This Pizza dough Recipe is based on Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe, but I have simplified it over the years and can now call it mine.
4 C of all purpose unbleached flour
4 T of olive oil
1 t kosher salt
1 ½ C warm water (not above 115F as not to burn yeast)
1 t of honey or cane sugar
1 packet or 2 ¾ t of active dry yeast
I start by boiling about ½ C of water and adding 1 cup of room temp water the rest of the way up, this gives me the warm temperature that won’t scald the yeast. To this 1 ½ C warm water I add the yeast packet and a little bit of sweetener for the yeast. I prefer honey, but use whatever you have handy. Stir with a fork and set aside till frothy on top (about 3-5 min, unless you scalded the yeast, then start over)
I have a stand mixer and use my kneading attachment, but have done this by hand many times, and it is very satisfying.
Measure out 4 cups of all purpose unbleached flour, add a generous pinch of salt, (about 1 tsp) and begin to slowly add oil, one table spoon at a time. Add yeast and water mixture until dough starts to form. If the dough is too sticky add flour, if it is too stiff, add room temp water one table spoon (splash) at a time, until your dough is workable. Dust your hands with flour if things get sticky, and begin to knead the dough by lifting it and folding it in on itself. Do this until it is bouncy to the touch. Set aside in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave in a warm spot to rise for 45-90 minutes, depending on your environment.
Dough must double in size.
Once it is doubled, preheat oven to 450F. flour your surface and split the dough into 4 sections. Fold each section into a round ball and work each one, one by one. Sometimes I can easily hand stretch this dough by making two fists and stretching the dough into 12 inch personal pizzas.
Other times I prefer to roll this dough out into an 18 in thin crust with a roller. Use enough flour so it doesn’t stick to the work surface and roller. If your dough is tough, a roller will eventually stretch it thin if you are persistent. This is the most popular of my pizzas.
Once rolled out thin as possible, carefully place the dough on a pizza pan (I prefer these as they make a crisp crust very easy to achieve) Pizza stones are great. Roast pans will do in a pinch. I make as many pizzas at a time as I have pans.
Only once your dough is safely on a pan, it's time to top as you wish. Other wise you need a fancy paddle to move it! I like to peruse the fridge for leftovers, fun cheeses, and fun veggies. Some suggestions below:
I always make my own very simple pizza sauce. This is usually cooking on a low simmer as I'm putting everything else together. I have two sauce recipes that are my go to’s. One is during tomato season, uses fresh tomatoes, and the one is using canned roma tomatoes. Both recipes are simple!!! Truly.
Easy sauce with fresh tomatoes
Whatever tomatoes you have, they will do, but for the record the San Marzano variety or Roma variety are the best for sauce making…they are less watery and seedy than other varieties.
You need at least one baking tray’s worth of tomatoes. I like to make two trays at a time during tomato season.
Each large baking tray will get one whole head of garlic if not 2 depending on their size. I just cut those down the middle without peeling and pop in garlic side down on the baking tray with the tomatoes. I leave my cherries whole, slice my romas in half, and any larger ones I will slice into numerous sections, not being too fussy.
I salt this tray generously, add black and red pepper, and sprinkle lovingly with olive oil. This goes in the oven @ about 425F for about 20-35 minutes, or until the tops of tomatoes begin to crisp.
Pull the tray out and let cool, once cool enough, insertion blend this with oregano for pizza, and basil for pasta. If you like texture you can just hand mash this sauce and can it, my kids like it smooth so that is that.
Easy sauce with canned tomatoes
1 16 oz can of san marzano tomatoes, crushed, or peeled, or pureed.
½ head of garlic
2 T olive oil
1 t kosher salt
Red and black pepper
Oregano or basil
Add oil to the saucepan.
Crush or chop or add whole garlic as you prefer (I like the whole large heads).
Add red pepper to oil and garlic.
Carefully add canned tomatoes to the saucepan, it sizzles. Keep a lid handy for the occasion.
I like to rinse out the can with a little water and add that to the pot, to get all the bits of tomato.
Add salt and pepper and let simmer for about 20 minutes
Add oregano for pizza and basil or parsley for pasta sauce.
Store for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Ideas for Pizza Toppings
Cheeses to try:
Goat or Feta
Fruit/Veggies that are excellent on pizza:
Meats/Fish to try on pizza
Instead of tomato sauce try: