons of olive oil into that same container.
  5. If you are still waiting go ahead and spray the bowl you plan to put the finished dough in.
  6. Now that your yeast water is ready, dump/pour it into the container that your room temperature water and olive oil is living.
  7. Go ahead and dump all of the liquid into the dry ingredients and turn on the mixer, slowly at first so you don’t have flour and water flying everywhere. Then turn up the speed and mix it until it’s uniform.
  8. If you are mixing by hand put the liquid in with the dry ingredients and stir it with a fork first then knead by hand until it’s all uniform. It will be sticky, so make sure you take off your jewelry, wash your hands really well and flour them.
  9. Scrape the dough out and into your pre-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set it somewhere warm to rise for a few (2-3) hours or until it has double (or almost double) in size.
Make sure you check out the pictures at the bottom of the post! 🙂

Once your dough is done – preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get a baking pan out – I have a fabulous KitchenAid square baking pan that is absolutely PERFECT for this. I can’t find it online, but these cookie sheets seem like they would work well.

Dust your baking sheet with a really good amount of corn meal (pictures below) and then a really good amount of flour. Better to have too much than not enough, trust me.

Flour your hands and dump the dough onto your sheet, work it out into a round or square pizza shape – this dough molds very easy but it’s sticky, so keep dusting it with flour to make sure it’s not sticking to you or the pan.

Now you have a pizza shape and you can put red sauce (I love the Boboli pre-measured sauces, they taste so good and are inexpensive!) or white sauce (melt 1/2 stick to 1 stick of butter and mix with about 1 tsp garlic powder) and cover it with cheese and/or your favorite toppings. It’s totally your call what you put on it, but this is way cheaper than buying pizzas and in my opinion way tastier! Feel free to modify the recipe to best suit your needs!

Now bake it about 10-15 minutes. You have to watch it the first few times from 10 minutes on because depending on your oven it will take more or less time. Once it’s golden brown it’s ready to come out! Cut and enjoy!!

Pictures

Dough in the mixing bowl after rising, these glass batter bowls are the perfect size and work really well!

Note: Use MORE corn meal and flour than shown in the picture below. That was not enough and the crust stuck to the pan a bit.

White sauce – doused with red pepper flakes, yum!

Boboli red sauce…doused with red pepper flakes! Mmmm!

White Veggie Pizza:

Perfect!

One of my first pizzas, this one was still really good!