Fail-Proof Pizza Dough

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

Are you all addicted to pizza as much as I am? I’m addicted to a lot of things, but pizza would be close to the top of my list. It’s just so addicting! I can’t help myself.

If you can learn to make it perfectly at home, it’s not only cheaper, it’s healthier!

Well, it CAN be healthier if you put in the effort….which I did not do this time around…oops.

The hardest part in pizza making is the crust. I’ve been making my own crust for years but I could never get it just right. It was never chewy and/or crispy enough. And yeast doughs can be finicky. Stupid yeast. But guess what! I recently perfected my crust, getting it up to par with the pizza restaurants. Forreals. I did lots of research and lots of testing and here is the ultimate recipe.

Here are the details of my pizza dough recipe that you are going to want to know: {1} I use warm water-not hot, not cold. Pleasantly warm. Yeast likes warmth. And I don’t ever use a thermometer because thermometers are annoying for this kind of stuff. Don’t over think this step. If it feels nice and warm like baby bath water, then you’re good. {2} I use honey- I seem to get better results with honey. I don’t know why. You can use sugar if you prefer. {3}Bread flour- you must must must use bread flour. Bread flour means more gluten. More gluten means chewy crust. Chewy crust = good. The end. {4} Knead, knead, knead. Kneading means gluten! And we all know what gluten means. Knead  your dough for 6 minutes pretty please. {5}Use a pizza stone if you have one. Put it in your cold oven, and then crank that baby up to the hottest temperature it will go to. For me, it was 500 degrees. That will really give you a crispy bottom, like you get at the restaurants. {If you don’t have a pizza stone, look for my trick below!}

That’s pretty much it.

Incase you got lost in that last paragraph, there are some easy to follow step by step instructions below. I promise it’s not as daunting as it may seem!

I turned my pizza dough into delicious Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks. Buttery, salty, cheesy, garlicky goodness. 9 minutes in a hot oven and these bubbly bites come out ready to be eaten. And made our kitchen smell divine. Give them a whirl this weekend!

TGIF! 🙂

In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.
Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn’t stick to your hands.
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. It should look something like this when it’s done!

{Recipe Update: If you’re leery of turning your mixer on high for kneading, simply turn it down to level 3 or 4 and knead for the 6 minutes. Should still do the trick without walking off your counter.}
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.
The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean!
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. That’s it!

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.
Now you can turn this dough into anything your little heart desires.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

 

How about some Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks?

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM.

 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet…a tip I got from Natalie!}
Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}
Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired. {That step is totally optional!}
Fail-Proof Pizza Dough...you seriously can't mess this up. Make pizza or garlic bread sticks! YUM. Bake 9-10 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, with marinara.

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Fail-Proof Pizza Dough & Breadsticks Recipe

Ingredients:

  • for the pizza dough-
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey {or sugar}
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup...depending on the heat & humidity}
  • for the cheesy garlic bread sticks-
  • 1/2 recipe Fail-Proof Pizza Dough from above
  • 2 tablespoons softened salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese {use the real stuff!}
  • 1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
  • {salt & pepper, if desired}

Directions:

  1. For the pizza dough--In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn't stick to your hands. Once you reach this stage, knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean! {*This is the point when you could freeze your dough!! Divide into portions, place into freezer bags, seal removing all air and freeze. To use, remove from freezer and let sit out to get to room temperature and double in size; 6-8 hours. Then use as you'd like.} Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn't dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. That's it! Use as desired.
  2. For the Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks- Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don't have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet...a tip I got from Natalie!}
  3. Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}
  5. Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired. {That step is totally optional!}
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