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I revealed my secret to great pizza. I put a 12” brick tile in the bottom of my oven. The main reason to have the brick tile is, of course, to be able to bake homemade pizza with a crust that is crunchy, crispy, and golden-brown on the outside, and soft, chewy, and fluffy on the inside.
I gave a link to this recipe in that post, but I thought it would be helpful to give detailed instructions on how to make it. Keep in mind that this is not gluten free, but pizza dough is one of those tough things to make without the elasticity of gluten.
2 tablespoons of sugar (1 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon of Morton Brand Kosher Salt (0.5 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil (0.5 oz by weight)
¾ cups water (6 oz by weight)
1 teaspoon yeast
2 cups bread flour (10 oz by weight)
Notes on Ingredients:
The recipe calls for two cups of bread flour, but I decided to weigh the flour so that I could compare the two types with more accuracy. I also wanted to make the recipe easier to duplicate. As you may know, one person’s cup of flour may be actually contain more or less flour than another person’s cup of flour depending on a lot of different variables (method of measurement, temperature, humidity, brand/type of flour, altitude, etc.)
When writing or following a recipe, weighing flour can make it easier to get consistent results. I weighed two cups of King Arthur bread flour and it came out to 10 oz for two cups. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, then just measure by volume but know that you may have to add more flour and water by the tablespoon as needed during the stirring phase.
Some people complain that their pizza turns out way too salty with a tablespoon of kosher salt. It turns out that the crystal size of kosher salt varies from brand to brand, so using Morton brand will yield pizza that is not too salty.
You could also weigh the salt, although I’m not sure that most kitchen scales are accurate enough to account for the difference in salt crystal size from brand to brand. Unless you are using Morton brand kosher salt or a brand of kosher salt that you know to be similar in texture, reduce the kosher salt from 1 tbsp to 2 teaspoons and the sugar from 2 tablespoons to 5.5 teaspoons.
Homemade Pizza Recipe
1a) If you are using instant yeast (which I did not), combine the sugar, olive oil, salt, water, flour, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
1b) If you are using active dry yeast, you will need to bloom (or wake up) the dry yeast in warm water on the side. Combine the sugar and the 3/4 cups warm water in a small bowl or cup. Use a thermometer to make sure the water is between 90-110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, just feel the water with your finger; it should feel similar in temperature to the inside of your mouth.
Add the active dry yeast to the warm sugar water and let it bloom for 5 minutes. Combine this mixture with the flour, olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
2) Using a paddle attachment, stir the ingredients until they come together. This should take a minute or less. If you measured the flour by volume instead of weighing it, you may need to add additional water or flour by the tablespoon if the mixture is too wet or dry.
3) Remove the paddle attachment from the stand mixer and clean off any dough that has stuck to the paddle. Lubricate your dough hook attachment either by spraying it with non-stick spray or by putting oil on your fingers and rubbing the oil on the attachment.
4) Knead the dough for about 15 minutes with the bread hook attachment on medium speed. After 15 minutes check to see if the dough is fully developed by tearing off a pinch and forming a mini pizza (about the size of a pepperoni slice) and stretching it out until you can see light pass through it (this is called a “window pane” test). If the dough isn’t yet fully developed, it will crumble and tear before you are able to make a “window pane” with it. Knead the dough in the stand mixer for 5 more minutes, and test it again. Repeat this until the dough is developed.
5) Coat a bowl with a very small amount of either olive oil, flour, or cornmeal then add the dough ball to the coated bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18-24 hours. The dough will rise slowly and develop a yeasty and bready flavor.
6) Preheat your oven with your brick tile/pizza stone inside on its highest setting (500-550).
7) After the long and cold rise, split the dough in half and form each half into a pizza. There are a ton of different ways to form pizza dough into pizza, and all of them are difficult to explain in writing. Try this technique: use your thumbs to form a crust while holding the dough in front of you. Rotate the dough while pinching the circumference, letting gravity stretch the dough as you turn it. Stretch the dough on your cutting board or pizza peel. If you want a perfectly round pizza, you are going to have to toss it. As in all skills, tossing pizza dough becomes easier with practice.
8) Lightly flour or cornmeal your pizza peel. If you don’t have a pizza peel, you should buy one (especially if you plan on making pizzas often). You could also use a cutting board and a pair of tongs, but I imagine that it would be difficult. Add sauce, herbs/pepper flakes, cheese, and any other toppings to the pizza (in that order). You can brush the crust with olive oil or melted butter before baking, but the pizza is still good without doing so.
9) Slide pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake until it looks done (which should be about 7-9 minutes)
10) Use your peel to remove the pizza (you may need to use tongs, too).
11) Let it rest for a few minutes then enjoy!
Breakdown of Costs
Prices are recent sale prices.
Bi-Lo – Dixie Crystals Sugar, 4 lb bag, $1.24 (2¢ per recipe)
Publix- Morton Kosher Salt, 3lb box, $1.49 (2¢ per recipe)
Publix – Pompeian Extra Light Olive Oil, 4 oz, 69¢ (9¢ per recipe)
Ingles – Fleischmann’s Yeast, 3 ct, 19¢ (3¢ per recipe)
Publix- King Arthur Bread Flour, 5lb bag, $3.99 (50¢ per recipe)
Homemade Pizza Dough = 66¢
Bi-Lo – Kraft Shredded Cheese, 7-8 oz, $1.94 (24¢ per pizza)
Harris Teeter – Barilla Pasta Sauce, 24 oz, 90¢ (4¢ per pizza)
Total Cost of Homemade Cheese Pizza, 94¢
Store Bought Pizza – Red Baron or Freschetta Pizza, 16-30 oz, $3.24
See more frugal living tips.