Basic Pizza Crust

<span itemprop="name">Basic Pizza Crust</span>

Ingredients

  • 3 c bread flour
  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. yeast
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 1/4 c water

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together all of the dry ingredients, stir together and shake the bowl to create a level surface. To avoid having to wash a measuring cup I press a ¼ dry measuring cup into the flour mixture to create a well the depth of the cup, then pour the oil into this well. Using a dough hook begin to mix the dough and slowly pour in the water. After the initial two cups of water let it knead for a minute and add more water if needed. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl cleaning leaving no sticky dough behind.
  2. Knead the dough in a stand mixer for a total of 5 minutes, the dough will still be a little rough, not as smooth as a traditional bread dough. The shorter kneading time creates a weaker gluten structure making the pizza crust not as chewy.
  3. Let the dough rest in a greased and covered bowl for at least 2 hours, this dough can be made the night before and left in the refrigerator, doing so will allow for a more flavorful crust. If you refrigerate the dough make sure to leave it on the counter for an hour or two before shaping.
  4. Divide the dough into two or four portions depending on how many pizzas you want to make. Roll and stretch the dough into your desired shape, round or rectangular to fill a sheet pan. If you are having trouble stretching let the dough rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten and you’ll have an easier time manipulating it.
  5. Lightly brush the crust with olive oil, this prevents it from drying out and makes a beautiful golden brown crust. Let the dough rest while your oven preheats to 500F and you prepare your pizza toppings, at least 30 minutes.
  6. Par bake the crusts on the lowest rack of the oven at 500F for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness, you want there to be a kiss of color on the edge of the crust and the top feels set to the touch.
  7. Once the crusts come out of the oven top them with your desired ingredients and return to the oven on a rack in the upper half of the oven for 10-15 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese melted. Let cool for 3-5 minutes, slice and serve.


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