(Disclaimer: Experienced breadmakers must simply move on. They will find it too painful to read how I mess around with the nuances of bread-making.)
Once a week, the kids ask for pizza. To save money and time (and eat a little healthier), I make my own crust.
I got the original recipe and instructions from one of the Tightwad Gazette books years ago, but have altered it to fit what works for me.
Thick and Chewy, Fast and Easy Pizza Dough
1/2 – 3/4 c. warm water
1 T. dry active yeast
1 t. sugar (for the yeast)
2 c. flour (I use half whole wheat and half white, but most kids would balk at that the first time)
1 T. vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
1/2 t. salt
(also, I double and sometimes triple this for my family of six–without needing to increase the amount of yeast–and frankly, I don’t measure any of the ingredients precisely anymore. I just toss in what looks to be about right and it turns out find almost every time. But you might not want to try that the first time.)
1. Combine 1/4 c. water with yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast, set aside until bubbly about 5 minutes.
2. Mix flour and salt, then add the oil.
3. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture, adding water until it forms a ball you can work with. I start with a wooden spoon and then switch to using my fingers to squish and mix. Knead for a few minutes (I just knead it in the bowl until it seems to be the consistency of, well, pizza dough). The original instructions said to cover with plastic wrap or another bowl and let stand for 10 minutes, but I go ahead and spread it into the pan(s) and let it do it’s mini-rise there.
4. While messing around with the toppings–chopping things up, calling the kids to help spread the sauce, and pulling out the cheese–the dough rises enough. I don’t preheat the oven. Instead, I stick the pizza(s) in the oven with it cold, and let the crusts rise a little more as the oven heats up.
5. Put all the toppings on and bake at 350 or 375 or 425˚ (I have a new oven, so I’m experimenting) 10 or 15 minutes (or until done–I lift with a spatula to see if it’s brown on the bottom as well as watch the cheese).
Voila. Thick and chewy, fast and easy. And cheap.
Is every hour rush hour at your house?
Explore the jarring effects of our overcommitted culture and find refreshing alternatives for a more meaningful family and spiritual life.
Find a pace that frees your family to flourish.
“Not So Fast is a gift to every reader who takes the time to slow down and breathe in its pages.”
—Lee Strobel, best-selling author of The Case for Christ
At A Hen's Pace says
I used to do this too! It’s been awhile though. I always let my kids form the dough into their own personal pizzas–they love it.
Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry says
Thanks for the “recipe.” Sounds really easy!
Yummy! I’ve been talking with my husband about hosting a “build-your-own pizza” party where I invite friends to come over and make their own personal pizzas.
I’ll print out your dough recipe and give it a try! 🙂
Sounds great! I just made pizza last night and was thinking about when the boys get older and have bigger appetites. This leads to my question…when you double or triple it, that is to make 2-3 pies I am assuming? Have you ever frozen prepared dough for a later use?
…or you can buy a Boboli…:0)
Hope this recipe/instruction sheet works for everyone! I should have mentioned that I always use Rapid Rise yeast.
TCC: I use a large round baking stone I got suckered into buying at a Pampered Chef party years ago for one of the pizzas, and a huge rectangular one for the other, so I suppose it depends on the size of your pans how many pizzas you get out of it. And it also depends how thick you like the crust–sometimes, when everyone seems hungry, I press it thinner and get another little pizza out of it. It usually rises enough that it doesn’t seem like a matzo cracker.
No, I’ve never frozen the dough, I don’t know how that would work. Good idea, though.
F: So true! Using Boboli sure makes it extra fast and easy! I started to go that route and have a few on hand, but I found that
a.) They were more expensive (though there were store brand options)
b.) They weren’t quite as healthy (though I did see a whole-wheat Boboli option just the other day on the Boboli rack)
c.) I can make this pizza dough recipe so fast and so easily that it doesn’t seem like any big deal. I have it done in just a few minutes, and often The Belgian Wonder just takes over from there, organizing the kids, chopping the toppings, etc.
On the other hand, if the kids were planning and making more meals on their own (which I intend to encourage more this coming year), I might go with your idea and keep some Boboli cursts on hand so that it’s simpler for them to get a yummy pizza meal in the oven and ready to eat. Thanks for stopping by!
How can I make a dough that is real chewy and stretchy when I take a bit of it. Kinda like Papa Johns! I have tried so many recipes but can not find one that will make my crust really, really, chewy.
Hope you can help me and keep lookin’ up,
It really just needs 2 hours to rise in a bowl and one hour to rise on the pan, and the crust is so thick you should pre-bake it without toppings for 8-10 minutes first!
How big is a pizza without doubling the recipe?
My daughter and I made this for lunch today. It was easy and delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
I love this recipe so much. It was so simple to make, and just what I was looking for. Thanks for posting it!!
Ok, so my patience is waning…I’ve tried dozens of pizza dough recipes and finally, I see one that looks similar to the one I’ve been looking for–YOURS!!
So, I try it, tonight and it turns into a cracker…I used a stone–but I doubt a pan could have helped me…so I sat eating my pizza while staring at your pizza picture and it still didn’t do it for me…
…I am curious–do you use a convection oven?
if you could be so kind to tell me where I went wrong…my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org–thanks!!
You’re killing the yeast – the water should be on the cooler side of warm – not hot. This link has step by step pictures, so you can see what the yeast is supposed to look like. After you mix the small bowl, leave it alone to bubble for 5 min. It’s very similar to the recipe on this site. The dough ball should be sticky, but not glue-like – if it is glue like, add a tad more flour until it’s less so! I tweaked it a little by giving it only 2 hours to rise in a bowl and one hour to rise on the pan. The crust is so thick you should pre-bake it without toppings for 8-10 minutes first!
also…mozzarella, right? What brand..and sauce?
Sandra Turton says
Yet another wonderful recipe! It’s nice to add a, ‘from scratch’ touch to such a quick classic favourite meal! Another post I’d love to feature on my blog –this is great!
oooh, yummy! I want to make this, love homemade pizza!
I just tried it and its absolutely delicious !!!! Thank you !
The Stories of S.R. Stevens says
Ann, thank you so much for this recipe. It’s perfect! And so freakin’ fast and easy, I don’t how I ever lived without it!
Fresh out of the oven, the crust is super nice and chewy, though the outside does tend to harden as it cools. It’s never like a brick tho, just like a thick cracker. I think it adds fun texture!
This dough also makes great calzone/hot pocket-type thingies that I fill, bake, freeze, and take to work with me for lunch. They reheat really well (both in oven and microwave, tho of course it’s best in the oven) and never get overly chewy or tough.
Thank you again for this recipe. It’s wonderful.
What did we do boefre blogs? I am love being able to see your adventures in England in real time! Continue to enjoy!
Yum! That’s my plan for dinner tonight now 🙂
<3!! Ive finally found it!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! we used to have this little pizzaria around the corner from my grandmas house, down the street from my highschool, in this little timy strip mall in the middle of a suburban area. you had to live nearby to know it was even there. It was called Palermo's pizza, owned by a greek guy named Nikko and his slut of a wife, who later ran off back to Greece, and sadly Nikko went chasing after her, thus closing Palermo's and starting my quest for the perfect pizza crust; becuase theres was IT! But this is such a close second, i doubt ill ever order pizza again. instead ill make it myself, and close my eyes and imagine im back in the dimly lit lil hole in the wall, with soccer on the TV and the lil asian kids from the nail salon next door running in and out getting candy from the vending machine. thanks for the recipe and the memory!
i just dont understand what messurements your using… by t do you mean tbls or tsp??
Thanks for your note, Lillypadco! I don’t know if you live in a metric country, but I’m American, so those are American measurements and maybe I’m using old-fashioned abbreviations.
“t” or “tsp” means teaspoon.
“T” or “tbls” means Tablespoon.
Capital T for the bigger amount (Tablespoon)
and lowercase, small t for smaller amount (teaspoon).
Sorry for the confusion!
I just found this recipe from a google search – AMAZING!! I loved it! So tasty and SO SO SO easy! My 18 month old and I made it together. Thanks
Awesome simple recipe! I’m NOT. A good cook but pulled this recipe off! CHEERS
Don’t care much for your world views, BUT the recipe was excellent..
Glad you enjoyed the pizza, James, and I’m pleased to know that good pizza can bring people together, even when we disagree on other matters. 🙂
You say you put the pizzas in the oven while the oven heats up – just the dough or with sauce on it? Or completely assembled? It wasn’t really clear in the instructions.
Ann Kroeker says
Thanks for asking! I pressed out the dough, assembled the whole thing with sauce and mozzarella cheese and toppings, then put it in the oven and turned on the heat at about the same time. As the oven heated, the dough rose enough to look like the photos and then it continued to cook the rest of the way through.
Thanks for the extremely fast reply!! In the middle of making this – it looks awesome!!
Ann Kroeker says
You’re welcome! Sometimes it turned out flatter or puffier, perhaps due to the weather or the age of the yeast. Hope you get the best possible outcome. As you may have seen, people in the comments reported varying degrees of success. Fingers crossed!