i had been using the same pizza crust recipe or years. it was good, don’t get me wrong. plus it didn’t take long to make and was super easy. but then my life changed when i finally gave this recipe a try. i pinned it a long time ago and just last month tried it for the first time. then last weekend i made it again and chris proclaimed it the best pizza i ever made!
there are quite a few differences between this recipe and the one i used to use. first this one uses bread flour instead of all purpose which makes the crust crispy and chewy. perfect! you also bake this pizza at a much higher temperature – 500 degrees f and on a pizza stone which also improves the texture of the crust.
using this crust recipe, i made a broccoli pesto pizza and an italian meat pizza. they were both awesome! but the star of the pizza wasn’t the toppings, it was definitely the crust. so without further ado, here’s how to make this amazing pizza crust.
first start by blooming the yeast in a bit of warm water. the recipe calls for instant yeast, but i just have dry active yeast. so i followed the instructions on this site on how to substitute dry active for instant yeast: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/faqs/baking/yeast
then measure out the bread flour. it’s important that you use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour. the first time, i just followed the cup estimation and it ended up being too little flour. the dough was sticky and very hard to work with. this time, i weighed the flour and the dough was perfect.
add the bread flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. now add more room temperature water to the yeast/warm water mixture then pour it all into the flour. also add the olive oil.
mix until the dough starts to come together…
and then switch the paddle attachment out for the dough hook.
knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is nice and smooth.
transfer the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl. turn the dough over once so that both sides are covered in oil.
cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
punch the dough down and divide into 2. cover both balls of dough and allow them to rest for 10-30 minutes (no more than 30 minutes).
now it’s time to form the crust. lightly dust a pizza peel (or if you don’t have one, just lay a sheet of parchment paper onto a cutting board or flipped over baking sheet) with cornmeal.
stretch and form the dough out into a large circle. i lightly oil my hands but you could instead lightly flour them so that the dough doesn’t stick.
start preheating the oven – it takes a while for mine to heat to 500 degrees f. don’t forget to put the pizza stone in the oven too. it needs to get nice and hot so that it’s ready when it’s time to bake the pizzas.
now for the toppings – for the broccoli pesto one, i spread a layer of pesto right on to the crust. then sprinkled on some shredded mozzarella cheese. next a ton of steamed broccoli and finally a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
the italian meats one has a layers of marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, italian meats, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and italian seasoning.
once your oven and pizza stone are preheated, slide the pizza – parchment paper and all on to the pizza stone. bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes. first the broccoli pizza…
and the italian meats.
allow the pizzas to cool slightly, then cut them into slices and enjoy!
though this recipe takes a bit more time and effort, it is so worth it! i can’t wait to use this pizza crust with all of the other pizzas i’ve made from bbq chicken & bacon and pear & gorgonzola to roasted garlic & asparagus and fig & prosciutto.