I don’t know too many people who don’t enjoy pizza, at LEAST once in a while. There is SO much you can do with a pizza in addition to the usual tomato sauce, cheese and assorted toppings. It’s truly limited only to one’s imagination.
I started making homemade pizza crust for my family years ago when we first bought a bread machine. A fabulous recipe came in the little booklet that accompanied the machine. Well, the machine is now long out the door from being used for so many years. Since then, I started my bakery and made breads “en-mass” in a quantity NO bread machine could ever handle. Hence, I developed my own recipes.
Here’s a delicious basic pizza crust recipe. Once you master this, it would be easy to get creative with it by adding herbs or other flavorings to enhance whatever pizza you’re making. Give it a try if you haven’t made your own crust before. It truly IS well worth the effort because homemade crust has a flavor far better than any store-bought pizza could possibly have.
Homemade Pizza Crust
Makes One Thick 14″ Crust OR Two Thin 12″ Crusts
3 cups (15 oz) bread flour
1 pkg (1/4 oz) Rapid Rise yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup water, warmed to 120-130ºF
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Butter or other grease for pan
Note: The following instructions are designed for a stand mixer. The dough may also be mixed and kneaded by hand. Be sure to knead very well until the dough is smooth and elastic.
In a stand mixer bowl, add bread flour, yeast and salt. Stir to combine and set aside. In a small bowl or mug, add warmed water OR place water in a mug and heat it briefly in a microwave oven until it has warmed to the appropriate temperature. Add vegetable oil to the warmed water. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Stir to moisten the flour.
Place mixer bowl on the stand mixer and attach a dough hook. Turn the mixer on low speed and allow the mixer to knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Remove bowl from stand. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the baking pan(s) by lightly greasing the pan with butter, then sprinkling cornmeal on the pan. Spread the cornmeal around the pan by tilting the pan in different directions to lightly coat the greased area with the cornmeal. Set aside.
After the dough has rested, form the pizza crust either by placing it on a VERY lightly floured board and rolling the dough into the desired size circle, then place the dough on the prepared pan. Alternately, you could place the dough ball on the prepared pan and spread the dough into a circle with your fingers. Dock the dough by poking holes in the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming as it bakes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF and prebake the dough for 5 to 7 minutes, depending upon the size and thickness of the dough. (Be sure to remove the crust from the oven before it starts to brown.) Remove pan from oven. Spread crust with desired toppings and return it to the oven. Bake pizza until the cheese is bubbly and toppings appear cooked. (Note that the time to finish the baking process will vary depending upon the size, thickness and toppings used.) Serve.
Check out my video below to SEE how the crust is made! Enjoy, Judi