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by Sarah Steimer

Everyone needs a staple pizza crust recipe! Our stand-by ingredients usually consist of the sauce, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach and onion. This slice also has roasted red pepper and fresh basil.

Everyone needs a staple pizza crust recipe! Our stand-by ingredients usually consist of the sauce, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, onion and crushed red pepper. This slice also has roasted red pepper and fresh basil.

FOR SAUCE:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (depends on how sweet you like your sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or plain vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients well. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Makes about 2 cups sauce, which you can freeze in a baggie or tupperware for later use.

FOR CRUST (enough for two pizzas):

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 packets dry yeast (about 5 teaspoons yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

    I prefer to make the full recipe, using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. I always freeze half of the dough for another day.

    I prefer to make the full recipe, using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. I always freeze half of the dough for another day.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the bowl and brushing
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour – OR – 2 cups all-purpose and 2 cups wheat flour

Adjust the racks in your oven so there is enough room for a large bowl to sit. Heat the oven to its lowest temperature. Before you begin mixing the dough, turn the oven off. This creates a warm — but not too hot — place for the dough to rise.

Place the warm water in a medium bowl and sprinkle the yeast in. Let sit for about 5 minutes, or until foamy.

Whisk in the sugar, olive oil and salt. Transfer the mixture to either a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or a food processor fitted with the dough blade. You can also mix by hand with a wooden spoon.

Add the flour a little at a time to the yeast mixture until the dough forms and is smooth, but do not overmix.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the warm oven to rise, about 1 hour.

This is my pizza after the crust has baked for about 5 minutes, but the toppings are uncooked. My pizzas only take about 15 minutes after this point.

This is my pizza after the crust has baked for about 5 minutes, but the toppings are uncooked. My pizzas only take about 15 minutes after this point.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead just 2-3 times. Divide the dough in half. If only making one pizza, place on half into a large freezer bag. It can be stored for up to three months.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet (or use your pizza stone, if you’re lucky enough to have that!). Gently press the dough into a large oval or rectangular shape slightly smaller than the baking sheet itself, about 17 inches by 12 inches. Brush with olive oil.

I prefer to prebake the crust a little, about 5 minutes in the oven, but you can also immediately top the unbaked crust and bake everything at once!

Bake the pizza, with toppings, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Crust recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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