Making pizza is a snap. Once you’ve got some dough made, putting the ingredients together and making something truly sensational that you’ve made from scratch isn’t very difficult or time-consuming at all. And it tastes way better than anything you’d find in the Yellow Pages.
For me, a thin crust pizza is best without tomato sauce. Deep dish pizza? Well, that’s something else entirely. Keeping it thin…just some olive oil and some fresh vegetable toppings and a smattering of cheese, thank you very much. As for the pizza dough, it takes just over 2 hours to make, including rise-time, so if you plan your day in advance, you will have pizza for dinner and another pizza the next day. This dough recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas, so it’s definitely worth making. You can also freeze the dough after you’ve let it rise. Just tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for future use.
And if you are interested in knowing a bit more about me, Marilyn over at Simmer Till Done interviewed me.
basic (but wonderful) pizza dough
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 1/4 c warm water
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 T olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1/2 t salt
1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1 cup of the warm water. Stir in flour, salt and olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough begins to form at the bottom of the bowl. Add the rest of the warm water and shape the dough into a ball using your hands. Flour up your hands if it becomes too sticky and knead, baby knead! Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough gets nice and elastic.
2. Oil up another large bowl. Place dough ball inside and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm-ish place and let it rise for 2 hours. Once it has doubled in size, you’ve reached gold. Spread cornmeal and a bit of flour on your work surface and plop dough on top. Cut dough in half with a knife. You can put the second half of dough back in the oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap to let it rise again in the fridge, so that you can have pizza the next day. Or just oil up 2 pans or baking sheets and have 2 pizzas right now.
3. Using a rolling pin, roll out the 1/2 lump of dough until it reaches a lovely thickness. I like it fairly thin, yet sturdy enough that you can’t see through the dough. Transfer dough to your greased baking sheet and throw on your favorite toppings. Bake for 15 minutes or so at 400 degrees. Pull it out when the cheese gets all bubbly and the crust gets golden around the edges.
my favorite pizza toppings (of the moment):
As this is a thin-crust pizza you want to keep the toppings light, so don’t go crazy adding everything in the fridge. You must keep a perfect balance of crust and topping. For me, I spread a little bit of really good olive oil over the top, followed by a bit of pesto, chopped tomatoes, dried red chili flakes, thinly sliced red onions, fresh basil leaves (torn), a bit of kosher salt, and because it was the only cheese in my house at the time, old orange cheddar thinly strewn about.
“It tastes way better than anything you’d find in the Yellow Pages” You got that right!! Nothing beats the essence of homemade pizza – especially THIN CRUST pizza (the best kind, in my opinion). I like mine piled generously with fresh vegetables – and loads of garlic is a must :0)
I love pizza but I don’t get to eat it as often as I want. Usually, I rely on my mom for homemade pizza (I know, tsk tsk). She will make two large pizzas from scratch and pass one over to me and one to my brother’s family. I’ve never made my own pizza dough before but rather I opt for ready dough at the market. One of these days I will roll up my sleeves and try making old fashioned pizza dough from scratch. You make it look so easy!
ooooh yum! I love making pizza from scratch but the way my kids and hubby inhale it, I have to make three 15×10 sheets worth. It wears me out!
Bijoux, GO FOR IT!!! I make my dough by mixing the yeast in with the flour and salt, then add warm water, honey and olive oil. Knead and let rise, can’t go wrong!
I’ve been looking for a good pizza dough recipe. Think I’ll try making it in my kitchenaid mixer. Thanks!
Love the recipe. However, I might suggest using a gourmet salt other than a table salt. I’ve read natural sea salts contain an abundance of essential elements.
Mmmm, now I think I need to make pizza again… like Molly though, it’s a really big batch – I have 3 teenagers 😀
My fave toppings are caramelized onions and artichoke hearts. Mmmmm.
i read your interview and wanted to pass along that i learned, via npr, that drinking pickle juice is great for relieving late-night leg cramps. who knew those lil’ sips could be so beneficial?
cheddar cheese on a pizza… oh man, new yorkers would be so angry. well, new yorkers and italians.
i put fresh mozarella and a little bit of pamersan on mine. it’s so delicious. i also just get the pre-made dough at trader joe’s for 99 cents.
Isn’t it wonderful to find a reliable recipe for pizza dough?
I can tell yours is wonderful just by looking at this beauty!
Mmm. Home made pizza is the best ever…. especially if you make it on the grill! We don’t make it any other way now, except in deep winter. Favorite toppings: fresh mozzarella with basil and tomatoes straight out of the garden, with a slight dusting of olive oil on the crust after turning the first time on the grill. Then the toppings go on. It’s the best!
For summer parties (with the whole fam & friends) we set out three grills and 3 8 ft tables (one for dough, one for topping, and the third covered with butcher paper for the finished product). We’ll eat up 40 pizzas in an evening. The dough making takes time, but my sister prepares it the day before and refridgerates until time for rising. The result: thin crust, perfect crunch, with a little chew, and …. aaaaah. Pizza bliss.
Your post makes me hungry…!
I haven’t made pizza or used my baking stone in a long time. And I was looking for a new pizza dough recipe… thanks for sharing!
Your pizza looks great and I agree, homemade is better! Well occasionally I do crave the chain pizza places but overall prefer homemade. I love putting spinach and roasted garlic on mine, and I love that you can make pizza healthy when you make it at home so there’s no guilt!
I was just thinking about how much I’d love to try making my own pizza dough this week! This is perfect, thank-you!
Well, I do resort to ordered pizza in the heat of the summer when I can’t stand to turn the oven on. But, you are right… it is not too hard to make a yummy pizza – this one looks great!
I’m a little lazy when it comes to pizza dough, but this sounds simple. I may have to use it over store bought. (Did I just admit to that?) Anyway, I’m interested in the use of cornmeal as well.
this looks fabulous!
I could not agree with you more! I love homemade pizza and I have won my family over with it too! Freezing the makes thing so much easier! It was a little scary to start with, but once you do it…there is no going bakc!
I am promising you this… I am 41 and no one has ever taken the time to properly explain to me how to make pizza dough. This was perfect. Gonna try it this week. Thanks for taking the time with the great explanation.. So grateful. really… Kayce
Does the dough need to rise twice or is once enough?
veggiegirl, thin crust is the best!
dan, i always use kosher salt. it’s my favorite.
bijoux, getting pizza from your mom isn’t a crime! sounds like a pretty perfect situation to me!
strange, i guess if you are feeding a crowd, making pizza is a bit more work!
i’ve never tried making it in my kitchen aid mixer, michelle. next time, i’ll try that!
wendy, i love those toppings too!
trupeach, wow, who knew? pickle juice as miracle cure!
crystal, i’m of the use what’s in the fridge variety of cook. so if my fridge hands me orange cheddar, that’s what i’m using!!
mary, i will definitely try making grilled pizza this summer. sounds like bliss, indeed!
no problem, chuck. hope you like it!
eatme, the no guilt factor is defintely worth it!
caroline, try grilling pizza this summer. that will be my next pizza challenge!
you are welcome, ndicarlo!
cookinpanda, i used to use bakery-bought pizza dough that needs to rise at home, but this is almost as easy! really!!
sarena, i couldn’t agree with you more.
thanks, kayce! i hope it works well for you! good luck 🙂
anon, once is enough. the extra dough i let rise again in the fridge for the next day. but if you want to just use all the dough at once, letting it rise just once is perfect!
I make every week and never get tired of it. Homemade crust and fresh toppings is the key.
How about making a couple of batches and freezing the dough? I usually make pizza when we are rushed for time or when we have perfectly ripe veggies…both demand a quick response…
I just read the interview – 7 kinds of mustard in your fridge?? Sounds like my kind of fridge!
Looks and sounds just fantastic! Crispy, thin pizza (with lots of crust for nibbling) is the best 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve made a pizza – I just might have to try this on Saturday – my “big” baking day…thanks!
i’m with you on the no-sauce-on-the-thin-pizza thing. i really like your pesto-red onion combo, yum.
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Your pizza looks amazing.
I just found your blog and since I am a former Vancouverite whos is currently living far from home, it is great to see where you blog from.
I look forward to reading more of your writings.
oh you’ve done it again. Gone and made me all hungry again after dinner, that is. Your pizza looks almost too delicious to eat. I couldnt agree more on the thin, crispy crust. Yum.
pizza…with no sauce? I’m shocked. sauce is sort of my favorite part of making pizza. it is a bit of a challenge to make it happen without soggy crust (cheese on bottom is one trick) but mmmm, saucy pizza. makes me want some right now.
Thank you for sharing Dough recipy
I love it…
So many pizzas are flitting about the internet these days – thanks for being part of my inspiration to FINALLY try it. I made four pizzas in two days and I can’t WAIT to do it again.
lynn, every week? i’m coming over to your house!
jenn, yum indeed 🙂
jean ann, freezing the dough is perfect for this recipe. and making double the amount of dough so that you can have more later, is excellent!
eatme, i do love mustard!
thanks everyone who commented. how can you go wrong with pizza?
I love pizza. I really really do. And more often than not I make my own dough at home. But sometimes you just want something quicker, ya know? Personally when I want something quick I use those pillsbury pizza dough crust in the fridgerator section. And then you can add whatever stuff you want to the pizza.
I know Im a Chef were not supposed to use pre-made stuff lol. But you gotta do what you gotta do!
Good recipe tho, and nice pics as well. Good job!
kristi, often i will stop by a bakery to get dough and just let it rise. it’s quick and easy…but this is so much more satisfying!
tooshytostop, thanks for stopping by and saying hello!
This is my first time visiting your blog, and I’m impressed! That pizza looks amazing. I am trying to imagine what the crust must taste like; it looks so chewy, fresh and delicious. Keep up the great work!
love this dough, i made magherita pizza with it