For a pizza crust you really can't do much better than a focaccia; so here's a recipe for focaccia without the seasonings.

Ingredients
  • 2.5 c sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 8g packet ( or equivelent ) of yeast
  • 1 c warm water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
Method
  1. Pour yeast into 1/4 cup of the water and stir in the sugar.
  2. While the yeast is feeding and getting gassy, in a mixing bowl mix the flour and salt, you may also wish to add some herbs such as oregano, garlic, basil etc. at this point
  3. To the yeast mixture add oil and water
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated
  5. Allow the dough to rise until it's approx. double it's original size
  6. Punch the dough down, let it rise again, seperate into 2 halves
You now have dough for two 12 inch pizzas.
As stated by Kensey, the pizza crust is the bread part of the pizza - the thick, breadstick-like section around the edge of the pizza (except for a thin-crust pizza), and the thin part underneath the entire pizza. In a stuffed pizza, this also includes the top layer of dough.

When making homemade pizza, there are two options for the crust to use.

The first is to buy a refridgerated rolled up pizza crust. You can find them in just about any market/supermarket. Now, these crusts work acceptably in a pinch, but are less that optimal. In fact, I wouldn't recommend using one unless you are in a time crunch, and then, only for making a non-traditional pizza that you can't order from a pizzeria - it's usually easier and much better to order out than make a "normal" pizza with this kind of crust.

The other is to make your own. This is not all that hard, and the results are quite satisfactory with the right recipe. And when I say satisfactory, I mean something that can match a decent pizzeria pizza crust.

Standard Pizza Crust:

3 1/4 C. Bread Flour
1 Package Yeast (1/4 oz)
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 C lukewarm water

Note: You can replace 2 cup of the flour with whole wheat flour to create a whole wheat crust. You can also substitute regular all-purpose flour, though I suspect the results would not be as good.

Put the lukewarm water in a cup/bowl, and dissolve the sugar in it. Then add the yeast, mix, and wait 5 minutes. If there's a layer of foam on top, then the yeast is ready to go. Remember to NEVER add salt right on top of the yeast when mixing the ingredients together - it will kill the yeast.

With a bread machine: set the machine on the dough setting, and add 3 cups of flour and the rest of the ingredients. Watch the dough - it should form into a ball, and not be sticky on the outside - add flour SLOWLY if the dough is sticky. When it's just right, let it run through the entire cycle - including the time for the dough to rise.

With a mixer with a bread hook: similar to the bread machine instructions, except when the dough forms a good coherent ball that's not sticky, knead for another 5 minutes, then put it in a bowl, coat slightly with oil, cover, and let rise for an hour to an hour and a half.

By hand:

Combine 3 cups of the flour with the salt in a large mixing bowl, and mix. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add the yeast and the oil. Stir the two together, starting in the center, and working out to the edges.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough, adding a flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue to knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic. This should be about 10 minutes. Don't knead too much, or the crust will be too tough. Then shape the dough into a ball, coat lightly with oil, cover, and let rise for an hour to an hour and a half.

After the dough has finished rising, punch it down, coat it again, and refrigerate, covered, for 35 minutes.

After the 35 minutes is finished, remove the dough from the bowl, and place on a flat, floured surface. Now, without folding over or kneading the dough, flatten into the desired shape (usually a nice circle). Folding it over at this point will make it stetchy and chewy, and make it tougher for the dough to keep it's shape. Use either your hands or a rolling pin.

Congratulations, you now have a good quality pizza crust ready to use.

The dough can be refrigerated for up to 36 hours and still be used, though it's recommended to let it come to room temperature before using.

Corn Meal Variation:

This recipe will give you a crust that is more like the traditional Chicago-style pizza - Pizzeria Uno uses this style.

1 Tsp Sugar
1 C Lukewarm Water
1 Package Yeast
2 1/4 C All Purpose or Semolina flour
1 C Yellow Cornmeal or polenta
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Proceed as with the regular crust, though be careful when shaping this crust, as it may tear or break more easily. If you have issues with this crust being too soggy when used in a pizza, try parbaking it first.

Some content and recipe from "Pizza" by James McNair.


See: Cookery : Recipes, categorised : Main Dishes : Pizza

So you want to impress your friends with home-made pizza? But you didn't plan ahead to let the dough rise for 2 hours? Here's the quick and dirty way to make fast dough (legal in most states).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Add 1 teaspoon sugar to the warm water and stir. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and stir again. Let sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast should kind of foam up and start to smell yeasty. If nothing happens in about 10 minutes, the yeast is probably dead (you murderer!) Try a different package of yeast and start again.

Now you have two choices on how to mix the dough. The first is more effective, but if you lack certain tools (such as a food processor), the second way works, too.

Option1:

In the food processor (with the steel knife blade) add flour, oil, salt, and sugar. Pulse off/on a couple of times to mix. With the food processor is running, add the yeast/water mixture through the feed tube. Let flour mixture combine with the liquid and allow it to "knead" for about 1 minute, or until dough is smooth. Add more water or flour, if necessary to get a smooth dough.

Option2: If you FEEL THE KNEAD

Knead by hand, using the minimum amount of flour on hands and board to control stickiness. Knead dough by folding it in half, turning 90 degrees, repeat process until well-mixed..

Let dough rest for 5 minutes before rolling out. Makes 2-12" pizzas or 1-15" large deep-dish. Add toppings, bake at 450 degrees about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

I have searched far and wide, and experimented many hours in the kitchen to come to find this one truly...

PERFECT PIZZA DOUGH

yield: 6 personal size "pizzettas"

Ingredients:
1 c. tepid water
2 tsp./one pkg. dry yeast. (I prefer Fleischmans : )
3 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tbls. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
3 c.'s flour
a handful of cornmeal for the trays

directions:
1. In small bowl, dissolve yeast and honey in the warm water. let this sit and proof while mixing the dry ingredients.
2. Sift together salt, herbs and flour.
3. Add water/yeast mixture to dry mix and add oil. Mix well.
4.Turn out onto well floured surface and knead till smooth. THIS IS THE TRICKY PART I FIND! The key to perfect dough is NOT to over knead. This will result in tough, dry dough and NOBODY likes tough, dry dough!
5. Place your dough in a well oiled bowl and turn it once to coat both sides. Cover it with a towel and place it in a warm, dry corner of the kitchen. This is another one of the secrets I've learned. If its too cold or drafty your yeast won't rise. You have to keep it happy and warm. If necessary, you can place it in the oven on very, very low heat. 200 degrees or less if your oven will go that low.
6. Let rise one hour
7. Turn back out onto foured surface, punch down and knead for 2 more minutes. Shape into oblong loaf and cut into 6 even pieces. If you want to freeze your dough for later usage, this is the time. Just be sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn. (gack) Otherwise, shape into flattish discs about 6 inches across and let rest for 10 more minutes.
8. Preheat oven 500 degrees.
9. Stretch dough on floured surface, pounding down with your palm in an outwards motion around the disc, starting in the middle and moving out to the edges.
10. sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal on cookie sheets and place 2 pizettas on each sheet. Then top with toppings of your choice and bake 10-12 minutes. Be sure to place the cookie sheet in the oven with the pizzas side by side to ensure even cooking. Enjoy!

PRESENTING an effective recipe for simpletons and brainiacs alike. WHOLLY NUTRICIOUS, DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE, DECIDEDLY NON-EXCREMENTAL, RAMBUNCIOUSLY ECONOMICIAL. Great for parties, weekends, drunkos, perverts, the unwashed and, most of all, the unfed. Nice when you want to make pizza but don't want to have to put up with the vagaries of yeast, a tempermental substance. New wonder recipe requires little preparation time, and includes man's most important contribution to the natural order: beer.

You will need the following materials, found in most American kitchens, pantries, and supermarkets:

You may desire to add to taste:

Or whatever you think sounds delicious in pizza crust.

Mix dry ingredients together in one large bowl. Really stir em around. Open one bottle of beer. Chug. Open second bottle of beer. Pour entire bottle (12 oz) into flour mixture. Stir around until you've got a pretty good mass going. Dump a handful or two of flour on a clean horizontal surface. Coat your hands too, while you're at it. Dump your big sticky mass of bowl-bound dough onto surface and coat with flour. Take a minute to meditate on the following subjects: taxes, traffic, privatization of social security, hippies who don't pay rent, OPEC, stinky farts, insomnia. Punch your dough. Right, left, right, left. Pick it up when it gets all smooshed out and fold it back in on itself. Repeat. Keep punching and folding until you feel better about stuff.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (350F = longer cook time but chewier crust). Grease pizza pan with olive oil. Roll out dough (half of mass for thin-crust, the whole thing for thick) onto pan, top with favorite sauce and topping options. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

A note on beer selection: obviously, whatever beer you employ will lend its flavor to the pizza. Start with a mild American pilsener if this freaks you out (I used Red Stripe, a crisp lager which my sister dubbed "Jamaican Budweiser"), experiment with funkier, tastier beers as you see fit. Hoppy pizza may be nice. A true gourmet may want to try out some Duvel or other Belgian deliciousness. Ale or lager, who fucking cares. Go hog nutz, pardner. It's your 'za.

This recipe makes one 12" thick crust or two 12" thin crust pizzas. It will not get you drunk unless you chug more than one beer.

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