Quick Dough for Bread & Pizza Recipe

bread pizza quick easy dough

This quick dough recipe for bread and pizza is so easy to make and so versatile, you can make just about anything including cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, or add any combination of herbs and spices for savory dinner breads and rolls. If making pizza or calzones, it is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. I like to chop up a bunch of different items and then let everyone choose which ingredients they would like to put on top and make little personal pizzas.

I have fond memories of my nonna (Italian grandmother) cooking and baking in the kitchen. She did not speak a lick of English, and I did not speak Italian, but that did not stop her from talking to us kids non-stop. She was old-school Italian, immigrating from Italy when my father was young. She made everything from scratch, sauce included, and I especially loved when she would make pizza. To this day, it is my favorite food. When made from scratch, it is very healthy! You can also buy pre-made dough from the freezer section of most grocery stores, though from the few I have seen, the ingredients are still not ideal. Many of your local pizza shops make their own dough and sauce from scratch as well, so if you are looking for a healthier pizza, just ask them about the ingredients.

If you have a very picky eater who refuses most vegetables such as my son, then with a little extra time, you can puree some softened, cooked vegetables and incorporate them into your sauce. They will never know!

This dough recipe makes one, 14 inch round pizza, or one loaf of bread, but I always double or triple the recipe.

spinach chicken pizza homemade dough

Chicken, Artichoke, Spinach, and Feta & Cheddar Cheese Pizza

 

QUICK DOUGH | BREAD & PIZZA RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

•  1 package rapid rise active dry yeast (.25 ounce). Regular yeast will take longer to rise, but otherwise is equally simple to use.
•  1 cup of warm water (not too hot)
•  2.5 cups of flour (may need more for rolling and to prevent sticking). I like an unbleached and unbromated bread flour. Bread flour will be softer and chewier.
•  2 tablespoons olive oil
•  1 1/2 teaspoon salt
•  1 teaspoon sugar, honey, or sweetener of choice

 

BREAD DIRECTIONS

    1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in very warm water. Let stand five minutes until creamy, sometimes foamy.
    2. Stir in salt and oil, then add flour a little at a time.
    3. Mix with electric mixer or by hand until dough forms a ball on its own pulling away from sides of bowl. If too sticky, add more flour, just a bit at a time, if too dry, sprinkle in some water, a little at  a time. Even if using an electric mixer, it is a good idea to take it out of the bowl and work it a little, kneading it, to make sure it is all coming together. Dough should be very soft and pliable, but not sticky.
    4. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. An electric mixer is ideal and makes a big difference in texture as well as keeping this process fast and easy. If kneading by hand it could take 5-7 minutes.
    5. Lightly coat a large bowl and the dough with oil and transfer into the bowl. Cover bowl loosely with damp hand towel.
    6. Let rest in a warm place for 5-15 minutes or until dough doubles in size. If using regular yeast, this step will take at least an hour. The warmer the temperature, the more active your yeast will be. The more active your yeast is, the quicker the dough rises.
    7. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F for pizza, or 400 degrees F for bread.

 

PIZZA  | CALZONES DIRECTIONS

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll/shape according to what you plan to use it for, about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer crust to a lightly greased and/or floured pan. Add desired toppings and bake in preheated of 500 degrees F oven for 12 – 18 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Cooking times vary depending on size and what you are making. Keep an eye on it. The bottom should be crisp, and golden brown, but not too dark.

If topping your pizza with vegetables, there are a few ways to avoid the vegetables releasing too much water and making the crust soggy:

1. Sauté the vegetables lightly in oil with just a little salt before using. The salt will draw out some of the moisture, minimizing a soggy crust.

2. Slice the vegetables really thin and do not layer them too thick.

3. If you want to really load up with a lot of vegetables, consider brushing the dough with olive oil and baking the dough for about 5 minutes before adding any toppings to crisp it up a bit.

 

FOR BREAD

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead and shape according to what you plan to use it for. This will deflate the dough a bit. Transfer into greased bread pan. Let dough rise again until doubled in size. If regular yeast was used this will take up to an hour. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top crust has a golden brown color and if you tap or knock on top, it has a hollow sound and feels hard. A loaf of bread can bake anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes. The baking time depends on the size and shape of the loaf and the temperature of the oven. Remove from pan and let cool before cutting. (Who am I kidding, no one can resist warm bread!)

 

NOTE

You can make a large batch of dough and freeze individual pieces of it in freezer bags. The yeast will survive at least a month or two in the freezer. The day before you want to make the pizza, just move it to the fridge to thaw it and then pull it out of the fridge when you want it begin its final rise.

 

 

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