I am somewhat of a pizza addict. It’s borderline alarming.
It’s not hyperbole when I tell you that I consumed five slices of pizza yesterday. And no, not those lame Little Caesar’s style personal pizza slices, that even the smallest of small children could house in about 3 seconds. I’m talking about five grown-ass-woman slices of pizza. No regrets. (OK, maybe some regrets.)
To demonstrate how dedicated I am to this, my most favorite of food groups, I tried to find you a really funny GIF I saw once of a cat who’s busy burrowing themselves in a bag when they suddenly pop out all crazy-like, looking around, and the text comes over saying “DID SOMEBODY SAY PIZZA??”. Alas, several, possibly incriminating-in-the-future Google Image searches later could not yield the GIF I was looking for, but hopefully you get the idea. But here’s another one I did find that should give you at least a few nightmares:
(On a side note, it’s alarming/probably not surprising how many “cat pizza” gifs there are on the internet).
ANYWAYS, if I haven’t scared you off yet, back to this pizza. I’m guessing there are more than a few pizza addicts around here too, so I wanted to share a recipe for what I consider the perfect pizza dough that you can make right at home, no fancy brick-oven fires required.
As we know, the crust can either make or break a pizza, regardless of its toppings. This dough produces pizza crust that is crispy on the exterior, but tender and fluffy once you take a bite. There are a few techniques in here that prevent any sticking to the pizza stone or baking sheet (parchment paper is your friend!), and if you’re scared of working with yeast or have never made dough from scratch, I promise it’s not as scary as it might seem (and certainly not as scary as the above cat gif. I should probably take that down).
Here’s a video I made to walk you through the steps to pizza bliss!
- 3.5 cups (16 oz) bread flour (plus a few tbsp more if needed)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- cornmeal, for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or, if not using a stand mixer, a large bowl), add the bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix together to combine.
- Bring the 1.5 cups of water to 110°F, warm enough to activate but not kill the yeast. Using a thermometer is the best way to be sure of the temperature, but if you don’t have one, microwave the 1.5 cups of water for one minute on high.
- With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the warm water into the bowl. Add the olive oil and mix until combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add more warm water a tablespoon at a time. You want the dough to be smooth and only slightly tacky.
- If using a stand mixer, put on the dough hook attachment, otherwise use your hands. Knead for 10 minutes, then place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Place the covered bowl in a warm environment for one hour to let rise. (I turned on my oven to 400°F for one minute, then turned it OFF and placed the dough in the oven. If you use this method, make sure to turn the oven OFF before you put the dough in there!)
- After an hour, dough should have risen considerably. Remove from the oven, then turn oven on to 450°F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven and allow to heat up as oven is pre-heating.
- Take off the plastic wrap, and punch down the dough to allow the gases to escape. Divide dough in half (you can save the other half for later in the fridge for a few days, or use it all for an extra large pizza). Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal to the desired size and shape, and cover with toppings of your choice.
- When oven is preheated, place the parchment paper with the pizza on it on the pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes. The pizza should slide easily off the parchment. Slice and serve!
Let me know if you try this dough, and if anyone ever does find that pizza cat GIF…:) I’m off to eat another slice!