If it's too much trouble to go out for pizza, making your own pizza crust is the first step to making your own pizza. Once the crust is made, it's a simple matter to throw on your favourite toppings and then throw your pizza in the oven. Making your own pizza crust only takes a few hours and can be turned into an activity where the whole family helps.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Instant read or candy thermometer
- Baking sheet or pizza pan
- ½ cup lukewarm water (between 43.3 and 46.1 degrees C)
- 1 packet active dry yeast, minus ¾ tsp (or 1 ½ tsp bulk yeast)
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cups bread flour, plus additional
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus additional to grease the bowl
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp oregano
Warm the mixing bowl by running it under lukewarm tap water. Drain the bowl and dry it thoroughly. Combine the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves. Set the bowl aside until it starts foaming, which takes roughly 5 minutes.
Mix the flour with the basil and oregano using a fork in a smaller bowl. Stir the flour, olive oil and minced garlic into the yeast mixture until it forms a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured, dry surface.
Pull a corner out and fold it into the centre with one hand, then push into the middle with the heel of the other hand. Turn the mass and repeat. Add more bread flour if the dough becomes too sticky to handle. Continue to knead the dough for roughly 8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball.
Wash out the mixing bowl and dry it thoroughly. Coat the bowl with olive oil and wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat it with oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with a clean towel.
Put the bowl in a warm place free from drafts. The dough will double in size in approximately 2 hours.
Lightly grease the baking sheet with olive oil or baking spray. Place the dough on the sheet, pushing the dough out from the centre to mirror the shape of the pan. Hold an edge down with one hand and use the heel of the other hand to stretch the dough to fit the pan. Turn the pan and continue stretching until the pan is covered. The edges should be slightly raised to hold the toppings in place.
Tips and warnings
- Yeast needs sugar to activate. Do not use sugar substitutes or omit the sugar. If the yeast does not foam, throw it out and try another package. It may be old or the water may have been too warm or not warm enough.
- Do not use too much yeast or the pizza crust will be porous or tough.
- If the dough tears while you are shaping it, use a little flour rubbed into the oiled surface to patch it back together.
- There is no need to pre-bake a homemade pizza crust. But if you must, bake it only 5 minutes at 204 degrees C before adding your toppings.
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