Perfect Pizza Dough

I have tried a million easy pizza doughs and quick pizza doughs and have never really been happy with them.  This is really a problem because we love to make pizza.  Always armed with a fridge full of veggies, odd cooked cuts of meat or other random leftovers, pizza is the perfect home.  With a good sauce (and a great crust!), you can tie together anything!

Over and over again I make pizza, enjoying it, but still left wanting more.  I want a pizza crust that tastes like the delicious ones I eat in restaurants.  I don’t want an excessively thin or thick crust but just the right amount of doughy deliciousness.  To a fault, mine always turn out dense and heavy.

Will I eat the pizza anyways once it’s covered in melty cheese and toppings?  Yes, of course.  But with these heavy crusts, I always end up throwing on more cheese than it really needs and for someone who tries to eat relatively healthy, that’s disappointing.

Well, now all my worries are gone.  Thanks to Pioneer Woman, I have finally found the absolute perfect pizza dough.  Once a week homemade pizza will be back in my life.  And I can’t wait.

Perfect Pizza Dough
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Takes 1 hour, 15 minutes, most inactive
Makes enough for 2 round pizzas or 1 large rectangular pizza

The best thing about pizza dough is that you can make it in advance.  Once the dough is risen, you can make dinner in a quick 20 minutes so it’s great for busy nights, casual get-togethers or whenever you’re feeling lazy.  Throw the plastic-wrapped dough in the fridge and leave it until you are ready to use it (for up to a week).

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour (if you have bread flour, even better!)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon seasonings of your liking (my favorite combination is garlic powder, mustard powder, black pepper, steak seasoning and dried onions)
¼ cup olive oil

Sprinkle yeast over warm water.  Swirl gently with a spoon to combine.
Combine flour, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in olive oil and combine.  It might be a little clumpy at this point, but that’s fine.  Pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.  It should start to form a loose ball of dough.
Sprinkle some flour on the counter and turn out the dough on top of it.  Knead for about a minute, adding oil if necessary so the dough ball has a smooth texture.
Put a little olive oil on your hands and rub over the dough to coat.  Place in a separate mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise for one hour or store in the fridge until you need it.

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