• 3 c King Arthur flour (red bag)
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c warm water (not too warm)
Instant pizza crust

This one should have been added a LONG time ago. My famous instant pizza crust. There are several ways to make this one and the cooking times vary widely. One variation I have is substituting 1 cup of flour with a cup of masa harina. This is the instant tamale mix you can find in a Mexican grocery store or I've even seen it at Safeway. When you do this, you need a touch more water than normal. King Arthur flour is my favorite for this recipe, others will work fine though.

For the thin crust I split it into two and cook it on a restaurant style pizza screen and put half in a ziplock in the fridge (covered with olive oil) for later if I don't need it.

For the thick crust, I have a gigantic 15 inch cast iron skillet made by Lodge that I use. Mine is very very well seasoned. If it's not, don't try this. Still, I pour 1/4 c or more olive oil into the bottom of the pan to infuse the crust with flavor and to keep it from sticking. Either way, I turn my oven all the way to max to cook this which is roughly 500 degree F. You should be able to make the entire pizza from flour to toppings in the time it takes the oven to preheat.

Don't be afraid to cook this crust however you like. If you want to try a thick version on a pizza screen, go for it. I used to do that all the time until I thought to use the cast iron skillet. If you'd like to make a thin crust but roll up some cheese in the edges, that works well too as a stuffed crust. It's YOUR pizza, do with it as you wish.

Update 4-23-2010: I've found that leaving the dough it a ziplock with some olive oil in the fridge overnight does wonders. You can leave it in the fridge up to a week before you use it but it really makes the end product nicer. Another thing I've been doing lately is to fold the dough twice when I roll it out. This gives the crust a nice multi-layered texture. Make sure to poke a bunch of holes in the crust with a fork before you cook it so it doesn't bubble up.

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  1. Throw all of the dry ingredients into your food processor with the standard chopping blade. Pulse it until mixed.

  2. If your food processor has a low speed, turn it on and add the water slowly until the dough clumps together leaving little or no flour behind.

  3. Once it's been around the bowl a few times, pull it out and decide thick or thin crust.

  4. Thin: divide dough in half, form the dough into a ball and roll it out fairly thin on a surface floured with masa harina, flour or cornmeal. I use a 16" (or so) pizza screen and that's just about right. Once it's rolled out, load on the toppings and put it in the oven at 500d F for 5-8 minutes. The crust should bubble and cheese should brown a bit. 2nd from top or top rack is good.

  5. Thick: Pour a LOT (1/4 c or more) of olive oil into your 15" cast iron skillet. You want the crust to be swimming in oil. On a floured surface, press the dough into an 8 inch (or so) circle. Transfer the dough into the skillet and press it into shape with your fists. The oil will slop over the sides on top of the crust, this is fine. Top it and throw it in the oven for 15 minutes or so. Keep a close eye on it after about 10 minutes. Don't chicken out and pull it out too early because you want it to be cooked through. Make sure your cheese is really browned. Cooking time on the thicker crust varies widely depending on your choice of toppings and how much sauce you use.

This recipe was last updated: 04-23-2010