Since I've been posting pizza recipes, I thought maybe I should share my dough recipes as well. The extra-thin crust contains no yeast and is more like a flatbread; it can be put together in minutes.
Standard Yeasted Pizza Dough
2/3 cup warm water (1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)
1/8 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
1 ¾ - 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for kneading
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for the bowl and to top the crust
Cornmeal for the pan
Food processor method:
1. Fill a small bowl with hot water to warm it up, then pour out the water. Add 1/3 cup of the warm water and the sugar to the bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let sit someplace reasonably warm (not hot) for about 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy.
2. Fit the dough blade into your food processor. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 1/3 cup of warm water. Process in short pulses until the dough forms a single ball (you may need to scrape the sides a few times). It should not be too sticky. This step takes the place of kneading at this point in the preparation.
3. If the consistency of the dough is good, continue to step 4. If it seems too dry, add additional warm water 1 teaspoon at a time. If it seems too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse the dough for 10-15 seconds to mix it in. It is important to add any additional flour or water in small increments to avoid going too far in the other direction.
4. With a little flour on your hands, remove the ball of dough from the food processor. Knead it a couple of times with your hands. It should have a smooth and elastic consistency.
5. Place the ball of dough in a large bowl that is lightly oiled with olive oil. Turn the dough over a few times in the bowl to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit somewhere relatively warm (not hot) for about an hour, until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
6. Punch the dough down (literally: squash it down and deflate it with your knuckles). If you are ready to use the dough, remove it from the bowl to a floured surface. The dough is now ready to be formed into a crust. If you are not ready to use the dough yet, you can let it rise again for a little while, then punch it down again before using it.
7. Because of its elasticity, pizza dough is notoriously difficult to work with, especially if you do not have a lot of practice. To form it into a crust, the dough needs to be stretched out, hopefully in a relatively uniform way, into a large circle. Begin with a flattened disk, then, starting in the middle, try to work your way around in a circle, stretching a little bit at a time, to keep it as even in thickness and shape as possible and avoid holes. (To form a rectangle or square, use the same basic process but work it more evenly out to the sides and corners.) But don’t stress out about it too much. Mine often come out a little lumpy and uneven, but they are still delicious.
8. Sprinkle cornmeal over the pizza pan to keep the dough from sticking. Once you have the crust sufficiently shaped, transfer it carefully to the pan. Brush or spray the top of the crust lightly with olive oil before topping to prevent sogginess.
9. Top and bake your pizza. (If not following a recipe, standard baking temperature is 450°.)
1. Run hot water in a large bowl to warm it, then pour out the water. Add 1/3 cup of the warm water and the sugar to the bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let sit someplace reasonably warm for about 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy.
2. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 1/3 cup of warm water to the bowl and stir until it forms a dough.
3. Coat your hands with flour and remove the dough from the bowl to a floured surface. Knead it vigorously for about 10 minutes until it develops a smooth and elastic consistency.
4. Continue at step 5 above.
Makes 1 14-inch round crust.
Variations: You can substitute whole wheat or other flour for up to ½ cup of the white flour, but be warned that this will make the dough slightly more difficult to work with. You can also add other ingredients to the crust, such as ground pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh or dried herbs.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 – 1 cup warm water
Cornmeal for the pan
1-2 Tbsp olive oil to top the crust
1. Combine flour, salt, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Drizzle the water in a little at a time and stir to combine. Moisten dough until it all sticks together easily but is not too sticky.
2. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Form a circle or rectangle, depending on the pan you plan to use to bake your pizza.
3. Sprinkle cornmeal lightly over the baking pan. Transfer the crust carefully to the pan.
4. Brush or spray a light coating of olive oil over the top of the crust to prevent sogginess when baking.
5. Top and bake your pizza. Standard baking temperature for pizzas with this crust is 500°.
Makes one 14-inch round crust.
Variations: Like the yeasted crust, you can substitute whole wheat or other flours for some of the white flour. You can use a higher proportion in this dough since it does not include yeast. You can also add other ingredients such as herbs, ground pepper, or Parmesan cheese.