Homemade Pizza, from Scratch

A few weeks ago, my coworker shared with me her pizza secret — Trader Joe’s makes a pizza dough (that comes in regular, whole wheat, AND garlic + herb) that is easy to bake and yields pretty amazing results.  For $1.29, I’d say that’s a steal.  Making pizza, and especially the dough, has always been slightly intimidating but I figured I should give pizza dough-making a try in the wake of a successful baguette-making attempt (more on that in a later post); the fact that I currently have approx. 20lbs of flour at home (thank you, Costco!) also convinced me to try.

I’ve been loving King Arthur Flour’s recipe site and found a simple pizza dough recipe to try.  I ended up halving their recipe and was left with the perfect amount of dough to feed 3-4 people (the equivalent of two half sheet sized thin crust pizza).

While the whole process might seem time consuming and troublesome, I’d say it’s definitely worth trying at least once.  Worse case, if things go wrong, you can always run out to Trader Joe’s with $1.29 (+tax) and salvage dinner 🙂


homemade pizza

Homemade Pizza Dough (+ whatever toppings your heart desires) – adapted from KAF

What you’ll need:

  • 2.75-3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • 0.5 tablespoon of sugar
  • 0.5 tablespoon of salt
  • 0.5 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 0.5 tablespoon of instant yeast

What to do:

  • Grab a big bowl and add in your water.  Then, add in the sugar, salt, olive oil, and instant yeast.
  • After giving the above solution a good mix until dissolved, slowly add in the flour.  I would start with 2.75 cups of flour and only add more if needed; you want a slightly tacky dough, not a super dryIMG_1893 one.
  • When all the flour is incorporated, lightly flour a flat surface and start kneading the dough by hand until you have a smooth, elastic dough; it took about 7-10 mins for this batch.  You could use a dough hook/stand mixer for but such a small amount (and such little kneading), it’s hardly worth the trouble washing the stand mixer.
  • Oil up a large bowl (you’ll want to ensure there’s room for the dough to rise) and set the dough inside.
  • Cover the bowl with a cloth/saran wrap, and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours (see? it’s a perfect, fast weeknight dinner!)
  • While the dough is rising, I use this time to prep my pizza toppings.
    • Easy Option #1 – caramelized onions, prosciutto, and parmesan (using olive oil as the “sauce”)
    • Easy Option #2 – basil, fresh mozzarella, + an egg (sauce: mix of tomato sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, + pepper)
  • When the time is up, gently remove the dough from the bowl and, with a knife, slice into two balls (each should be a little smaller than a half sheet baking sheet – assuming you make them thin crust).
  • Preheat your oven to 450F/230C.
  • On a lightly floured surface, slowly roll out ball #1 of your dough. You want to roll from the center, outward.  Roll it out, pick it up (carefully), lightly flour surface, and flip it over – repeat 2 to 3 times.
  • I find it’s easiest to get the dough to “stick” to your baking sheet if you lightly oil it up and then spread the pizza dough on it directly.
  • Pile on your toppings/sauce and when your oven has hit 450F/230C, pop it on in.  Bake for 15-18 mins (mine only took 15 mins this time).  You’ll know when the pizza is done; the crust is so thin, it’s really just a matter of the ingredients melding and “baking through”.
  • Bon appétit!

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