If there are a couple of pizza lovers in your family, you must always have pizza dough in the freezer. But let me tell you this: why use frozen stuff when you can knead a perfect ball of pizza dough with the simplest ingredients in minutes? Just make sure your dry yeast has not expired because you really want the dough to rise and try this pizza crust recipe!
This recipe calls for just a few ingredients that are almost always in stock in anyone’s fridge or pantry: all-purpose flour, salt, olive oil, active dry yeast, and brown sugar. The latter, however, may easily be replaced with regular white sugar.
If you want a fancier pizza crust (and why wouldn’t you want it fancier since you are making it from scratch and can knead literally anything into the dough?), try adding any of the following ingredients (or all at once – they combine nicely as well):
- a pinch of onion powder,
- a pinch of garlic powder,
- 1 fresh garlic clove, minced,
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning,
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan.
Wanna please your pizza-eating munchkins? Roll some string cheese into the edges for a stuffed-crust surprise!
To make your homemade pizza crust healthier, replace 1 cup of all-purpose flour with wholemeal flour. Adding more will make your pizza dough gummy, but a cup will not alter the texture while adding quite enough fiber.
Kneading and Baking Tips
If you have a bread machine or a stand mixer, try kneading the dough with those appliances and you’ll get a perfect pizza crust without any mess on the work surface. Remember: flour and oil can differ from batch to batch, so you might need to adjust the amount of flour to the stickiness of the dough.
Once your dough is ready, roll it out with a rolling pin for a thin crusted pizza. The recipe yields enough dough for a huge pizza, so you might want to divide it in two before rolling out. Or simply flatten the dough with your hands and press it into a baking pan while working the sides up if you want your pizza crust pan style. Oh, and don’t forget to oil the baking pan, too. You can also use cornmeal to prevent the pizza crust from sticking and give it a classier look.
Another handy tip: before spreading the sauce and toppings, bake your pizza crust in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. It will make sure that the edges come out browned and crusty while the center is fully baked yet soft. For an additional crunch, bake your crust on the lower oven rack: it will help the dough bake before than the topping starts burning.
Bonus tip: this pizza dough doubles as cinnamon roll dough! Roll it out, brush with softened butter, spread sugar mixed with cinnamon on top, roll back up, and cut into rolls. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar in the bottom of a baking pan, arrange your cinnamon rolls in the pan, and bake till golden brown. Drizzle generously with cream cheese icing and you are all set to have a nice breakfast!