EVERY great pizza begins with a great pizza crust.
Some like it thin and crispy, while others prefer a thick and soft crust.
This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft and chewy with a delicious crisp and awesome flavour.
· 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 38-43°C).
2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) instant yeast (1 standard packet).
1 tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar.
2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, plus more for pan and brushing on dough.
1 teaspoon salt.
3 and 1/2 cups (about 450g) unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned and levelled), plus more for hands and surface.
Sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan.
Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl.
Cover and allow to rest for five minutes.
Use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula in the next step.
Add the oil, salt, and flour.
Beat on low speed for two minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for five minutes, after kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft.
Poke it with your finger; if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise.
If not, keep kneading.
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or non-stick spray – just use the same bowl you used for the dough.
Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil.
Cover the bowl with aluminium foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel.
Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size.
(Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to (70°C).
Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar.
This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise.
After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough.
When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
4. Preheat oven to 246°C. Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.) Lightly grease baking sheet or pizza pan with non-stick spray or oil.
Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavour.
5. Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles.
Divide the dough in half. (If not making two pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time.
On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or a rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc.
Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick.
If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly for five to 10 minutes, then try again.
Once shaped into a 12-inch circle, lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges.
I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
6. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings.
I suggest pepperoni and green peppers or homemade BBQ chicken pizza. Top it off with a generous layer of cheese.
7. Top and bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling.
To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with oil.
Top with your favourite toppings and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
8. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator.
Reheat as you prefer.
Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to three months. – Online.