When I gave up dairy, pizza was one of the first things that came to mind. I really wondered if I could live without it. Like any American I deeply loved pizza and had a fine appreciation for the garlic butter sauce from Papa Johns (drool).
Fortunately, I’ve grown used to cheese-less pizza which satisfies my pizza cravings. However, there are issues that sometimes come up when eating pizza from a restaurant. Meaning, some places put cheese in the sauce or crust or use butter. That’s why I decided to work on my homemade pizza skills.
Enter the lovely pizza mentor / inspiration: my sister in law. She has been making homemade pizza for our family for years, and we all love her pizzas. Awhile back I asked her to teach me her ways, and I took down the recipe. Now that I’m fully committed to making pizzas at home, I’ve started trying to make her ‘za myself and I’ve been really enjoying it. I do a mix of my favorite veggies but the possibilities are endless!
Perfect Pizza Dough
- 1 package dried yeast
- 1 cup warm water (not hot, not cold)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3.5 cups flour (can be all white or a mix of white and whole wheat)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pizza or marinara sauce
- Toppings of your choice
- Optional: vegan cheese, nutritional yeast flakes or regular cheese if not dairy-free
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes.
- Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gradually work half yeast mixture into the well with your fingers.
- Add olive oil and gradually work in remaining yeast mixture.
- Add a tablespoon or more of water, if needed, to make dough soft and smooth.
- Turn dough onto a flat surface andknead vigorously for at least 10 minutes – pushing dough away from you, then folding it back toward you – until it’s smooth and elastic with a dull sheen.
- Note: If you have a kitchen aid mixer, knead the dough using the dough hook attachment. This is so much easier!
- Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl, turning dough over to grease the top of the ball.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45-60 minutes. Use this time to prep the toppings!
- Preheat oven to 450-475 F.
- Note: If using a pizza stone, make sure it’s in the oven.
- Divide risen dough in half.
- Note: If you are using only one half of the dough, you can freeze the other half. I’ve used it after being in the freezer for a week, and it was still perfect!
- Roll eachdough half out leaving an edge.
- Note: This is where you can pick it up and spin it around!
- Sprinkle cornmeal on arimless baking sheet. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet.
- Note: I purchased one of the rimless, circular pizza baking sheets at my neighborhood Walmart market for less than $5. It’s critical to have a baking sheet without a lip – you cannot get the dough off a sheet with a lip – trust me!
- Top pizza with sauce and toppings.
- Transfer pizza from baking sheet to the pizza stone and bake for approximately 13 minutes.
Pictures of my process:
Enjoy your perfect homemade pizzas! If you have any questions, be sure to invite me over and I’ll answer your questions in person 🙂