help! how do you make pizza crust?

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In a city of delicious pizza it’s hard to muster up the energy to make my own pie, but after a weekend cooking in the kitchen of my dreams (my boyfriend’s mother has an amazing set-up — but more on that later) I was feeling inspired. I didn’t have a specific recipe to follow so I just sort of made it up as I went along. I started with a basic crust that was particularly easy to pull together but didn’t produce great results. However, the toppings were totally spot on. To make the “sauce” I cooked up a can of crushed tomatoes, adding in a bit of oregano and a lot of black pepper and letting it simmer and cook down until the tomatoes were extra soft and it had thickened slightly. Then, I lightly sauteed some broccoli florets and sliced mushrooms in a bit of olive oil and minced garlic. I spread the sauce over the crust, spooned hearty dollops of goat cheese across the pie, and then sprinkled my sauté over the top. A quick 9 minutes in a 500°F oven and it was crisp and bubbly. My boyfriend insisted it needed MORE cheese so that’s shredded parmesan on top. It was certainly a good meal, don’t get me wrong — but, my crust issues kept it shy of a great one. So I ask you shelterrific readers — could you share with me a crust recipe worth making? — Erica P.

From our partners

Ah, pizza… I posted a photo tutorial of making pizza with my mom a couple months ago–I put the link in the website link thing, so hopefully my name should send you to it? We ended up grilling the pizza thanks to a power outage, but usually it’s baked.

Wow, I need to drink my coffee. Sorry, commenting while half asleep is a bad plan.

Good pizza toppings aside, because most people can’t separate good pizza crust from the toppings itself… Alton Browns recipe for crust is fantastic. I will admit that I do add a little honey and some spices to it, but what makes it good is the fact that it has you proof the dough.

When you seplace online, most sites, recipes, great chefs of the world… have you do a dough that rises twice, sometimes even 3 times… but without the proofing, you won’t quite get the excellent pizzaria texture, taste, and quality you are looking for.

ummmmm! PIZZA I am feeling hungry

Kathleen

When I want pizza I want it now, not after things rise, proof, rise again, get kneaded, etc. Here’s what I do– takes less time that Alton’s, though I do hear his is a winner for patient people. This takes about 45 minutes, so it’s exactly instantaneous, but it’s the best I’ve found.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put pizza stone (I’ve had the best luck with Pampered Chef’s stone) in and let it preheat, too.

In the bowl of a mixer, put
1 cup warm water (115 degrees F or so)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet yeast (active dry is preferred, but instant is ok, too)
Let it dissolve for about 5 minutes. The active dry yeast will bubble up, the instant not so much.

Add one cup of flour and mix with the dough hook. Scrape down the sides and add one more cup of flour with a half-teaspoon of salt mixed in. Mix until a dough forms to a consistency that you like– might have to add a smidge of flour here or there.

Drizzle with a generous tablespoon or so of olive oil and turn to coat. Let rise in the microwave (off, of course) for 20 minutes. This is the hardest part.

Take a baking sheet and spray with Pam. Dump the dough out onto the baking sheet. Keep a small bowl of water nearby to keep your fingers from sticking to the dough. Dip your fingers in water and smoosh out dough to your desired thickness and size. I find that this recipe covers a quarter-sheet-pan just right with a little extra to go up the sides, but I like a thin crust. You might prefer a little thicker.

Once the dough is spread out, pop the sheet pan into the oven and set it directly on the stone. Bake for 7 or 8 minutes or until some brown spots appear on the dough.

Take it out and add toppings. I go medium-ly heavy on the sauce, heavy on the parmesan (almost a half a can sometimes, if I only use the parm), and light on the mozzerella. I find the smoked provolone/mozz mix from Sargento is great when added over a nice dousing of parm– nice salty and lightly smoky flavor.

Bake for 7 or 8 minutes (cookie sheet on stone) until it looks almost done. Carefully slide the pizza off the sheet and onto the stone. Bake for another 2 or 3 minutes to crisp up the crust. Take the whole stone out of the oven and use it as a serving tray– keeps the pizza h-o-t for a while.

Hope you enjoy– we make this weekly and love it. Just a little sweet in the crust to balance out the salty of the cheeses. Yum.

Kathleen

eek- make that “NOT” exactly instantaneous…

Er, I go to Whole Foods and buy the dough that they’ve already made. Or I ask my favorite local pizza place for a ball of theirs. I be lazy.

katherine

I love making pizza! I use the Martha Stewart recipe, but I have found that making the crust the evening before, letting it rise for at least two hours, and then refrigerating it have improved it’s elasticity and flavor.

here’s Martha’s recipe:

Ingredients

Makes four 7-inch pizzas, or two 14-inch pizzas

* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
* 3/4 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to coat bowl

Directions

1. Combine yeast with warm water; let stand 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy. Stir well.
2. Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Add yeast mixture and olive oil, and process just until dough comes together.
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 1 minute, and shape into a ball.
4. Place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.

I grill the pizza! Another Martha recipe.

enjoy.

LeeAnn

I hate making pizza crust – I cook, I don’t bake. I make a killer pizza using store-bought French bread. If it’s too poofy, I hollow it out a bit and save the leftovers for bread crumbs or croutons. If I really want REAL crust, I do as Judy suggests and buy the dough. Pizza in my house is usually made with leftovers like meatballs, grilled chicken,or roasted lamb, along with the remains of the week’s salad fixings like peppers and mushrooms. And cheese. Lots of cheese.

This isn’t necessarily a traditional pizza dough recipe, but I love Jamie Oliver’s recipe for pizza. I saw him do this on the Naked Chef years ago, and love this idea for a pizza party. You make a bunch of individual pizza crusts, have a variety of yummy toppings, and let everyone create their own. It also works to freeze the dough if you just want to make a few pizzas at a time.

The dough’s pretty easy to roll out, and it’s all very simple and yummy. My husband and I have been coming back to this for years.

I just made pizza dough last night, and here’s how I did it:

Makes enough for 4 12″ crusts – the dough freezes well, so I always make a big batch and freeze the dough balls in ziploc bags. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and they’re ready to go.

Get a big ol’ bowl! Put in it:
2 C very warm tap water
2 T dry yeast
1 T sugar

Mix so everything dissolves and let stand 10 minutes. It should foam.

If you’re using a stand mixer, start it up. If mixing by hand, get ready to beat.

Add 4 C flour (AP or a mixture of AP + wheat), 1 T kosher salt, a few glugs of olive oil, and 1 t dried herbs like oregano or basil. Dough should be thick, but too runny to form a ball. Beat 5-10 minutes, depending on patience. Beating the dough for a while allows gluten to develop, which is what makes pizza crust crispy + chewy. No gluten, and you get something more like a biscuit – not good. Gradually add 1-2 C more flour until dough comes together into a clean ball. Beat 5 minutes, or knead on counter 10 minutes.

Throw a kitchen towel over the bowl and let rise 45-60 minutes until doubled in size. About 10 minutes from end of rising, preheat oven to 450.

Turn the dough out and divide into 4 pieces.

Roll out the dough and top as desired. Bake at 450 until done, about 7-10 minutes. Enjoy!

aeiouys

I love love love this recipe……

3 1/2 C Flour
1 C Warm water
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp Yeast
1/4 Olive Oil
1/2 tsp

Pour warm H20 into bowl. Water should feel very warm, but comfy. Add the honey and salt. Mix on low until well blended. Add the yeast and mix. Let mixture sit for about 5 min, or until nice and bubbly.

Add 1 C flour and the olive oil and mix until well blended. Add rest of flour and mix well. Dough should form into a ball. If it’s too dry add 1tbsp of water at a time until it starts to form into a ball.

Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute.
Place dough in a plastic bag or a covered bowl, and store in a warm, dry area to rise. (I usually give it an hour or 2)

*I like to add spices and minced garlic when I’m adding the flour – makes for such a tasty crust.

I found the recipe a long time ago on the net seplaceing for “World’s Best Pizza Dough” and I swear this is!!

Angela

101 Cookbooks has an excellent recipe here:

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001199.html

It’s Peter Reinhart’s recipe from “The Bread Baker’s Companion” and requires starting the day before, but it’s great! The crust is chewy, with a crisp bottom, and you can make up a bunch of crusts and freeze them.

My mom’s recipe using the bread machine – can make 1 14″ deep dish pizza or 2 12″ pizzas…

1 cup beer or water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
3 cups white flour
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add beer or water, salt, sugar, oil, flour, and yeast to bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Use the dough cycle to mix the dough. Preheat oven to 425. Grease pizza pans and sprinkle with corn meal. When bread machine cycle is done, remove the dough and pat into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

Top with ingredients and bake another 10-15 min more..

Here’s the whole deep dish pizza recipe

Wow! Just thinking about your pizza is making me hungry (and that was before I started imagining the smell)! It looks delicious! I’ll have to try out some of these yummy crust recipes – they all look so great (especially that last one with the beer added – DH is a homebrewer, so we always have plenty of beer around!) :u)

Hi! Best pizza dough recipe I’ve tried is from Deborah Madison’s Vegeterarian Cooking for Everyone (a fantastic book by the way). It’s made with both whole wheat and white flour, and it has a gorgeous texture and a slightly (in a good way!) bitter taste that plays well against toppings. Check out the book–maybe from the library? It’s a winner. Homemade pizza rocks! And I don’t use a pizza stone, either; have had several, and they always end up cracking (and are hard to clean).

There’s a pretty good NYT article in their archive about making pizza and pizza dough:
http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2003/02/20/dining/cooking/

I also buy mine from the local pizza joint. I think it’s $3 and it’s really good and easy. Good luck!

cybelle

Hello, I’m a bit late for this, but to get real crispy crust, it’s not about the crust, but about the good ceramic plate that you bake it in… A touch of oil on it, a bit of corn meal, there goes your pizza on the ceramic plate and voilà. Great pizza crust!

hi there i use alton browns pizza recipe.
shown on his show “good eats”.
time is needed, because you gotta let the dough rise in the fridge overnight. but it was one of the best pizzas i’ve ever made/eaten.
waiting is absolutely worth it

Daniel Slack

Italian Herb Mix for Priazzo Crust

2 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Dried basil
1 tsp Dried rosemary
1 tsp Dried thyme
1 tsp Dried sage
2 tsp Dried parsley or cilantro

Store mixture in air-tight container until used

Priazzo Crust

2 pkt dry yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water
2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups cold water
3 Tblsp corn oil
1/3 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Dry Italian herb mix
6 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups corn meal

Soak corn meal in separate bowl 20 minutes in 1 cup of warm water prior to use.
Soak Italian herb mix in 1/8 cup of water prior to use
Sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir in the sugar. Let stand about 5 minutes or until very bubbly.

Combine the remaining ingredients with about half of the flour, beating to a smooth batter.

Combine yeast mixture, cornmeal mixture and the Italian herb mixture.

Beat in the yeast mixture. Then with a sturdy spoon work in remaining flour until you can toss it lightly on a floured surface and knead it until it feels elastic in texture.

The kneading may require about 3/4 cup additional flour, which you will be coating your hand with as you knead the dough. Don’t let the dough become too stiff.

Place it in a large plastic food bag or bowl. Be sure to spray inside with a cooking spray or wipe the inside of it with oil and place the ball of kneaded dough to rise until doubled in bulk. Be sure the plastic bag or bowl is large enough that it will permit the dough to double. You can place the bag or bowl of dough on a warm, sunny spot on the table or kitchen counter which helps it to rise.

When dough has doubled, punch it down and shape it. Form the dough into a ball about six to eight inches wide.
Using both hands, one on top of the other, press from the center outwards on it to start stretching it out, turning the dough a bit on each push. You can also pick up the dough and squeeze the edges of it while turning it like a steering wheel. This allows the weight of the dough to stretch it.

Once the dough is about 1/2″ thick all the way around, use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about 1/4″ thick. Run the pin over once or twice, flip the dough over and give it a quarter turn and roll it again to make it even. Roll it till there is approximately 1/4 inch over lapping the pizza pan edge

Take a fork and put puncture holes all over the dough. This keeps it from bubbling up while cooking. Transfer dough to the Deep Dish Pizza Pan that has been greased and dusted in cornmeal. Press over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

that was a good resipy