Basic Pizza Crust

by Vickilynn Parnes

makes ANY of the following:

  • TWO 15 inch thin crust pizzas
  • TWO 12 inch thick crust pizzas
  • TWO 9 x 13 med-thin rectangular pizzas
  • FOUR 10 inch personal pizzas
  • SIX 8 inch thin personal pizzas
  • SIX 8 inch thin calzones
  • TWO dozen small breadsticks


  • 1 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon SAF yeast
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tablespoons vital gluten (optional)
  • 4 cups freshly ground hard whole wheat flour
  • Additional flour if necessary

Place warm water in a mixing bowl and add yeast and honey. Stir until dissolved. Let stand 5 – 10 minutes until foamy. This is “proofing” your yeast. (If using SAF yeast, you may skip this step and add all ingredients together)

Add oil, salt vital gluten and 2 cups of flour. Mix well.

Add more flour, one cup at a time mixing well after each addition until dough clings together and you can turn out on a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and springy about 10-12 minutes by hand or until smooth and springy.

Place dough in a bowl. Rub a little olive oil over the dough, turning to get all sides. Cover the bowl and let dough rise 30 minutes. Punch down, take dough out on a floured surface and divide into desired pieces depending on what size pan and how many pizzas you choose.

Preheat oven to 450. Roll out pizza dough out on the floured surface one inch wider than your pan. Turn the extra inch over towards the center to form a crust and press down to seal. Prick lightly with a fork over the surface of the crust. Bake empty in a 450 for 5 minutes or until just lightly golden, but not brown.

Take pizza crust out of oven. If freezing, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before wrapping and freezing.

If using right away, spread sauce evenly over crust, BE CAREFUL not to use too much sauce as this can cause the crust to become soggy. Add toppings and cheese if desired. bake at 450 for about 10 minutes or until the crust is brown and the toppings are cooked. .

***Note, if you prefer and thicker, “breadier” crust, let the dough rise on the stone after shaping until puffy, then pre-bake and finish as directed.

***If you have 2 stones, you can piggy-back rolling, pre-baking and baking your pizzas.

***This works better if you get the metal handles for the pizza stones, it is easier to grab and not squash the crust.

If using a cake pan, jelly roll pan, round metal pizza pan or pizza screen, you may need to brush lightly with olive oil and dust with cornmeal to prevent sticking.

If desired, divide the dough into “personal” size pizzas ( 6 – 8 inches) and allow each family member to create their own pizza with different toppings.

You can also make this dough in an autobakery bread machine. Place ingredients in the bread machine baking pan in the order according to your machine’s manufacturer. Use 4 cups of whole grain flour. Choose “DOUGH” cycle. Check the dough after 5 minutes to make sure it is forming a ball. Adjust with water or flour as needed. and when the machine beep, remove the dough and shape and bake as described above.

About Vickilynn Parnes

A student of health and nutrition for 40+ years, Vickilynn Parnes has over 30 years of actual hands-on experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a magazine columnist, product reviewer, cookbook author and radio talk show host, as well as being full-time mom to 5 children.