I’m not a huge fan of pizza, but if I make pizza it has to be a dough made from scratch. I would way rather slave over dough and a hot oven instead of buying a take out pizza from somewhere. Pizza dough is actually very simple to make, and there seems to be thousands of recipes to choose from. This particular recipe was given to me by a professor of music from Northwest Nazarene University. One of my best friends and roommates, Sarah, always babysat for this particular professor and one Friday night I accompanied her. We were given this recipe and asked to make the kids some homemade pizzas using an instant pizza dough. I copied the recipe down and have used it ever since. So thank you Sarah for taking me with you that night! :)
Here’s what you need:
- 1 package of yeast
- 1 cup warm water (not hot, but not too cool either)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
First, pour the package of yeast into the cup of warm water. Give it a quick stir and then let it set for about 10 minutes. It should become a little frothy. If the yeast doesn’t become frothy after that time, your water is either too hot and killed the yeast or was too cold and didn’t “wake it up”.
I use my KitchenAid mixer for this recipe so that I can use the paddle and the kneading attachments. When the yeast is ready, pour it into a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, salt, sugar and one cup of flour. Let it mix a little then add another cup of flour. Make sure to keep the mixer on low, you definitely don’t want to over mix the dough.
Once the ingredients are combined, remove the paddle attachment and put on the attachment that will knead your dough. The dough needs to be slightly sticky but not so much that it totally sticks to your fingers when you touch it. As it kneads for about 5 minutes, add additional flour as needed. You should not need much more than 2-1/2 cups of flour total.
After the dough is done kneading it can be used right away. You can make one large pizza or this is the perfect amount of dough to make 4 individual pizzas.
Flour your counter top and then roll out your dough with a rolling pin. You can definitely just use your fingers to press the dough out, but I always end up using a rolling pin. I laid the pizza dough out on parchment paper and on my cookie sheet. This cookie sheet is actually a large sheet, 13×18, so you can see how much dough this is. I rolled it about 1/2″ thick in the center and slightly thicker around the edges.
For some reason I’ve never paid attention to how hot an oven should be for pizza and my crust never seemed to turn out well. I just realized this last time that my oven was never hot enough. So make sure the oven is at least at 425*. Now it’s time to create your pizzas then put them into a 425* oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is a perfectly golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
If you want your dough to rise, you can definitely let it rise 30 minutes and up to an hour in a warm place and covered with a damp paper towel or tea towel. I’ve done both ways, and I do always prefer to let the dough rise 30 minutes, but it still always tastes good even if you don’t let it rise.
Now you never have to buy a pizza crust again! Enjoy :)