Homemade Pizza Crust - Italian style
Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas
Follow these basic instructions for a thick, crisp, and chewy pizza crust at home. The recipe yields enough pizza dough for two 12-inch pizzas and you can freeze half of the dough for later.
1 cup warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
2 teaspoons instant yeast*
1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & levelled), plus more for hands and surface
sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan
Your favourite toppings
Prepare the dough:
Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough by hand with a wooden spoon in the next step.
Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.
The dough can be a little too heavy for a mixer to knead it, but you can certainly use the mixer on low speed instead. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil – just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size.
Preheat oven to 200°c. Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. Lightly grease a baking sheet or pizza pan with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavour.
Shape the dough:
When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. (If not making 2 pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time– see freezing instructions below).
On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings.
Top & bake the pizza: To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Top with your favourite toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator. Reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 3 months.
For the Italian crust:
To get a thin crusty pizza bake the thinly rolled pizza for 10 minutes before you add toppings.
Sometimes, I bake with all the toppings on for 20 minutes and keep the oven in toast mode for 10 minutes at 200°c. Watch out for it may burn your pizza if you keep in the uppermost rack.
This recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in
half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately.
Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough
ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter.
Before baking After baking- 1st pizza 3rd pizza from remaining
PS: 2nd pizza had gone into our tummy before we could remember to click pictures 😂
Special Tools: Dough Scraper, Pizza Pan, Pizza Cutter
Yeast: Gold key active dry yeast. The rise time is half an hour.
Pictured Pizza: This recipe yields 2 pizzas. For each, top with 1/4 cup pizza sauce, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced mushrooms, onions chopped, half cup paneer cubed.