I’m not even kidding. This is the quickest and easiest pizza dough recipe I’ve ever made: hardly any waiting, no proofing, none of this you-must-plan-hours-in-advance business. It takes about 20 minutes or less for the dough to be ready for the oven! You don’t even need a fancy mixer to knead this but you can use one if you want. (Though you’ll only use it for a few minutes at most!)
There is some aquafaba involved and you can leave it out altogether if you want the usual pizza crust result. On the other hand, use it if you want guaranteed light and fluffy dough!
I made my own tomato sauce a couple of weeks ago since we have an overloaded garden. THE BEST SAUCE EVER. But you can be lazy and use any ol’ marinara sauce or plain tomato sauce that you’ve spiced up with some herbs.
While I approve of the flavor and texture of Daiya vegan cheese, it’s spendy and not convenient here. We’re happy to eat cheese-less pizza (surprisingly, you really don’t miss it) but I usually have a homemade stash of vegan parmesan in the fridge and use it when we’re feeling like free spirits. You can make a really basic version by following the recipe here from Minimalist Baker (cashews are the primary nut used, though you can sub this with toasted sesame seeds) or you can use a slightly fancied up version by following the recipe here from Oh She Glows (scroll down to see it; this one uses cashews, toasted sesame seeds, and hemp seeds). I usually double the latter recipe to make as much as the former.
As for toppings, choose what you wish! Most recently, I’ve used some combo of the following: chickpeas, olives, mushrooms, crookneck squash, kale, onions, fresh green onions on top.
Okay, let’s get right to it.
Quick and Easy Pizza Crust
Makes one crust, adapted from Chef Rider’s recipe on allrecipes.com
- 1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt (see notes for more flavor additions)
- 3 to 6 tablespoons of aquafaba (i.e. canned bean liquid, liquid from chickpeas are typically used most as aquafaba but just about any bean liquid will do)
- 1 rough tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose [AP] flour, haven’t tried whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour yet)
Preheat open to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until frothy (or bubbly or creamy, your choice of descriptive words), about 10 minutes.
Stir in salt, aquafaba, olive oil, and flour until it’s a shaggy-looking kneaded mess. (I’d recommend using a wooden spoon.) Let rest for 5 minutes.
If the dough is still too sticky and hard to handle by hand after the resting period, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and lightly knead until it’s easy enough to work with. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round (roughly a 12″ pizza). Gently transfer your dough onto a pizza pan lightly dusted with cornmeal (see notes). Bake in pre-heated oven for 5 minutes.
Remove dough from oven, spread with desired toppings, and bake again for 15-20 minutes (I have an oven thermometer and have been happy with 15 minutes) or until the crust is starting to turn golden brown. Let pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- You can make personal mini pizza servings if you want! This recipe is easy to double, too.
- Sometimes, I’ve thrown in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each of dried sweet basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder into the dough for more flavor. You can add whatever Italian-like seasoning that you want. The dough is plain without any additions but the it’s still wonderfully soft and irresistible when you use AF.
- I’ve only used granulated sugar. Yes, I know some (not all) granulated sugar is sometimes processed with animal bone char but I personally don’t let this keep me up at night. If this isn’t for you, I’m thinking you can totally get away with a different form of sugar: maple syrup, agave nectar, etc. (Why not?)
- Warm water: you don’t want it too cold, you don’t want it too hot. Too cold means the yeast doesn’t activate, too hot means you might kill the yeast. I usually run our faucet until the water is definitely warm but not yet uncomfortable to the touch. (No wasting water here, I fill our electric kettle at the same time.)
- The first time, I used 6 tablespoons of aquafaba (AF) to the originally listed flour amount of 2 1/2 cups – I had to add a lot more flour (didn’t measure it) to make the dough easier to handle (it was so sticky and loose). Hence I’m suggesting a range of 3 to 6 tablespoons of AF and the flour amount is now a range of 2 1/2 to 3 cups.
- The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I try to use little to no added oil when possible. Thus said, I quickly pour a little swirl in but haven’t measured it. I’m thinking it’s closer to a 1/2 tablespoon. The minimal oil I used definitely doesn’t affect the dough’s overall “goodness”, in my opinion.
- The original recipe calls for bread flour “if you want a treat”, though it says AP flour can be used successfully. I’m betting any kind of typical flour can be used with success…as long as you use the aquafaba! If you don’t want to use aquafaba, then stick to bread or AP flour for now.
- If you don’t have a pizza pan or pizza stone, you can use the usual metal roasting pan or baking sheet. You’re welcome to “grease” it, or you can make clean up a snap (and less fatty!) if you line it with parchment paper. If you have cornmeal, throw a light layer on the pan/sheet/parchment paper, too.