Just-in-time pizza

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” - Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Well, Alfred, perhaps that was true 167 years ago, when you penned those words about England’s young lads.

But it’s not true as I write these words today, in White River Junction, Vermont, about my fellow King Arthur Flour Web team members.

In spring – and summer, winter, and fall, too – the Web team’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…

Pizza.

Well, of course; we are, after all, a flour company. Anything made with yeast – read, pizza crust – relies heavily on flour. And since we’re an employee-owned company, it’s in our own best interest to be avid about pizza.

But the Web team’s devotion to pizza goes way beyond avid. It’s more like rabid. Scarcely a week goes by when I don’t hear the plaintive request: “PJ, when are you going to be making pizza again?” I look up and see those hopeful faces… how can I resist? Into the kitchen I go.

And truthfully, it’s no hardship. I’ve loved pizza since my mom started making the Appian Way version from a mix (flour, yeast packet, and can of tomato sauce in a cardboard box), back in the day. Mom is 85, and she’s still making wonderful pizza – these days with the help of her bread machine, and a favorite crust recipe I gave her.

I’ve been making pizza myself for over 30 years. And strangely enough, I’ve never settled on a favorite recipe. I bounce from thick-and-doughy crust to thin-crackly-crunchy. I’ve baked pizza at 500°F on an oven stone, and 350°F in a pan. I’ve made pizza in a wood-fired cast iron cookstove (rescued from the bottom of a lake and restored); and in everything from a behemoth Garland gas oven to an electric toaster oven.

Not surprisingly, every pizza I’ve made has been thoroughly delightful. See, that’s the thing about pizza; you just can’t go wrong, no matter how hard you try. It’s like chocolate: even bad chocolate is good chocolate.

This week my fellow Webbies started asking for pizza again. But they couldn’t agree on a day; between meetings, family responsibilities, and days off, there was no time we could all be together – except for one small window on Thursday.

Ah-HA! Time for Now or Later Pizza, the busy person’s solution to pressures of work. Make the crust and partially bake it when you have a chance. Then, set it aside till you’re ready for pizza.

Just as your team – or family – is getting hungry and casting hopeful glances your way, add  toppings, throw it in the oven, and bingo! Ten minutes later, hot, oozing-cheese, aromatic pizza.

Or to put a business operations spin on it, Just-in-time Pizza (a.k.a. Now or Later Pizza).

We often use semolina in pizza crust; it gives it a bit of chew, and a bit of color.

And what, exactly, is semolina? It’s durum wheat (a high protein wheat) that’s been ground to the consistency of cornmeal. In fact, semolina looks almost exactly like cornmeal. The difference is, semolina has protein to build gluten; cornmeal has no gluten-building protein. So you can blend semolina with all-purpose flour to make great yeast breads and pizza crusts.

Or take a shortcut – our Perfect Pizza Blend combines King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour with golden durum (a finer grind of semolina), plus dough conditioner – no “fighting back” as you roll! A touch of baking powder in the blend gives your crust extra “pop” in the oven.

And here’s my other must-have pizza crust ingredient: pizza dough flavor. A few teaspoons in your dough really does give it “pizza parlor POP.”

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I’m making dough in my stand mixer here, though your bread machine is an equally good choice. So – put the following in your mixer bowl (or bread machine bucket):

1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups semolina*
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional, but delicious)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

*Use 3 cups all-purpose flour OR 3 cups Perfect Pizza Blend in place of the all-purpose/semolina mixture, if desired

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Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water.

Can you forego the semolina, and use all-purpose flour instead? Of course. You’ll want to use 2 tablespoons less water if you make the dough using 100% all-purpose flour, instead of the combination of AP and semolina.

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Mix for 2 minutes, using the flat beater paddle, to make a soft, sticky dough.

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Scrape down the sides of the bowl…

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…switch to the kneading hook, and knead for about 5 minutes.

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Here’s the dough made with all-purpose flour, no semolina; it’ll be somewhat stickier, as you can see.

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Put the dough in a lightly greased container of some sort. I like to use an 8-cup measure, so I can easily track the dough’s progress. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 36 hours.

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WHOA! Here it is after 18 hours in the fridge. Nice rise… and wonderful flavor. As dough slowly rises in the fridge, the growing yeast releases organic acids and alcohol, which really enhance the dough’s flavor.

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Divide the dough in half. This simply makes it easier to handle. Want to make one giant 14” thick-crust pizza? Go for it! Don’t divide the dough.

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Working with one piece at a time, pick it up by the edge, and let gravity stretch it out. Work your fingers around the perimeter of the dough, turning it in your hands so it stretches itself into an irregular oval. When it starts thinning out too much, or becomes hard to handle, set it on a piece of parchment.

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Continue pressing the dough till it’s as flat as you like. I’ve made this piece of dough about 12” x 14”; this will make a thin-to-medium thickness crust.

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A large peel is a big help in moving crust from counter to pizza stone, and stone to cooling rack.

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I’ve shaped the other piece of dough into a 9” x 10” or so oval; this will make a thicker crust, obviously. And though it flops over the edges a tiny bit, I can use my handy giant spatula to move it around.

Cover the shaped crusts. Use greased plastic wrap, or an overturned clear plastic cover from a deli tray… whatever you can find to set over the dough and keep it from drying out. Start to preheat your oven to 450°F. If you have a pizza stone, put it on a lower rack.

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After 30 minutes – longer, if you want a thicker crust – place the crust and its parchment onto the hot stone. See why I love parchment? No need to fool around with messy cornmeal (which inevitably burns on the bottom of the crust anyway). And parchment, unlike cornmeal, will never allow your dough to stick to the peel.

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Check your dough after a couple of minutes. WHOOPS. Reach in with a cake tester or toothpick and pop any big bubbles.

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Ah, that’s better.

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After 6 minutes (for the thinner crust) or 7 to 8 minutes (for the thicker crust), remove from the oven. The dough will feel set and dry, but still soft inside. It definitely won’t be fully baked… more like half-baked. Bake your second crust the same way.

At this point, you can set the crusts aside to cool, then wrap and store till you’re ready to top and make into pizza. Think those supermarket Boboli crusts… same deal.

So, say you’re having pizza night on Tuesday, but want to make the crusts Sunday. No problem. Make them Sunday, and simply store in plastic, on the counter, until Tuesday. For longer storage (up to 5 days), refrigerate. You can even freeze these, well-wrapped, for up to 4 weeks.

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OK, back to that warm crust you just pulled out of the oven. Top it with whatever you like. Since the topped pizza won’t bake for every long, make sure any meat or veggies are already cooked. Here I’m using Italian sausage, goat cheese, and tomato sauce.

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Bake for about 8 minutes – on an upper rack of the oven. I baked this one on the stone, and found it made the bottom too brown, and the top too pale.

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Here’s a neat trick: As soon as you pull your pizza out of the oven, scatter a handful of finely shredded cheese over the top.

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The oven’s heat will partially melt the cheese. It looks nice, and adds even more melted cheese – always a good thing!

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This is one of my larger (12” x 14”) crusts, which I let rise for about 30 minutes before baking. Note the thick edge, thinner center.

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And this is a smaller crust (9” x 10”), which I let rise for a full hour before baking. Note its extra-thick outer edge, and uniformly thick center.

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Now, for some topping experiments. This is a simple Pizza Margherita: fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. I added the fresh basil leaves after the pizza had come out of the oven. The bright green leaves looked lovely against the white-and-red background.

Then I thought, well, maybe I should just run the pizza through the oven for 10 seconds, to ”meld” the basil to the cheese. BIG MISTAKE. Even that tiny bit of oven heat turned my lovely green leaves a mottled gray.

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This is a tasty vegetarian topping: sautéed mushrooms, cheese, and sliced fresh (not cooked) garlic. Putting the mushrooms and garlic atop a bed of cheese, instead of sprinkling the cheese on top, makes for a prettier presentation.

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And here’s one for the traditionalists: thick-crust pepperoni and mozzarella.

And finally, for you NON-traditonalists – Food Network magazine named its top 50 pizzas (one for each state), and this was Maine’s winner: buttery mashed Red Bliss potatoes, sprinkled with coarse black pepper, then topped with bacon and scallions…

…courtesy of Otto’s, in Portland. Drop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

Mashed potato pizza? You be the judge!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Now or Later Pizza.

Print just the recipe.

 

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Mike J

    If you’re a perfectionist, the silicone mat you guys sell, and that I see in some of the pictures, can be useful for getting a circular crust. Just put your dough ball in the middle and stretch it to the lines. When you’re done put some parchment paper on top then set your baking sheet or peel on top of that and invert the whole mess.

    True, Mike – that mat is VERY good for those who want a crust, either pie or pizza, that’s just the right size. Thanks for pointing that out :) PJH

    Reply
  2. Melissa

    I’m quite excited to try making a pizza dough using semolina. Since I have it in the house for making homemada pasta, anyhow. But, what I’ve been struggling with lately, is trying to find a great KA white whole wheat pizza dough. Can I use this recipe and swap out the ap for www? Any other suggestions for a wonderful thin and thick www pizza dough?

    Sure, Melissa, try it with the semolina and www – bet it’ll be pretty darned good. Other than that, try any of your favorite pizza crust recipes using white whole wheat. Our Guaranteed Pizza Crust might be a good place to start. For the water, try 1 cup; mix the dough, and let it sit for 30 minutes before kneading. This rest period allows the www to absorb the liquid, and keeps you from adding too much flour, which would give you a dry crust. I think it should be pretty good – esp. if you try the organic www sometime, which yeast seems to love… PJH

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    Things I never knew: Let pizza dough rise…. prebake….. leave on counter 2 or 3 days…. top and bake later…

    I was suprised of all the above… I’ve made pizza for years and rolled out the dough, cover with toppings and bake… After reading the blog, I think I’ve been missing the whole idea of home baked pizza…

    ya think? walks away shaking head… :-)

    No, no, no… Elizabeth, ALL pizza is good pizza. Ever hear of how many ways there are to skin a cat? Let’s change that to how many ways there are to bake a pizza… Pizza (flatbreads in general) is a fascinating, far-ranging (global) topic. Thank goodness. But I do like this parbaked crust method, as it lets you have pizza pretty instantly, without having to “work up to it” all day… :) PJH

    Reply
  4. Anne

    my favorite topping combo: mozzarella cheese, sliced fennel bulbs, sliced red onions, red bell peppers and cilantro! I always seem to have the problem of my parchment paper smoking in the oven. Is it from the non-stick spray? Just bad paper? The semolina is a great tip for pizza – I never would have considered it!

    Anne, I never use non-stick spray on my parchment – because nothing sticks to it anyway… So could be the spray. Also, our test ovens don’t get up to 500°F – so perhaps, if you’re baking at 500°F, the parchment smokes? My parchment does turn brown at 450°F, but doesn’t smoke… As for your toppings – Oh, boy… does THAT sound good! Guess I’ll have to make pizza again this week- :) PJH

    Reply
  5. Chuck

    When I click on the link for the recipe, I end up a with cinnamon strussel coffee cake recipe. Also when I do a search for now or later pizza I end up at the same place. HELP!

    Chuck, not sure what’s happening…. The link goes to Now or Later Pizza when I click it. Try clicking right here: Now or Later Pizza. If that doesn’t work, let me know – I’ll just send it to you via email! “Technology is our friend…” :) PJH

    Reply
  6. mari

    Hello, I love your blog – mouthwatering recipes, with always helpful photo instructions. I’m definitely making pizza tonight! (By the way, I tried to click on the link in your post for Now-or-Later Pizza, and the link doesn’t seem to work?)

    Hi Mari – Try going to kingarthurflour.com/recipes and typing in Now or Later Pizza… Thanks. PJH

    Reply
  7. Nicole Shugars

    That looks fantastic…but here’s what I’ve been searching for — a good tomato sauce for pizza. Any suggestions?

    I like Barilla brand pasta sauce – with a spoonful of sugar added to cut the acid of the tomatoes. For homemade, I use my Italian mother-in-law’s recipe, which is MUCH too long to print here… PJH

    Reply
  8. Nicole Shugars

    PJ –

    The links don’t work — could you send to me via e-mail? Thanks for all your great work!

    Nicole

    Nicole – Try going to kingarthurflour.com/recipes. Then type in Now or Later Pizza. Should take you right there. If it doesn’t, we have BIG problems… PJH

    Reply
  9. Becca

    I’m having the same problem Chuck is having-the recipe link takes me to Cinnamon Streusel, instead of pizza… But looking at these pictures is making me hungry again. Might have to pick up some mozzarella and mushrooms this week!

    Becca, we’re having issues today… Try going to kingarthurflour.com/recipes and typing in Now or Later Pizza… Thanks. PJH

    Reply
  10. Matt

    I often like to skip the parchment paper and put the pizza directly on the stone, because one of the benefits of the hot stone is that it wicks away moisture, and it can’t do that through the parchment paper. It’s a minor thing, but sometimes it makes a difference to me. (Not always. :-) )

    But I’m surprised you didn’t mention one of my all-time favorite pizza tips: if you don’t want to use parchment paper, don’t dust your peel with cornmeal to keep the crust from sticking. Dust it with semolina! The grains are just as hard and round, and it does exactly the same job, with one major difference: cornmeal burns in the oven. Semolina does not.

    It works great! Try it sometime.

    Matt you are so correct. Semolina is the correct flour to use for dusting your peel. Thank you for the reminder!

    Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  11. elianna

    wow…i join the ranks of the amazed people who have been making pizza for YEARS and NEVER knew all that stuff!!! Can’t wait to try again with your tips…looks a lot more like the kind i get from my favorite pizza place! thanks!!! :)

    Reply
  12. Jesurgislac

    Curiously enough… lol… pizza is one of my favourite things to do with that hunk of bread dough that was too small to make a loaf or a proper batch of rolls with. I just roll it out flat, cover with toppings, bake: pretty much guaranteed delicious.

    I therefore rarely make pizza on purpose, with “proper” pizza dough – but I love semolina in the crust when I do!

    I’ve been thinking of making chocolate pizza… with cocoa nibs studding the crust. Yum.

    Oh, I know, our Web manager keeps nagging me about chocolate pizza… what would you put on it? She’s saying marshmallow and graham crackers. It does bear thinking about… PJH P.S. Flour is actually packed and waiting for me to get to the post office… :)

    Reply
  13. Laurel

    Hey, PJ…I just read your article in Dartmouth Medicine (I was introduced to KAF when my hubby was in med school at DMS). I absolutely loved it! You are such an inspiration :) This is a great crust recipe, by the way.

    Thanks so much, Laurel – I never expected to see a comment about that article here! Glad you liked it… AND glad you like the recipe. :) PJH

    Reply
  14. Debj

    OH my! How Timely… I just finished making this pizza dough on my BigGreenEgg charcoal grill… used a pizza stone, 500 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. I don’t precook the crust in stages, just assemble, let rise, and let ‘er rip. I guess that would be the ‘NOW’ in now-or-later! I add just a squeeze (maybe 1-2 Tablespoons) of honey to the dough when mixing it all up. Today we had pulled pork pizza… leftover PP, caramelized onions, mozzerella cheese and plenty of BBQ sauce. YUM! This recipe makes the BEST dough, it’s my go-to pizza dough! -d

    Oooh, Deb, yummy – Hey, I have a Big Green Egg, too. What a treat, huh? Love your topping choices… PJH

    Reply
  15. Marion

    PJ – I know it’s not flour but your MIL’s homemade sauce would make a great blog! Or, for second best – post the recipe?? Please?

    Not written – basically, fry meatballs and sausage. Take them out of the pan and add 28 oz. tomato puree and 8 oz tomato sauce, sugar, basil, garlic, salt, pepper. “Let stew.” Put the meatballs and sausage in another pan, and fill halfway up the meat with water. Cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Dump meatballs, sausage, and stewing water into tomato sauce. Stew for an hour or so. Season to taste. And that’s as specific as it gets! Have fun, Marion- PJH

    Reply
  16. Gabby

    We are a family of 5 and make homemade pizza every Saturday night for our pizza/movie night. Lately I have been using the KA “pizza crust” recipe from your website made in my Zo bread machine. I think I need to try your pizza dough flavor and semolina to add some more flavor to my dough. We like homemade pizza sauce made from tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic and oregano. Thanks for the pizza making tips and new recipe.
    PS- As a chocolate snob I have to disagree with your comment and say that bad chocolate IS bad chocolate. It’s not worth the calories if it’s not delicious.

    Well, true, calorically speaking. Then again, chocolate is like wine – it’s all in how it reacts with YOUR palate. Some people like a lusty Merlot, some a light Prosecco. Some like bittersweet chocolate, some milk. Who’s to say what’s “good” or “bad”? I happen to be enjoying dark chocolate M&Ms at the moment – my favorite new treat… :) PJH

    Reply
  17. Katherine

    I recently heard about a really interesting dessert called “Far Breton Cake.”

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Far-Breton-231583

    I’m curious to make it, but I’m sort of afraid given the somewhat daunting set of instructions (and the fact that I’ve never baked a cake of any kind.) Maybe you’ll think of doing it for a future Banter? *hopeful smile*

    I’ll put it on my ever-growing list, Katherine. Still, I think you should just give it a whirl. Don’t be afraid. I always say, if you can read, you can bake. I wouldn’t bother with the flaming brandy, but the rest of it sounds pretty straightforward – actually, it sounds easier than most cakes. I think you can do this, really – and think how proud you’ll be of yourself! Let us know, if you do. PJH

    Reply
  18. Cate O'Malley

    I went to a KA class this past week and was inspired to make my first loaf of from-scratch bread this weekend. Now you’re killing me with this charred pepperoni pizza – it looks so good!

    Well, Cate, now that you’ve got your first yeast loaf under your belt (literally, and figuratively!), pizza crust should be a piece of cake! Uhh…. well, a piece of pizza, maybe? :) PJH

    Reply
  19. Dana

    For an excellent pizza sauce, try KA’s pizza seasoning with a small can of organic tomato sauce. Start with a small amount of the seasoning, 1/2 teas., and let the flavors meld together for 15 min. Adjust the amount of seasoning to taste. This also works with a can of diced tomatoes that have been pureed in a food processor.

    Reply
  20. Gin

    I learned about stretching pizza dough by watching cooks form crusts at a local Italian eatery. Way better texture than rolling them out! I’ve progressed to the slapping back and forth between hands stage. Not willing to toss and twirl…yet. (I worry about my ceiling.)

    For a different topping, you might try Alfredo sauce, broccoli flowerlets, onions, canned or sauteed mushrooms and black olives, all topped with a light coating of grated mozzarella/cheddar cheese. Nice change from the tomato sauce pizza. Sounds yummy. Thanks for that great suggestion! I’m not at the toss and twirl stage yet either, and doubt I’ll ever be. I’m too clumsyfor that :) Mary @KAF

    Reply
  21. Aaron Frank

    Hi,

    I’ve sort of gone the other direction. I’ve been mixing cake flour with bread flour (both King Arthur of course!). I’ve been trying to approximate the low protein flour used in Italy. But my questions really is about yeast.

    I have a bunch of recipes for pizza dough at home and they all use a lot of yeast for the amount of flour used – usually about 4 1/2 teaspoons per 2 1/4 cups of flour. Most bread recipes I have use a fraction of this amount of yeast. I can’t find my Italian recipe from my cooking class in Italy sadly.

    Why do most pizza doughs use so much yeast? Why does yours use so much less? My latest batch of dough I tried using half the amount I usually use. I like slow-rise pizza dough and usually let it rise for about five days to a week and this has made a big difference in the rise time. I won’t know how it tastes until this Friday.

    Thanks

    Hi Aaron – Not sure why others like to use so much yeast – I assume because they want fast results rather than flavor. Maybe they figure most pizza bakers are newbies, and can’t bear to wait for dough to rise… I like a slow rise (as you say), as it develops the flavor beautifully. There’s no substitute for time. I don’t usually go over about 36 hours, as I don’t like the acidic taste (sourdough) the dough starts to develop. But for sourdough fans, a longer rise is appropriate – all in the fridge, of course. Hope your Friday pizza tastes great! PJH

    Reply
  22. Shirley Meskenas

    For the first time, I found one recipe that I do know how to make and I do mine just like the pictures! Somehow that builds my confidence. I do use the dough enhancer from KA and do think it helps the crust. One questions about it. Mine is hard as a rock as I store it in a glass jar. I had to break it up with a mortar and pestle yesterday when I made crust. I would certainly agree the dough freezes wonderfully either in a disk or partially baked.
    Still prefer the recipe on the back of the pizza flour bag. I always use that flour and am very pleased with how it turns out.
    Never eat pizza out as I know what I’m putting on my pizza is fresh and just what I want.
    Works great on my gas grill too!

    Shirley, you sound like a pizza expert! I’d email customercare@kingarthurflour.com and ask about the hard dough enhancer. Or try our LiveChat – you can access it off our shopping site. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  23. Jesurgislac

    Well, if I make chocolate pizza, I’ll blog about it for sure!

    I was thinking some kind of fruit topping – banana is great with chocolate AND it bakes well. If I were going to be really deadly I’d fold peanut butter into the pizza dough, then roll out the pizza base, then press cocoa nibs into the top of the base and then layer with bananas, maybe brushed with melted butter and honey. How’s that?

    Or cocoa nibs walk the line between sweet and savoury – I could make a chilli pizza with cocoa nibs in the dough.

    PS: Woo woo! Can’t wait! Flour!

    Like where you’re going with this – you’re right about baked bananas. Now you’ve got me thinking… :) PJH

    Reply
  24. Lance

    Great Blog!

    I have recently started making my family pizza from scratch and have tried numerous recipes. I have found one tool that is very valuable and only costs $10-$15. It is a pizza screen that ou can pick up in most restaurant supply stores. I just spray it with a baking spray and one I have my dough ready to go, I just lay it on the screen and shape it to a perfect circle. When finished it comes right off and gives the crunch a nice crunch.

    Reply
  25. Rachel

    I don’t have instant yeast…. will regular yeast work and if so, is there anything special I need to do to make it “instant yeast”? Thanks!

    You may use active dry yeast, just remember to proof it. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  26. chris_b

    I use a similar recipe in my bread machine but we like a very thin crust. I throw my crust to get it as thin as possible then use a Lodge cat iron pizza pans. I think the pan makes it so I get as good of results as if my oven did go up high enough in temp. I bake mine at 425º and get a super crisp crust.

    Reply
  27. Rita

    I make pizza nearly every Friday night. It’s great, we know what to expect, it’s easy, and we sometimes use up leftovers (veggies, cold cuts, etc.). My favorite dough is the first pizza crust recipe in the Whole Wheat Baking book (I don’t have the name right now). I love it and it’s great because you make it the night before and it’s ready when you are. The problem is that it makes 2 pizzas, and I always make 2, but we only eat 1. I can’t find a good way to store the second pizza. Do you know of anything on the market that would serve the purpose? What I have in mind is a round plastic container that isn’t very deep.

    Thanks for this great blog!

    How about a Pie Keeper: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/stay-fresh-pie-keeper
    or a Crust Bag: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/pie-crust-bag
    Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  28. Susan

    I’m so happy to see this recipe on the blog–I’ve made it a few times from the cookbook, but the dough always came out so very sticky that it was hard to handle. (Tasty, but messy-hard to handle.) The tip about using less water if not using semolina will be handy (perhaps I’ve had too much water in my dough–when recipes call for “10 to 12 ounces of water” I’m never sure how to decide how much is enough when I”m using my stand mixer). These photos will be very handy for my next attempt. Thanks.

    Reply
  29. Joni M

    Just my two cents worth even though this isn’t about your yummy crusts–my kids adore pepperoni (the turkey pepperoni isn’t as greasy but not as good as the fatty stuff), and well, I while I hate the grease from pepperoni too, I especially hate seeing my kids using tons of napkins/paper towels trying to soak it all up right out of the oven before they’ll eat their pizza…Solution: lay the pepperoni in layers on paper towels and micro it about 30 seconds to a minute to de-grease it. Voila, then when you then bake your pizza topped with pepperoni, it won’t be swimming with little grease puddles all over it! We adore the pizza dough flavor in our crusts–well worth the price, and well, ok it is pretty darn tasty in the garlic knot twists too!!! Love this blog–you all do fantastic work!

    Reply
  30. Bridget

    Add pizza crust to your gluten-free mixes wish-list…not everyone who is GF is looking for organic, dairy free, or “healthy” some of us would just like “tastes almost like normal”!!

    Reply
  31. Nora

    I just made this last night, and it was great! I made the first one for my kids at 5, and then my husband and I actually got to have a hot pizza (with goat cheese) later on that night. Thanks!!

    Reply
  32. Rita

    Frank,
    Elizabeth is right, you are a genius! I’m going to buy one right away. I think I need both actually. There’s nothing like proper storage solutions. :)

    Reply
  33. Peggasus

    Whoa, so THAT’S the secret! It’s the semolina!

    I’ve been making bread and pizza dough (same thing, really, I thought) for years and it never came out as well as it did tonight. Now, I didn’t start that far ahead as it was a last hours-ish decision for dinner, so I made the dough in the bread machine (and so added more yeast, I’ve learned my lesson from the no-knead-long-rise-little-yeast concept), and damn if it wasn’t the best pizza dough I’ve ever made. It was exceptionally crispy and tasty and just all around excellent. What a revelation! It’s the semolina, people!

    I feel like I should have a Soylent Green joke here somewhere.

    You GO, Pegg… Isn’t it exciting when you make a discovery like this?? thanks for sharing – PJH

    Reply
  34. Kimberly D

    You have mixes for frosting, and mixes for cakes. Why not a pizza mix? I use to buy boxed pizza mix in the store if other companys make a mix. How about KA making a pizza mix.

    A quick pizza sauce if you don’t mind is a can of tomato sauce and tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Mixed all together.

    Thanks for the sauce recipe, Kimberly. Try our Classic Pizza Crust Mix. And our Semolina Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Mix. YUM. PJH

    Reply
  35. Cam

    This dough looks so good, I can’t wait to try it. I am a huge fan of making pizza at home, it’s just so much better! I do have a question unrelated to the flour though, in the past I have tried to use real fresh mozzarella on pizza. Everytime I do though when it gets done cooking it is very “watery”, is there any way to keep it from doing this? Thanks so much!

    Cam, I’ve never tried fresh mozzarella, but know it’s stored in water. Perhaps you could try pre-baking it at a low temperature, to dry it out? Or just laying very thin uncooked slices atop the baked pizza, and letting the pizza’s heat soften them a bit? PJH

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  36. Candace

    PJ, nice to see that you’re a “cover girl.” Great photo! I picked up the magazine to read it and told my husband “I know that woman from somewhere!” I think it says a lot about your warm relationship with us, ‘your” bakers, that I felt I knew you, even though we’ve never met in person. Baking question — I’m making sandwich bread today, using the Old Fashioned Oatmeal Bread recipe. One of the ingredients is Lora Brody’s Dough Enhancer. I notice you no longer sell this. What exactly is (was) it, a bit of extra gluten? I am going on a hunch and using Bread Flour instead of the AP called for, in the hopes that this will fix whatever the LB stuff was supposed to. Anyway, it will taste great as it’s kind of hard to make “bad” bread.

    Thanks, Candace – You must be in the DHMC vicinity, then? LB dough enhancer was gluten, dry milk, and…. I think ascorbic acid? You could definitely throw some gluten in there if you like. And I AGREE – it’s hard to make “bad bread,” in the global sense, because even if you don’t like it the birds will. Have fun – I’m making cream of tomato soup on this rainy, cold, Mud Season day. PJH

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  37. Lesley

    We made pizza on Friday and it was great despite no semolina and no pizza flavor. I’ll try them some day for even better crust but we were very happy with what we got. The only thing is we ate all of it. Can I double this recipe? It would be easier to be able to make enough crust for four pizzas at one go, if that will work.

    Thanks for getting me to use my dough hook! I’ve had the mixer for something like 10 years and I don’t think it had ever been used before. I’m off to a good start, so who knows what will come next.

    Great, Lesley – glad you finally got to use that dough hook! Of course, go ahead and double the recipe – but only increase the yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoons, OK? Usually you don’t double the yeast when you double everything else. Have fun – PJH

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  38. Carrie

    Will this parbaking technique work with other pizza crust recipes? This is a GREAT idea that would make pizza on a weeknight actually possible for me. But I’m trying to do a lot more with whole grains, and was excited to try the crust recipes in my KA Whole Grain Baking Book. Will try it with this one first.

    Yes, Carrie, it should work with any pizza crust… Have fun! PJH

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  39. Oolong

    The best thing about this recipe is that you can be creative about the toppings. My favorite topping is roasted bell peppers, cooked spinach, garlic tomatoes, Roma tomato sauce, Romano and Gouda cheese.

    Love the spinach – I’ve never tried spinach on pizza. I’ll have to give it a go – thanks! PJH

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  40. Doug

    Great article on pizza making. One piece of equipment that I recommend is a Super Peel. They’re made by a father – daughter team in Albany and sold direct.

    Check the video on the website, and they work exactly as depicted for picking up a pizza laden with toppings and putting it directly on the stove. I’ve given a few as gifts to fellow pizza makers, and they mention that it is “night and day” different in getting the pizza onto the stone.

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  41. Faith

    @Cam – Re: fresh mozzarella

    I always use fresh mozzarella for pizza (try it the flavour is soo much better!!). Here in Europe it comes in a little bag in water – first I drain out the water. Then take 2 pieces of paper towel to make a double layer, fold it all around the mozzarella and squeeze as hard as you can without making the cheese come apart. :) Then just remove the paper towel and slice the mozzarella thinly. No need to pre-cook it, I find that it’s dry enough this way to go on a pizza or be eaten with some ripe tomatoes…

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  42. Linda D'Agostino

    I’ve spent years trying different recipes and methods for pizza crust. I haven’t found a really bad one nor one I’d call a favorite. I like them all so I’ll definitely try yours. The sauce is a different matter. I’m very particular about the sauce on pizza. I had an Italian girlfriend, growing up, and her mother used hand-crushed, fresh tomatoes without spices – too bland for my taste. My daughter spent a whole summer living with a family in Southern Italy as an exchange student. She came back with all kinds of ideas including the one about fresh mozzarella. Your blogger who mentioned it is right. It has a whole different flavor that I never knew existed and it tastes great on pizza! We Americans have been missing out. My daughter now works in a restaurant that has pizza on its menu (although it’s not an Italian restaurant) and she gets to try out all her ideas on the customers with “special” pizzas. I still get to make the pizza at home though and I have a simple recipe for the sauce that I found most people like. I take a can of tomato paste and add ¾ of a can of hot water, 2 Tbls. virgin olive oil, 1-2 tsp. K.A. pizza seasoning (I used to use Italian seasoning until I found your pizza seasoning – it has a better “punch”), and 1½ tsp. sugar. I whisk it all together in a small bowl and cover it. I leave it on the counter until I need it. The heat from the room helps the flavors blend so I usually mix it up while I’m letting the dough rise. It ends up being fairly thick so it doesn’t get diluted by the moisture in the topping you use. We use a lot of topping and I hate when the sauce is watery. Depending on how much you like, you can spread it thick or thin on the dough. I also like when just some of the sauce ends up on the crust and it bakes on. Just one of my many quirks I guess. :)

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  43. diften

    excellent site this blog.kingarthurflour.com great to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

    Reply
  44. Petrus

    I just made pizza with this recipe, and yes, this is maybe most authentic pizza what I ever managed to create in home kitchen. This recipe requires some time, but it is really worth of it. In future this is the recipe, wich will be my number one for pizza. Thanks!

    Reply
  45. Magdalena

    I made this pizza twice, the first time without semolina flour. It came out much different with semolina, better. Also, we tried prebaking it and putting the sauce right away. Prebaking pizza made it too crunchy for us, so we just put everything right away and bake it.
    This recipe is a keeper. Thank you KAF.

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  46. Gordon

    I use King Arthur for everything! I’ve been doing a NY style pizza using the KA bread flour. I rest the dough during mixing and let the dough sit in the refrigerator for up to five days. I’m using a stone heated to 500-degrees for two hours. Topping is simply canned plum tomatos (de-seeded and pulsed with immersion blender) sprinkled with garlic salt, fresh mozzarella and basil (olive oil on top). Cooking time is minimal (five mins??) I’ve been working on this for a month and the results are better than any pizza place where I live.

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  47. jami

    I made this tonight and was pretty pleased with it. The dough was pretty sticky but still managed to slide right off the parchment (I have had dough stick to parchment in the past, and it’s not pretty). Question: mine didn’t rise nearly as much as in the pictures. I only had it in the fridge about 4 hours, so I imagine that’s part of it. I just realized I used active dry yeast and didn’t proof it; is that likely why it didn’t rise as much? I still thought the taste was good!

    The active dry may have been a little more sluggish; the proofing step is to give the inactive yeast cells a chance to fall away and let the live ones hydrate and get started. So in essence without proofing active dry starts half a lap behind, so to speak. Susan

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  48. kim

    shame about those basil leaves- though this happened many moons ago! (no reference to Twilight exists, if you please! :)
    you must bury the basil under your cheese for melding of flavours before topping it off with fresh leaves after removal of pizza from oven.
    perhaps you already know this by now! anyhow, thank you KAF for always being so generous with your tips and recipes.

    Reply
  49. adirondakstamper

    I’m intrigued by this pie crust bag thingy…… i wonder, can you freeze these partially baked pizza crusts in them to store in the freezer? i did hear mention that we could freeze ‘em up to 4 weeks, right? would that be a good freezer storage solution? I’m all about mass production and freezin’ these puppies would be just the ticket!!
    You betcha! Just par-bake the crusts for about 8-10 minutes and freeze when completely cool. Dinner to go in a flash! ~ MaryJane

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  50. Nichole

    I LOVE making homemade pizza. I’m 27 and have been making them for about 2 years now. It took a few years to perfect the art of making pizza at home, and now we use fresh cheeses and it kicks it up a good notch! Anyway, I loved this post! BTW I also love baking and recently discovered KA cake flour – AWESOME!

    Nichole, so glad you discovered how wonderful homemade pizza is – and pretty simple to make, too, isn’t it? Love how you can totally customize it to taste. And so glad you’re enjoying our cake flour – bake on! PJH

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  51. rhart

    I have used all of your pizza dough recipes with great success with one addition, I always put some of my sourdough starter in, usually the unfed starter that I would throw out anyway and I find it adds quite a bit of flavor, especially when left to rise in the fridge overnight.

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  52. reffi

    Just some comments: 1) Using sugar to combat acidity in tomatoes is common, but in a cooked sauce it can carmelize or worse, burn. If the tomatoes are too high in acid, try adding small incremental amounts of baking soda to neutralize the acid (My grandmother’s trick.). Stir in a quarter teaspoon at a time, letting it foam. You may need to correct seasonings. 2) In the sixties, my cousin operated a small pizza shop and always used pre-baked crusts (the shop was too small for a fresh dough operation). The pizza was always crisp and crunchy. 3) The Naked Chef did what was essentially a calzone or roll with bananas and Nutella on a pizza crust. It was delicious. 4) If you can find Margherita brand pepperoni, you’ll find it a lot less greasy than the major brands. Margherita used to be a Hormel brand but is now independant of Hormel.

    Thanks, Reffi – I’ve used the baking soda trick in tomato soup, but not sauce. I guess I just like that hint of sweetness…. PJH

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  53. Marsha Kostman

    I don’t know if you monitor a blog post this old, but have a question about doubling the dough then freezing half of it. When would I divide the dough to freeze half? Since there’s just 1 long rise, I can’t quite decide when I should freeze it.

    Thanks,

    If I don’t hear anything in a few days, I’ll call your hotline.

    Marsha

    Marsha, best to freeze half right (IMHO) right after it’s mixed, before any rising. This is a new method I just learned about; supposedly less injurious to the yeast if yo get it frozen quickly, before too much activity happens. And don’t keep it frozen more than 3 to 4 weeks, OK? Once you thaw it, you’ll need to let it go through the same rises called for in the recipe. Good luck – PJH

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  54. petrab

    I’m on a diet (myfitnesspal.com) and like to keep track of calories etc. Any idea how much this recipe is – per pie? I can easily track the toppings but I’m always at a loss when it comes to calculating dough… Thanks! PBB

    While we do not have nutritional information for this recipe, we do hope to offer nutritional information on all of our recipes at some point in the future. In the meantime, there are several websites that offer free nutritional analysis of recipes. Frank @ KAF.

    http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp and

    http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php.

    Reply
  55. nicole choo

    i made pizza tonight which was rolled out on a greased parchment. it unfortunately stuck to the paper! any idea how this can be prevented? i used the portable pizza dough from kaf book, and baked it at 230 deg c for 10 mins at bottom rack and 5 mins on middle rack.

    I believe we were chatting about this on the Baker’s Chat, but things that are too sticky will stick to parchment paper, especially dough! I would try decreasing the amount of liquid (the book says 6 oz water in the dough–I would use 5 oz and see how it goes). The dough should be slightly tacky but not sticking to your hands at all. Do not grease the parchment paper, either. As you go to roll out the dough, dust the counter lightly and keep lifting it up with your hands to keep it from sticking, when you transfer the dough to the parchment paper, gently shake the paper back and forth after the dough goes down to ensure it stays loose and doesn’t stick. Sprinkling the paper with a little cornmeal (about 1-2 tbs) will also help keep it from sticking. Also, have the doughs rolled out and ready to go along with all your toppings. The longer the uncooked doughs sit on the parchment, the more likely they are to stick to it!

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  56. Ellie

    Just made my dough for supper for tomorrow night…I will bake my pizza on cornmeal, it helps it from sticking, and gives a nice crunch to the dough.
    Mmmm, pizza is great any day of the week, isn’t it? ~ MJ

    Reply
  57. Vero Klug

    This was my first time pizza-making try. I finally dared given the extremely clear instructions here. Thanks, PJ!! I used the KAF Perfect Pizza Blend flour and my dough looked & felt very, very sticky after the 7 min kneading, so I added a bit more flour (~1/4 cup) until I saw the ball form. My dough is now in the fridge & is rising nicely. The problem: I cut a small piece after 4 hrs & noticed right away that my dough is considerably drier than the (priceless) photos here show. My question is: could I spritz some water to make the dough wetter & leave it overnight, or do I have to pretty much start over? Can too-dry pizza dough be rescued? Thank you for the great post!

    Vero, I’m sure your dough is going to be just fine – no worries. I guess by now it’s been chilling overnight. Just go ahead with the recipe, and I’m confident you’ll make a crust that rises well, and has wonderful flavor. Enjoy – PJH

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  58. wkirtley1

    I have found that oiling parchment or baking foil before rolling the dough out on it helps to prevent sticking. I also prebake my crust, 5-6 minutes, and they slide right off of the paper after that. I can’t get the well done, crispy crust without the prebake.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bread flour can be used, but expect a chewier pizza. Your dough may also require 1-2 teaspoons additional water per cup of bread flour. Jon@KAF

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