I was so excited to make my own pizza! It’s the go to “lazy food” in our house…whenever I’m not in the mood to cook, or we’re in a hurry, or we run out of groceries (I never run out, just occasionally I end up with like 5 things that you can’t make a real meal out of. For instance: a plum, a kiwi, and half a pound of chorizo do not a balanced meal make.) this is what we always end up having. We love Papa John’s around here, and I’m certainly not knocking them, but there’s just nothing like making your own. For one, it’s super duper easy. Sure the dough has to rise, but you can make it in the morning before work or school and let it rise in your fridge while you go about your day and when you get home all you have to do is take it out, top it, throw it in your oven for about 10 minutes, and Ta Da! Pizza! The recipe says to let it rise at room temp for about 2 hours until it’s doubled in size, but if you do it in the morning and let it rise slowly in the fridge, it will actually develop a better flavor. A slow rise really lets the dough become “the best it can be”, and that is true for most breads. Either the warm/fast, or cold/slow methods will work here, with delectable results, so I encourage you all to run home and make your very own pizza as soon as possible.
Pizza Dough – makes one medium-sized thick and fluffy crust. If you prefer thin crust, just halve this.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 cups flour (I used bread flour)
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water and olive oil, and stir until combined and the mixture sort of comes together in a ball with lots of little floury pieces hanging around. Dump it all out on a lightly floured countertop and knead it all into a cohesive mass. Only knead it for a minute or two, then lightly oil your bowl, dump the dough back in, turn to coat with oil, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and go check out the latest on Pinterest – I mean go clean behind your refrigerator or something productive – for a couple of hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Once it has doubled in size, dump it back out on a lightly floured countertop and sort of gently squish it down with the palms of your hands – no punching here – be gentle! Sort of work it around until it’s shaped like a ball again, and let it sit on your counter under a bowl or plastic wrap for 20 more minutes. This is really an important step! If you don’t let it relax, your crust will be tough, and not at all pizza-like.
Preheat your oven to it’s highest setting (preheat your pizza stone, too, if you have one). Roll out the dough as best you can – this is kind of a chore, since the dough always wants to scrunch back up into itself, but just keep pushing it out with your hands until it’s close to a circle and looks approximately pizza-sized. Throw on the toppings of your choice, keeping in mind that the more you have the less your crust will rise, so if you like a lot of toppings, keep them thinly sliced. I don’t have a pizza stone, so I use a pizza pan like this one. I cover it with parchment paper and sprinkle on a little cornmeal before adding my pizza. Then just throw it in your oven for about 10 or so minutes, until it looks done. Enjoy!