Recipe Review: Martha Stewart’s Pizza Crust Is Easy to Make, but That’s It
At first glance, Martha Stewart’s pizza dough recipe has a lot going for it — especially if you’re looking for an easy beginner recipe. There’s no mixer required, and the ingredients are as basic as they come: all-purpose flour, active-dry yeast, granulated sugar, kosher salt, water, and olive oil. It also has a relatively short rise time at just three hours, broken into two sessions.
Considering Martha is known for her attention to detail, I was surprised by how short and simple her pizza dough recipe is. I had to find out: Would the dough be as easy to make as promised, and, most importantly, how would it taste?
How to Make Martha Stewart’s Pizza Dough
As someone who doesn’t pull their stand mixer out unless cake is involved, I love that Martha’s pizza dough just requires a big bowl and a sturdy wooden spoon. The wet ingredients go into the bowl first, where the yeast is sprinkled over the warm water to let it proof (a fancy way of saying the mixture will begin to foam). Then you add the flour, stir everything together into a shaggy dough, cover it, and let it rest for an hour.
After the hour-long rise, you turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it by hand. Return the dough to the bowl and let it rise in the fridge for two more hours. You can freeze it at this point, but, like Bobby Flay’s pizza dough, there are no directions for shaping, topping, or baking this dough.
I divided the dough into two (1-pound) balls and baked one on a pizza stone and the other on an inverted baking sheet, both at 500°F.
An Honest Review of Martha Stewart’s Pizza Dough
This pizza dough is really easy to mix and shape, but it lost its appeal in the oven. Martha’s pizza dough wouldn’t brown, crisp, or bubble, even at a high temperature. Biting into the crust revealed that the dough was well-seasoned and had enough yeasty flavor, but it lacked any crispness or browned bits that add flavor and texture to most pizza crusts. In short, it was more like pizza bread than pizza crust.
Martha’s pizza dough is fine, but I would only really make it again at a vacation rental, when my expectations are low and equipment is sparse.
If You’re Making Martha Stewart’s Pizza Dough, a Few Tips
1. Brush the dough with olive oil before baking. Brushing a thin layer of olive oil over both sides of the dough before baking should help it crisp up on the bottom and edges.
2. Use the broiler to really crisp the crust up. To add some flavorful caramelization to Martha’s pizza, I’d recommend turning on the oven’s broiler for the last minute of cooking, which will brown the top crust (and the cheese!).
- Difficulty to Make: 7/10
- Taste/Texture: 4/10
- Appearance: 4/10
- Overall Rating: 4.5/10