Here are some tips for making pizza crust:
Consider the Possibilities
There are many different approaches to making pizza crust, including buying products that put you partway towards your goal to save you time and effort. If you want to work with the dough yourself, you can often find it in the refrigerated or freezer section of your grocery store in a plastic bag, with each bag usually holding enough dough for one pizza. Pizzerias will sometimes sell dough as well. It is also possible to buy pizza crust mix. Dry pizza crust mix is available alone or in kits that contain sauce, pepperoni, and grated cheese to provide you with everything you need. Seasoned varieties, such as rosemary and basic crust, are available, as are gluten free versions for those with allergies.
But there are still more possibilities. Pillsbury offers a refrigerated pizza crust product that only requires unrolling. Boboli® pizza crusts are pre-made and already rolled and baked. Pizzerias are another source of pre-made crusts, sometimes in kits and sometimes plain so that you can top as you wish.
A Crust by Any Other Name
Pizza crust is open to interpretation. You can use a variety of non-standard items as pizza crust, including: English muffins, bagels, tortillas, flat breads, toasted slices from a loaf of bread, rounds sliced from a baguette. Just toast to keep them from going soggy when you add toppings.
If you want to make homemade pizza, here are some hints. There are recipes that call for two risings and recipes that call for one: check carefully to estimate your timing well. Pizza dough can be frozen before the first (or only) rise. Try spraying the inside of a freezer bag with vegetable oil for ease of removing the dough. You can let it defrost in the refrigerator on the day you want to use it and move straight into the rise.
If you have no other suitable place, you can turn your oven to “warm” for a few minutes, turn it off, and let the dough rise there. Don’t let it rise too long—it will start to ferment and not taste good. Try adding herbs to the crust – you can put them in with the flour. Proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water, sugar, oil, and at least one cup of flour and waiting five minutes – this will let you know if the yeast is alive and active.
If you’re going to make pizza often, buy yeast in bulk and store it in the freezer in a sealed container. The little packages and bottles are very expensive. Once you’re at ease making pizza crust, try leaving out the sauce, folding it in half, sealing it, and calling it calzone.