Pizza Crust

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KAF guaranteed, dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
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Yield: 1 or 2 standard round pizzas, or 1 large rectangular pizza, about 12 servings

Recipe photo

What a treat—hot homemade pizza, with exactly the toppings you like. And this crust adapts to YOUR schedule: make the dough now, and serve fresh pizza up to 2 days later. Please read this recipe all the way through before starting. It gives you a lot of baking options, and you want to choose the one that best fits your schedule.

Our guarantee: This flavorful pizza crust is crisp when rolled ultra-thin, and chewy when made thick.

Pizza Crust

star rating (161) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed, dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 or 2 standard round pizzas, or 1 large rectangular pizza, about 12 servings
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • *Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.

Tips from our bakers

  • Make pizza any shape or size or thickness you like; the above guidelines are simply suggestions. Understand that the thickest-crust pizza will need to bake longer than the thinnest-crust version.
  • To freeze partially baked pizza crust: Bake crust as directed in step 13. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature, wrap well, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to serve pizza, remove the crust from the freezer, and allow it to thaw, loosely wrapped, at room temperature. Once it's completely thawed, complete pizza by starting at step 15 above.
  • What else can you to with this tasty crust? How about fresh, hot cheese stuffed bread sticks? Our step by step blog will show you what pitfalls to avoid on your way to these pizza shop favorites.

Directions

1) If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it, with a pinch of sugar, in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or the instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a soft, smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 4 to 5 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. Don't over-knead the dough; it should hold together, but can still look fairly rough on the surface.

3) To make pizza up to 24 hours later, skip to step 5.

4) To make pizza now: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it's very puffy. This will take about an hour using instant yeast, or 90 minutes using active dry. If it takes longer, that's OK; just give it some extra time.

5) To make pizza later: Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate the dough for 4 hours (or for up to 24 hours); it will rise slowly as it chills. This step allows you more schedule flexibility; it also develops the crust's flavor. About 2 to 3 hours before you want to serve pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator.

6) Decide what size, shape, and thickness of pizza you want to make. This recipe will make one of the following choices:
Two 1/2"-thick 14" round pizzas (pictured);
Two 3/4"-thick 12" round pizzas;
One 3/4" to 1"-thick 13" x 18" rectangular (Sicilian-style) pizza (pictured);
One 1 1/2"-thick 9" x 13" rectangular pizza;
One 1"-thick 14" round pizza.

7) Divide the dough in half, for two pizzas; or leave it whole for one pizza.

8) If you're making a rectangular pizza, shape the dough into a rough oval. For a round pizza, shape it into a rough circle. In either case, don't pat it flat; just stretch it briefly into shape. Allow the dough to rest, covered with an overturned bowl or lightly greased plastic wrap, for 15 minutes.

9) Use vegetable oil pan spray to lightly grease the pan(s) of your choice. Drizzle olive oil into the bottom of the pan(s). The pan spray keeps the pizza from sticking; the olive oil gives the crust great flavor and crunch.

10) Place the dough in the prepared pan(s). Press it over the bottom of the pan, stretching it towards the edges. You'll probably get about two-thirds of the way there before the dough starts shrinking back; walk away for 15 minutes. Cover the dough while you're away, so it doesn't dry out.

11) When you come back, you should be able to pat the dough closer to the corners of the pan. Repeat the rest and dough-stretch one more time, if necessary; your goal is to get the dough to fill the pan as fully as possible.

12) Allow the dough to rise, covered, till it's noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes (if it hasn't been refrigerated); or 2 to 2 1/2 hours (if it's been refrigerated). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.

13) Bake the pizza on the lower oven rack till it looks and feels set on top, and is just beginning to brown around the edge of the crust, but is still pale on top. This will take about 8 minutes for thinner crust pizza; about 10 to 12 minutes for medium thickness; and 12 to 14 minutes for thick-crust pizza. If you're baking two pizzas, reverse them in the oven (top to bottom, bottom to top) midway through the baking period.

14) To serve pizza immediately: Remove it from the oven, and arrange your toppings of choice on top. Return to the oven, and bake on the upper oven rack for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned, both top and bottom, and the cheese is melted. Check it midway through, and move it to the bottom rack if the top is browning too much, or the bottom not enough.

15) To serve pizza up to 2 days later: Remove the untopped, partially baked crust from the oven, cool completely on a rack, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. When ready to serve, top and bake in a preheated 450°F oven, adding a couple of minutes to the baking times noted above. Your goal is a pizza whose crust is browned, and whose toppings are hot/melted.

16) Remove the pizza from the oven, and transfer it from the pan to a rack to cool slightly before serving. For easiest serving, cut with a pair of scissors.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1/12 crust Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130 Calories from Fat: 25 Total Fat: 2.5g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 240mg Total Carbohydrate: 22g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 0g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

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  • star rating 03/27/2015
  • Rebecca from Boston, MA
  • Very good. Lacks the super chew and crunch of a high-gluten dough, but still very good. This will be my go to from now on.
  • star rating 03/22/2015
  • Orion from Alexandria, VA
  • Amazing pizza dough recipe. The directions are spot on. Pre-baking the risen dough in my cast iron skillet created a light and crunchy dough. Not a crumb left of 2 pizzas. An absolute keeper!
  • 03/16/2015
  • mykathy127 from KAF Community
  • hi, how will i know if i OVER-Knead the dough?

    Overkneaded dough will begin to lose its bounciness as the gluten strands gradually weaken. It's almost impossible to do by hand, but can happen if dough is left unwatched in a mixer or food processor. It will be very sticky and can almost go to a soup if seriously overworked. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 03/08/2015
  • KJH58 from KAF Community
  • Excellent pizza crust! We made it last night, easy to make and shaping was not too difficult. We made two pizzas, one we did on a pizza stone using parchment, was great next time though I will leave out the parchment on the second baking. The other one we did in our cast iron skillet that well greased with olive oil this was perfect with a nice crunchy bottom. Will be doing it again.
  • star rating 02/22/2015
  • Johanna from Salida, CO
  • I'm finally making good pizza crust since using this recipe. Crisp and yummy.
  • star rating 02/09/2015
  • Erin from
  • Can you freeze the dough? I didn't read all the comments...forgive me if you already posted this.

    Pizza dough freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 01/21/2015
  • Brandy from Oklahoma
  • This is the first home made pizza dough I've made that has what I think is authentic pizza parlor taste. And it seems to be forgiving too! Unfortunately I didn't read all of the instructions and failed to have enough time after a 24hr refrigeration to allow for the extra rise in steps #8 and # 12. I improvised and placed the tea-towel covered dough on top of my heated oven. The dough rose well enough during an hour that I was able to bake and serve without issue. Definitely worth the extra time and effort for such home cooked fare.
  • star rating 01/12/2015
  • Sue from Washington, NH
  • Wow - this was great. Surpassed our expectations. I topped the pizza with three cheeses, some leftover steak thinly sliced, sliced cherry tomatoes, a touch of pizza seasoning and small pieces of broccoli that I had microwaved for a couple of minutes. Excellent.
  • star rating 11/03/2014
  • Stephani from Jacksonville NC
  • I just had to agree this is a 5 star. First thought was there is a lot of info. But it's really quite simple. I let it rise room temp for probably longer than normal, pressed it in my 12" skillet, refrigerated over night, pressed it out more next day then let it rise room temp about 1 hour or 2. (I was really taking my time) I used Woodstock organic Italian diced tomatoes after I baked my crust straight from the can, real mozzarella, and some pepperoni. OH MY GOODNESS best crust EVER!! It's like how some pizza is better after reheating but this was it on the first bake. I may never know if it second bakes well because its so good. Most of the time I toss the crust on pizza, but not this. The family requested more immediately. Thanks KAF for this one.
  • star rating 10/10/2014
  • brandonbart from KAF Community
  • I made this last night and let it cold rise in the fridge for about 12 hours. i made 3 roughly 9" Margherita pizzas. minimal sauce, fresh mozz and basil. Didnt prebake the crust. 7 minutes at 500 degrees then another 1-2 under the broiler. Turned out fantastic. Texture was great. Making another batch now and gonna leave this one alone for 48 hours to see what kind of flavor develops. Very happy with my first results
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