I have been making homemade pizzas ever since I was a kid (check out my pepperoni, mushroom & basil pizza recipe), but I would usually just use canned pizza sauce & store-bought pizza dough. I had dabbled a bit in homemade pizza dough, but it wasn’t something that I had really tried to perfect until recently. I tried a few recipes with varying results until I was able to find a simple, but tasty recipe that I tweaked a bit & now I’m never going to go back to store-bought. Not when making your own is this easy! Read on for my homemade herb pizza dough recipe.
Ingredients (adapted from this recipe)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 t salt
- 2 t sugar
- 2 t fresh oregano
- 1 ⅔ t instant yeast
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- Turn on your oven’s light. Do not turn on the heat.
- Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, oregano & instant yeast. Make a well in the center.
- Pour olive oil & water into the well & stir well with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns into a soft dough.
- Dump the dough on a working surface. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth & silky appearance.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl. Turn the dough over once in order to coat it with oil. Cover with saran wrap.
- Put the bowl in the lighted oven. Leave the dough in the oven with the light on but the heat off for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the bowl to the fridge & let it rise overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes prior to using it.
- I prefer a thinner crust, so I cut the dough in half & freeze one half for a future pizza.
- Use any herbs that you fancy. I have also tried basil & thyme with delicious results.
- Don’t skimp on kneading. If you want a soft pizza crust that rises well then you have to give the dough a good knead.
- Kneading times vary widely. It really depends on the temperature of your kitchen & how much effort you can put into it. Keep on keeping on, you’ll get there.
Like a lot of people during this time, I dove right on into baking. I have always been a big dessert baker, but I never really got into bread baking until a couple of months ago. Sourdough is what got to me. The quest to make my own sourdough (my favorite bread) by creating yeast from scratch was just a challenge I couldn’t pass up. Lucky for me, sourdough making has been so far so good (check out my sourdough cucumber sandwiches recipe), so much so that I expanded my bread making adventures to include brioche, sourdough focaccia, brioche burger buns, white loaves, doughnuts & so much pizza crust. Prior to all of this bread baking, I usually only had the standard 3 packets of dry yeast laying around for the occasional needing to use yeast recipe. But that all changed when I found a pound of instant yeast for an absolute steal at a local grocery store. Ever since then I’ve been baking up a bread storm over here. I can’t state enough how helpful having a pound of yeast is for a budding bread baker. Go get yourself some, if you haven’t already.
This pizza crust is a pillowy dream. I am not the pickiest person when it comes to a pizza crust, but this crust really takes the cake. It’s soft, but not chewy & has just the right amount of rise, so it doesn’t push your cheese & toppings all around town. I have tried it in a regular pizza pan, a deep dish pan & in a cast iron skillet with great results. The fresh from the garden herbs is what really pushes this crust over the edge though. Why should pizza dough skimp on the flavor when it can be a flavor vehicle? It’s such a simple step to throw in a few homegrown herbs into your dough, but it’s often skipped. Don’t skip this step & you’ll be off to Flavortown.
I was able to make my first tomato sauce of the season a little while ago (check out my fresh from the garden tomato sauce recipe). I had just the right amount for two delicious pizzas that I made in my cast iron skillet. We have been on a fresh mozzarella kick for a few months now, which means that we have also been on a fresh mozzarella pizza kick for a few months. I found that a cast iron pan is the best way to make a fresh mozzarella pizza because it really cuts down on the potential sogginess that the fresh variety can plague your pizzas with. Interested in making it yourself? Check out my cast iron pizza recipe. Happy pizza making & eating!