Perfect Pizza Crust

There are a few skills that I feel are essential for being a good mom. Making homemade pizza is one of them. I don’t know why, but being able to make a mean pizza is important to me! I meal plan based on genre. Friday at our house is pizza night! Every Friday I make a version of one of the following: pizza, deep dish pizza, personal pizzas, Grandma’s pizza, calzones, Stromboli, or pizza rolls.
Of all of my pizza options, this is my favorite crust and favorite baking method (because those two things go together). It’s very pizzeria in style. The dough is a medium thickness, the bottom gets nice and brown, and the cheese around the edge gets crusty, edging on burnt. Mmmm…that crusty dark cheese! Don’t be tempted to over load on cheese and toppings. With pizza, more is not always better. The crust won’t cook through if you get too crazy, and very few things are grosser than doughy pizza.
I’m a purest most days and love a simple pepperoni pizza. You too? No? What topping can you not live without?

Perfect Pizza Crust recipe

Perfect Pizza Crust

by Bless This Mess

Keywords: bake pizza entree cheese whole wheat American

Ingredients (Makes dough for 2 large pizzas)

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 cups flour
  • Pizza sauce
  • Cheese
  • Toppings

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl add the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Allow mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Add one cup of flour and mix to combine. Add another cup of flour and mix through. Mix by hand for 1 or 2 minutes. The dough should be the consistency of cake batter. Add another cup of flour and mix through. Add flour until you can’t mix it by hand very well. Sprinkle some flour on your table and turn the dough onto the table. Knead the dough by hand until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed. This should take 6 to10 minutes of kneading. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 15 to 60 minutes (this time varies a lot for me, I just let it rise according to how long it is until dinner time).

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to heat, too. I would recommend using a stone for baking this pizza. If you don’t have a stone you can turn your biggest cookie sheet upside down (so that the flat side is up) or use a rimless sheet. If you are using a stone let the stone heat for 30 minutes. If using a baking sheet, let it heat for 15 minutes.

When the oven is hot, cut your dough in half. Place half of the dough on a piece of parchment paper that is 18 inches long. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough (on top of the parchment paper) into a 12 to 14 inch circle. The dough should be about a half-inch thick. Top with 1 cup of pizza sauce, 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella, and toppings of your choice.

When the pizza is all ready, slide the pizza, which is on the parchment paper, onto a rimless cookie sheet or one that is upside down. This will help you get the pizza to the oven.

Open the oven and slide the pizza which is still on the parchment paper, from the cookie sheet onto the hot baking stone or hot cookie sheet. I just tug on the edge of the parchment paper with my hands and slide it on to the stone. BE CAREFUL! Your oven is set to 500. It’s super hot, obviously! Make sure the babies are out of the way and be careful when sliding the pizza into the oven.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the top is bubbly and the edges are starting to brown. When the pizza is done, tug the edge of the parchment paper and slide the pizza back onto the cookie sheet you used to transfer it to the oven. Again, be careful!

Let your stone reheat for 10 minutes. While the stone is heating, repeat the whole thing with the second half of the dough and bake the same way.

Enjoy, enjoy enjoy!

I serve it right off of the parchment paper (which gets all dark and cooked looking) or I’ll tear off a new piece and serve it on a crisp white sheet of parchment. Very pretty!

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Perfect Pizza Crust recipe

37 comments on “Perfect Pizza Crust

  1. Yumm-O. I waver back & forth from good old pepperoni to Hawaiian (with turkey usually cause I have that instead of ham) to Supreme. I love, love, love red peppers mixed with meat & onions on my pizza. I have a few questions.
    1. When mixing by hand-you mean with a spoon or something just not a mixer right? (is that so it doesn’t mix too much?)
    2. That dough rising time seems like a huge vast of time. What are you looking for? Double in size?
    3. Dumb question but is parchment paper different than wax paper? Can you put wax paper in the oven?
    4. The upside-down cookie sheet really works? I’ve tried to keep stones around my house but have broken at least 3. :(

  2. Oh how I love a good comment!
    How did it turn out Summer?
    and @ Sarah
    1. This dough is so forgiving. I use a stand mixer if I want to pull it out, but I’ll mix if by hand if I’m feeling lazy (the mixer isn’t in the main room… I have to go get it!) OR if I want the kids to help. This is a perfect recipe for little mixers! You can’t really over mix- when the dough is like cake batter, it’s good to mix it, regardless of how you do it, for a minute or too. Lots of people don’t do this, but it really helps the gluten in the flour to develop. Then as you are adding the flour you can just mix and mix! Perfect time to get the kids in there! You could let it go in a stand mixer for a full 5-8 minutes of mixing. It only helps the gluten.

    2. The rising time does vary immensely in my house!! That is what I love about this recipe and why it’s the “go to”. If you have time, let it rise for the longer time, say doubled. Again it’s a gluten thing. The dough will have more time to make those yummy little air pockets. It will be more tender and fluffier. If you don’t have time, don’t let it rise as much, it will make for a moderately less fluffy bread. No big deal if you ask me. Good both ways.

    If you are going to try it with all or half whole wheat flour then let it rise longer. The whole wheat will be dense without a proper rise.

    3. Parchment and wax are totally different. Don’t use waxed paper here. Wax paper will smoke really bad (the parchment does smoke some though) and doesn’t have the nonstick properties of parchment. The parchment is “impregnated” with silicone, no wax involved. Now the parchment gets all dark and burnt looking. It falls a part if you pull on the edges, so when taking it out, tug on it close to the pizza.

    The hot oven might make you a little nervous the first time you are sticking your hand in there to pull a pizza out, I know that’s how I felt. But you can do it! It’s so much easier the second time around. I made Thomas help me and hold the pan I was sliding the pizza onto the first time, but now I can manage it alone.

    4. Yup! Of course it depends on your cookie sheet… I would use a heavy sheet, nothing cheap and flimsy.

    Did that help? Will you let me know how it turns out? I hope you LOVE it!

  3. Hi Agree! I think the heat is a major part of the secret home ingredient that no recipe can overcome without it: major secret:500 F! You have wonderful recipes. We’re going to make your chocolate chip cookies today… although we had planned Valentine’s Treats — these just look too good!

  4. Tried it tonight and it was fabulous. Never managed to remember to get the parchment paper at the store, so I ended up using aluminum foil on the upside down cookie sheet. Worked like a charm. Also, I used 1/2 tbs honey instead of the sugar and that was fine. All boys loved it! And no soggy in the middle! Thanks Melissa!

  5. This was fantastic and made SO MUCH PIZZA! I actually had leftovers! :) The crust was so fluffy, maybe because I let it rise for a really long time. Like 2-3 hours. My only problem was that it was a bit bland. Maybe because my olive oil isn’t awesome? I’m going to try seasoning the crust this time with some garlic or something Italian-y. Or maybe use more sauce. Any thoughts?

    1. Tay- Salt fixes everything. I say double the salt if you thought it was bland. I do add garlic powder, onion powder, or Italian seasoning when I’m in the mood. I love to add some extra flavor when I make calzones because they are so bread-heavy. I haven’t thought the bread was bland when used for pizza crust because the toppings are flavorful, but feel free to play with it. The beauty of it being a little bland is you can bust out pizza, bread sticks, and cinnamon sticks from the same dough.

      Let me know if you add anything. I’d love to hear how you like it!

    2. I was afraid to add more salt, in case it would affect the rising, but the garlic powder and Italian seasonings were definitely helpful. I also added a cup of whole wheat flour at the beginning and that added some depth as well. I love how much this recipe makes!

  6. Do you use whole wheat flour? I followed a link to this one from your Eat Clean page, and it was for whole wheat pizza dough?

    1. I use 100% whole wheat flour with this 97% of the time and LOVE it. This really is such a great recipe. All of the recipes I linked to I just switch out the white for whole wheat and they work really well (even those corn muffins!). Let me know if you try it :)

      1. Yay! I plan on trying this tomorrow. I didn’t realize that you could just switch out the type of flour. I thought you’d need to add more water or something like you do with brown rice. Silly me! I will let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I spent quite a while checking out your blog!

      2. So, I ended up using all whole wheat and LOVE it. My girls still like the white better. Do you ever freeze half the dough? Haven’t tried it, but am planning to do it tonight. Wondering if you had any tips for freezing it. Thanks for the awesome recipe. We all love it!

        1. I don’t freeze it but I always want to. I just pinned a thing about homemade frozen pizzas and I’m just itching to try it. I’ve tried freezing different breads and rolls in my life with little success, so if you have any tips for ME, I’d love to know. Really, let me know how it pans out! Good luck. And the more you make the WW the less your kids will notice… they seem to have short memories :)

  7. This is my go-to pizza crust recipe now. Tonight I topped it with some butter and brown sugar, a sprinkle of uncooked oatmeal, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. S’mores pizza!!!

    1. I know that people freeze dough often but I don’t normally do it! If you are I’d but in the freezer and then let it thaw in the fridge overnight before using again. You’ll have to let me know how it goes! And sorry it took so long to reply… too much snow and no internet :)

  8. I just tried your pizza recipe and my family loved it! I split up the second half of the dough and made small portions of cheesy garlic bread sticks and the cinnamon sticks recipe from your site as well. We will definitely be making this again and again! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. The whole wheat flour does soak up a bit more moisture… I’d add maybe another 1/4 cup of white flour. BUT it is a very sticky dough! You’ll use a heavy hand of flour when rolling it out… the moisture makes it extra chewy! Let me know how it turns out :)

  9. We tried it this last weekend for my daughter’s birthday gathering. Each girls got to make their own personal pizzas using 8 inch cake pans. They had fun making their own and my daughter said this pizza was better than any that we have bought. It does make a lot, though, so I may try to half it next time when I use it for my family only.

  10. Oh my gosh! This pizza dough is SO good. I used whole wheat flour and switched the sugar for honey. I’ve never had a better homemade pizza dough. It was soft and perfect. Thanks!

  11. Hi! I just found this recipe and have made it twice, LOVE IT! Thank you! The first time I cut the recipe in half, there are only 2 of us right now, but this second time I made the full batch and used the second dough ball to make dessert sticks! Do you know/think I would be able to make a full batch and store one dough ball in the fridge for a day or two? Or would that mess with the yeast and stuff? thank you!

  12. Made this for dinner. It was soooo much easier than my usual recipe and tasted great! One batch made 3 cookie sheets worth. Maybe I roll them thin but it was a perfect balance of base to toppings for me! Thanks.

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