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Friday, April 2, 2010

Favorite Pizza Crust

I've tried lots of other crusts and just keep coming back to this one.  I love it's taste.  I love that it's super easy.  I love that I can make it ahead of time (like during nap time) and then quickly add the toppings during that last minute dinner rush.  I love that it works great with whole wheat flour, uses honey instead of sugar.  It's my ideal thickness--a thin crust but still not too crispy.  It holds its own on many different kinds of pizzas from traditional pepperoni to simpler pizza margarita.  from Favorites, Ivory Family Recipes

***Update 10/5/12 this is still my preferred recipe if I want the crust half-cooked beforehand for quicker prep right before dinner or a pizza lunch party or something.  But we prefer the Whole Wheat recipe more overall.***

Time: 15 minutes prep, 15-20 minutes rising, 12 minutes baking
Makes: 2 medium pizza crusts

• 1 T or 1 package dry yeast
• ¼ c warm water
(it should feel warm on the inside of your wrist).
• 2½-3 c flour
(I like to do about half wheat & white)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 T olive oil
• 2 T honey
• ¾ c cold water
• Corn meal

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 10 minutes (yeast should be a bit bubbly or foamy after 10 minutes).
2. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl combine 2 ½ cups of flour, salt, olive oil, honey, and cold water.
3. Add yeast mixture and knead with dough hooks for about 2 minutes or by hand for 5 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed.  Dough should pull away from sides of bowl and make a slapping sound.
4. Form dough into a ball and place in a oiled bowl. Then flip dough over so some oil is on top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for about 1 hour. (Longer with whole wheat flour).  If a longer rising time is needed, you can put the dough in the refrigerator for several hours after its risen for at least 45 minutes at room temperature.
5. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a 12 inch pizza round. Place dough on a cookie sheet lightly oiled and sprinkled with corn meal or use non-stick spray.  (Note:  you can freeze the dough at this point to use another day. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then pull them out the night before or morning  you want to use it and let thaw in the fridge. We often make this recipe and eat one crust for dinner and freeze one for later).
6. Prebake crust for 10 minutes at 425 degrees*
7. Add pizza toppings as desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.

*Note you can also prebake and bake this crust on a pizza stone.  Just preheat the stone in the oven for at least half an hour at 475 or 500 degrees.  It seems to work better for this recipe to have the stone on the middle rack of the oven.

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