Easy Pizza Dough

You can make your own pizza at home.

Pizza
Homemade pizza with morel mushrooms, leeks, minced garlic, cheese, and an egg.

Last week, after a successful morel mushroom hunt, I went in search of recipes for morel mushrooms. Along the way, I found a recipe on Saveur’s website for Pizza with Ramps, Morels, and Eggs. I made the pizza on Thursday, substituting leeks and minced garlic for the ramps, which were not available locally. (Note to self: plant garlic this autumn.) It was delicious. But the thing that impressed me most was how easy it was to make that pizza dough.

A few people who saw my photo of the pizza on Facebook asked whether I’d made the crust from scratch. I did. Here’s my version of just the pizza dough recipe. I found some problems with Saveur’s recipe as published and have made changes accordingly here.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup water, heated to 115°F. I heat the water in the microwave, although I suspect my tap water would come out hot enough. Use a thermometer to check it. Too cold and the yeast won’t activate. Too hot and the yeast could die.
  • 1 packet (or 2-1/4 tsps) active dry yeast. I buy yeast in a jar so I measure it out.
  • 1/2 tsp sugar. Sugar feeds the yeast. Do not omit it.
  • 1-3/4 to 2 cups flour. The recipe called for 1-3/4 cups, but I needed more to make a dough that could be handled. You’ll also need some for dusting a work surface.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Olive oil.

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until foamy, approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add 1-3/4 cup flour and salt and mix on medium speed until dough forms. Add additional flour if necessary to stiffen up the dough until it’s still very soft but workable. I added at least 2 tablespoons more.
  3. Increase speed to medium-high and knead for about 5 minutes.
  4. Use olive oil to lightly coat a clean bowl. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and turn to coat dough with oil. (The Saveur recipe skipped this step; as a result, the dough stuck to the plastic wrap. If you prefer, you can skip the oil and dust the dough with flour to prevent sticking.)
  5. Cover dough with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. My oven has a “Proof” function so I used it.
  6. While you’re waiting for the dough, prepare the topping(s) for your pizza.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and move it to a lightly floured workspace. (This is one of the reasons I love having granite countertops.)
  8. Split the dough into the number of pizzas you want. This recipe should make 2 8-inch pizzas, but there’s no reason why you can’t divide it into 3 or even 4 or leave it as one large pizza.
  9. Work each piece of dough into a flattened shape about 3/4 inches thick. While the original recipe uses the word “roll” and I used a rolling pin for the first of two pizzas, I used my hands for the second one.
  10. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper on a flat pan.
  11. If desired, brush each pizza with olive oil. Then top with desired toppings.
  12. Bake at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

One of my favorite pizza toppings is eggplant sautéed with garlic and olive oil and then topped with goat cheese crumbles. Morels and leeks with garlic and butter (from the Saveur recipe linked above) wasn’t bad either.

The best thing about this recipe: it’s quick. You can go from a pile of ingredients to finished pizzas in less than an hour. And it tastes good, too.

What do you think?