the best homemade pizza crust recipe..ever

Most of you know that every Friday I make pizza. Tuesdays are usually tacos, and the rest of the week is a gamble.

My culinary creativeness is definitely in hibernation right now. But, despite the lack of creativity in having pizza for dinner, there is still a recipe to be had, and some pictures to go along with it. (I know, it’s been a while and I’m not even going to start with some random excuse at how busy/tired/writers block  consumed me)  I was gone living life, loving Christmas, writing things other than recipes and taking photos of things other than food. That’s another story.. today it’s a pizza story.

I use my bread machine’s dough cycle for the dough.But… It’s just as easy by hand, and you’ll get a nice arm workout when you knead the dough. Pre-pizza calorie burning.

Now: let me tell you a little story about my bread machine.

I bought it 6 years ago at a thrift store (Goodwill to be exact) it seemed in perfect condition, except it was missing it’s little paddle that goes inside to knead the dough. No biggie I thought, I bet I could find one on Ebay for five bucks… I was sure of it.

So, I handed over 9.99 for the machine, (actually it was 10.60 with tax) Took it home and went paddle hunting. Bread machine paddles for this model? $35.00. WHAT?!

So, I complained and just put it on my Ebay watch list.

Some time later it was Mother’s day, and my husband placed several wrapped gifts in my daughter’s crib. (She wasn’t using it yet- she was still napping in swings and bassinets) I remember mother’s day morning, going to the crib to place some blankets and seeing the gifts. (It’s almost as good as seeing a baby there)

My sweet hubby went “shopping” off my Ebay watch list, and got me a sweet camera lens and a bread machine paddle. (one of the million reasons I am so glad he’s mine)

Today, 6 years later, the machine’s digital display is out, so when I program the dough cycle to start I have to count the number of “beeps”. Lord help me when the beeper sound goes…. I am terrible about replacing some things.

Cookie sheets, for instance.

I need new ones.

Bras too… but let’s keep on topic here. Bra talk is totally for another day.

Homemade pizzaIt took me a while to find the perfect crust that wasn’t to thick and soggy,  literally it took me about six months of Fridays. I wanted a crisp crust but also a nice softness and chewiness on the inside.

The secret ingredient for that?

Nonfat dry milk powder.

You can see some of the earlier crusts that were way too thick for my liking.

1-DSC_0230-001I also cook my pizza on a baking stone.

And, I usually burn my hand at some point every Friday night. I currently have a doozy right on top of my hand. Battle scars of pizza making, I suppose. 😉

As for the sauce? I don’t go all Martha homemade. I usually scoop up a jar and season it heavily with oregano and garlic… sometimes if we have pasta earlier in the week I use the leftover sauce. (Shhh… that’s our little secret) Another secret? The cheese!!! Don’t use the pre shredded stuff. It’s coated with flour to prevent it from sticking and it doesn’t melt as well as the kind you grate yourself. I also toss in a wee bit of cheddar or Colby. It breaks up the monotony of Mozzarella. Little tips from yours truly. <3

For the recipe below, it will make two thin 16″ pizzas.  Be smart. Make one and freeze one so you can be really lazy next Friday. 😉

Enjoy!

Friday night pizzas
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups warm water
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS non fat dry milk powder
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp yeast (either active dry or instant)
Instructions
  1. By hand:
  2. Dissolve the yeast in warm water, add the sugar and set aside for five minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to form a dough.
  4. Knead the dough for five minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.
  5. Cover and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size.
  6. Sprinkle some coarse cornmeal on a pizza stone or oven sheet.
  7. Divide dough into two equal portions and roll out to ⅓-1/4" thickness.
  8. Top with desired pizza toppings.
  9. Bake in a preheated 475 oven for 15-20 minutes, or until bubble and golden.
  10. If using a bread machine:
  11. Select dough cycle and remove the dough after the first rise.
  12. Remove the dough and follow directions above for rolling and baking.

 

 

 

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