Pizza dough is about as close to an artist’s blank canvas as it comes. Just gaze at this simple, supple dough and let your mind wonder… what do you see?
I love a good pizza but rarely find one that fits my tastes just right. My dream pie has a thin but not cracker-like crust. Edges are crunchy and though the center is thin, it has enough stamina to hold up substantial toppings with a buckle but not a complete flop. Crust flavor is evident but not too flour-y, not too paste-y and definitely not punched up with herbs.
Could these pizza particularities be the reason I have yet to find a pizza delivery that satisfies? If you relate to most or all of my pie-in-the-sky dreams, you will like this recipe. After years of being less than thrilled, I will now stop my search for a better recipe. I’ve made this a few times and have honed it to my liking. I can’t promise it is the best of the best of the best IF you are willing to spend a ton of time making your pizza dough. (This recipe from 101 Cookbooks looks amazing but requires an overnight and I often don’t plan ahead that much.) If you want a delicious, quick and easy dough that can be made in a few hours and kept in your freezer, this is it.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie… That’s Amore.
Easy Pizza Dough (Thin Crust Pizza)
Yields: 2, 14-inch pizzas
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal, for sprinkling
Warm water should be about 100 degrees. Stir in honey and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, yeast should be foamy. Put flour and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the yeast mixture and stir. Add olive oil and combine. Using a dough hook or by hand, knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is stiff but smooth and elastic. You should not need much additional flour. If you do, add a teaspoon at a time. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm place for 30-60 minutes. I usually fill my sink with 2 inches of hot water, place a dish towel over the bowl and sit it in the water.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
After 30-45 minutes dough should be considerably larger. Split the dough in half. (dough may be frozen, see below) I like to lightly flour a piece of parchment paper, press the dough into a circle on the paper and then place the parchment directly on my pizza stone to par-bake the dough. If you don’t have parchment, you can press the dough on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal and transfer to a pizza stone in the oven. OR, just press out the dough directly onto your greased pizza pan or cookie sheet.
Before placing the dough in the oven, prick it with a fork all over to avoid large air pockets. Put the dough in the hot oven for 10 minutes. It should not be brown but it will be firm in the center.
Top the pizza with your favorite sauce and toppings. Find ideas here and here. I suggest brushing the edges with olive oil. Put it back in the oven for 10-20 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is slightly browned.
To freeze dough rub olive oil on the round ball of dough and put in individual plastic freezer bags and in the freezer. Let thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter before using.