I used to have a neighbor that made the most AMAZING pizza dough. She would make pizza every Friday night for her family and she would make extra for neighbors. It was so good. I mean you can't imagine pizza tasting that good, good!
And then she moved away.
So I started buying my pizza dough from Fresh & Easy. It costs about a $1 and it is pretty good stuff. White and wheat. And honestly, running to the store is a lot less work than making pizza dough from scratch.
But this weekend I am going to be crazy. I am going to attempt to make my own dough. I wish I had my neighbors recipe. She actually gave it out to a few people, so I still hope that I might be able to hunt it down. But until then I had to find a recipe of my own. After some searching I think I have decided on this one from Smitten Kitchen.
Why that recipe? It made the list because it is from Smitten Kitchen. Love that blog. But then today I found an old post on Joy the Baker (love her!) and she was talking about a magical pizza crust. Turns out it was from Smitten Kitchen. So I was sold.
I will give it a shot and let you all know how it turns out. Or you could be brave and do it first. But really, no bravery needed. Those two ladies are amazing and if they like it, it has to be good!
Makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza. Double it if you like your pizza thick and bready.
images from Joy the Baker
What you need:
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
What you do:
Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks I picked up from my bread-making class is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable.
Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.
Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.
Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (I always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.)
Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist.