Frugal Living 

Making Your Own Pizza Dough

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After writing about how we love making pizza, we’ve learned that we’ve been fools to buy Boboli pizza crusts. In fact, Karen at MSN’s Smart Spending even said we were cheaters! Having learned the error of our ways, we’ve decided that the next time we make pizza we’ll be making our own pizza dough, which appears to be fairly simple.

Oh, I also had a revelation the other day. I was walking through Trader Joe’s (they sell 200 Cone #4 coffee filters for $1.69, cheaper than any other place I know of) when I saw they sold fresh pizza dough for 99 cents. 99 cents! What the heck have I been doing buying Boboli pizza crusts???

Pizza Dough Recipe

This simple pizza dough recipe comes from Broke Ass Gourmet, which is a great place to pick up some fun recipes even if you aren’t a broke ass. 🙂

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for the bowl
  • 1 tsp salt

The directions are simple, put the water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and let it sit for 4-5 minutes so the yeast can work its magic. Then combine salt and flour in a mixer and stream in the yeast mixture and your olive oil. Then use the mixer until it forms the dough. Knead the dough then put it in a bowl, cover it with a dish towel, and put it in a warm place so the yeast can do so more of its magic. Let it rise for thirty, then beat it down, then let it rise for thirty more. Doneski and ready for pizza toppings!

After the basic recipe, you can start playing with it and adding flavors you think you’ll like. What separates one cook’s pizza dough from another is in these secret ingredients and those secret ingredients are mostly from trial and error. Some recipes call for a bit of honey, others use sourdough, and even others start integrating spices into the dough itself. Trial and error is more fun than reading from a recipe anyway!

Another benefit of making your own dough is that you can make the pizza’s smaller and get more creative with the toppings. Now that we plan to make our own pizza dough, we can go nuts on the toppings! I envision a saffron, beluga caviar, truffle and Kobe beef pizza in our future!

(Photo: inf)

{ 25 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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25 Responses to “Making Your Own Pizza Dough”

  1. That picture is making me feel the need to eat pizza. I think that we’re going to try this over the weekend (if I can wait that long). I’ve been looking for a good excuse to start making breads and doughs anyway.

  2. Fairy Dust says:

    It’s also fun to cook on the grill now that we’re coming back into grilling season. Pat out the dough as you normally would and put it straight on the (cleaned and oiled) grill for just a minute or two, then turn it over and do the same. Take it off, add all the toppings and put it back on until the cheese is melted and looks like you want it to :). Tastest heavenly!

  3. Chewbakka says:

    Great idea. Tried this but my crust never seems to heat evenly to get that nice aroma and texture you tend to get from a pizza store. Any thoughts?

    • Jim says:

      I think the ovens at a pizza restaurant are designed much better than the basic one you get at home, so it’s hard to compare the two. It’s cheaper at home though!

  4. mercy mei says:

    I like to reheat pizzas on the grill, too. Make the crust crispy w/o burning the cheese and toppings!

    I also make mini-pizzas with pita bread. I buy the day-old pitas for 99¢ for 4-6. Those I usually make in my toaster oven.

  5. Chewbakka, you should try using less dough, a.k.a. having a thinner crust. I had the same problem when I orginally started making my own dough.

    Recently, I’ve began to make wheat dough using 85-90% wheat flour and just a small amount of regular flour. I throw in red pepper flakes, oregano, and whatever else hits my fancy. It makes for amazing thin crust.

    Try one with banana peppers and jalepeno slices. Mmmmmmm, maybe I’ll make that tonight!

  6. Modder says:

    Buy a pizza stone. Cost $15-50 = price of a delivery pizza or one of those deep dish monstrosities so popular in this neck of the woods…

  7. ouizoid says:

    LOVE!!! Her pizza dough rocks and their are a ton of other wonderful recipes

  8. You really need to use a high gluten flour for some great dough. National brands that are high gluten include Gold Medal’s “Better for Bread” and the also obvious King Arthur’s “Bread Flour.” I can find each locally with the Gold Medal brand costing $2.75/bag and the King Arthur flour at $4.99/bag. I have purchased both and honestly the dough made with King Arthur has a better taste, but I cannot justify the cost at almost twice the price when my kids can’t tell a difference.

    Also, but a pizza stone found at your big box retailer for about $10. Place the stone on the wire rack at the bottom positon of your oven and set your oven to the highest temperature it will go and preheat for 45 minutes to an hour. Mine tops out at 500 degrees. This will produce the best homemade pizza that may even rival your favorite pizza shop depending on your sauce and toppings.

  9. Anthony says:

    Oh! the irony of Kobe beef and the thriftiness of homemade pizza dough!

    Good article. I ought to try this some time.

  10. Victoria says:

    Okay, speaking of pizza sauce and topings, do you
    use spaghetti sauce on top or some other concoction? do you cook the toppings first?
    This sounds like I might give it a try!

  11. katy says:

    Well done!!!

  12. Jeremy says:

    Like others have suggested, get a good pizza stone. My suggestion is to use the grill to cook the pizza. Place the stone in the grill and heat the grill (and stone) to 375. You can mess with the burners depending on your grill. For my Webber I use the front and back, leaving the middle off or low. The grill is a PERFECT place to cook pizza. Just measure the depth of your grill so you don’t buy a stone too large to fit with the lid closed.

    I also echo the use of high gluten flour. It will allow the dough to stretch out as you flip it in the air.

    One other suggestion. When I worked in a pizza place as a teen, I used to have people come in and buy raw dough all the time. I’d charge them 2 bucks for a ball to make a 16″ pizza. You can’t beat freshly made dough from a good mom and pop pizza joint!

  13. pmoa says:

    Still nothing beats DiFara’s in brooklyn! A 70 year old man making pizzas by hand…Still the best pizza i’ve ever had…

  14. Patrick says:

    I love making my own pizza, it’s so much cheaper than buying from a pizza place and you can make it healthier. You can use fresher cheeses and toppings and you know exactly what you are putting into it. I agree with others in that it’s hard to get the crust cooked just right with our ovens. I only wish I had a brick oven.

  15. Karen Datko says:

    Hey, I cheat too. I’m still using Martha White thin-crust mix, even though the price has gone up since I posted about it. Now you’re a purist. Salute!

  16. Your pizza looks delicious! I make homemade pizza a lot. It’s a great way to stretch your leftovers!

  17. What a beautiful pizza!

    I love making my own pizza dough. Usually I make my pizza dough with a sourdough starter — it imparts a depth to the taste of the crust that is quite wonderful. Plus, you can make it a few days ahead of when you want to bake your pizza. With a sourdough, the taste only gets better with time!

  18. Steve says:

    Ok you saved money on the dough but then you spent it all and more on toppings. Why not just go to the cheezer geezer and get two pizzas for 5 bucks.

  19. Technopeasant says:

    Okay … how about this for Broke Ass?

    I wanted real dadgum pizza, which is near impossible without an oven that has a radiant stone floor, and radiant high temperature walls. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. So … being a pizza and bread baking Broke Ass, I built my own oven following the advice of Kiko Denver’s marvelous book Earth Oven (Amazon)

    Now, before you whoa! I can’t afford that! I hand built this out of earth, clay and soils on my house lot. The fence and roof and framing all came from salvaging construction project dumpsters. The whole kit cost me less than $200. And wood fired pizza is to die for. Not the five and six thousand dollar big ticket custom brick outdoor kitchen ovens. Just my own oven built by hand.

    be a Broke Ass. It’s a gas.

  20. timbuck2mom says:

    I like how simple this looks. I’m going to try it or at least have someone in the family make it – maybe my daughter. She likes to make her own crust sometimes.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The recipe calls for 2.5 cups of flour not 3.5.

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