Saturday, November 15, 2008

Making You Own Pizza Crust

Everybody loves pizza, right?  Making pizza from a freshly made dough is cheap, easy and fun!  I think people can be intimidated by pizza dough since it is a yeast risen dough which needs rising time and kneading.  Hopefully these directions will help you successfully make you own pizza.

Basic Pizza Dough

1/2 cup Warm Water
1 tsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 1/4 cup Unbleached White Flour
1 Tb Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
1/2 tsp Salt

Dissolve the agave nectar in the warm water.  The water should be a little warmer than room temperature but should be comfortable on your skin.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand for 5 minutes.

Add the olive oil to the liquid ingredients.  You can then add the flour, gluten and salt.  Mix this all into the liquid ingredients and blend until combined.  Pour the contents on a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.

In the kneading process you will want to create a pattern of folding the dough and pressing it out again.  You will need to add more flour as you go, but it is best just to add a little at a time.
Once I have pressed the dough out and start folding it again, I often rotate the dough to make sure the entirety of the dough is being kneaded properly.  Kneading the dough allows for the gluten in the dough to develop.  Kneading too little can cause the dough to not rise as much.  Kneading too much can cause dense results.  
You can tell when the dough is finished kneading since it will have a smooth, elastic feel and will spring back when pressed out.  

When I am done kneading the dough I cover my hands with a little oil and then use my hands to cover the dough with oil.  Put this dough in a bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise for about 20 minutes.  The dough will get about double in size.  

This is a good time to preheat the oven and prepare all the great topping for your pizza.  My favorite vegan cheese on the market is the brand Follow Your Heart.  Sometimes I will use a tofu spread, cashew sauce or pesto instead.  

When the dough has finished rising, simply spread the dough out on an oiled pizza pan, put on the toppings and bake it at 425ºF for 15-20 minutes.  Enjoy!


Deb Schiff said...

Looks like a fantastic crust! Nice photos.

Cassidy Stockton said...

Yum. I guess I can be less lazy and follow a recipe... the mix you developed is just so easy! :) This looks equally as easy, though. Now that I've gotten over my fear of homemade bread, I think pizza is a good project to tackle.

nzlndr00 said...

did you make the pizza in the picture? it looks so good. i want a slice right now. let's plan a pizza making night soon huh??? =)