Mmmmm pizza. Everyone loves it. [Except random people like my dad. He’ll eat it but I don’t think he loves it.] Even though I’m a huge proponent of home cooked meals, pizza was always one of those things that I felt was better left to the professionals… if not a pizza place, then even frozen pizza or store-bought pizza crust and sauce was better, in my mind, than homemade. I always wanted to like homemade pizza, and I know many people swear by it. I just wasn’t one of them. Not that I didn’t try.
Over the years, I have had many failed and/or halfway decent but mostly blah pizza attempts. Some were so bad they were inedible. Other times the crust was soggy or would not cook completely [no matter how long it baked]. Or the sauce wasn’t flavorful. Or the cheese wouldn’t brown. You name it, I failed at it. Until now.
Why is this the case, you might ask? [I certainly did.] After thinking about this perplexing situation for awhile, an answer dawned on me.
A good pizza–no matter your favorite component of a pizza–is built upon the crust. If the crust is bad, the pizza won’t be any good, no matter the quality of the cheese or the freshness of the veggies or the flavor of the meat. Funny… this sounds a lot like other things in life… the quality of the whole is based upon the strengths and weaknesses of individual components… who knew pizza could be so enlightening? 🙂
Anyways. Back to the point at hand. If you want to make great homemade pizza, you gotta make a great crust.
And this pizza dough makes the crust of your my dreams.
It’s absolutely incredible in your mouth, and incredibly easy. Not only did the crust cook all the way through, but it was chewy and crisp and soft and flavorful and versatile just like pizzeria pizza is.
And to make the best pizza ever? Of course you need the best sauce. But you know what… you’re just going to have to come back tomorrow for that. It’s worth it, I promise. 🙂
Cornmeal Pizza Dough in the Breadmaker
from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger, recommended by Life As Mom
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 2/3 unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal –> I’ve learned that freshly ground cornmeal is amazing. My parents got some for me at the Graue Mill. Yum!
- 1 teaspoon salt –> I am so guilty of omitting salt from recipes but use it in bread or your bread will fail miserably. 🙂
- 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Add all ingredients to the pan of your breadmaker according to the manufacturer’s directions. My breadmaker calls for liquids and salt, then dry ingredients, then yeast, but yours may be different.
Turn on the breadmaker using the “dough” setting.
When dough is prepared, remove from the pan and turn out the dough on a floured work surface or countertop.
Split into desired number of portions [2 thin 12-14″ pizzas, 1 deep dish 14″ pizza, 4 8″ pizzas, 6 individual pizzas, or 1 17×11″ rectangle] and shape into balls. Knead each ball [portion] a few times and then flatten slightly into a disc shape.
Cover with a damp towel and let rest for about 30 minutes or until the dough has grown in size about 20%. Then roll out and shape dough in your greased and cornmeal-ed [think flouring a pan, but with cornmeal] pan(s), and bake as desired.
I like to bake my dough for about 14-16 minutes at 450 degrees before topping with sauce and cheese and baking an additional 15-20 minutes, or until done. More on that tomorrow!
This recipe can be prepared in advance and stored, unbaked, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 24 hours [let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature prior to use] or frozen up to 3 months [defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator prior to use]. I have not tried this so I cannot speak about the quality