When we were first married, my husband told me that he could eat pizza for every meal, every day. Do I even need to describe to you the benefit of making your own pizza at home? Cheaper. Check. Healthier. CHECK.
Over the years we’ve been married, my homemade pizza has evolved from sub-par to glorious. Recently, I found a recipe that has transformed our lives forever. Wolfgang Puck, I salute you. Today’s experiment: Homemade Pizza Dough.
- 1 Packet or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tsp honey or sugar
- 1 Cup warm water
- 3 Cups flour
- 1 Tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Extra flour
- Toppings of your choice
- Dissolve the yeast and honey in warm water.
- With a fork or in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the olive oil and yeast mixture and mix well. This is way easier in the food processor because it gets so firm. You’ll know it’s done when the dough forms a ball.
- Dump the dough out and knead it by hand for 2 or 3 minutes. After that, cover it with a damp towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
- Now you have the power. Divide the dough into four balls, two balls, or keep it just one. The choice is yours. Pull down the sides of ball and tuck them underneath four or five times. Roll the ball in your hand to make the surface smooth. Cover these guys with your damp towel and let them rest for 15 minutes.
- Here is one of the keys to the awesomeness that is this pizza. Ask your mom to buy you a pizza stone for Christmas. Then put it in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
- Dip your balls of dough in flour and shake off the excess. Place them on a lightly floured cookie sheet that doesn’t have edges and press out the dough. Using your fingers, push down in the middle of the ball and keep pressing the dough out, leaving the outside edge (what will be your crust) just a little bigger. Spread olive oil on the inside of the dough (not the crust), then add your toppings.
- Slide the pizza onto your pizza stone, being careful not to burn yourself. This can be tricky and I use a spatula to help me shimmy the pizza off the cookie sheet. Let it bake until your cheese is melted and your crust is a nice-looking brown. The recipe says it should take about 10-12 minutes. Mine is perfect at 8.
- When it’s ready, use the spatula and cookie tray again to get the pizza out. Slice the pizza and enjoy, but maybe not immediately since it’s probably lava hot.
This looks long and complicated. The first time, yes, it feels like it. But the joy of sinking your teeth into that crispy, yet chewy crust will be worth the effort.
Puck, Wolfgang. Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza, Pasta, and More! Random House, Incorporated: New York, 2000. Pgs 73-4.