Friday, May 9, 2014

Utilitarian Pizza Crust

     Coming from the Chicago area, I'm very particular about my pizza. Upon moving to central Illinois, I came to the conclusion that they really didn't know what they were doing in regards to pizza. I won't even get into the atrocities they commit when making "Chicago-style" pizzas. It was a bad sign when our gas station had the best pizza in the area. I had no choice but to crack and start seeking out my own recipes. This particular recipe is a real gem. It leaves lots of room for interpretation. I've added all sorts of herbs, spices and cheeses to the crust and it always comes out great. Give it a try for yourself. This recipe will yield one crust about 16" in diameter. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Utilitarian Pizza Crust
via World Food Italy
  • 3 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons (2 packets will work, too) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt and stir in the yeast (someday I'll actually sift the flour and not just unceremoniously dump it in the bowl). Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and water. (go ahead and add any optional ingredients at this point).  Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the liquid, using a wooden spoon or floured hands (or just slap the dough hook on the Kitchenaid and set it on the lowest setting)
  2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic (again, I just let the Kitchenaid do this. You may find the dough doesn't set up and turn smooth and elastic. If that is the case, alternate adding a teaspoon of oil and a tablespoon of water. If the dough starts to get overly wet, compensate with a little extra flour. It never sets right for me straight off. I always have to fine tune it). 
  3. Return the dough to a clean bowl, covered with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oil the inside of the bowl, too) and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock down. Knead briefly.
  5. At this point I work the dough into a large, about 16" pizza crust. Feel free to cut it into smaller and make a couple pizzas. It also freezes well. 
  6. Cooking time will depend largely on crust size and amount of toppings. Go with 450F (230C, Gasmark8) for about 15 minutes and then check to see if the crust is done the way you'd like. Adjust time from there. A stacked pie for me can take upwards of 25-30 minutes.
Good times!


  1. lol, I am loving that "How to Cut a Pizza" image! I'm on a mission to find the perfect pizza crust for my family, can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing at #GetHimFed Fridays!!

  2. I found your post on Get Him Fed & I’d love it if you would share your recipe on this week’s The Yuck Stops Here link party that ends Sunday evening at 8pm ET! You can find us at Hope to see you there! HUGS

  3. I love making homemade pizza, and yours looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with the Let's Get Real party.