Pizza Crust for Friday Night Pizza Party

Posted by on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Times are hard for just about everyone I know right now. People everywhere are staying home more, and eating out less. I read in Sunday’s paper that the sale of board games is up, way up, over previous years. I would imagine most folks like us are looking for economical ways to have fun. So let’s dust off that Monopoly game and have a Friday Night Pizza Party real soon OK?

This recipe will make 1 crust for a 12-15” pizza. Since we have 2 teenage sons, and since teenagers travel in hungry herds, and since we usually adopt extra boys over the weekend – I make a minimum of 2 crusts for pizza night. My record was 4 crusts.

You will need:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon organic sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups warm filtered water (105-115 degrees)
  • 3 ¼ cups organic bread flour,
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Yellow Cornmeal

In a small bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Wisk ingredients and let set for 5 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor, or heavy duty mixer add flour and salt. Pulse or mix to combine. With mixer or food processor running, slowly add liquid mixture and oil. Continue mixing until all is well combined and forms a ball. (Sometimes, I have to add a couple Tablespoons of extra water).

On a lightly floured surface, turn dough out and knead for 5 minutes (I’m not faithful to dough kneading. Remember, I’m in a hurry. I am just being honest). Place kneaded dough in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover, and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees). I like to turn on the light in my oven and let the dough rise there. Let dough rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sprinkle pizza stone evenly with cornmeal. Place dough round on top of stone and roll into a circle. If you prefer thick edges, fold over the edges about an inch. Prick dough with a fork.

I like to partially bake my crust before adding the sauce or toppings. I bake the crust for 5-10 minutes; until it is golden brown on top, then I flip the crust over before adding the sauce and toppings. We like the crust crunchy on both sides. I love my baking stone, but often the underside of whatever I’m cooking doesn’t get as brown or done as the top side.

After adding the sauce and toppings, I cook the pizza another 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese has turned a light golden brown.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my secret Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza. We will also feature White Chicken Pizza before Friday.

Tips for mixing yeast dough:

Don’t be afraid of yeast dough. The key to perfect crust is having the water temperature between 105-115 degrees. I use my candy thermometer to make sure the water is in the right temperature range. The water must be warm enough to activate the yeast and produce that wonderful chemical reaction. However, if the water is too hot, the temperature can kill the yeast, and the dough will fail to rise. Someday, I am going to purchase a real kitchen thermometer, but for now, my $2 Walmart candy thermometer does just fine.

A heavy duty mixer with a dough hook is a plus, but not imperative to pizza crust success. A wooden spoon, bi-ceps, and determination can produce great results too.

I have used regular and rapid rise yeast. I prefer the rapid rise yeast, because I work best under pressure and do everything last minute – which means I’m always in a hurry.

Sprinkling the pizza stone with cornmeal makes the crust crispy and gives it a punch of flavor.

Try adding different dried herbs to the dough like oregano, basil, dill weed, red pepper flakes, or even a dash of chili powder.

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Filed in Breads, Doughs, and Crusts | 2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Pizza Crust for Friday Night Pizza Party”

  1. » Pizza Party Part 3on 05 Mar 2009 at 11:01 pm 1

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