Over the past couple of years, I gotten into making my own breads, rolls and pizza dough. I used to think it was just too hard and that there were too many variables that could go wrong, but boy was I mistaken. It turns out that making your own bread is really quite simple once you get the hang of it. Making your own pizza dough is even easier. I used to buy dough at the grocery store for about $2 which seems like a good deal because it is. I mean seriously, even if you buy the dough you are still going to save a ton compared to if your ordered pizza from a pizza restaurant. About a year ago though I started experimenting with making my own pizza dough and it is so easy. Now I must confess that having a KitchenAid stand mixer certainly makes thing easier, but it could be done by hand. The best part about making dough is that you can make it ahead of time and then freeze it for another day. Just take it out of the freezer and thaw in the fridge for about 24 hours.
When I first started making pizza dough, I use rapid rise yeast which works just fine. Then I discovered that Fleishman’s makes a yeast especially for making pizza dough and it is fantastic. So that is how I normally make it, providing I have the yeast on hand. Well a couple of months ago, my daughter really wanted pizza for dinner. The problem was that we were out of yeast, both bread yeast and pizza yeast. What’s a mom to do. I guess I could have gone to the store, but the thought of dragging my two kids to the store just for some yeast seemed insane to me and I was not going to do it. So the result was I decided to try to make the dough without yeast. I mean how hard could it be? I should be able to get a similar result from baking powder right? The answer is yes! The truth is I kind of like this crust better because it gets crispier than the ones made with yeast.
Here is what you need:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
3/4 to 1 c. water
Here is what you do:
Mix the dry ingredients together in as bowl. I like to do all of this with my mixer, but by hand works great too. Then add the oil to the water and pour the water and oil mixture into the dry mixture. The mixture should be soft, but not too sticky. If it seems stiff add a bit more water. Then kneed the dough on a floured surface for 3-5 minutes. If using a mixer, using the bread hook, allow the dough to kneed on slow to medium speed for about 3 minutes. Then turn out the dough on a floured surface and roll to desire thickness. Add sauce and desired toppings and cook in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it because the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pizza.
Tips and tricks:
I often add ground flaxseed to my pizza dough. Mix it in with the dry ingredients. I add about 2-3 tbsp. for this recipe. This really helps to add some nutritional value. Also, feel free to subsititue some of the AP flour for whole wheat flour. I would not recommend using all whole wheat flour because it makes a very dense and heavy crust. You could also add a couple of tbsp of wheat germ to your dough to help kick up the nutritional value a bit. We often add a tbsp or 2 of honey to create a delicious honey wheat pizza dough. Delicious!
You could use baking soda instead of baking powder, but you would only want to use 2 tsp of baking soda and no salt.
One of the things that I like most about making our own dough is that not only can you create any thickness crust you want, but you can also let each of the kids make their own pizza. This would be great for a kids party or sleepover. This way you can accomodate even the pickiest of eaters.
Hey, did you know that a pizza stone works best when preheated? I did not know this until recently. A preheated stone makes for a much crispier crust. I put the stone in the oven when I turn it on and take it out right before I am ready to put the dough on it. Makes a huge difference.
Have you ever made your own pizza dough? Have you tried making it without yeast? What are your favorite pizza toppings? Thanks for reading!