I’ve been wanting to homemade pizza dough for a while, but I have had trouble with finding a recipe that looked promising and didn’t look too daunting, or require the use of a stand mixer (which I don’t own). Finally I found this recipe which looked easy enough to make with good results.
I was very impressed with how this turned out! It literally only takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare the dough, and then 2 hours to rise, and another 20 minute wait after that. This recipe makes a small, thin-crust pizza, and you can double the recipe if you want a thicker crust. And, of course, you can put whatever toppings you like on it.
Easiest Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal (to lightly coat the bottom of the crust before baking)
Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks I picked up from my bread-making class is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable.
Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.
Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.
Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (I always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.)
Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist.
Source: Smitten Kitchen
For this chicken ranch pizza, I just used a ranch dressing as the base, then covered it with mozzarella cheese, green onions, tomatoes, grilled chicken and cheddar cheese.