I had a terrible dilemma last Sunday night.
Alone in my apartment after a day of complete, shameless sloth (see especially, watching football straight through from 1:00 – 7:30), I was struck with an unshakable craving for pizza. I didn’t want cheap, tasteless delivery from a national chain— I was craving a gourmet, hand-made pie— but I definitely didn’t want to go out, which would require changing out of my sweats. After waffling for 30 minutes, I picked up my cell and dialed the restaurant two blocks from my apartment. But as I listened to their phone ring, I was struck by last minute inspiration: why not make my own pizza dough?
I hung up before the call was answered answer and headed straight to one of my favorite cooking blogs of all time: Deb Perelman’s smitten kitchen. Because Deb is a saint (and also, maybe, my long-lost food soul mate), her site index included a recipe titled “really simple homemade pizza.” And although this isn’t the fastest way to get a slice of pizza, I promise that it is worth every agonizing second of waiting: the resulting crust is, by far, the best I have ever tasted. I may never eat restaurant pizza again.
I made some small tweaks to Deb’s dough recipe and encourage you to play with your favorite flours and spices, too. The beauty of making pizza at home is the ability to fine tune it to your tastes from the crust up. The toppings are limited only by your taste and the ingredients you have on hand: this particular pie reflects the current state of my refrigerator (i.e., mostly empty).
This recipe makes enough dough for a personal sized pizza with a relatively thin crust. You can double or even triple it depending on how big your pizza to be and how thick you like your crust.
Really Simple (And Really Delicious) Homemade Pizza Dough
Originally by smitten kitchen
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add dry ingredients to your mixer bowl and pulse to combine. Add water and olive oil and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter top and knead just until a smooth ball forms.
Lightly oil the mixer bowl and return the dough, turning so all sides are coated. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for one to two hours. I find that whole wheat flour tends to rise less, so test for doneness by inserting two fingers into the dough: if the dough not bounce back, the rise has finished. Turn the dough back onto a floured counter top and gently deflate.
Shape the dough into a flattened ball shape and cover again, letting rise for an additional 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to its highest temperature and prepare a baking sheet (or pizza stone) by sprinkling it with with cornmeal.
When the rise has finished, roll out the pizza and top as desired; I used a blend of different cheeses. (I also sprinkled some Italian seasoning and garlic between the sauce and toppings.) Bake the pie for about 10 minutes, until the crust is bubbling or blistering, being careful not to burn.