Perfect Pizza Crust

I came across this recipe recently in two separate places, but both reviews agreed that it was excellent. I decided to give it a whirl, and I think it’s the closest you can come to true pizzeria crust at home: it’s crispy on the outside, soft and chewy inside, moist, and delicious.  Best of all, it’s really not hard at all. Just plan ahead a day.

What you’ll need for two large pizzas:

  • 4 ½ cups bread flour (you need the gluten for this to work)
  • ¾ teaspoon rapid rise yeast (not plain active yeast, trust me on this one)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups ice cold water (I keep a container in the fridge that I pour from. It needs to be around 40 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (any kind is okay, but I would stick with a fine grain)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil (olive oil would be good here)

What you’ll do:

You can do this by hand, but my mom got me a machine and I use it 🙂 Using the paddle attachment, mix the first 3 ingredients together.

Add the water while stirring on low and mix until well blended (no piles of flour remain anywhere). Let it rest in a not cold place for 10 minutes. (I say “not cold” because the dough should rise a bit, and slowly, but mine didn’t in my cold kitchen and I thought it wasn’t going to work. I waited a whole day after assembling – and picture-taking – and there was no rising, so I got impatient and placed it into a very slightly warm oven till it rose. Then I put it back in the fridge for two days. This is a VERY forgiving recipe!)

Add the salt and oil and stir on low, or fast enough that your mixer doesn’t bog down, for about 1 minute. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but will stick some to the bottom.

Remove from the mixer and knead for about 1 minute by hand until it’s smooth and elastic.

Place in a well oiled bowl (I used vegetable oil with good results, but you can use olive oil or cooking spray), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours. This will keep up to 3 days, which was how long I left this batch. I didn’t take pictures, but it will rise to about double in the fridge. Eventually. Even if you have to coax it.

Take it out of the refrigerator up to 2 hours before use to warm up. You can also use it immediately, it will just be cold and less elastic. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Separate dough into two equal parts. Spread each out onto a pizza pan. If you use rectangular baking sheets, use the underside so that steam can escape and you can avoid a soggy crust.

Top as you like and then bake for 20 minutes. To bake two at once, I place two of my oven racks as close to the top as possible without touching the elements, and I switch pizzas’ places 10 minutes through baking.

Enjoy! {Barbeque chicken & bacon on the left, Veggie Thai peanut on the right}

*Note: I’ve made this a couple times now, and only the time I took pictures did it end up frustrating. Really, I’m pretty sure it’s because my kitchen is about 64 degrees and the crust didn’t get to “warm up” to the 55 degrees needed. If this happens to you, follow my fix: preheat the oven to 350 degrees for about 1 minute. It will NOT get to 350 degrees, but it will be toastier than your kitchen. Once the dough has risen obviously, you should refrigerate it for at least a day to develop flavor.

*Adapted very slightly from bakedbree.com and thishomemadelife.com

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5 thoughts on “Perfect Pizza Crust

  1. Heather, I am now very hungry. Next time I make pizza crust I am going to remember this blog and look it up! Just can’t decide between the chicken and bacon (minus the bacon) and the Veggie Thai peanut. Both look scrumptious!

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