Easy peezy pizza dough is just about the best thing that has happened to me all year (yes, I know it’s only January, but still.) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and probably again and again and again and again….) I’m a TERRIBLE cook. Really, I could burn boiling water. As a working mom and wife you can see how this is potentially an issue…..every night….. so I’m constantly on the hunt for recipes that are easy and make it seem like I put way more effort in than I actually did.
So, we got this awesome pizza stone as a wedding gift and thought maybe we’d try out some homemade pizza. Of course, being my stubborn self I thought, “I’m going to do this, with homemade dough and everything!” and got way excited until I destroyed the first batch of pizza dough I made. Yes, destroyed. It is possible. So I did a little bit more research and between pizza dough gods on pinterest and some trusty internet researching, I came up with what I hoped was the perfect recipe (while still being very basic and easy, because let’s not forget I’m beginner level when it comes to cooking) and it ended up coming out a million times better than I had anticipated. Phew! Below is the recipe I came up with 🙂 Warning- it is super easy, and super simple, for a master chef you might be bored with my instructions, however if you are in the mood for easy (or simply suck at cooking like me), this is for you!
3 1/4 Cups Flour
1 1/4 Cup Warm Water (for other beginners like me, yes it needs to be warm. For the yeast.)
1 1/2 TBSP Sugar
1 TBSP Fast-Acting Yeast (who has time for the slow stuff when you’re busy!)
2 1/4 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Optional: a little garlic seasoning mix with some butter for brushing on the crust of the dough right before baking. Yum! Also delicious: parmesan cheese sprinkles.
Preheat oven to 424 degrees.
Put all of your flower into a bowl and then pretend you are in Close Encounters of the Third Kind with your mash potatoes. Anyone know what I am talking about? No? Just put all of your flour into a bowl and make a hole in the middle of it like you were going to make a volcano. In the hole, add your warm water, yeast, salt, and olive oil. It should froth a little bit. (demonstrated in photo below!)
Then start mixing. If you have one of those fancy mixers, just mix the ingredients together and then use the bread hook to knead the dough. If you are like me and doing this by hand, my suggestion is to use a big spoon to mix as best you can, and then use your hands to finish mixing.
Once combined, pull it out to knead it on a lightly floured surface. Little trick I learned: before kneading the dough, spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray and it will help keep the dough from sticking to your fingers in the process!
Roll the dough into a ball and then set on a plate or in a bowl (I spray mine with a layer of non-stick spray first! It’s all about thinking ahead..right?) and then cover. Let set on a warm surface for 10 minutes. I just sit it on top of the stove where the vent for the oven is, that way as the oven is heating up it is making warm air and helping that yeast do it’s yeast-y action!
After that, take your dough and split it up. For thinner crust pizza, you can split into fours. For regular crust pizza (the way it should be?) just split into two. Roll it out on your pizza pan to a 10-12 inch sized circle. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes to start cooking, then pull it out and put your ingredients on. Pop it back in the oven for another 10 minutes until your crust is golden brown and/or your toppings look done (i.e. melted cheese.) This is a trick I learned from my daddy to help cook your crust all the way through so you don’t end up with burned edges and a doughy middle with melted toppings. I’m sure there are other secrets, too, but I’ve personally tested this one and say that it is fail-proof for the
bad cooks learning cooks around!