Friday, February 14, 2014

The Best Pizza I've Ever Made (So Far)

I am currently obsessed with making pizza dough/homemade pizza. Ever since I perfected a no-yeast dough, I've been trying a new yeast variety about once a month. I tend to be impatient, so I've tried the quick-rising varieties, and they just don't measure up. I also tend to attack my dough (I'm apparently quite aggressive), which also doesn't make for a crisp, airy, tasty crust.

But, I finally got it just right, after researching several sources across the interwebs - and confiding in some pizza-making friends. Besides not over-kneading, the other thing I learned that is crucial for a good, crispy, delicious pizza crust is a super hot oven.

Here's how I did it.

The Best Pizza Dough | The Economical Eater

The Best Pizza Dough
Yields: 1 large crust (or 2 small crusts)
Adapted from
-1 package active dry yeast
-1 cup warm water
-Pinch sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the bowl + brushing the crust
-2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
-Cornmeal, as needed, for pan

1.) In a large bowl, combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5-7 minutes. 
2.) Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour to the yeast mixture and mix well to combine. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. 
3.) Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead dough for at least 5-7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled, medium-sized bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.

The Best Pizza Dough | The Economical Eater

4.) Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. (At this point, if you're making two smaller pizzas, divide dough into two portions and form into balls. Then, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes). Transfer dough to a sheet of wax paper that's been lightly floured (so it doesn't stick to your countertop) and begin to shape as desired. 

The Best Pizza Dough | The Economical Eater

5.) Before stretching your dough to the final shape and thickness you're looking for, let it rest for 5 minutes. Then, finish rolling and shaping the dough (it should be rolled out to a 1/8-inch thickness). Transfer dough to a baking sheet or pizza peel that's been sprinkled with cornmeal and brush with olive oil (so toppings don't make the crust mushy). Then, top with toppings of choice. (I topped mine with pizza sauce, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and, after it was done baking, I topped it with some arugula). 
6.) Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until crispy and golden brown, about 12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal spatula and serve immediately.

The Best Pizza Dough | The Economical Eater

The end result was an airy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside pizza crust that held its own underneath all of the toppings I piled on top of it. (I also once topped this crust with cheese, mushrooms, and truffle oil - so good). 

Although the steps and wait times may seem like a lot, this dough was super easy to make - and really didn't require too much labor, besides the kneading. I have used the dough hook in my mixer for the kneading part, and that also worked just fine, if you don't feel like standing over the counter for 5-7 minutes.

I still need to work on rolling out my dough - my pizzas are always misshapen and a little too thick on the ends - but hey, that just means I need to make (and eat) more pizza, right? ;)

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. My pizzas are always misshapen too. But I'm OK with it - gives them that homemade look. Your toppings sound awesome.

    1. I must say - I do love the homemade look, too!

  2. this is a beautiful pizza. nice job with forming the dough.

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight for me and my 18 month old son. I topped it with Canadian bacon, pineapple, green peppers, and onions. I sauteed the veggies first so it wouldn't get soggy. It turned out great! I'll definitely be making it again. (I don't know why anyone would buy pizza dough - it's so easy to make from scratch!)

    1. Your toppings sound delicious! So glad you liked the recipe. And I agree - pizza dough is SO easy to make!