We host a lot of pizza parties in the Teen Underground. While we can’t get together for pizza right now, there’s nothing stopping us from making it at home and sharing the results online. Here’s the pizza dough recipe that I’ve used for years. The ingredients and equipment it requires are basic kitchen staples that you may already have on had. If you do need to go out, take a few standard precautions.
Part 1: Make The Dough
- Flour – 3.5 cups
- Yeast – 1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons
- Sugar – follow instructions on yeast package, Ex. 1 teaspoon
- Warm Water – 1 1/2 cups, (110-115° F)
- Salt – 2x amount needed for yeast, Ex. 2 teaspoons
- Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
- Large Bowl (for mixing dough)
- Medium bowl (for sifting flour and salt)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Food Thermometer
Step One: WASH YOUR HANDS. This should always be your first step any time you prepare food.
Step Two: Start with your yeast. Active yeast needs time to proof, while instant yeast can go right in the mix. To proof active yeast, add 1 cup warm water, the yeast, and sugar to the large bowl. Follow the directions on your yeast package for the best results. It’s important for the water to be the right temperature (110-115° F). Let the yeast mixture sit in the bowl in a warm spot for 10 minutes while it proofs. Watch it bubble while you measure your flour and salt.
Step Three: Sift the flour and salt together in the medium bowl. Then stir it with the spatula.
Step Four: Add the flour-salt blend to the yeast mixture about 1 cup at a time, adding in your remaining 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons olive oil in between cups of flour.
Step Five: Stir the dough with the spatula until it starts to get tough. It won’t look like pizza dough yet, but it’s close. Maybe it’s a little dry and crumbly — that’s totally normal.
Step Six: Dust your hands with a little extra flour, and knead your dough. Work it with your knuckles. You may need to add a tiny bit more water or flour if it feels a little too wet or dry. Pick it up and squish it between your hands, then plop it it he bowl and knead it again. Now it looks like pizza dough!
Step Seven: Work the dough into a ball, drizzle a little olive oil around the bowl and swirl it around. It’s time to let it rest and rise. Cover it with a dish towel and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour. Watch a movie for free on Kanopy.
Step Eight: After an hour, your dough ball should have doubled in size! There’s a lot of air in it, so knead it down, then split it into two equal-size balls. You’ve got enough dough for two pizzas! If you aren’t going to make both pizzas right away, then you can save the extra dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Cover it with foil to keep it fresh.
Part 2: Make the Pizza
I made a simple cheese pizza, but you can use whatever toppings you like.
- 12-14 inch pizza pan, or rectangle baking sheet
- Olive Oil
- Seasoning (dried basil, Italian blend, salt & pepper … whatever floats your boat)
- 4 oz. tomato sauce
- 8 oz. shredded cheese
Step One: Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. The hot oven will bake your pizza fast!
Step Two: Drizzle a little olive oil on your pizza pan and spread it around.
Step Three: Now it’s time to spread your dough out on the pan. I’m no good at spinning dough in the air, but you don’t really need to do that. Pizza dough is really elastic and will pull back a little each time you stretch it out, so just be patient! Gradually work it out from the middle of the pan toward the edges with your fingers. If a hole forms, you can fill it in by pressing the surrounding dough down into it.
Step Four: Sprinkle seasoning all over your dough.
Step Five: Add 4 oz of tomato sauce, spooning it out a little at a time and spreading it evenly. Don’t over-sauce, that’ll just result in soggy pizza.
Step Six: Add a little more seasoning, if you like.
Step Seven: Now add the cheese! I used a whole 8 oz bag, shaking it out and then spreading the last few bits with my fingers to coat the sauce evenly.
Step Eight: Slide the pan on to the middle rack of the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes. You can add an extra minute, or take it out a minute early depending on how well done you like your cheese.
Congrats! You’ve made pizza. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes, then slice it and enjoy.
Post your pizza creations to Instagram and tag @nmdlunderground, or send them to us on Snapchat @teenunderground.
Viewing Suggestion: Slice (2017) is the movie debut of Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper. Chance stars as an amateur sleuth who sets out to catch a killer who’s murdering pizza delivery boys. It’s available free on Kanopy. Here are a few more suggestions, all from Kanopy:
Flatbreads and Pizza on the Grill (2015)
Butter and Cheese: Northern Italy (2014)
Classical Italian Cuisine: Central Italy (2014)
Bounty from the Sea: Southern Italy (2014)
New Chefs on the Block (2016)
From Farm To Table (2007)
Need to track carbs? All-purpose flour contains 95.4 grams of carbohydrates per cup. 1/16 of the pizza dough (1/8 of a finished crust) will contain 21 grams. The tomato sauce for that slice will add about 1 gram. Shredded cheese will add 1 more gram, bringing the total to 23 grams.
Need a Gluten-Free option? Try this one out: Gluten-Free Pizza