Homemade pizza boasts a special charm, especially when the foundation—its crust—is crafted from scratch. The joy of making your own pizza dough not only ensures a fresh and flavorful base but also allows for creative customization. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a mouthwatering pizza crust in the comfort of your kitchen.
Note: This recipe makes dough for two 12-inch pizzas.
- 4 cups (500g) bread flour (all-purpose flour works too)
- 1 ½ teaspoons (10g) active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups (355ml) warm water (not too hot, around 110°F or 45°C)
- 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (18g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (12g) salt
1. Activate the Yeast:
- In a small bowl, mix the warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy. This indicates that the yeast is activated and ready to use.
2. Combine Dry Ingredients:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
3. Mix the Dough:
- Pour the activated yeast mixture and olive oil into the well of the dry ingredients.
- Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gradually mix the wet and dry ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms.
4. Knead the Dough:
- Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky. Add more flour if it’s too sticky.
5. First Rise:
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it with oil.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until it doubles in size.
6. Prepare for Baking:
- Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach (usually around 500°F or 260°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while preheating.
7. Divide and Shape the Dough:
- Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down to release excess air.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions for two pizzas.
- On a floured surface, shape each portion into a round ball. Let the dough rest for about 15-20 minutes, covered with a kitchen towel.
8. Forming the Crust:
- On a lightly floured surface, using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten and stretch the dough into a round shape. For a thinner crust, stretch it thinner; for a thicker crust, leave it a bit thicker.
9. Final Assembly:
- Transfer the stretched dough to a pizza peel or baking sheet dusted with cornmeal or flour to prevent sticking.
- Add your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings.
10. Baking the Pizza:
- If using a pizza stone, carefully slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the preheated oven. If using a baking sheet, place the sheet in the oven.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the toppings are cooked to your liking.
11. Enjoy your Homemade Pizza!
This homemade pizza crust serves as the canvas for endless culinary adventures. Experiment with various toppings, sauces, and cheeses to create your perfect pizza masterpiece.