Pizza Crust

Prep: 15 minutes Rise: 1 hour Cook 15-20 minutes

Serves:Makes 1 15 inch pizza

By Heather McDougall
It is so easy to make a delicious pizza crust from scratch that you will never be satisfied with a store-bought crust again. Make several batches of the dough ahead of time and freeze in individual bags. Thaw before removing from the bag, then cover and let rise in a warm place before stretching into a crust for baking. Bake one side before adding any sauces or toppings to prevent the crust from getting soggy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cornmeal

Directions

Mix the sugar and the yeast into the warm water. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes until yeast bubbles.

Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the yeast mixture. Stir until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl. Knead the dough in the bowl about 50 times. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a very lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is soft and springy and does not stick to your hands. This will probably take about 5 minutes. (At this point the dough can be frozen or refrigerated for later use.) Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a very lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes. Stretch the dough with your fingers and heels of your hands until it is about 15 inches in diameter (or oblong, or whatever shape you can manage). Sprinkle the bottom of a pizza pan or heated pizza stone with a small amount of cornmeal. Place the crust over the cornmeal and bake for 5 to 8 minutes until bottom is lightly browned. (Top may puff up a bit.) Remove from oven and flip over. (Crust may be allowed to rest and cool at this point.) Add sauce and toppings of your choice to crust. Return to oven and bake until toppings are done and crust is nicely browned, usually about 12-15 minutes. (If crust has been cooled before adding toppings, it may take a bit longer to brown.)

Hints: This may also be done outside on a charcoal or gas grill, for a delicious grilled flavor crust. If you prefer, use all whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour in place of the unbleached white flour.