I love making homemade pizza. It’s one of those foods that is hard to find a good restaurant for when the craving hits. I fancy myself a pizza buff, my hometown of Portland, Oregon takes pizza very seriously. And with that comes this simple pizza crust recipe. With numerous gourmet pizzerias scattered around Portland, there are plenty of opportunities to find a favorite spot. I could confidently make a wager that for Portlanders, pizza comes in as the 3rd most consumed item, under coffee and chocolate covered espresso beans. My favorite pizza crust recipe comes from a pizzeria that is actually not in Portland, it’s a little spot in Fukuoka, Japan. What? Not Italy? Nope. Maybe my next trip to Italy I’ll find a new #1, but for now it’s this little place in Fukuoka. For the life of me I can’t recall the name of the place and I’ll have to spend days hunting next time I visit the city. Although, suggesting a restaurant is not the point of this post, rather what instantly made it my #1. If you take the world view of the dish and not the narrow definition most diehard fans like to take, pizzas come in endless variations. Attention paid to the plethora of toppings can distract from what I think defines the success of that first bite. The whole experience for me balances not on the toppings or the sauce, but the crust. That’s right, the most basic and underrated part of the pizza. For me, I look at the crust like a martini, something so simple, yet often easily messed up. This appreciation I’ve gained for pizza crust came from that first bite in Fukuoka and that’s why it remains the bar I judge all other pizzerias by. This simple pizza crust recipe is by far not as good as what I tasted in Japan, but I keep perfecting it and its a work in progress. Right now I have to toot my own horn and say I found a pizza crust recipe that is pretty darn good.
NO FUSS SIMPLE PIZZA CRUST RECIPE
- 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour or pizza flour (more flour for dusting)
- 1 /1/3 cups of hot water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Mix yeast, sugar, and the hot water with a spoon and let the yeast bubble for about 5-10 minutes. Fit an electric mixer with dough hooks and turn it to it’s lowest setting. Toss in the salt and olive oil then slowly mix in the flour a little at a time. Stop frequently and use a spatula to scrap off the dough that sticks to the sides of the bowl and hooks. Continue mixing until the dough forms a ball in the center adding water or more flour (a little at a time) if the dough is too crumbly or watery.
- Fold the dough with your hands a few times then let the dough take a nap for an hour in a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling-film on top of your pre-heated oven (500˚F) or some place warm. The dough should rise a little. After the dough rises dust your hands with some flour and break into three pieces. Roll out on a surface covered in a generous amount of flour. Place on a baking sheet, pizza stone or whatever you got and then top with your favorite ingredients.