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This recipe makes six 8-inch pizzas, or ten 5-inch pizzas. Thin crust with the crunch of cornmeal on the bottom. You may never order out for pizza again!
Ingredients for Pizza Dough:
1 packet yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
3 – 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
Electric Mixer with Dough Hook
Way better than delivery!
Some say it’s the NYC tap water that gives New York pizza its great taste and texture. So, for a little East Coast-West Coast pizza rivalry, I’m using good ol’ Los Angeles County tap water. Heated to about 110 – 120 (F).
Pour heated water into mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast into water. Add sugar to feed the beast –err, I mean yeast. Let rest about 4 minutes, allowing yeast to activate. Stir. Add salt and olive oil. Mix about 1 minute.
Begin adding flour 1/2 cup at a time with mixer running on low-speed. You may not need all 4 cups.
You will see the dough begin to take shape after each addition of flour. My Mom always says a sticky dough is better than a stiff dough. You can see (above) that the dough is sticky, but firm enough to almost fall from the hook. Oil hands with a little olive oil and pull dough from hook.
Knead dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.
Nap time! Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Allow to rest for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Sweet dreams little dough ball…
Oh, look who woke up? And my how you’ve grown!
Punch down dough and knead. Reshape into a ball and allow to rest an additional 15 minutes. Dough will rise again, this time more quickly.
Now let’s make some pizzas!
Sprinkle board with cornmeal. Cut a hunk of dough off according to the size of pizza you’d like to make. I’m making small, thin crust pizzas, so my dough hunk weighs 2.3 ounces. It’s about the size of a big golf ball.
Shape dough by pressing on board with fingertips. Let gravity work for you. Stretch dough by holding a side and allowing the weight of the dough to stretch it thinner. I’m not going to say that you can read a newspaper through my crust, but I do like it thin. Use a rolling pin for the thinnest crust.
I’m making 5-inch pizzas. Call them extra-personal pizzas if you will. With an assortment of toppings, the possibilities are endless. That said, I’m a bit of a pizza purist. Tomato sauce and cheese is usually how I roll.
Fire up the grill!
Preheat grill to medium, medium-high. Place pizza dough on the grill, cornmeal side up. The key to grilling pizza is not having the grill too hot, not having the layer of sauce, cheese and toppings too thick, and not worrying that you’re gonna get cornmeal all over the place.
Rotate the pizza crust, grilling until golden. Turn the pizza crust over (cornmeal side down) and top however you like! Simple tomato and cheese, mushroom-pesto… whatever floats your boat!
Again, the key is having your grill at a medium temperature so that the cheese melts before you burn the bottom crust. If the grill is too hot and your crust gets dark too quickly, remove from grill and finish under the broiler. Place a cookie sheet or pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500(F). Place pizza under the broiler and watch like a hawk!
If you would like to use your oven, simply place a cookie sheet or pizza stone on the lower rack of your oven and preheat to 450(F). Place prepared pizzas on sheet or stone for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of your pizzas. The toppings will be melted and bubbling and the edges of the crust will be golden brown.
To freeze leftover dough, after the second rise, section into balls and wrap with plastic wrap. Place into an airtight container. To use, thaw dough in the refrigerator, 4-8 hours depending on size of dough portions.
MORE GREAT PIZZA RECIPES
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
BBQ Chicken Mac n Cheese Pizza
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Link to the Saving Dough, Making Dough blog post.