Best Friend’s Pizza Crust
Best Friend’s Pizza Crust! I am blessed to have a best friend whose friendship has spanned decades ((Laura)). She is a talented, self-taught baker (among many other talents). I am so impressed with her creations and have always been a little intimidated. She often says, as she chuckles “Oh, please! it’s so easy girl…you CAN do it, trust me!”
Well, today was the day for her to teach me some tricks. My first scratch-baking experience started with a wonderful, thin crust pizza dough recipe which she has tweaked and perfected over the years. It was a trick to try recording times and a few exact amounts on certain ingredients because she is so familiar with each step. What is known to her from experience, sight and feel is all foreign to me. But we did it!
I think the most enjoyable part of the process ((besides eating)) was letting Gracie create a recipe of “paste” while mixing water and flour!
- 4 1/2 c flour
- 1/3 c milk (warm)*
- 1 c water (warm)*
- 1/4 c oil (scant; adjust for crispier crust)
- 1 t salt
- 1 t honey
- 1 T yeast (scant T or 1 package)
- 1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, place half of the flour and all of the yeast and honey in the stand mixer bowl. Mix on low-speed just to combine (30 seconds).
- 2. Combine the milk and water and slowly drizzle the liquid into the mixing bowl, mixing on low until combined.
- 3. Next, add the oil and salt (adding 2 T oil lends to a crispier crust, as you increase the oil up to 1/4 c the crust becomes chewier).
- 4. Mix on low for 30 seconds and then add the remaining flour.
- 5. Continue mixing until the bits of flour at the bottom of the mixing bowl have been picked up by the pizza dough. If the dough seems too dry at this point, slowly add a few teaspoons of water to pick up any remaining crumbly bits.
- 6. Once the all of the dough is picked up by the paddle, peel it off of the attachment & remove the paddle and insert the bread hook attachment.
- 7. Knead in the mixer for 5 minutes.
- 8. Remove dough from mixing bowl & using your hands form into a ball.
- 9. Sprinkle a dash of flour onto the counter and hand knead for about 30 seconds.
- 10. Place a damp dish towel or the mixing bowl over the dough ball for 30 minutes, allowing the dough to rise.
- 11. Once rising is complete, cut the dough ball into 3 equal parts.***
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- 12. Taking one third at a time, re-form the dough into a ball. Sprinkle a bit more flour onto the counter and roll out into a 12" circle, rotating rolling directions regularly to ensure uniformity of your circle.
- 13. Place the dough circle on a pizza stone or pan.
- 14. Using a fork, pierce holes all over air bubbles from forming during the baking process.
- 15. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Repeat for the remaining 2 -1/3's of the pizza dough.**
- Once each crust is baked, spread pizza sauce over the crust, add your favorite toppings and place back in the oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- *The temperature of the water and milk should be comfortably warm...we didn't use a thermometer but just shoot for baby bathwater temp and you'll be just fine.
- **All three crusts can be baked concurrently - just keep careful watch that they don't burn.
- ***If you prefer a thicker crust, you can divide this recipe into two instead of three portions.
When I read instructions that include words like “scant” , “knead” & “rise” I tend to freeze. For that reason, I have included pictures in chronological order of the entire process. But Laura assured me, by making this recipe once or twice it will become like second nature. ((I believe she’s right!)) I hope that takes the intimidation out of making homemade pizza crust!
After all the work was done, the real fun part began – pizza making time! Us girls used every veggie in my fridge:
But the kiddos wanted a triangle-shaped cheese pizza:
They both said the crust was the best part!! ((really!))
Oh, and if you have any additional questions – feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post! Laura will answer them for both of us.