How to Really Cook Homemade Pizza Crust (Wheat Flour, Vegan, Vegetarian, Italian, kid-friendly)

How to Really Cook Homemade Pizza Crust (Wheat Flour, Vegan, Vegetarian, Italian, kid-friendly)



It’s pizza crust time! all right
homemade pizza crust you get to smell it
while it’s rising
you get to chop all your ingredients
while it’s rising
throw it in the oven bake it and then
you have homemade pizza okay
this is a wheat-based pizza crust
so it does have gluten if you need to be
gluten free
this one isn’t for you that’s a
different type of crust we can do that
another day
this however is homemade we are going to
be using…
what I have out here today is just
all-purpose flour because it’s what I
have on hand it can also be made with
bread flour as well as whole wheat flour
just depending on what you have
it goes by by weight not by volume that
is the
biggest trick that will keep you
successful if you’re going back and
forth between whole wheat
all-purpose and bread flour a lot of it
has to do with how much gluten they have
per volume but also uh
whole wheat is whole wheat flour is much
denser than
white flour so you it will your white
flour or all-purpose flour
will look bigger than whole wheat flour
for the same weight
let’s get started first i’m going to
take this bowl
this bowl is eight quarts and really
this is about as big of a bowl as you’re
going to need for this particular recipe
I only have one bowl that’s eight quarts
whereas i have multiple bowls that are
13 quarts so
I’m using the one 8 and then a 13 but if
you don’t have a
bowl this size on hand don’t worry you
can still make this pizza
but if you want to keep cooking with me
I really use this size bowl a lot
I do have a large family but if you do
not have a large family
using this size thing means you don’t
have to cook as frequently you
you can… almost everything I make can
be stored in the freezer or that type of
thing so I’m big on cooking ahead
this recipe is designed to make
4 pizzas this size
this is a regular 1/2 sheet sheet pan
currently and what I’ll be doing with it
today is I will make 3
pizzas that are this size and then 2
circle pans and this is at the request
of my youngest who feels that pizza is
just not the same when it’s not a circle
I disagree because when you look at your
oven
and you look at the space in your oven
tell me which one better maximizes
this space of your oven: the one that’s
almost the same size and shape as
each tray or the little tiny circle that
sits in the middle and wastes all that
space…
okay but needless to say
this recipe will make plenty of both
first thing is first we need water to wake up our yeast just like when
we made bread dough
we need warm water between 80 and 90
degrees
which means it can… it can be tap water
unless
unless your tap water is just completely
undrinkable
i would just use tap water
you should still be able to put your
hands in it
mine’s pretty warm
and you’re going to need 1 quart of
this warm water
4 cups or 1 quart
so when I’m getting down to eye level
if you are not familiar with cooking and
baking yet
I am checking for the meniscus of my
water and I’m still just a little bit
short
this is a this is a really forgiving
procedure when you check for the
meniscus you’re looking for the midline
of your water because it does
it’s taller at the edges than it is in
the middle
so to get where your volume is on a
liquid you want to look for the middle
level
now don’t spend all day trying to get
everything
completely accurate on this bread it’s
very forgiving
next so we have our warm water
next we need to add our yeast this is
baker’s yeast as opposed to brewer’s
yeast
or I also use nutritional yeast
frequently
baker’s yeast is still a living organism
it’s asleep so we’re going to wake it
up with some warm water
and like most other things when they
wake up it’s going to be hungry
so we’re going to give it some white
sugar to eat. Not much
and most of the sugar,
as it would get passed on to us, is
consumed by the yeast
as they begin to
make the bread rise so it was 2
tablespoons of yeast
and a quarter cup of sugar when you’re
doing
a yeasted bread product that you don’t
need to sweeten
extra beyond what you need to wake the
yeast up
the rule of thumb or the guide that I
generally see
for how much to use your it should be
double
your volume that you use for your yeast
so
because I used 2 tablespoons of yeast
it’s
4 tablespoons of sugar 4
tablespoons is the same as a 1/4 cup
or it’s 2 ounces 2 ounces,1/4
cup, 4 tablespoons
as you cook and bake more a lot of those
conversions will just get faster
so we’re going to start measuring our
dry ingredients
but you can see how it’s already
starting to
form a film on the top
we want this to get foamy and that is
how we know that the yeast is waking up
and
and it’s getting active you want active
yeast in your bread so it
will rise evenly and efficiently
so we’ll just let it do its thing for a
couple of minutes
we’re going to come around… kitchen tool
that you will use and use and use and
use
uh is a kitchen scale. This one
the brand doesn’t matter what you want… I
like the pedestal style I have a
couple of flat ones but when you put
a big bowl on a flat scale you can’t see
your weight
I learned that the hard way hence I
ended up with one that’s a little bit
more
of a pedestal we turn it on
and we are going to zero it and I’m
going to want to use it
in ounces which it looks like it’s in
sometimes I use grams so
for this recipe we need 4 pounds
4 ounces of flour or 4 and a
1/4 pounds of flour
I am not going to stand here all day
measuring this cup by cup
also it’s not consistent when you do
this flour is one of
the most difficult things to measure by
volume
your life will become so much easier
when you just start
measuring it by weight so we’re
a little over halfway there
getting there…
oh we’re almost there…
oh so close…
okay. I’m a shade over but that’s okay
that shade over is all right I mean if
you want to you can just pinch a little
bit out
but we don’t need to. Now, all-purpose
flour
is not a high gluten flour so I’m
going to add gluten to it I generally
speaking
add gluten whenever I’m making a yeasted
bread unless I’m using whole wheat
simply because even bread flour when
it’s manufactured in several parts of
the country
is not enough gluten to really give your
dough
a good stretch and good stretch equals
good rise
so adding a little bit of gluten just
kind of guarantees that it happens
correctly
I’m going to do 2 tablespoons
and again that’s a forgiving measure so
you don’t need to be
… you could
you know scoop it level it do that type
of thing with it but you don’t really
need to
now next ingredient is salt
this actually helps control the the
leavening process and it
enhances the flavor if you are
on a diet that does not have
where your doctor says no salt don’t put
the salt in your
bread dough will still work I’m grabbing
a teaspoon measuring
spoon so I’m going to add 2 teaspoons
of salt
this again helps the bread and it
definitely enhances flavor
but it is not necessary if your doctor
tells you no salt don’t add it
all right the other 2 ingredients I’m
going to add to the dry
mix are also optional but I think
really taste good when you’re doing
italian cooking I’m going to add a
little bit of thyme…
so this is just thyme it’s not ground
and it’s a pinch that’s probably a
little bit over a teaspoon
I’m going to take it in my hands and I…
notice I’m wearing gloves
I’m wearing gloves because I’m going to
be kneading it in a minute and
gloves definitely help when you’re
kneading bread and I’m kind of bruising
it and crushing it
over the flour
and then next is rosemary if you have it
fresh
awesome you still want to bruise it and
you know chop it up tiny to put it in
this one I’m doing probably about
2 teaspoons between 2 teaspoons and a
tablespoon of rosemary but I really like
rosemary and then this I’m definitely taking
and crushing up in my hands
bruising it helps release the aroma and
the oils
and also it kind of rosemary it’s it’s
an
evergreen plant you can see the needles
those needles can kind of take people…
catch people unaware if they’re left
whole
so I crush them a little bit there we go
so there’s our dry ingredients. check it
out!
you see all the foam that’s exactly what
we want that means the yeast
is awake and active for the most part
you can see there’s that one little bit
that’s
not awake yet but it’ll be just fine
because we’re gonna
wake it up in a minute okay so
this is olive oil extra virgin olive oil
if you are on an oil-free diet you can
simply skip this just add
probably a third cup more water it
definitely changes the flavor
and if you can tolerate oil in your diet
extra virgin olive oil does have health
benefits
and definite flavor benefits you want to
go with
the extra virgin if you have it versus
regular olive oil extra virgin means
it’s the first time those little olives
are crunched
and squished and then they’re just
squished once
regular or other grades of olive oil the
olives get squished again and again and
again
and again so you get every last leftover
out
so the flavor is not as strong in the
other
grades of olive oil now we’re going to
take our dry
ingredients and add them into our wet
and we’re going to hang on to this bowl
that the dry ingredients were in
we’re going to oil that bowl see how I
still have some oil left
I’m going to put my measuring cup in
there upside down
and I’m going to take my gloves kind of
wipe the inside of that measuring cup
so if you do not add oil to your dough
you’re still going to want to oil this
bowl or else you’re going to spend all
day trying to get your
dough back out of it after it’s risen
so this is how you oil a bowl
and this will also help the dough to not
stick quite so much to your gloves
although as it becomes thoroughly
kneaded
it’ll pull away naturally so
see how this does kind of fill this bowl
it’s all right it just means i have to
be kind of careful
when you use a bigger bowl when you’re
kneading it it allows for a little bit
more room for error
or mess not error I guess messiness
as you knead
your flour and your water and your other
yeast all that good stuff together
now the kneading process is super
important
yes if you have a stand mixer you can
use a a dough hook on your stand mix
mixer but I will caution you I had a
very
a very nice Kitchenaid stand mixer for
several years until I started
making bread and decided to use my
Kitchenaid
for doing the bread dough it will… it
it will put added wear on the motor for
your
of your stand mixer so I just prefer it
to do it by hand
this amount of dough would be too much
for most stand mixers anyway
most of them max out between 6 and
8 quarts
a lot of them only 4 quarts so
this is an 8 quart bowl and you can
see how it really fills it
that wouldn’t do so well now
that anyway the kneading process is very
important when you’re doing a yeasted
bread
because it’s taking two amino acids and
causing them
to combine together into gluten
which yes you added a couple tablespoons
up but this is like
finding all the rest of the pieces that
make gluten in the wheat flour
and making them squish together and say
no you’re going to make gluten so then
you can stretch
that’s what this process is all about
you don’t want any pieces of it to be
left looking dry
just like you don’t want to leave any
puddles
now when you’re making cakes or cookies
especially things like muffins or
cupcakes you can definitely
over mix your batter and that is because
you’re not using yeast
to make them rise you’re using a
different leavening agent
and so you do not ever want to need
those
batters but this you need to need it
because you’re depending on that
reaction to allow the dough to stretch
and
form air bubbles all right this one is
almost there
the next step is really just time
to allow the yeast to munch through the
sugars
that are found naturally in the wheat as
well as that little bit of sugar
that you added in to get it started
see how my gloves are basically clean
now again you can do this bare-handed
I prefer using gloves when I’m dealing
with food
but I really prefer using them when
doing dough
because I don’t enjoy picking
bread dough out from underneath my
fingernails
that’s the basic reason
all right I think this is about at a
point
where we can let it rise okay
pizza crust are a single rise
which means when we this we’re going to
wait until this doubles
oh and I did flip it over that’s an
important step
okay so when you put your dough in the
bowl
it gets oil all over the bottom side of
it which is great
but we’re going to cover this with
plastic wrap so we want to flip it
so that the the oil-coated bottom part
becomes your
top part which creates kind of a
non-stick surface
when if it comes in contact with the
plastic wrap so
to my plastic wrap we
need to put this somewhere fairly warm
so it can rise until it’s doubled in
size
this is usually a half hour to 45
minutes
if it’s cold it’s going to be longer if
it’s the middle of summer
and you have a space that’s you know 95
degrees
and reasonably humid it’s going to be a
half hour
maybe less
I think I last did loaf bread in here
all right
I think those are in to save them for
later
okay so with mine I’m going to set my
lower oven
I have a setting for bread proof which
puts it at 100 degrees
and that’s a little bit warmer than what
it is in the room where I’m cooking
right now so it will help it creates a
stable environment
and also it gets it off the counter so I
can move on with my day
now next step when that doubles in size
is going to be either rolling or
stretching your pizza crust
and then you’re going to be ready to
bake pizza
all right our pizza is ready… well
it’s not quite pizza yet our dough is
ready it’s finished its first rise it’s
doubled in size
now I’m going to close that for just a
second because we need to set up our
oven that we’re going to in fact be
baking in
because I’m doing 3 big rectangles
and 2 circle pans
I’m going to go ahead and set up 3
racks in my oven as evenly spaced as I
can
you want to do the same with yours if
you’re only going to use 2 racks get
them as evenly spaced around the middle
of the oven as you can
I have a convection oven so I’m going to
put it on 385
convect bake if I’m using a conventional
oven
it’s 400.
so while that’s preheating I am then
going to pull out my dough
and I’m done with the lower oven so
goodbye lower oven
all right I have my pans
I already tore off my parchment paper
parchment paper you can make pizza
without it you certainly can and I have
in a pinch but it will make your life so
much easier
it’s worth running out to the grocery
store to get it for real
it will make your life so much easier so
I think I’m going to go ahead and start
with a small circle pans I’m going to
and I’m going to show you
the rolling as well now I’ll start with
just stretch you can either
hand stretch it which means you put a
ball of dough in the middle and you
stretch it out into the circular shape
or you can use a rolling pin to do the
same thing
and I have done both it just depends on
what I have on hand if it’s just me
prepping it
I will go ahead and use a rolling pin
because I think it’s a little bit faster
um I’m going to put just a little bit of
flour
on my pan so this first one we’re going
to stretch
and this is one of my circle ones so
essentially this is going to be 1/2 of
a 1/4 of the dough
so take my dough and it doesn’t have
if you want it exact you’re going to
want to use your scale
and do it by weight but I’m okay not
being completely exact
so now I’m at 2 quarters
and then
it doesn’t look like much dough does it
even
but that this is going to be enough
dough for this circle pan
so I’m going to put this other one back
in the in the bowl see I’ve kind of got
them shaped
so this big lump is going to be 2
rectangles there’s 1 rectangle and
there’s the other circle pan
so if you are finger stretching it and
you’re doing a circle pan
I start from the middleish
and I use two hands now I’m working
quickly
because I’ve been doing this for a while
and yes you could probably get fancy and
spin it and if you can that’s awesome
I’m not this method will work too I’ve
seen my kids take it like play-doh and
they tear it into little pieces and then
stick them back together
and that’s cool too because you know
what you’re going to do with this?
You’re going to put all kinds of yummy
stuff on top of it and throw it in the
oven and you will never see it again
because it’s going straight from there
to someone’s belly
and it’s all good
so for all my perfectionist friends
it’s okay if this is imperfect once the
toppings are on
no one’s going to know as long as you
now the one thing you do want to make
sure and do you can see I’m squeezing
little holes back like
I’ll do… pull a hole so as you stretch
it see
holes happen it’s all right especially
this counter is cold because it’s a
stone counter
it chills the dough through the pan and
cold dough does not stretch as well as
nice warm dough
just something to be aware of now
these are fairly thin crusts
i guess if you want super super thick
crust
you won’t make as many pizzas with as
much dough
but
as yummy as this crust is
we like to keep a lot of the focus on
the toppings
now the other trick that I have learned
over the years of making pizza is that I
always pre-bake these crusts that’s why
we are preheating the oven right now
uh mine’s only at 174 degrees supposedly
so we have a few minutes I should be
able to get
probably get 2 more of these stretched
by the time it is preheated so they will
preheat for about 6 minutes
I would start there and if what you’re
looking for when you’re pre
pre-baking your crust is that it’s no
longer doughy in the middle like if you
touch it
in the middle very lightly because it’s
hot and it
your finger doesn’t dip in like dough
then you can go ahead and pull it out
and top and
you know add your toppings and then bake
it for real
now how long does a pizza bake you ask
well it depends on what you put on it if
it’s a plain
pizza with just you know like a little
teeny sprinkle of cheese it can be baked
in as little as 15 minutes after you’ve
pre-baked your crust and added your
cheese
it could be 10 to 15 minutes to bake
after that
now if you’re adding lots of veggies and
cheese
and and all that good stuff it’s going
to be longer
about 25 minutes and you’re going to know
that it’s done
because whatever when it whatever you’re
using for cheese
whether it’s dairy cheese or we’re
making cashew… I made cashew cheese for our
pizza tonight for eating plant-based
it will brown on top because of the fat
in it
any fat that you cook with will brown
when it’s
when it when it’s cooked under a high
temperature and that’s what you’re going
to look for
because that means the water products
that are underneath it a lot of that has
cooked off
and your cheese is then hot enough to
brown on the outside and get melty and
good
whether it’s cashew cheese or a cheese
like there’s veggie cheeses that are made
with coconut oil
and other products they’ll brown the
same way or dairy cheese will do that
okay so this is one where I stretch the
crust
and you can see I mean it certainly
works but look it’s imperfect
and that’s going to be just fine because
it’s going to be covered with yummy
stuff
and it will taste yummy even without
toppings
but this is a stretched-crust one
now I’ll show you what it looks like
when you use your rolling pin
rolling pin I am not going to put it on
the pan before rolling it out
because the pan gets in the way
and just like if you were rolling out
cookie dough you want to lightly coat it
with flour
a little bit more flour
I prefer this is considered a french
style rolling pin
I prefer it but you use whatever you
have if you have a dowel
you could try that as long as it’s thick
enough
see how this is stretching out pretty
quickly
and I’m getting close to my pizza pan
size
but this one… you see how it’s kind of
bouncing back
that’s what it’s supposed to do so what
I try and do
is slightly over roll it
so that it has room to shrink a touch
and you can and as you can see I do not
leave an edge
um that edge where
it gets a little thicker it will happen
all by itself I also take my pizza
toppings all the way to the edge because
I feel like it’s wasted real estate if
you don’t
so check it out so this is one that’s
done with the rolling pin you can tell
it’s much more uniform
thickness I mean it’s a rolling pin
instead of my fingers
um but if you don’t have a rolling pin
hand stretching it sure gets the job
done have a few more minutes on the
preheating I’m going to go ahead and
roll out
the rectangle
so what do I put on my pizzas since we have taken the family plant-based
we put all kinds of different things on
I have
a pesto that’s over in the food
processor it’s a pesto that’s made with
oregano, basil, olive oil, avocado, yellow
squash,
a little bit of pepper, rosemary…
there is no garlic and no onions in
there because Breanna and I
aren’t tolerating those very well but in
a traditional pesto
garlic would definitely be present we
have
plant-based sausage here that will go on
the pizza that’s very popular
this is a little bit of pepperoccini
it’s from the garden
it was just sliced you can see it’s just
slightly browning from oxygenation
I’ve got yellow squash just because
I have it right now and it it’s not a
big
flavor type of vegetable so when you’re
adding vegetables to food it’s a great
one to do some red and green peppers
this is a little bit of tomato that I
had from the other day
this is a little bit unusual but super
tasty on pizza
it’s spicy pickled beets they’re pickled
in slices so
they go on to the pizza pretty easily I
made cashew cheese
and we will have some pretty oh
and there’s marinara here somewhere yeah
this is marinara but it was made
you can see the color it was made with
yellow tomatoes so when you make marinara
with yellow tomatoes
it’s not red but it still makes good
marinara
so rectangle pizza
taking it long
and also so it’s a combination of hand
stretching it and then rolling it to get
it to a rectangular shape
just using a rolling pin will default
you to a rounder shape
see and I’m still pinching if there’s
any little
you know holes that open up pinching
them together
and moving right along
doing multiple directions
and you’ll notice it does like to stay a
little bit thicker in the middle
you’ve got to push that back out
it’s like you sent it out and then it’s
like oh no I didn’t really want to so
you sent it out again
this is definitely more elastic than say
if you’re rolling out a pie crust or
cookie dough
and that’s because it’s a yeasted bread
but it will roll and it will rise again
slightly in the in the oven
once it gets hot it’s pretty cool like
you’ll see on these you might end up
with a
great big bub… a great big bubble
after you do your first pre-bake on them
and that’s okay
you can either just pop the bubble or it
will actually deflate on its own
as the air inside that bubble cools so
while you’re putting the toppings on
all right my oven is getting close
let’s see
this might be pretty good so yeah to
finish out the rectangular pieces
I’ll get them close where they’re just
on the paper
and then make adjustments once I put it
in the pan
and again when you use the rolling pin
it’s a really nice level surface
but I do find I get more of the giant
like one
giant almost like a pita pocket bubble
when I use the rolling pin but it makes
no difference in the final pizza product
um whether you hand pull it
spin it or use the rolling pin because
again once you add the toppings
it will be in good shape I keep looking
over to see where my oven is temperature-
wise I want to get these
in
but yeah 359.
the problem with okay the reason why I’m
not putting
them in the oven before it is hot
it is because to preheat your oven
whether your coils are in the bottom the
top or both
they are going to be a lot hotter than
your end temperature so right now
i want my oven to get to 385
but the coils in there are probably well
over 500 degrees
because they’re trying to warm the
entire oven up to 385
so if i went ahead and put my
um 1 of these pizza crusts in now
it will burn on the top or on the bottom
depending on where your coils are
because it’s actually a lot hotter
there. They’d be exposed to a much
higher temperature
than the… the temperature you’re aiming
for
once it achieves its temperature and
each oven is a little bit different in
the way it works
but the temp when it tells you okay I’m
385 it’s saying
that an even oven temperature has been
achieved at 385 degrees and then it
usually will actually for the most part
turn off the heating element
until the temperature dips again and it
has to bring it back up
but if you put your food in early it
will usually burn it so you don’t want
to do that
i’ve done that
that and had disappointing dinners
courtesy of that because I really wanted
to know why I had to wait
because I knew it was hot um and it was
kind of close
and and yes it was kind of close but
when the heating
element is still on it will not cook
your food evenly
all right 374. I’m getting close
so if anything, with this pizza crust
you’re seeing that there’s lots of ways
or there’s at least more than one way to
do it if you don’t have a rolling pin
stretch it with your hands if you really
like using a rolling pin
great use it it will not ruin your pizza
for a long time I was afraid it would
squish my pizza too much
it absolutely does not the pizza does
not stay this flat
and also pizza crust because it’s a
single-rise bread
is not meant to be as fluffy as say
breadsticks or something like that that
is
that has a second rise in bulk
so either way is
completely acceptable in my book it just
depends on what you have on hand
the one thing that will make your life
much easier
regardless of whether you have aluminum
pans or pizza stones or
you know whatever nifty gizmo you have
what will make your life
way easier is parchment paper it
really does create a nice insulating
surface
that evens out the heat distribution
regardless of your pan
and also it makes clean up a snap
absolutely a snap so when I take these
completed pizzas out of the oven
i actually just slide the whole thing
out of the pan on the parchment paper
onto a cutting board or a cutting mat
like this blue one but clean
um and then we slice the pizza on top of
the parchment paper on a cutting board
and it
it just makes everything much more
seamless and again
an easier cleanup that was my chime
all right let’s put some of these in the
oven I’m going to put my big one in the
middle
and the two smaller circles
on the top and the bottom respectively
and set my timer
for 6 minutes
6 minutes and
we’ll check back in 6 minutes so I can
show you what that crust looks like when
it’s ready to top
all right timer is about to go off and
we should have
3 crusts that are ready to top
so let’s take a peek
check this top one first
perfect all right so I’m going get this
one out
so these pans are hot
to protect your counter I use a clean
old towel again it’s clean it’s just you
know
old and it creates a nice
insulating layer between the hot pan and
the counter see there’s a bubble.
See it? It’ll go down
but see how it doesn’t… it’s not doughy
at all in the middle
no brown spots yet and it’ll still be
fine if there are some brown spots
like that you know the baking brown
spots but
this is right where I want it as far as
it’s not doughy anymore and it’ll…
no they… and again they stay
on the pan for right now because getting
a loaded pizza crust back in the pan is
really difficult
you’re going leave them in the pan until
they’re… they’ve got the toppings on and
they’ve baked again with all your
toppings
so oh my rolled circles at the top of
the
bubbles too just like pita bread would see
the bubbles and this one browned just a
touch around the edge
but that’s perfect this is just going to
be great
because once… when… as soon as you put sauce on
which is the first thing you’re going to
add right? That adds moisture
so if you put your toppings on a raw
pizza crust
it will eventually bake but that’s
generally when you get the mushiest
middle part which is… I find it
disappointing I’m like…
my pizza is so good but then it’s
squishy
I don’t want squishy pizza so these guys go in
for their 6 minutes and I’m going to
call the kids in to decorate pizza and
we’re going to have pizza tonight!
Enjoy!


How to Really Cook Homemade Pizza Crust (Wheat Flour, Vegan, Vegetarian, Italian, kid-friendly)


All credits go to How To Really Cook