Blitz Pizza Crust: want vs. knead

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Takeout pizza: and your excuse is…?

Really, I don’t mean to be snarky here. There are reasons for calling Pizza Hut and ordering a large Super Supreme to go.

But, with this super-simple, no-knead crust recipe, there’s very little standing between you and fresh, hot, HOMEMADE pizza.

All you need is flour, water, yeast, salt, a touch of olive oil – and a mixer.

Why do I make pizza at home 95% of the time?

Because my husband LOVES an ultra-thick crust. I love any crust, thick or thin, so long as it’s got some whole-wheat flour in it.

And an ultra-thick, part-whole-wheat crust isn’t easy to find when you’re Googling takeout pizza menus.

I often don’t have the time to labor over something as simple as pizza crust. Sure, there are times when I’ll make an overnight starter followed by a long-rising dough, savoring the fact that the resulting pizza will offer the subtle flavor of wheat, with a touch of yeast, and a smidgen of tang.

But then there are times – truthfully, most of the time – when I just need a good, fast vehicle for mozzarella, pepperoni, and mushrooms.

Which is when I break out this Blitz Pizza Crust recipe.

As the name says, it goes together quickly. And it can be made cracker-thin, or super-thick.

Why do I like it, besides that? I can add whole wheat, and NO ONE KNOWS.

Plus I can bake the crust ahead, throw it on a cooling rack, then top and bake the pizza whenever the crowd gathers: up to a few days later, if I want.

Company coming, but you’re not sure exactly when? Your son and his friends will descend on the kitchen after their basketball game, but “Don’t know, Mom, we’ll see you when we see you”?

A ready-and-waiting crust, needing simply its toppings and about 10 minutes in the oven, is your best friend.

Put… down… the… phone; takeout can wait. Homemade rules!

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm (110°F to 115°F) water

Yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour for the whole wheat. But I have to say, no one will notice the whole wheat; and you’ll feel virtuous adding some fiber and nutrition to your family’s diet.

Use an electric beater or stand mixer to mix until all the flour is moistened. Beat at high speed for 1 minute, using the beater (not the kneading blade).

Scrape the sticky dough back into the bottom of the bowl, and beat at high speed for an additional minute. The dough will be very sticky, and elastic; when you pull on a corner, it’ll stretch.

Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet; a half-sheet pan is perfect. Drizzle the pan with olive oil, spreading it over the bottom surface.

Scrape the sticky dough onto the prepared pan. With oiled or wet hands, press the dough towards the edges of the pan; it’ll go partway, then start to shrink back. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then press it all the way to the edges of the pan.

Now, if you’re REALLY in a hurry (or are after a super-thin crust), you can bake the crust immediately.

But if you have time, cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s as puffy as you like; the puffier the dough, the thicker the crust.

Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Remove any covering, and bake the crust for about 15 minutes, until it’s set; when you poke it, it should feel springy and firm.

It may be a light golden brown all over, like the one pictured above, but doesn’t need to be. So long as the crust is firm enough not to fall when you take it out of the oven, it’s fine.

Remove the crust from the oven. If you’re not going to add the toppings immediately, place it on a rack to cool. When cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature for up to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.

This time around, I was adding toppings right away. My crowd this night was into “white pizza” – no red sauce – so here’s the direction I took.

First, cheese sauce, as follows:

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium heat. Melt the butter, stir in the flour and salt, then add the milk, cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese, stirring until it melts.

Pour the sauce over the crust, spreading it most of the way to the edges.

Add the toppings of your choice. I’m going with mushroom/caramelized onion/bacon.

Recipe? Well, I’m just going to kinda throw it all together. Let’s start with an 8-ounce package of “baby bella” (portabella) mushrooms. Sauté until brown; then mix with 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire, and salt to taste.

I’d already sliced and fried a big (1-pound) sweet onion. And I had some leftover cooked bacon, which I cut into squares. Both of those get stirred into the pan with the mushrooms. And everything gets spread over the sauce atop the crust.

What, no cheese? With the mildly cheesy white sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan is all this baby needs.

About 15 minutes in a 425°F oven is all it takes…

…to further brown the crust, and heat the toppings.

As I said, no one knew they were eating whole wheat. And my hub was happy about the inch-thick crust.

Takeout? Trust me, you’d pay a lot for a pizza this big and this good.

And anyway, when’s the last time you saw a to-go menu offering Portabella/bacon/caramelized onion white pizza – on a 40% whole wheat crust, no less?

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Blitz Pizza Crust.

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. StephanieK

    This looks amazing and easy! Until my pizza dough flavor comes, what can I use to punch up the flavor of the crust? Thanks

    You could use pretty much any dried herb, garlic powder, dried or powdered onions.-Jon

    I also like to add some chopped cheddar cheese and garlic to mine! Note: I did say “chopped cheddar”, not grated. I like to find little “cheese pockets” when I slice the bread up and I can keep the toppings more veggie-based: no sliding cheese to deal with! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  2. ErolB1

    I make my own pizza about half the time. When I order for delivery, it’s either because I’m feeling too lazy (with extra cheese), because I want a change of pace, or because it’s too hot and I don’t want to turn on the oven.

    When I make my own, I use a lower proportion of water than this recipe, and I do knead the crust, partly out of habit and partly because the anticipated bother of dealing with a wet and sticky dough cancels out the anticipated convenience of not kneading. I should try the sticky dough, no-knead version some time, however.

    If you want to make pizza without an oven, try your grill! I set my grill to medium-low and grill up thin-crust flatbreads (light on the toppings and small in size for easier handling) all summer long! The best deal with this particular pizza recipe is the ability to create a chewier crust OR a puffed-deep crust pizza! If you haven’t done no-knead, you really ought to give it a whirl: the ease of mixing/rising/baking beats the sticky factor by a mile! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  3. Barbara C

    I make no knead pizza crust from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day every Friday. Have never pre-cooked the crust. What advantage is there in doing this other than making ahead. Of course, with no knead bread you can get the dough ready and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use. Also, does this dough need to be baked ahead before adding toppings. We like thicker crust so I would want to let the dough rise some taking away any time savings. I always seem to be behind the curve when it comes to getting supper on the table on time!

    Thanks!

    Baking the crust first before adding any toppings will prevent soggy pizza crust. The choice is yours! Irene@KAF

    Reply
  4. erolb1

    Pizza on the grill doesn’t work for me.

    I’ve now tried a no-knead pizza crust, and it does seem to be an improvement worth keeping: Just a bit easier to do, and produces a crust that’s just a bit better. But then I’ve never found the “no need to knead” thing to be the huge advantage that other people claim.

    Reply
  5. debj

    Love this recipe… It’s solved my “what the heck am I going to make for supper” dilemma many many times! It’s easy, it’s ‘doable’ in just a couple hours, and it’s a great way to use up a little of this or that as toppings… A little cheese, a little ‘raid the fridge’ or raid the garden, and you’re good to go. My favorite is with the white cheese sauce, and some caramelized onions, bacon, and mushrooms… Or leftover broccoli or summer squash… But I’ve also made it without the white sauce, but with regular pizza sauce, and pepperoni or sausage… or even a base of drained canned diced tomatoes, the ‘Pomi’ brand in a box is great, no added salt. Pre-cooking the crust works well to keep a sort of thick crust very crispy… Everyone raves about this pizza crust! Thanks KAF!!!
    It sounds like you could open your own pizza shop Deb! I’ve got to try your white pizza version, we usually do a white pizza with sausage or chicken, but I love the bacon & mushroom idea. ~ MJ

    Reply
  6. Hope

    White sauce can even be made easier by microwaving cream cheese 8 oz with 3 tablespoons of milk and then adding the white cheddar to the heated cheese. I heat on 50 percent power in a large glass bowl and stir every couple mins. Also a good time to add the seasoning. Be sure not to let boil and only warm enough to melt all the cheeses.

    Reply
  7. Critic

    In my opinion, this dough is simply terrible — bad almost beyond words. If you like pizza that’s a piece of Wonderbread (or, at least whole wheat Wonderbread) with toppings, this is for you. But if you like pizza that tastes like pizza, steer well clear of this.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t care for this recipe. If you’d like to chat about it, don’t hesitate to contact the bakers hotline. We’re here to help. ~ MJ

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