A perfect pizza begins with its crust. While it may seem like an overwhelming or intimidating task, you can easily prepare your own palate-pleasing pizza crust that tastes just as delicious as it would in a restaurant. To ensure your crust turns out flavorful, flaky, and crisp, Health suggests keeping everything well-floured and kneading your dough with your knuckles to get it nice and flat. While it may not sound like a big deal, make sure you’ve got a good round pizza pan or a rimless baking sheet that conducts heat evenly. Ready to become a professional pizza purveyor? Here are 6 recipes to get you started.
1. Pizza Dough
A great pizza crust finds a balance between being crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, EveryDay With Rachael Ray explains. You’ll find that Food Network‘s recipe achieves that perfect balance with this delicious and easy-to-make crust. All you need to prepare it is bread flour, sugar, dry yeast, kosher salt, water, and olive oil. It yields two 4-inch pizzas.
- 3½ to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Note: If you can’t find bread flour, substitute all-purpose flour.)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups water, 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
Directions: Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
2. The Real Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough
You don’t need to travel to Chicago in order to relish the taste of a delicious deep dish pizza. AllRecipes.com‘s crust is buttery, flaky, and rivals any Chicago pizzeria’s dough.
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons white sugar
- 1⅛ cups warm water, 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup corn oil
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Directions: Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a bowl. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Combine yeast mixture, flour, corn oil, and kosher salt in a large stand mixer with a hook attachment; knead until dough holds together but is still slightly sticky, about 2 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and transfer to a buttered bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with a towel and allow dough to rise at room temperature until double in size, 6 hours. Punch down dough and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Press dough into a 10-inch deep dish pizza pan. At this point, you can add your toppings and bake the pizza at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
3. Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Recipe
Sally’s Baking Addiction‘s whole wheat crust proves that pizza does not have to be unhealthy. The recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas and creates crust that is soft, chewy, and slightly sweet. If you’re aiming for a super nutritious dinner, follow Cooking Light‘s directions on how to prepare a pizza that has healthy toppings. For example, you can create the farmers’ market, which includes part-skim ricotta cheese, fresh asparagus, spring peas, olive oil, and grated lemon rind. Now that’s a pizza you can feel good about eating!
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum yeast (Note: You can also use active dry yeast.)
- 1½ cups warm water (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
- Olive oil for brushing crust
Directions: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and dissolved. If the yeast doesn’t dissolve, your yeast is dead. Start again with active yeast. Add the olive oil, honey, and salt. Mix by hand with a whisk or with the dough hook on low speed for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of whole wheat flour and mix with the dough hook on low speed or with a large rubber spatula until dough starts to come together. Once mixed, knead for 5 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with your dough hook on low-medium speed.
If your dough is too wet, add up to ⅓ cup more whole wheat flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger; if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment. Depending on your type of yeast, your dough will have doubled in size in about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down to release the air. It will deflate. Cut the dough into two.
Roll each half into a ball and let rest in two separate bowls lightly covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to heat for at least 30 full minutes. Every inch of your oven needs to be very hot. Grease and dust 2 baking sheets or pizza pans with nonstick spray or with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal, which is better for flavor and texture, or flour. After 20 minutes, flatten each ball of dough 1 at a time on a lightly floured surface or directly onto your cornmeal-lined pizza pan/baking sheet. Flatten into a 12-inch round circle, flattening and stretching the dough.
If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Transfer dough to the pizza pan, baking sheet, or pizza stone. Be gentle with it. Top with your favorite toppings. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices may be frozen up to 1 month.
4. Butternut Squash Grain-Free Pizza Crust
Whether you’re craving a fall-flavored pizza or simply want a grain-free option, Empowered Sustenance‘s recipe delivers a fresh, flavorful, and healthy crust. You only need 3 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time to create this delicious base for your toppings. The recipe prepares 2-3 individual-sized crusts.
- 1 butternut squash, preferably wide with a long stem end
- Coconut oil, butter, or ghee, melted (about 2 tablespoons)
- Sea salt
- Pizza toppings of your choice
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. After peeling the squash, slice the stem end into ¼-inch thick slices. The wider your squash, the larger the diameter of your mini pizza crusts. It’s best to pick a squash with a long stem end. Scoop out the seeds at the bottom part of the squash. Place the squash slices on the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with the melted oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Flip the squash halfway through baking. Add pizza toppings and broil to melt cheese. Serve immediately.
5. The Best New York Style Pizza Dough
Your family will love sitting down to a crisp, light, and flavorful pizza crust. Feeling Foodish reveals a few tips that will help you prepare the perfect pizza: always use high-quality flour, don’t add instant dry yeast directly to cold or cool water, and make sure to thoroughly flour your dough balls on each side before you toss or open them. This recipe makes four 14-inch pizzas. Note: when working with dough, you may need slightly less or more of a given ingredient, which is why this recipe includes approximations.
- 28 ounces all-purpose or bread flour (approximately 6½ cups of King Arthur Brand or 6 cups of Gold Medal brand)
- A little less than 2¼ cups water, cool to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
Directions: Place water in mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix salt and yeast into flour. Combine flour, salt, and yeast mixture into water and mix until all the flour has been incorporated. After flour has been totally incorporated, add oil, and knead for about 4 to 5 minutes. Test final dough temperature, which should ideally be between high 70s and low 80s. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and place in sealed quart-sized container or freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours. The following day, remove your dough balls within 1 or 2 hours of baking and allow the dough to come to room temperature.
In the meantime, place your pizza stone in oven and preheat at 550 degrees Fahrenheit, which may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of your stone and your oven’s power, for at least 1 hour. Open each dough ball carefully and transfer to a pre-floured surface or parchment paper, and top with your favorite sauce, cheese, or other toppings. Transfer pizza to oven or slide parchment paper onto preheated pizza pan/stone, and bake for 4-6 minutes each until browned on top and cheese has melted, but not burned.
6. Homemade Stuffed Pizza Crust
A homemade cheese-stuffed crust is an easy and delicious way to create a filling and flavorful pizza. Southern Plate‘s recipe uses mozzarella, oregano, and basil to create a crust that’s bursting with fresh flavors. You can even prepare it ahead of time for an easy weeknight dinner.
- 1 package rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅛ cup corn meal
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
Directions: In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until well-combined. Pour in water and olive oil. Stir until dough sticks together. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until it forms a smooth ball. Cover dough ball with plastic wrap and let rise 15 to 30 minutes, until you are ready to make your pizza. Sprinkle pizza pan with ⅛ cup corn meal. Press dough into pan, spreading as you press, until it reaches almost to the edges of pan. Allow to rest for five minutes.
Return to dough and continue pressing until it overhangs the pan all around the edges slightly. Combine 1 cup shredded mozzarella, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, and ¼ teaspoon dried basil. Sprinkle it in a ring on the outer rim of your crust. Fold over edges and press to seal to form a crust. Top pizza with sauce and toppings of your choice and bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.