Recently, I’ve been learning quite a bit about the wonderful world of baking with yeast. While the reason for this is tied to a new client at work, it has been fascinating to learn the different ways you can cook with yeast – and how easy it can be.
As a result, we’ve decided to give it a shot and spend some time this weekend making homemade pizzas. It made for a great activity for a cold winter day!
I found the perfect homemade pizza crust recipe from Red Star Yeast that uses their new Platinum yeast. Platinum yeast is key because it has dough enhancers that speed up the rise process. As a result, it doesn’t take as long to make the homemade crust.
When you’re making anything with a toddler you better be ready before you tell them it’s time to start. Thus, I gathered all of our ingredients and got everything ready to go.
- 1 package (2¼ tsp, ¼oz, 7g) RED STAR Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
- 1⅓ cups warm water (110-115°F)
- 3½ cups, plus more as needed – unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
Then, we followed the instructions from the recipe:
(1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes of until the yeast is foamy and dissolved.
(2) Add flour, olive oil, salt, and sugar. Mix for 1 minute.
(2) Once all of the ingredients are mixed, knead for approximately 7 minutes. If your dough is too wet, add up to ¼ cup more flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
(3) Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment (about 75-80°F) for about 1 – 1½ hours.
(4) Punch the dough down to release the air.
(5) Divide the dough into two. Roll each half into a ball and let rest in two separate greased bowls, lightly covered for 15 minutes.
(6) Preheat the oven to 475°F degrees. Starting your oven now will allow it to heat for at least 30 full minutes. Every inch of your oven needs to be very, very hot. Grease and dust 2 baking sheets or pizza pans with nonstick spray or with olive oil.
(7) Also use this 15 minutes to prepare your toppings. We made homemade sausages and chopped mushrooms and black olives.
(8) After 15 minutes, flatten each ball of dough, one at a time on a lightly floured surface. Flatten into a 12-inch round circle, flattening and stretching the dough. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
(9) Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. We also sprinkled with oregano and parsley. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes before topping.
(10) Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
(11) Last, but certainly not least, enjoy!