Perfect Homemade Pizza Dough
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Learn how to make the perfect thick and chewy pizza crust! This homemade pizza crust recipe is easy to follow, contains refined NO sugars, and can be frozen for up to 2 months! The step-by-step tutorial makes it completely fool-proof!
Some people like a thin and crispy crust, while others like a fluffy, thick and chewy one. My idea of a perfect homemade pizza crust is thick and chewy — after all, I do have to stay true to my Chicago roots, don’t I? 😉
Homemade pizza crust can sound like a very daunting task, I know. I was scared of it for the longest time. Actually, anything bread related I tried to steer clear of completely. But store bought pizza dough, frozen pizza, and delivery have one thing in common, can you figure it out? The crust. It’s terrible! It reminds me of stale cardboard. Yeah, ew.
Homemade pizza dough produces perfect pizza parlor quality crust that will have your entire family begging for pizza night, every night!
Growing up, my most favorite pizza was *gasp* Pizza Hut! This was before I became a pizza crust snob, obvi. I was obsessed with the stuffed crust pizza from there. My brother and I took part in the Book It! program where you read books and meet a goal each month to receive free personal pan pizzas. It was probably the best thing about the 90s, hands down. My mom would take us on Friday nights to redeem our pizza. And it was always the best Friday of the month!
Anyway back to pizza.
You’re looking at a little flour, yeast, salt, water, oil, and a sweetener. Usually sugar is used to make pizza dough. I’ve replaced it with honey. I like using honey because in my experience, the crust is slightly crispier on the outside than with sugar. Feel free to use granulated sugar or agave nectar in it’s place. Both will achieve similar results.
Over the course of a year, i’ve perfect my homemade pizza dough recipe. After tinkering with it for what seems like an eternity, I am finally happy with the results! I wanted to make sure that I had a fool-proof recipe that would work regardless of humidity issues. Because living in Houston, any day can turn into a day at the sauna. I let the mixer do all the kneading for me, so it’s easy to make and perfect every.single.time.
After having this pizza crust, don’t be surprised if you don’t like the delivery stuff anymore. You will seriously crave the taste of this crispy, chewy pizza!
I simply mix up a batch in my mixer (though you can knead by hand if you’d like). Let it rise. I LOVE using my dryer (yes, as in washer/dryer… dryer) to let my dough rise. It is the ideal condition — both dark and hot. Just let it heat up on the low setting for a few minutes before turning the dryer off and placing your dough inside. Depending on the type of yeast you used, your dough will take 1-2 hours to rise.
Keep in mind that this recipe makes enough for 2 -12 inch pizzas. So if it’s just 1 or 2 of you at home, you can pop the other half of the dough in the freezer for another night.
*Notice how the dough doesn’t stick to my finger when I press the dough. This is exactly what you’re looking for.
This homemade pizza dough is so easy to whip up at home. Which makes it ideal for those nights when you just need a big pizza to sink your teeth into. The hubby and I love making 2 pizzas at the end of the week and unwinding with a little Netflix action. The leftovers stay fresh for days. And sometimes I like to sneak in a slice of cold pizza around midnight. Even cold, the pizza crust has such a great texture, not like chewing on a rubber band like it is with store-bought or delivery pizza when it cold.
Pizza night isn’t suppose to break the bank so stop spending $10 on a pizza and make your own pizza dough — enough to make 2-12 inch pizzas for less than $1.
Oh, and as an added bonus, here’s a homemade sauce that pairs perfectly with this pizza dough.
(PS – check below the recipe for step-by-step pictures!)
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active yeast
- 1 1/4 cup warm water (between 105º - 115ºF)
- 3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons honey (sugar or agave works too)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal, for dusting
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the yeast, sugar, and water, stir for just a second. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is dissolves and foams. Add the 3 1/2 cups of flour, salt, and olive oil to the mixer. On the 'stir' setting or the lowest setting on your mixer, allow the mixture to combine for 1 minute.
- When ingredients are mixed, knead dough for 8-9 minutes on the low-medium speed. If the dough is wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time (up to 4 tablespoons) until it comes together. The dough should be smooth when it's done. When touched with a finger the dough shouldn't be sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled mixing bowl. Swirl the dough ball around so all sides are coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Heat the dryer on the low heat setting for 5-7 minutes. Turn the dryer off, place the mixing bowl in the dryer, close the door. Do not turn the dryer back on. Allow the dough to rise. Depending on the type of yeast used, your dough will take 1-2 hours to rise.
- When the dough has risen, punch the air out of the dough. Divide into two even dough balls. Roll into a ball and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes. If you do not plan to use the dough right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till needed. Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes prior to using. You can also freeze the dough balls to use at a later time. See notes for instructions.
- Position two racks near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 475ºF. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, flatten dough to a 12-inch circle. Create a lip or rim by thickening the dough around the crust portion. This keeps the sauce in instead of running over the sides. Let dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Top with pizza sauce and desired toppings. Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes. You can also turn the broiler on for the last minute of cooking if you'd like your edges and cheese to be all bubbly.
- Enjoy the pizza while it's hot. Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: you can freeze one or both of the dough. Make sure to freeze them separately. Lightly spray the inside of a zipped-top bag as well as the dough ball. Place dough inside and squeeze out as much air as possible. Can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- To thaw: simply let it refrigerate overnight or for about 12 hours. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes at room temp. prior to rolling out.
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