With the past few weeks being extremely stressful in the midst of school application deadlines, commuting to Abbotsford for full time work, starting a new private practice on the side plus the usual daily to-do’s of being an adult, I’m relying on my baking stress relief muse to get me through the week. For some reason, I find working with yeast-based doughs to be SO fulfilling to relieve the stress – maybe it’s the kneading process, maybe it’s the delicious outcome that I get to gobble up after, who knows! This past week has been messing around with pizza doughs since I LOVE pizza but find the restaurant stuff too greasy/not very balanced plus the costs add up real quick. After several testing batches, I’ve FINALLY come up with this recipe that fits my texture preference by messing around with my preferred water-to-flour ratio – it’ll be my go to for a nomalicious thin crust pizza or a hearty thicker crust. Best part: it only requires 5 ingredients with 2 of them being water and salt!!
As a disclaimer, it may throw some of you off at home at how soft/initially sticky this dough can be. Trust me, it’ll work out! If you have a handy-dandy Kitchenaid or similar mixer, it’ll make the dough forming process easier (although during this stressful period, I enjoy getting my hands a bit dirty!) This batch of dough can make 2 x 9 inch thin crust pizzas or 1 x 9 inch thick crust pizza – the thin crust is crunchy with a minor chew while the thick crust is chewy and filling!
- 225 mL warm water – the warm water will help the yeast dissolve and activated.
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) traditional yeast (or approx 1/2 a pouch). I purchase jars of yeast since I use it quite often.
- 2 cups (500 mL) white flour
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
What to do:
- In a small bowl, mix together warm water and sugar until dissolved. Add yeast. Allow to sit for approx 5-10 minutes to allow yeast to activate.
- In the meantime, mix together flour and salt in a separate, larger bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour/salt mixture and add the yeast/water/sugar mixture into it. Using your hands (or the dough-hook attachment of your mixture), start working the mixture until it forms a dry-ish dough. At this point, you can either continue using the mixer and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough is elastic/smooth or transfer the dough onto a well floured surface and knead with your hands until smooth/elastic and not sticky.
- Transfer this dough into a bowl with some oil at the bottom. Cover with a towel allow to proof (or rise) for about 1 hour – try to keep in a warm environment so the yeast can grow and do it’s thang! See how it doubles in size?
- If using the dough for 2 crusts, cut in half. Using your hands or a rolling pin (I prefer my hands), place onto a pizza pan and cover pan with dough. For thinner crusts, it’s easier manipulating the dough with your hands to get every surface of the pan – plus it looks more rustic!
- Top with your fav toppings. Stick into the oven at 450 degress F for 10 minutes (or until the outer crust is golden).
- Cool for 5 minutes once cooked. NOM!
Tips & Tricks:
- Wanting more fibre in your life? Instead of 100% white flour, try a 50% white flour/ 50% whole wheat flour mix!
- My go-to pizza topping this week? I tried the classic margarita (as shown about) with a tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, fresh mozza (I got mine from Costco), fresh basil then a drizzle of olive oil. I also did a “fajita” inspired pizza using leftover stuff in the fridge: tomato sauce, chicken breast, caramelized onion/red bell peppers topped with Texx-Mex shredded cheese! This combo worked well for the thick crust.
- Don’t like the pizza sauces you find in your grocery store. Make your own or use your favourite pasta sauce. I used this one (also something I grab at Costco!)
- Pizza’s are super easy way to get those veggies in and use random stuff that’s been hanging in your fridge. Stick some tomato sauce or olive oil on the crust and adding toppings based on what you have. You might discover a delicious flavour combo that you never would’ve though would taste delish!
- Finding the dough a bit sticky? Make sure your working surfaces are well floured. I also found the stickiness helpful for the thin crust and getting a perfect layer of crust throughout the pizza pan.
- I used a non-stick pizza pan that fits in our toaster oven in this recipe but a traditional pizza pan will work as well!
- I recommend allowing the pizza to cool before eating. It will allow the toppings to set.. plus no one likes a burned top-of-mouth when eating a super hot slice of pizza!