How to make homemade pizza with a light and crispy crust from a yeast challenged baker.
I used to consider myself yeast challenged. I tried for years. It never turned out.
Dense. Heavy. Door Stopper. Need I go on. … paper weight. ugh!
My son, Justin, gave me his recipe for pizza dough. He makes THE BEST pizza I have ever had in my life. It’s his specialty. People ask for it wherever he goes.
So I tried it. Again, the same thing. What was the problem?
After a little research and on the fifth attempt, I finally did it! I tell you, I was literally jumping for joy when it worked.
There are two types of dry yeast: active dry and quick-rise. What’s the difference?
Yeast is sensitive to temperature. If the water is too hot, the yeast is killed. Too cold, the yeast is inhibited. Ideally, the water should be between 100 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
My problem, I didn’t have an instant read thermometer. So what did I do?
This is my no-fail way to get the right temperature. Add two-thirds cold tap water to one-third boiling water. Works perfectly every time.
Kneading and Rising
When adding flour, hold back about 1/4 cup. It’s easier to add more flour during the later stages of kneading than it is to add water. If dough is too wet, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Dough should not be too dry, it should be slightly tacky.
Knead the dough by hand for about 10-12 minutes or with a mixer, using the dough hook, for about 8-10 minutes at medium speed.
Knowing when to stop kneading is important. Under-kneaded dough is loose and doesn’t hold its shape. Over-kneaded dough is dense and tough. It should be soft and smooth. Poke the dough with your finger. It should spring back quickly. If it doesn’t, continue kneading.
Place kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl and roll it around until it’s lightly coated with oil. I’ve read many times to cover the bowl with a dish towel. Don’t do this. The top will dry out and form a crust. Instead, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft free environment until double in size, about an hour.
How do you know when it’s risen enough. Poke it with your finger. If the indentation does not spring back, it’s ready.
Lightly grease pizza pan with olive oil. Place dough on the pan and press it out toward the edges. Cover and let dough rise, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place oven rack on the second lowest level.
Add desired ingredients to pizza crust.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Baking time depends on thickness and amount of toppings.
Recipe by Justin.
- 3 scant cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons quick-rise instant dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Place flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Add warm water and olive oil.
- Mix at low speed until incorporated.
- Increase to medium speed and mix for approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Place kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl and roll it around until it’s lightly coated with oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size about 1 hour.
- Lightly grease pizza pan with olive oil.
- Place dough on the pan and press it out toward the edges.
- Cover and let dough rise, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place oven rack on the second lowest level.
- Add your favourite toppings.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.