6/27/11

Perfect Pizza Crust


I have used a couple pizza crust recipes, but this one is far and away my favorite. I love it. It's so easy to make, and so easy to work with, and it tastes great. I love that I have the option to freeze some for a quick weeknight dinner later on if I want. It's the best.

Perfect Pizza Crust

For the crust:
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. olive oil


Measure the 1/2 cup 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 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-water 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 plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

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. 

(If desired, wrap one of the balls of dough in plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag and freeze for later. When it's time to use the frozen dough, put it in the fridge in the morning, then take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you're ready to use it.) 

Cover ball of dough with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500° F. Sprinkle a large baking sheet lightly with cornmeal or lay down a piece of parchment paper to prevent dough from sticking. On a countertop lightly dusted with flour, gently roll out the pizza dough into a large circle, leaving a thicker ring around the edge for the crust. (If the dough doesn't want to stretch and roll out, let it rest for a few minutes and come back to it. If it's been frozen and thawed, it's a little harder to work with, but letting it rest a bit usually helps make it more workable.) Carefully transfer the dough to the baking sheet (on top of the parchment paper or dusted cornmeal) and top with toppings and cheese as desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Makes two medium pizzas.

Recipe from Annie's Eats.

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