Pizza dough is even easier than no-knead bread! Making it at home will save you a ton of money. Those pre-baked shells are tasteless and expensive, and the somewhat tastier ready-to-bake doughs are outrageously expensive. (Not to mention the cost of buying a delivered pizza… and who knows what’s really in that.) You’re only four basic ingredients, ten minutes of actual work, two dirty dishes, and one floury counter top away from having a homemade pizza crust anytime. Save that extra cash and tip your beertender!
EASIEST PIZZA DOUGH
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
1.5 cups all purpose flour (up to 1/2 can be whole wheat)
Extra flour for kneading
1 t salt
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 T olive oil
Cornmeal or flour, if using baking stone
Rolling pin, if you want
Baking stone or large sheet pan
Pizza peel or large wooden cutting board, if using baking stone
Parchment paper, if using sheet pan
Wooden spoon, spatula, or your hand
Whisk or fork
Medium mixing bowl
Use a whisk or a fork to combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a medium mixing bowl.
Pour in the olive oil and water.
Use a wooden spoon, spatula, or your hand to turn this mess into a ball of dough. It should be relatively sticky.
Transfer the ball to a floury surface, setting the dirty mixing bowl aside for later use. Knead that dough for a couple of minutes.
You just want to make it manageable, meaning un-sticky. Use as little additional flour as possible! Form it into a ball when you think it’s ready. Remember that bowl you left dirty? Pour some olive oil into it. Transfer the ball of dough you just made back into the bowl and roll it around to coat it with oil. I usually try to reincorporate the stuff stuck on the sides of the bowl at this point. Waste not!
Cover it with plastic wrap it leave it alone at room temperature for an hour to rise. When time’s up, you can either make pizza now, or just put the whole thing into the refrigerator for later. It’ll keep up to a week!
To make pizza now, dump the risen dough back onto the floury counter (why clean it twice?). Gently press the air out of the dough and cover it with the plastic wrap for another 20 minutes. Now’s about the time to preheat your oven to 425ºF (with the baking stone inside if you’re using one).
When 20 minutes have passed, roll or stretch the dough into a flat circle, oval, heart, dinosaur, or whatever shape you desire your pizza to be. I like to pinch the edges up for the crust. Transfer the unbaked crust onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, or, if you are using a baking stone, onto a pizza peel or large cutting board that has been dusted with flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking.
Add whatever toppings you want! Place the sheet tray with your pizza in the oven, or use the pizza peel/cutting board to slide your pizza onto the baking stone and bake for about 10 minutes.