Lookie what I picked up at the grocery store recently:
Bread flour, for making bread! And yeast, for making bread…that has yeast in it!
“But wait,” you’re thinking, “isn’t this post supposed to be about pizza?”
Why, yes, you are absolutely right. Being the chicken that I am, I decided, after picking up 5 pounds of bread flour, that pizza, rather than bread, might be the better/easier way to go for my first venture into making all things yeasted (yeasty things?). So, I picked out a pizza crust recipe, and, what do you know: it called for bread flour, which happened to be sitting lonely in my cupboard, waiting for me to find some courage and bake a loaf of bread already. Baby steps, baby steps.
This recipe comes from the cookbook that my grandmother compiled from the recipes of her friends and family when she left her amazing store, called Apple Core, after 21 years of selling home decor, delicious homemade goodies, and other treasures. My grandma makes beautiful rosettes (like these) and the most incredible pancakes in the world, so I figured if this recipe made her book, it was worth a try. Plus, it was dubbed by its creator:
Perfect Pizza Crust
Makes: 1 large pizza
- 1 T. active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 T. sugar
- ½ t. salt
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. If you don’t have a thermometer,
ask your mom what to douse water that feels warm to the touch, but not hot.
- Add sugar, salt, 1 cup of bread flour, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth.
- Stir in enough of the remaining bread flour to form a soft, sticky dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Optional: take a walk around town, happen across a rummage sale, and come home with two pillows, a shirt, and a glass jar, all for $1, to find your dough perfectly risen.
- Punch dough down and roll/spread onto a greased pizza pan or a pizza stone dusted with cornmeal. Add toppings.
- Bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and toppings are lightly browned and heated through.
I told you when I made the no-yeast pizza crust that I would one day attempt a yeast crust and bring you my comparison of the two, so here it is:
Yeast. Do it.
Most of you probably already know this, but it never hurts to have one more on the yeast team, right? Now, I’m not saying I’ll never make the other variety again, because sometimes you just need to be able to throw something together quickly, but if you have the time and ability to plan ahead, this crust is the way to go.
Just try to look
that pizza in the eye at that soft, golden (and delicious-smelling) crust and say it’s not.