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Make your own pizza dough: fast, easy and delicious

Every Friday night is pizza night/movie night in our house. Sometimes we do pizza take-out, and sometimes, we make our own. There are lots of pre-made pizza doughs out there, from frozen to fresh to pre-cooked, and we’ve cycled through many of those.

But lately I’ve found that it’s just as easy (and more delicious) to make my own dough. Ever baked a loaf of homemade bread? Pizza dough is even easier. All you need is flour, water, and yeast, and an hour or two to let everything sit.

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Ingredients

1/2 tsp. yeast

2 c. flour (divided)

1/2 c. + 1 T. warm water

Recipe

Mix the yeast and 1 T. warm water in a tiny bowl and set aside. Let sit about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a larger bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup water with 1 cup flour.  Stir in yeast mixture. Add another 1/2 cup flour and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto your counter (sprinkle flour down first so the dough doesn’t stick!), and knead for about a minute, slowly adding the remaining flour until the dough is well formed and no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and let it rise until doubled (1 1/2 – 2 hours).

When you are ready to make pizza, gently stretch the dough into the desired crust shape and top with your favorite pizza toppings. Bake or grill and enjoy!

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Notes

  • If you have never kneaded bread before, here’s a great tutorial on how to do. Basically, the keys are: use the heel of your hands, not your fingers; push the dough away from you and into the countertop at the same time, then fold the dough in half towards you and push again; keep adding flour to the countertop, your hands, and the top of the dough so nothing sticks.
  • There are many ways to customize this dough. Add some garlic powder or cornmeal or wheat flour or fresh herbs. Try something different each time!
  • Running out of time? No problem. You can cut your dough rise time back to 45 minutes if you’re hungry and can’t wait to eat. The finished product just won’t be quite as airy.
  • You can bake this dough any way you like making pizza. My husband loves using a pizza stone, while I prefer the grill. I’ve also spread the dough out on an oiled cookie sheet and baked it in a 425 degree oven. Whatever works best for you!

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