My favorite way to use my food processor is to make pizza dough. Ever since buying my Cuisinart, I’ve been making this basic pizza dough recipe. It’s really easy and it doesn’t require kneading or rising.
When I received my Cuisinart food processor for my birthday in 2010, I was so excited about it that I did something I’ve hardly ever done with a kitchen appliance: I read the manual. And, I read the little cookbook of food processor recipes. I even watched the DVD that came with it. I wanted to know everything about my new Cuisinart and, well…I wanted to make sure I didn’t break it.
Over a year later, I use it almost daily and it’s still my favorite thing in my kitchen.
While I do so much with my Cuisinart, one of the things I do the most is make pizza dough in it. In the recipe booklet, I saw a recipe for making it and now this is usually how I make it.
The first step is to stir yeast and sugar into warm water. The actual recipe calls for a package of yeast, but I buy my yeast in bulk so I measure 2 1/2 teaspoons, instead of the package. In the food processor, with the metal blade inserted, you’ll briefly pulse together 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Just enough to combine them.
The yeast stands for about 10 minutes until it’s all foamy.
Turn on the machine and then pour the year mixture into the feed tube. The mixture will stream slowly into your flour.
After about 45 seconds or so, the dough will form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. At this point, I turn it off and get my olive oil ready. Turn the power back on and immediately pour the oil into the feed tube and process for another minute. If you don’t have olive oil, you can use another oil, but I prefer olive oil. If you’d like, you can also use flavored olive oils – I’ve used a garlic olive oil and a basil olive oil and both made the crust very flavorful.
Very carefully remove your dough from the bowl (watch out for that blade!). The result is a nice, soft pizza dough. This is enough to make two 14″ pizza crusts. It’s bit less than 2 lbs of dough.
If I am making the 14″ round pizzas, I cut the dough in two and I begin stretching one of the portions. The Cuisinart recipe booklet recommends rolling it out on a floured surface, but I never do that. I hold the dough up and begin stretching it evenly, allowing gravity to help pull it. I don’t try to get it large enough to cover the pizza pan, just stretched a bit. Then, I lay it in the center of the greased pizza pan and work the dough out to the edges with the fingertips. See…no rolling pin needed!
At this point, you have two choices. You can pre-bake your pizza crust and then add the toppings, or you can add your toppings directly on top of the uncooked pizza crust. If you like a crispier crust, or if you dough is thick, I would recommend pre-baking. If yours is not very thick, and you like a softer crust (like I do), you don’t have to pre-bake it.
In this image below, I pre-baked the crust at 425 degrees F for about 6 minutes. You’ll also notice that I poked the crust with a fork a few times before baking. This helps it from bubbling up.
This pre-baked crust is the crust you see in the finished pepperoni pizza. After baking the crust, I stopped it with pizza sausage, Mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. It returned to the 425 degree F oven for about 10-15 minutes.
In this pesto artichoke pizza below, I didn’t pre-bake the crust. I pressed out the dough on my pizza pan and topped it with a little jar of Trader Joe’s pesto. This was topped with shredded Mozzarella cheese, Trader Joe’s artichoke hearts (quartered), fresh broccoli florets, and sliced onions. I baked it at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes.
Both methods work great; it just depends on what you like best. As you can see, it’s really easy to make your own basic pizza dough in a food processor. I should mention that I haven’t made this recipe in other processors. If yours doesn’t have a strong motor, you might not be able to do this, but in the Cuisinart, and I’m sure other quality food processors, you should have no problem.
- 1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons oil
- Grease pizza pan(s). Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Stir yeast and sugar into the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Insert metal blade into Cuisinart food processor, and add flour and salt to bowl. Pulse briefly to combine flour and salt.
- Turn machine on and pour yeast mixture into feed tube. Process about 45 seconds, until all liquid has streamed into the flour and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off machine.
- With oil ready to be added, turn on machine again and add the oil to the feed tube and process for another minute. If dough is sticking to sides of bowl, you can add another tablespoon of flour, one at a time, until it does leave bowl.
- Remove dough very carefully from bowl. If making two 14" round pizzas, divide the dough in half. Can also be divided into small pizza pans or left intact if making pizza on a a very large baking sheet. Working with the dough for one of the pizzas, lift the dough and begin stretching and pulling, rotating the dough, working all edges. When dough is stretched, but not tearing, lay it in the center of one of the pizza pans. With fingertips, press and work dough out t the edges of the pan. If dough resists, let it rest for a few minutes, and then retry. Poke bottom of pizza crust a few times with the tines of a fork.
- If you wish to pre-bake your crust, place it in the over and bake for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings as desired. Return to over and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and crust is browned.
- If you don't wish to pre-bake your crust, add toppings as desired on uncooked pizza dough. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and crust is browned.