May 26, 2024

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How to Make Your Own Homemade Pizza Crust

There are many different styles of pizzas out there. Thick, thin, stuffed crust and calzone style just to name a few. In this article I will focus on one of the most important factors, freshness. Homemade pizza crust is fun and easy to make. If you have kids that enjoy helping in the kitchen this could be a fun family project.

I have been making pizza crust at home for many years. The major ingredient of course is flour and if there’s one thing I’ve noticed is that there is a huge difference between brands. Of course there are many types of flour, but I have found that bread flour or high gluten flour is the best for making pizzas. The taste difference between brands is usually not noticeable, until you try King Arthur flour. You’ll pay a little more but you’ll find a huge difference in taste. So my first secret tip is to start with King Arthur bread flour. If you have access to a restaurant supply company, or want to order online I would pick up King Arthur high gluten flour. It’s called Sir Lancelot.

The next major ingredient is yeast. There are many different types of yeast out there for starters. The most popular are the instant dry that you can find in any store, usually in a single serving packet. Baker’s yeast or commonly known as cake yeast is fresh and needs to be refrigerated. If you can find this type of yeast I would suggest experimenting and adjusting according to your taste buds. Nothing can change the flavor of your dough more than yeast. You can also search online for pizza starters. It’s amazing to me how much you can modify the flavor in any type of bread with yeast.

The other ingredients do not really effect the taste all that much. Salt, sugar, oil and water pretty much are the same anywhere. There are some experts out there that will argue water is the secret ingredient. Most New York style pizzerias swear it’s the water. I would argue more so flour and yeast and how long you let the dough set. There are lots of other substitutes for salt and sugar that I have seen. Some folks use sea salt or honey but I have not found a noticeable difference.

In a bowl you want to combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt. Depending on what kind of yeast you use you could also add the yeast with the other dry ingredients. If you’re not using instant yeast I would suggest mixing the yeast with a cup of warm water. The water temperature usually needs to be between 100 and 105°F. Any hotter and you could kill the yeast and any cooler the yeast will activate. If you’re using dry instant yeast just add it to your other dry ingredients.

I like to use a kitchen aid style mixer with a dough hook, it just makes life easier. You can knead the dough by hand and the results will be just as good. Add all the ingredients into the mixer and I usually like to add a tablespoon of olive oil. This is optional, but it does seem to add a little hint of flavor. Allow the ingredients to mix for a good 10 minutes. Another trick you can experiment with is to add the flour and the water, or actually most of the flour say 2 cups and let it sit for 15 minutes prior to adding the other ingredients and mixing.

While the dough was kneading in the machine, grab a small bowl and drop about a teaspoon of oil into the bowl rubbing it all around. Add a little oil to your hands and turn the mixer off. You will know when the dough is done kneading when the mixer is moving it around in one solid clump. The dough should be slightly sticky, not too wet and not too dry. You may have to add a little flour or a couple drops of water to get things right.

I like to take the dough out of the mixer and finish kneading by hand. I eventually get the dough in the shape of a ball and put it in my bowl. Place a piece of Saran wrap tightly around the bowl and put it in the fridge for at least four hours. I usually like mine to sit overnight.

Well there you have it, a basic recipe with a couple of secrets. Go ahead and give it a shot it is not hard. Soon you will have your own homemade pizza crust family recipe and your friends and family will beg you to make them pizza.