Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pizza Crust

A made a pizza for a friend of mine who just had a baby. I had offered to make them a meal after the baby was home. They requested pizza--I had made some for them when they were over for supper a while ago. I was told they ate the whole thing; he also requested the recipe. So, while I was typing it out, I thought I'd include it here. Everyone's got their favorite recipe, I know. This one has always turned out delicious, and it's very easy to make.

Easy Pizza Crust

1 1/4 c warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 c flour

Stir water, yeast and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add oil and salt after the yeast has activated (about 5 minutes). Add the first 2 cups of flour. Mix. Slowly add more flour until the dough is firm and no longer sticky.

Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough so it is all coated. Cover the bowl (plastic wrap works, I use a glass lid for a saucepan so I can see it rise).

Once the dough has doubled (after an hour or so), divide in half and roll onto a pizza stone (or a backing sheet), sprinkled with corn meal.

My notes: I like to sometimes add paprika, basil, oregano or other spices to the warm water to give the dough added pizazz. I also will use garlic salt instead of table salt. I also sometimes like to make a whole wheat crust (1 1/2 c whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 c white flour).

The key to getting it to turn out well is activating the yeast (using hot enough, but not too hot water) and kneading well. Those can take a little practice, but the effort is worth it.

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