I am pretty happy with this pizza crust recipe. It is from King Arthur.
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
- 7/8 to 1 1/8 cups (198g to 255g) lukewarm water depending upon humidity
- 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
- 3 cups (361g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
- Large bowl
- Mixer (optional)
- If you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it, with a pinch of sugar, in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
- Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the dissolved yeast (or the instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 4 to 5 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. Don’t over-knead the dough; it should hold together, but can still look fairly rough on the surface.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it’s very puffy. This will take about an hour using instant yeast, or 90 minutes using active dry. If it takes longer, that’s OK; just give it some extra time.
- Divide the dough in half, for two pizzas; or leave it whole for one pizza.
- Stretch your dough to the desired shape and place in prepared pans or on a pizza peel.
- Allow the dough to rise, covered, till it’s noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes (if it hasn’t been refrigerated); or 2 to 2 1/2 hours (if it’s been refrigerated). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Bake the pizza on the lower oven rack till it looks and feels set on top, and is just beginning to brown around the edge of the crust, but is still pale on top. This will take about 8 minutes for thinner crust pizza; about 10 to 12 minutes for medium thickness; and 12 to 14 minutes for thick-crust pizza. If you’re baking two pizzas, reverse them in the oven (top to bottom, bottom to top) midway through the baking period.
- Remove it from the oven, and arrange your toppings of choice on top. Return to the oven, and bake on the upper oven rack for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned, both top and bottom, and the cheese is melted. Check it midway through, and move it to the bottom rack if the top is browning too much, or the bottom not enough.
- You can refrigerate the uncooked dough for use on the following day. Just make sure to let it warm to room temperature before using.
- You can wrap the cooked crust and use up to two days later.