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Basic Pizza Crust

Homemade crust for pizza is easy to prepare and quick to bake

Sometimes, it's more fun to make a fresh pizza crust from scratch. The flavoring is better and you can make it as thick or as thin as you want. Here's a basic crust recipe that is basically goof-proof. All you need is a little time for the dough to rise and you'll have a piping hot pizza in no time.

Basic Pizza Crust
(for 2 medium pizzas)

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
2-1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil

Add 1 cup warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and add sugar. Do not stir and wait for the bubbling reaction. If nothing occurs, the yeast is dead. Use a fresh packet and start over. When the yeast blend bubbles, add the oil.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and water blend. Use a fork to mix and form a ball.

On a floured surface begin kneading - about eight minutes. The dough should be elastic, but smooth. The best method is to fold and press. Push down and away with palms and continue folding and pressing.

Coat a separate bowl with a heavy layer of cooking spray. Add the kneaded dough and turn a couple of times so the entire ball is covered in oil. Cover with a dish towel or paper towel and leave in a warm, draft-free spot. It should be doubled in about one hour.

When the dough has risen, turn out onto floured board and divide in half. Knead each piece for a few seconds and let rest for an additional twenty minutes. Roll each piece into a circle - use your hands if necessary for shaping. Select your desired thickness and pinch the edges to create a lip.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use two cookie sheets (cover with aluminum foil if desired). Add more cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal (optional). Add rolled-out dough and bake for approximately 12 minutes. Don't overcook and the crusts will continue to bake once the ingredients have been added.

Remove and top with sauces, cheese, and other favorite ingredients. Always precook meats first (sausage, for instance). If adding vegetables, try sautéing first for extra flavor.

Return to oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Can broil if desired.


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