Edit ModuleShow Tags

Savvy Mom: Easy Homemade Pizza Crust


Published:

I had a dream. I wanted to make pizza at home using what was left in the fridge. I had visions of happy children gobbling down pizza topped with vegetables I rescued before they went bad.

This did not happen. My dough didn't rise, the crust was tough, and the kids turned up their noses at the "weird" toppings. What was I doing trying to make pizza at home anyway, when pizza places near us—Amici, Punch, Pizza Nea, Element—are good, cheap, and plentiful? I gave up for a while, fearing the unpredictability of yeast and what felt like a long prep time. But the dream wouldn't die. Pizza at home uses pantry ingredients, has many possible shortcuts, and barring inclusion of difficult vegetables, is more likely to be a hit with my kids than anything other than boxed mac and cheese. I had to try again.

Armed with a new batch of yeast, I found a good recipe in Cook's Illustrated. From start to finish it takes just over an hour to put pizza on the table, which is fair competition for going out, and much less expensive.

Here's the crust recipe that worked for me. What's your take on homemade pizza? Life's too short? Or do you have a great recipe that works, too?
 

Pizza Dough

Adapted from a recipe from Cook's Illustrated

1 1/3 cups warm water (about 105 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Set oven to 200 degrees for ten minutes, then turn oven off. In food processor with metal or dough blade, add water, yeast and sugar. Pulse twice to dissolve yeast. Add remaining ingredients and process until ball forms. (If sticky, add 2 tablespoons flour and pulse. If dry, add 1 tablespoon water and pulse). Let rest 2 minutes. Process for 30 seconds.

Remove dough and knead by hand on floured surface for 1 minute or until dough is smooth (it will feel a bit tough).

Very lightly oil large bowl. Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven. Let rise for 40 minutes or until doubled. Remove from oven, preheat oven to 500, punch down, remove from bowl and separate into two or more round pieces. Let rest for ten minutes under damp towel.

Shape: On lightly floured surface, flatten dough into disk. Gently stretch edges while holding center down, then use fingertips from center out to further thin it. Transfer to pizza peel or substitute.

Top: Spread tomato sauce to desired consistency, or simply brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with grated whole-milk mozzarella and other desired toppings.

Bake: In preheated 500 degree oven, on pizza stone, ceramic baking tiles or large cookie sheet, for about ten minutes.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

From Grand Cafe to a Michelin 3-Star Restaurant

Erik Anderson was behind the most significant Twin Cities restaurant to open this year. Now he's being called away to the opportunity of a lifetime

3 Things to Eat Thanksgiving Week

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a day for drinking, so belly up to these three Twin Cities bars, as per food critic Joy Summers

Relishing Cranberries

Combine antioxidant-rich cranberries with another seasonal favorite in this Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes Recipe

SCANDAL!: Why Red Wagon Wasn't on the Pizza List

How could food critic Jason DeRusha leave off Red Wagon Pizza Company?! His reasoning—and your chance to celebrate the Minneapolis restaurant turning 3

Talkin’ Turkey: Are you Ready for the Big Feast?

Forget brining and get even better results with a flavorful spice-rubbed roast turkey recipe

Grilled Chicken Gremolata Sandwich Recipe

Step up your chicken sandwich repertoire with a bit of Italian flair
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Best Pizza in The Twin Cities: RANKED!

With the Slice of the Twin Cities pizza competition this weekend, check out food critic Jason DeRusha's favorite pies. (You'll need the carbs before winter hits.)

“Sioux Chef” Challenges Definition of Local Food with Indigenous Restaurants

Chef Sean Sherman is revitalizing indigenous food traditions with two upcoming restaurants, a cookbook, and a nonprofit—using only food native to Minnesota

Sample, Savor, and Play at Slice of the Twin Cities Pizza Event November 5

Enjoy pizza, beer, wine, bonfires, and games on a beautiful piece of property in the western suburbs.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags