Best.Pizza.Crust.Ever.

Adapted from Food Network Kitchens, Making it Easy, 2004.

Best.Pizza.Crust.Ever.

1 cup tepid water (105 degree water)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons agave syrup (you can also use honey or sugar)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (optional)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 packet active dry yeast

1. Mix flour and yeast in a bowl.

2. Mix warm water, olive oil, agave syrup, and salt in a bowl.  I use a glass measuring cup – the kind with the handle.

3.  Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add liquid ingredients and mix well.

4.  Knead for about 5 minutes, use extra flour if the dough is really sticky.  To minimize dirty dishes and areas, I knead right in the large bowl I mixed the dough in. 

5.  Place in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.  I turn my oven on at 350 degrees for one minute as my warm spot for dough to rise.  

The dough after 45 minutes of rising.
6.  Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare pizza  pan(s).
7.  Stretch (or hand toss, if you are really talented) into desired size.  We use a large cast iron pizza pan that yields a thicker crust.  You could make 4 small personal size pizzas with the dough.  
 
The dough ready to be baked – we love, love, love the even crispiness of a pizza dough baked on a cast iron pizza pan.
8.  If you are making a thick crust pizza, bake the dough at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes before adding and toppings.  This will ensure you do not get the doughy, uncooked center.
The crust post baking.
9.  While your crust is baking, prepare toppings.  We kept ours simple this time, but the possibilities are endless.  I used some leftover pasta sauce (more sodium than I thought!), fresh garlic, fresh sliced tomatoes, and fresh herbs out of the garden.  The herbs were a little burned up from our dry weather, I guess it is liked having sun-dried herbs.  
 
The pizza ready to be baked.  I added a small dusting of cheese just before baking.
10. Bake pizza in 425 degree oven for about 12 more minutes or til done, on the lowest oven rack.  Keep an eye on your toppings so they do not burn.
  The only downside: it disappears quickly!
We use this recipe so often that the cookbook it came from is falling apart but luckily it is memorized now.  I have tweaked it just right for us, but there are other things you can do with this recipe:
  • Turn the dough into bread sticks and after the dough rises, shaped the dough into twisted ropes and place on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with dried garlic bits and sesame seeds.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or til golden.
  • Mix herbs into the dough to give the crust/bread sticks a savory flavor.
  • Try different combinations of flours – all white flour, all wheat, half and half, or rye flour.
  • Before baking the crust, brush olive oil and sprinkle freshly ground pepper.
  • Freeze dough in plastic wrap for your own pre-made pizza dough.

 

So, here’s the recap:

Best.Pizza.Crust.Ever.
1 cup tepid water (105 degree water)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons agave syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (optional)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 packet active dry yeast
1. Mix flour and yeast in a bowl.
2. Mix warm water, olive oil, agave syrup, and salt in a bowl.
3.  Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add liquid ingredients and mix well.
4.  Knead for about 5 minutes, use extra flour if the dough is really sticky.
5.  Place in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.
 
6.  Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare pizza  pan(s).  
 
7.  Stretch (or hand toss, if you are really talented) into desired size.  
 
8.  If you are making a thick crust pizza, bake the dough at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes before adding and toppings.  This will ensure you do not get the doughy, uncooked center.  
 
9.  While your crust is baking, prepare toppings.
10. Bake pizza in 425 degree oven for about 12 more minutes or til done, on the lowest oven rack.

 

 

 

One thought on “Best.Pizza.Crust.Ever.

  1. Pingback: Balsamic Beet Pizza | a life like art

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