123 Pizza Dough
Quick, easy, and so delish! This dough is my go-to for when I want to make pizza for just Steve and me, and maybe one friend. It is just as easy doing it by hand as with the mixer. Rises fast and is soft enough to make it super easy to just press into the pan. Makes 1 large pizza, with 2 or 3 toppings, using 2 or 3 cups of grated cheese, that serves 2 or 3 people. 123!
Let the package of yeast (2 1/2 tsp) bloom in the 3/4 cup warm water and 2 Tbsp honey. Once it’s foamy, add in 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil.
Using the paddle attachment, beat until the mixture comes together. Once it is a uniform dough, switch to the dough hook, or just a sturdy spoon and your own elbow grease. You can see from the second picture above that the dough sticks to the bowl, and the paddle attachment doesn’t reach far enough to do any good. This is why I often mix this dough up by hand. But , since I had it in the mixer, I went ahead with using the mixer. You have to stop it, use a spatula to scrape the dough into the middle, then turn it on again so that the dough hook can reach it. If it doesn’t form into a ball of dough, you will start adding the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, until it does form a ball that the dough hook beats around on the sides of the bowl. Add the flour a little at a time, so that you don’t get too much. This dough is meant to be softer and a little stickier than bread dough, so don’t add any more than 1/4 cup additional flour, or it will be a lot harder to roll out. Plus you will be able to add a little more flour in when you knead it, so you can take it out of the mixer even if it’s a little sticky.
Make sure to scrape everything out of the bowl. The stuck-on dough, and the flour too. Dump it all out onto your counter, and knead it with your hands until everything comes together and it is smooth and feels silky. Resist the temptation to knead in more flour at this point, unless the dough is so sticky that it is sticking to your hands and the counter. If you must, add as little flour as possible.
Now you need to set the dough aside to rise until doubled in bulk. You can either wash out the mixer bowl, spray it with oil, and use it, or use a clean bowl, or even set it on your greased pizza pan. Grease the top of the dough too, cover with wax paper, and set in the oven with the light on (the warmth from the oven light bulb provides just the perfect heat to help the dough rise). Rising is fast with this dough. Always under one hour, and sometimes as quick as 1/2 hour.
You don’t have to punch it down or knead it anymore – just plop the risen ball of dough onto the centre of your prepared pan, and start pushing it out in all directions, starting with the heels of your hands, then using your fingers to shape the edges as best as you can. I can never get it to fill the corners, so I don’t fuss about it. I love those large, 14 or 15 inch pizza pans with the holes in the bottom to let the air circulate to the crust. When I use one of those, I roll out the dough, then use my fingers to shape the edges. I just didn’t have mine here at the moment, so a large cookie sheet works ok too. It’s too much dough for my 12-inch pans, unless I want it to be thicker, and I didn’t. So, cookie sheet it is.
Top with your favorite toppings, let it sit for about 15 minutes while you warm up the oven, and then bake. I like to start out with 10 minutes at 450 degrees F, then turn it down to 425 for the remaining 8 to 10 minutes. Watch during the last 5 minutes or so, so that it doesn’t get too dark. If it IS getting too dark, turn the oven way down to 350 degrees F and cook until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. However, instead of being so complicated, it cooks just fine if you set the oven at 425 F for 15 – 20 minutes.
I really love this crust recipe; it’s so quick and easy to work with. It’s light and airy, due to the honey that’s in it, and tends to produce a more delicate crust than my other recipe. This recipe is for a single, 14 inch pizza, or will also cover a large cookie sheet. It’s softer than my other dough, which makes it easier since I can just press it out into the shape I want with my fingers. It’s my go-to recipe when I am making enough for only 2 or 3 people. The crust is thin and crispy and is the perfect carrier for 2 or 3 of your favorite toppings with 2 or 3 cups of cheese. 1 pizza, 2 or 3 toppings, and 2 or 3 cups of grated cheese. If you follow those simple rules, you can’t go wrong.
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
- 2 Tbsp liquid honey
- 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 1½ cups of flour, salt and olive oil and mix with the paddle attachment (or stir with a spoon) until the dough comes together. Then switch to the dough hook and knead, stopping mixer often to scrape dough into the centre so that it forms into a ball. Turn out the dough onto the counter and knead by hand about 5 minutes, adding the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, if needed, while you knead the dough. Work it until it forms a smooth and elastic-feeling ball of dough – 3 to 5 minutes. Give the same bowl a quick wash, drizzle some olive oil into it, then place the dough inside, turning to coat both the dough and the sides of the bowl. Cover with a sheet of wax paper, then a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk (about ½ hr to 1 hour).
- Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third. Oil a pizza pan or cookie sheet with olive oil.
- When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and press or roll it out with a rolling pin as thin as possible – to about a 15 inch circle, or if you like it thinner, roll it large enough to fit a large cookie sheet. Transfer the dough to your oiled pan, and push and shape the edges so that you have a raised rim around the edge of the crust. Alternatively, just plop the raised dough onto your greased pan and push it out to the edges of the pan. You won’t be able to get it right to the edge if you are using a large cookie sheet.
- Top with your favourite toppings, then top with grated cheese. Wait about 20 minutes for the dough to rise a little again before cooking.
- Bake the pizza until the crust is brown and the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 15 - 20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, and if the edges of the dough seem to be browning too quickly, turn the oven down to 375 for the remainder of the cooking time so that the cheese gets cooked too.
I find that this actually goes just as fast if I mix and knead by hand rather than using my kitchen-aid. The amount if dough is just small enough that I have to keep stopping the mixer and scraping it toward the middle so that the dough hook can grab onto it. This is time I could spend just kneading it by hand. This amount of dough is perfect for one of those “air” pizza pans – you know the ones that have lots of little holes on the bottom so that the bottom of the crust cooks up crispy. I like to cup my left hand around the edge of the pizza crust while I sprinkle cheese on to the pizza with my right hand. This is to make sure to get some cheese on to the edge of the crust. This makes the edges of the crust so yummy, that nobody will want to leave their crust on their plate. If I use a cookie sheet, I can’t quite get a raised edge on the crust. Another thing I do is to ask either the kids or my husband to grate the cheese for me while I am preparing the dough. This saves me a lot of time when it comes to putting the toppings on, and makes them feel like they helped.