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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pizza Crust

The other day I posted a recipe for a great calzone in which I urged you to make your own crust. I suppose if I am going to do that, I should probably suggest a good recipe to you. This is the crust I use most of the time when I am making full size pizzas (versus my pizza crust rounds, which I make and freeze in individual portion crusts).

I exclusively use instant yeast in my kitchen, but if you use active dry, just check out the note at the end of the recipe for conversion instructions. Lastly, while this dough is super easy to make in a stand mixer, it is also very hand-making friendly. Simply mix in a bowl leaving out half a cup of the flour and then knead that last bit of flour in by hand.

I really like the hint of sweetness and complexity of flavor the honey adds in this recipe, but you may omit it if you desire.

Pizza Crust
Yield: approx. 1 pound of dough

1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 cups flour (all purpose or bread)
1 tsp table salt
2 TBS vegetable oil
3 TBS honey (optional)
1 cup warm water

Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a dough hook. Process on medium low until the dough become smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Knead the dough a few times to deflate and cover with the plastic wrap to sit for 4-5 minutes; this lets the gluten relax slightly and makes it much easier to work with. Roll out on a floured board. Top and bake at 425° F. If you a topping fiend, I recommend baking the crust slightly before topping.

NOTE: if you use active dry yeast instead of instant, use 2 tsp instead and mix it with the water and a dollop of the honey and let it sit for 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe as usual.


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