Since quarantine began, I’ve been looking for the perfect Pizza Crust recipe.Jump to Recipe
I refused to believe that we would not have a great pizza again, until things opened back up. Suffice to say, my family had pizza more after quarantine started than we ever did before.
Sure, you can buy a frozen pizza… but you’ll never get that same quality of toppings or sauce, as if you had fresh pizza. But finding a really GOOD premade crust was impossible!
I’ve tried at least 50 recipes that I found online, I’ve read dozens of food blogs, full of tips and tricks… So, I thank everyone out there that has contributed to my pizza making adventure.
Let me just start by explaining that I am a big believer in quality ingredients. I believe that we can enjoy the foods we want, as long as we use quality, organic, nutritious ingredients…. and so, everything I use is organic (except the fresh Moz, because I can’t find it).
A little bit about the ingredients:
I use whole milk, which some don’t like… but it adds a great fluff to the dough, some added omegas, quality calcium and good fats. I have played with the liquid ratio… too much milk defeats the purpose, but not enough makes it lack in flavor. When I do this, I delve out a cup of very hot water, and then add the cold milk, which typically brings the temperature down to the 110-112 F mark.
A good unfiltered local honey, adds great antiseptic qualities, and replaces the yeast activating sugars in the recipe. I find any opportunity to replace a gut triggering, unhealthy sugar, with something more valuable. In this case, I have tried several sweeteners, but the honey is just the best. Plus, I believe that it might add a little touch, being another liquid that I never compensated for.
I have tried MANY flours, even using specialty flours like artisian or 00 italian flour… but shockingly, I have not had the same great flavor, as with this simple organic flour. This flour has made a ton of great breads and crusts, as well as cakes etc. I highly recommend it.
I have tried avocado oil, as it has a higher temperature rating, but a good quality olive oil just adds a better italian flavor. I do think that the garlic lovers would also like it with a garlic flavored olive oil.
Technically, the oil was just to add moisture while the dough rises, and keep it from sticking to the bowl. I found that a generous layer works great to do that, but then also adds a great olive oil flavor when you start to knead the dough out. You will use flour at that point, so a little extra moisture, and stick for the flour is great.
Originally, I would just sprinkle a little salt into the flour, but honestly, it’s 2 full pizza crusts… and the pink salt adds flavor, plus valuable minerals that the Himalayan pink salt has to offer.
Out of the hundred or so Pizza’s that I’ve testing different things on, here’s a few things that I have learned.
I love fresh pizza… but fresh mozzarella adds a lot of moisture, usually creating a pool of water like substance on the pizza. By using half fresh and half shredded, you cut down on the pooling. Also, a pizza perforator helps a LOT, to create little moisture pockets in the dough. It also helps the sauce bake in to the dough a little.
Along with moisture… I LOVE a lot of sauce…. but, like the fresh cheese, a lot of sauce, just messes up the pizza. So, my advise? Put a ramekin of sauce in the oven for the last few minutes, so that you have a good, hot pizza sauce to dip in, if you like extra sauce. (those ramekins are oven safe, which is important. We use them for EVERYTHING)
Lastly, the toppings…. Have fun with toppings, but be sure you don’t add too many, or it just messes with the moisture levels and flavors. They should also be added on top of the cheese, so that they cook thoroughly… and if you’re adding pepperoni, it gets a little crispy around the edges, for a perfect topping. Remember, the pizza doesn’t cook long, so too many toppings will give you a raw center and burnt crust.
My favorite toppings are endless… But a few of my favorites include Greek Pizza or Fresh Caprese Pizza. (if not linked, check back for those recipes later)
As for the recipe below…. Make sure you play with it, in case altitude or temperatures are different in your home. When mixing, add the flour slowly, so that you don’t over do it, but also, don’t be afraid to adjust with a little more flour or water if needed.
Use quality, flavorful ingredients, like a good unfiltered olive oil, to add that italian flavor.
A great sauce is as simple as possible. Try simply using a can of crushed tomatoes, strained. ( go for less sodium and sprinkle with a little pink salt. Himalayan Pink salt has it’s own nutritional value that makes it good for you… but I promise, that’s not what the canning companies are using.)
Some of my favorite high end pizza houses have told me that the secret to their sauce…. 2 ingredients…. tomato and salt. You’re welcome.
Make sure you don’t knead the dough too much, it will toughen the flour mix. You want to lightly knead into the flour surface, but then roll it out easily. Then sprinkle a good layer of corn meal or my preference Garlic granules to the pan, and lay the dough out carefully. If it’s too big or not big enough… work it from there, or fold the crust in a little.
Lastly, keep an eye on the pizza as you cook it. You do want to use high heat, just like a pizza oven would be, but you want to keep an eye on everything to make sure you don’t burn the pizza… It’s going to be delicious!!!!
Enjoy! I’d love to hear how much you love it!
Sweet and Fluffy Pizza Crust
- 3.5 C All Purpose Flour More to flour the surface. This measurement may flex depending on consistency
- 1 C Filtered Water
- 1/2 C Whole Milk
- 2 T Honey
- 1/5 T Yeast
- 2 T Olive oil
- 1.5 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt Use more or less to your taste
- 2 T Garlic salt Cornmeal is an alternative
- 1 C Pizza Sauce Pureed tomato is perfect!
- 4 oz Shredded Mozzarella keeps the moisture down
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella adds a fresh flavor
- any pizza toping you want
- Combine water and milk to around 110 degrees F. Combine honey and yeast and stir to combine. Set this aside for about 10-15 minutes to let the yeast activate.
- Combine 3 1/2 c of flour and about 1.5 Tsp of salt in a mixer and mix together slowly with the yeast liquids. Add flour or a little bit of water to make a solid dough consistency.
- Coat the bowl and dough ball with the 2 T of olive oil and let sit in a warm place for at least an hour, to an hour and a half.
- Once the dough has risen to about double in size, divide into 2, kneading onto a flour dusted surface. The dry flour dusting adds a great look to the crust when baking, so don't over kneed.
- Spread the dough out into a circle, using a roller or hands, careful not to overwork the dough. Then lay the dough out onto the pan dusted with either cornmeal, or garlic granules (this is my preference)
- Roll the center of the pizza dough with a perforator (if you don't have one, you can improvise, just be careful not to poke holes.
- Bake the crust at 350, only for about 5 minutes. Just enough to give the crust more support for the toppings. This step is not necessary, just a family preference.
- Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, then spread shredded cheese and fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Add additional toppings over the cheese.
- Bake the completed pizza at a minimum of 400 until the crust begins to toast and the toppings are cooked through.