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How to make amazing pizza crust without a pizza stone!

Posted Nov 19 2012 9:13am

I LOVE using a pizza stone to bake pizza and bread, but I currently do not have one.  I remember years ago, when I used my Cuisinart Toaster Oven for most of my baking how excited I was to find an stone sized perfectly for it.  I loved that toaster oven!

..but back to pizza crust.  You need three things
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • 450 degree oven
Make your favorite pizza dough recipe (or even use pre-made store bought dough.  Trader Joes has lovely pizza dough)

I make my own and it is really simple.

Pizza Dough
  • 2 teaspoons SAF yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups flour + up to 1 cup for kneading purposes
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or omit if you don't like heat)
Method
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the yeast, sugar and water; let it sit for 5 minutes
  2. Add the oil and flour, cornmeal, and spices; mixing with a wooden spoon until you have to  knead by hand.
  3. Turn out on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
  4. Spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl; cover and let rise until doubled in size (around 45 minutes or so)
  5. Punch down, divide dough into two pieces. Here is your pizza dough!
To achieve the lovely crusty pizza, heat your oven to 450.  Cut a piece of parchment paper; turn the cookie sheet up side down and and slowly, work your dough out by hand to fit the sheet.


Bake for 8 minutes on the lowest wrack. You are pre-baking the crust.  You will sauce and top it once it's pre-baked.  I used my simple Pantry Green Olive Tapanade as the topping for this pizza.


Top pizza with whatever floats your boat!  My Roasted Garlic Marinara is my usual go-to sauce for pizza, but vegan Pesto is delicious too!


Your pizza is topped with your favorite things; now it's time to finish baking it!


 This time, you will place the parchment directly on the lowest oven rack without the sheet pan.

  Look how perfect the crust is!


If you want a thicker crust, increase baking time by several minutes for a total of 20-22 minutes total baking time. 


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