Fast Homemade Pizza Crust

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Happy New Year 2015!

This is a great quick pizza dough!  If you’ve baked with yeast, you know that the words ‘quick’ and ‘dough’ do not go together.  Sure, it’s a quick reaction for the yeast starter, but you usually have to wait for the dough to rest, rise, repeat.  It can be a whole day affair of a waiting game.  

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If you’re going to make bread or doughs more often than once or twice a year, I suggest trying this glass jar of yeast, which must be refrigerated after opening.  It is more convenient to dip your measuring spoon in here versus opening tiny packets and deal with waste packaging.  For reference 2 1/4 tsp. equals a standard envelope of active dry yeast.  I know this by heart now.  I spoon out my 2 1/4 tsp. and run it back to the fridge immediately.  

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I also put the date I opened the yeast on the top of the jar in Sharpie.  Fresh is best – use within 6 months.  I’ve never had an issue with that because I make a lot of breads and such.

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This photo above shows what it looks like about a minute after combining the yeast, sugar, and warm water (110 degrees) together.  You will see a few clumps of yeasty goodness.  But wait a few minutes and the real fun begins.  

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Above, after about 5-10 minutes of leaving the three ingredients together, you can see the little yeast reactions have overtaken the top of the water.  If you watch it at the right time, you can see all the bubbles and yeast come up and it’ll spread rapidly across the surface.  It’s fun to watch it at the right time – not that you have to do anything here- just watch. 

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Above, after you mix in your flour, salt, and olive oil you will see the dough form.  I made my pizza crust in the dead of dry winter, so it needed additional water to mix thoroughly.  You can see the dry remainders on the bottom of the bowl that won’t absorb into the dough.  Add a tsp. of warm water at at time until it absorbs – but don’t add too much water!  Otherwise, your dough will be gummy and too sticky to roll (and a huge mess!), and you’ll have to add more flour!  And then we get into a circle effect of issues.

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Above, a perfect amount of water and flour mixture equals a good dough.  

I’m telling you right now, even though this pizza crust is quick and easy, it is NOT as good as doing it the long way.  My other recipe for a pizza crust always turns out and tastes better, but this is a quick, we-need-it-now! dough.  If you want the best pizza crust, try this one.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • One package of active dry yeast (.25 oz) or 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast from the scoopable jar
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (approx. 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Let stand until creamy and activated, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in bread flour, salt, and oil.  Mix until smooth.  Let rest 5 minutes.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.
  5. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or peel dusted with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
  6. Spread with desired toppings and bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

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