I love pizza. It’s a near-perfect food. And I’ve recently discovered how to make restaurant style crust at home. I’ll probably never use the pre-made crust again. It’s so good and you can do it for CHEAP.

So, here’s what I do:

Adapted from The Kitschy Kitchen

This dough is enough for 2 smallish pizzas.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix stir together 1.5 cups of bread flour, .5 teaspoon of yeast, 1.25 cups + 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water, and .75 teaspoon of salt. Then put the dough hook attachment on the mixer and turn it up to the second highest setting. Let it go for 15 minutes. Don’t walk away though. That sucker will jump all over the counter if you don’t watch it. After the 15 minutes, turn it up all the way and let it go for another 5 minutes. The dough should have pulled away from the edges of the bowl entirely and formed a ball. Turn this out into an oiled bowl and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Set it somewhere warm.

Now, you’re going to have to let it rise for a while. This isn’t any last-minute pizza here. It’s so worth it. I promise.

Anyway, it needs to rise until it triples in volume. This will take 2-4 hours. A half hour before you’re ready to cook the pizza, you are going to get the oven ready. And this is the trick: put the two oven racks two rows apart. Put either a pizza stone or unglazed tiles (you can get these at Home Depot – just make sure they are unglazed.) on each rack. That’s right, the top and bottom rack. Now crank up your oven as high as it will go.

When your dough has risen sufficiently, turn it out onto a floured surface (it will pour out). Cut it into 2 equal pieces and form them into balls. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Once they have rested, form your pizza crust. I hold the edge and quickly move my way around the edge of the crust. This will get the middle thin while leaving the crusty edge chewy yet crunchy. You’re basically letting gravity do the work. When it is the size and thickness you’d like it, lay it on either a pizza peel or a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal. The corn meal is super important. If you don’t use it, your dough will stick to the surface of your peel or pan and you will dump pizza toppings into your oven. Boo.

So, once you have it on your peel or pan, top it with your favorite toppings. Try not to overdo it. If you use too much sauce or cheese, it won’t crisp up. When you have it topped to your liking, gently and carefully slide your pizza directly onto the lower layer of tiles/stones. It will be between the two. Don’t walk away now, either. That baby will be done in 5-7 minutes.

Holy crap, guys. This pizza crust recipe (so simple) paired with this method of baking (cheap and easy) is seriously comparable to professional pizza joints. Like I said, I probably won’t buy pre-made crusts anymore. I’ll either plan in making it ahead of time or order it from a professional. The extra effort is so worth it.

P.S. Sorry I have no pictures. We devoured it before I even had a chance to think, “Gee, this would make a good topic to write about tonight!”

P.P.S. You guys should still vote for what dress you want me to make here.