If I could pick my all time favorite food-it would have to be pizza! I am pretty sure that I could have pizza every night and not get sick of it! I know that is sad to admit, but it’s true! In the quest to find the perfect homemade pizza, I have tried several different homemade pizza crust recipes and have always been disappointed. However, this recipe bakes up a crust that is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside…the perfect kind of crust if you ask me. I think the one main difference between this recipe and the other ones that I have tried is one simple ingredient-bread flour. The bread flour produces a crispier crust compared to all-purpose flour. One time-saving factor is that the crust does not need to pre-bake before you add the pizza sauce and toppings, just assemble the pizza and slide it onto the pre-heated pizza stone. Next time you get the urge for pizza try this recipe, you may never have pizza delivered again!
- ½ cup warm water (about 110°)
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
- 1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl
- Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
- To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes before baking. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal.
- Lightly brush the dough round with olive oil. Spread pizza sauce over the dough round, leaving a 1/2 inch border uncovered. Top as desired. Slide the dough onto the heated pizza stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is melted, about 8 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.
Source: The New Best Recipe