This dough can be made ahead and frozen so that you have two pizza crusts ready to go for dinner one night when Papa John calls out to you. Instead of relying on delivery (which can cost a family of four as much as I spend per week in groceries), pull out your dough and you'll be ready to bake in no time. If you roll your dough into pizza crust shape before freezing, the thawing time will be minimal. The other option is to keep it in a ball and thaw it overnight in the fridge. Either way, pizza night just got a whole lot cheaper and less complicated.
This is not the first pizza dough I've shared with you, but it has a different texture and taste than this one. The one I shared a while back is great for cracker-thin crusts. This dough is softer, which makes it a natural choice for my kids' school lunches.
Make-Ahead Pizza Dough
Makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas (thin crust)
What You Need:
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (if desired. adds color and flavor. I used parsley, basil, and thyme)
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour (white or whole wheat, or a combination)
- Stir together yeast, sugar, and water, and let it sit until bubbly. Stir in half the flour, the salt, herbs, and melted butter.
- Knead in remaining flour until a stiff dough forms. Knead about 6 minutes.
- Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down, divide it in half, and roll each half into desired shapes. In my case, rectangles, as I'm making pizza sticks. I want my sticks on the thick side, so I rolled my dough into rectangles that were about 1/2" thick. Place the dough on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. You can freeze at this point if you want. Otherwise, proceed.
- Let the dough rest 20 minutes. Then, top as desired and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
- I placed each rectangle onto a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
- I used a pizza cutter to cut through (but not separate) the dough, making 1" wide strips.
- I spread a bit of pizza sauce -- just a couple tablespoons per rectangle -- on the dough.
- Then, I topped the sauce with sliced veggies. In this case, sweet banana peppers.
- Next, I sprinkled about 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella and a bit of Parmesan cheese on each rectangle, and baked them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. I let them cool slightly before recutting the strips.