The Perfect Crust
I spend a bulk of my weekends cooking with friends. Our house has, much to my pleasure, become the hang out house for dinners and (a few bottles of) wine. Nights of homemade meals and friends are my absolute favorite part of the week. And oftentimes, after a long work week and not enough groceries around the house, we resort to homemade pizza, which is great because it requires very few ingredients to make the crust and whatever produce and meats we have in the fridge work for the toppings.
I use a rapid rise yeast, and this crust will be ready in just about an hour. And for the toppings, well, that just depends on what we’ve got in the fridge. Some weeks it’s a standard margarita pizza, other days a pesto base topped with arugula right when it comes out of the oven. Pizza is my kind of blank slate. Here’s a really great crust recipe that doesn’t require hours to rise. I hope this finds you surrounded by good friends and plenty of drinks.
FOR DOUGH: (makes two 14-inch pizzas)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 3 cups AP or whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Cornmeal, for dusting the sheet or stone
To make it:
Combine 1/2 a cup of warm water with yeast and allow to sit about 5 minutes until combined. Add to flour along with remaining cup of water. Add salt. Mix together then knead until soft. Cover with a clean cloth and let sit for about 30 minutes while preparing toppings. Roll out dough, add toppings and bake for 10-12 minutes until center of the dough is cooked.
Pizza Tip: A pizza stone, though incredibly helpful, is not entirely necessary for at-home pizza making. A flat surface, such as the bottom side of a sheet pan will work. Whatever pan or stone you’re using, heat it up in the 500 degree oven before placing the pizza on it — this ensures a crispy crust.