In the Kitchen with Shirley: Make a Homemade Pizza Crust to Freeze (Video!)


Serious mom fun>



I am a terrible cook, and take full responsibility for this fact; I haven’t taken the time to learn, nor do I care that much. My problem is I feel like I put in all this work and then it’s gone in five minutes flat and all I’m left with are a sink full of dishes and memories of a mediocre meal. The other issue is that my husband is a fantastic cook so it feels counter-productive to put in effort when his turkey sandwich invariably tastes better than the Pasta Whatever-o I spent all afternoon on (it has something to do with full fat mayo, toasted bread and olives, I believe).

So when I was throwing around the idea of a cooking segment, I knew I didn’t (literally) have the chops. However, I do have a family full of gals who are whizzes in the kitchen, and manage to do it with kids in tow and keeping their sanity in check. My Aunt Shirley is kind of the ringleader so, what do you know, we’re giving her her own show.

This first week she’s going to walk you through how to make a homemade pizza crust that easily freezes for later. I usually have one in the freezer so if we want to have friends over for an impromptu meal, I can pull it out and look like I have a semblance of my life together. Oh, and it makes you look like you can totally cook.

(PS: I apologize for the video quality – this is a first video and we’re still working out the kinks, but as Shirley said, “I think they’ll probably get the gist of it.” xx.)

Homemade Pizza Crust (modified from the always spot-on Joy of Cooking):

-4 cups sifted flour (I’ve never sifted flour in my life, but I imagine if you did it would taste even better?)
-1 cake yeast in 1 1/3 cups water at 85º (or cool enough so you don’t kill ’em, but warm enough you activate them), plus 1 teaspoon sugar
-2 tablespoon olive oil
-1 teaspoon salt
-more water

1. Get the yeast going so it rises (this takes about ten minutes); while they’re working, get all your other ingredients mixed up in a bowl. This won’t take you a full ten minutes so feel free to wash dishes, clean out the microwave, or read a little Us Weekly while waiting.

2. Add the yeast and start to knead it all together. You’re going to need more water so start adding in a bit, little by little, until the dough is stretchy but not wet (you know, like pizza dough). Normally, I add about another cup, but maybe it’s different where you live? Like I said, I’m not sure how this whole cooking thing works.

3. Once it’s all mixed, you’ll want to cover it with a damp cloth (you can use a paper towel, but know it will stick) and let it rise for about two hours.

4. After it’s risen, you’ll punch it down and then can either use it right away or wrap it in cling film and freeze it for later.

5. Once you decide to use it, you’ll want to spray a pan, stretch it out, and then prick the dough with a fork so it doesn’t get poofy. After you put on your toppings and lightly brush the crust with olive oil, bake it in a 400º oven for about 25 minutes.

6. Revel in your homemade awesomeness.

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