quick baking powder pizza crust

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I’m not exactly Ms. Spontaneous.  I like a Plan. I like following the Plan. I do not like when the Plan is disrupted.

Dave was supposed to stop at the farm stand after work one day to pick up some corn on the cob for black bean and corn quesadillas, but the farm stand was closed. A quick juggle of my meal Plan for the week left me with the option of making Smitten Kitchen’s squash and goat cheese pizza that night instead, except that I didn’t have time to make regular pizza dough, and I certainly didn’t have time to defrost the dough I already had in the freezer, as per the original Plan.

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Instead, I mixed up this quick-bread version of pizza dough that I’ve always been curious about. It’s basically a biscuit, so the dry ingredients are mixed, then butter (less butter than in most biscuit recipes) is cut in, and milk is stirred into the mixture to bind it.

After that, you can treat it like regular pizza dough, by rolling it out and baking it on a pizza stone. At least that’s what I did, but I do wonder if, in this case, a lower oven temperature and a regular baking sheet might work better. Then again, biscuits are usually baked a really high temperature too…

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I’m probably trying to fix something that isn’t broken, because I thought the pizza crust was good the way I made it. It doesn’t have much in common with regular yeasted pizza crust, but its thinner, crisper, almost cracker-like texture was a great base for this lighter non-traditional pizza. For a sauce-drenched, cheese-laden, meat-topped pizza, yes, I’d want something more substantial. But for just a bit of goat cheese and some fresh summer squash, it was perfect, even preferable. Not to mention, quick, so no Plan is needed.

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One year ago: Banana Nutella Crepes

Quick Baking Powder Pizza Dough (from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics)

For 4 (8-inch) pizzas

I believe I made half the recipe into a 12-inch pizza.

Tip from Lemlin: If you want to make the dough in advance, just roll it out and place it on a baking sheet, then pop it in the freezer until you are ready for dinner. Let it thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before covering it with your toppings.

2½ cups (12 ounces) unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup low-fat milk
olive oil for greasing or cornmeal for sprinkling

1. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can do this in a food processor, if desired. Add the milk slowly and mix just until the dough is evenly moistened.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times, or just until it is pliable. Divide the dough into 4 balls.

3. Lightly oil a large baking sheet, or if you will be using a pizza stone, sprinkle some cornmeal on a pizza peel. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each ball into an 8-inch circle. Place 2 on a baking sheet or 1 on the pizza peel. Proceed with your pizza recipe.

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  1. Thanks. This is a great alternative to my go-to thin and crispy pizza crust (http://brannyboilsover.com/2009/06/17/unpizza/) that must actually be prepared a day in advance. So the Plan cannot be omitted in my recipe! Glad to have this quicker option.

  2. What a great recipe! Pizza is something that usually needs at least a few hours of planning, but I like that you found a way to make it more spur of the moment. The crisp crust with veggies on top sounds like a great summer dinner.

  3. Looks great! Having to adapt to making something totally different mid-week is always a challenge!

  4. Wow! What a neat twist on a traditional pizza crust! And so speedy. I’ll be trying this for sure. 🙂

  5. Great idea!! Love it. I’m definitely going to try this soon.

  6. While I love my go-to pizza crust, it does require forethought (the night before, in fact). I’ll have to throw this in my back pocket for a spontaneous evening dinner. PS – squash and goat cheese = LOVE.

  7. What a great crust recipe and one I hope to try soon!

  8. Thank you for posting this; I’ve been wanting to try a yeast-free pizza crust for quite some time. Growing up, a friend’s mom always made pizza crust from some kind of Jiffy mix…and I thought it was very good. I made a gluten-free version of your recipe, with a few tweaks, and it worked out well! I’m definitely going to par-bake the remaining dough and have crusts in the freezer. Yessss!

  9. I love the idea of a quick pizza crust! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I am cooking my way through Lemlin’s cookbook, and tried this recipe last week. I was apprehensive about it, and didn’t think I would like it. It seemed very biscuit-like as I was mixing it and rolling it out.

    However, once I baked it and topped it with sauce and cheese and other goodies, I thought it was great! It was thin, and not very filling, but a great recipe to have on hand when you want a homemade pizza and don’t have time to make a yeast crust.

    Great post-I love your pictures!!

  11. just dropping by to say what an excellent recipe this is. I use it instead of yeast pizza crusts now! and load it up fine with sauce and cheese and veggies. what I’ve found is useful is to bake it for a few minutes without toppings until it gets a little puffy and a little crispy, and then add toppings. I love being able to eat homemade pizza whenever and sometimes eat it two or three times a week!

  12. Hope this turns out GREAT! going over 2 friends house 4 tea Give me luck

  13. Deborah says:

    I made this and it was excellent! Thanks very much.