An AMAZING Homemade Rustic Italian Pizza Crust Recipe

It’s What’s Cooking Wednesday

The Dimples household is going Italian for What’s Cooking Wednesday (and always) with amazing homemade pizza. Mix up a batch of this easy and amazing Rustic Italian Pizza Crust a couple of hours before you fire up the grill, and summer supper will not only take you out of the kitchen but you might feel like you’ve been transported to Italy!

The Pizza Crust I’ve Been Waiting For

I’ve been searching for a fool-proof, easy and delicious homemade pizza crust recipe for years. Mr. Dimples and I have eaten some real stinkers during the ongoing experimentation. But, I think I may have found THEE one!!! I mean it. This Rustic Italian Pizza Crust Recipe by Florentina of Ciao Florentina is easy to put together with a stand mixer, it rises relatively quickly and is mostly easy to work with. And this crust gets that “crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside” texture just right.

Keep reading for tips and tricks of this pizza dough or scroll to the bottom for the recipe.

The Best Rustic Italian Pizza Crust  ||  Homemade Pizza  || What's Cooking Wednesday -

I’m not a pizza snob and I have a few frozen pizza brands I absolutely love. But ever since I found out I have a gene mutation (MTHFR) which makes enriched flour products nearly impossible for my body to process, it is said they are like poison for my system, I have greatly limited my consumption of them. 

But, this girl loves stuff made with flour on occasion, but I’m not a fan of most substitutes for traditional flour. And since it’s the synthetic folate enrichment (folic acid) that’s the real trouble maker for anyone with this genetic mutation, at home I only use organic unenriched flour whether I’m making cookies for me the grands or this homemade pizza crust.   

Let’s make it clear, the Rustic Italian Pizza Crust recipe isn’t mine and it’s a relatively new find. However, I’ve been busting out homemade pizza at the Palace at least once a week since and I’m going to give you some of the tips and tricks I’ve worked out so far.

Pizza on the grill  ||  Rustic Italian Pizza Crust  ||  Ciao Florentina as made by dimples on my WHAT?
Topped with tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, olive tapenade, feta cheese, and fresh basil – YUM!

Texture Tips

I find the texture of the dough a little sticky to work with when using the measurements as written. The recipe calls for  2 ¼ cups of cold water, but the next time I make this (probably next week) 😉 , I’ll start with only 2 cups of water and add the rest as needed.

Baking at a very high temperature is important whether you’re using the grill or oven

Tools I consider a necessity:

KitchenAid Stand Mixer – You will definitely need some sort of a stand mixer with a dough hook because it takes 8-10 minutes of blending to “knead” the ingredients together.

A pizza stone – If you’re making your pizza in the oven, a pizza stone is a key to getting a perfectly crisp pizza crust. But it can be helpful on a grill as well.

A *wooden pizza peel – This makes the job of sliding the uncooked pizza onto the grill or pizza stone MUCH easier. However, I’ve also used a *baking sheet turned upside down to lay out the dough and add the toppings.

*Be sure to use flour or cornmeal (my preference) on whatever the surface you use to prep your pizza. Your pizza should slide right off.

Pizza On The Grill

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a pizza oven. But, I’ve made this pizza on the gas grill with success and a flub or two. Here are a few tips for cooking your pizza on the grill with success.

You can use a pizza stone on the grill but I put mine directly on the grill grate. Make certain to heat the grill to 500-600 degrees and then oil the grates before sliding pizza onto the grill. 

Oil the grates but do so safely – Soak a wad (technical term) of paper towel in a high heat oil, grab with a pair of long-handled tongs and wipe all over the grill.

If you have a large enough grilling surface, keep only one or two zones lit and cook the pizza over indirect heat (the unlit area), while still maintaining the hottest temperature possible. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL TO NOT BURN YOURSELF. Try these.

The Best Rustic Italian Pizza Dough  ||  Homemade Pizza  ||  Pizza on the grill  ||  Easy pizza dough  ||  What's cooking Wednesday  ||
Pesto, pizza sauce, cheese, sea salt, and balsamic drizzle – more YUM!

Freezing the Dough

This Rustic Italian Pizza dough can be made ahead and frozen. Yay! I’ve had a bit of success freezing it after I’ve already let the dough rise. HOWEVER, it’s BEST to mix the dough and form into six dough balls, rub each ball with olive oil, wrap in plastic wrap and pop those balls into a freezer bag (unrisen).

Another Italian Style Favorite – Easy Anti-pasta Salad

To use frozen dough, take the dough out of the freezer a few hours before you need to use it. Leave the dough on the counter and let it do its thing!

Dress up for a dinner date at home? This would work.

Top that Thang!

Use any yummy toppings you like but make sure the sauces and ingredients aren’t too juicy. They’ll make your pizza soggy.

My favorite pizza is a Margherita pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella (the one in a big round ball) and drizzled with a delicious aged balsamic vinegar. 

If you live in the Lake Michigan area, my absolute favorite place to get balsamic vinegar is The Olive Cart. Their tasting rooms are so fun to visit and great for a day date, but you can also place an order.

What’s Your Favorite Pizza Topping? I’m looking for something unique and delicious. 😉

The Recipe

There’s no need for me to rewrite a recipe that’s already perfect – Click on over and check out Ciao Florentina’s EASY Rustic Italian Pizza Crust Recipe!

The Best Rustic Italian Pizza Crust  || Pizza on the Grill  || Homemade Pizza  ||  What's Cooking Wednesday  ||


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  1. Anne

    What made you find out about your gene mutation?

    • Paula

      Hi Anne! I had my breast implants removed in February of 2018 and the surgeon who explanted them in a very specific way, suggested having the testing. He said that having that knowledge would help me with detoxing. Because if you have certain mutations or combinations of, (and I do), it significantly impairs the body’s ability to detoxify. I also have higher inflammatory markers. I did testing through a lab but you can also get results through 23andMe, but I think you have to plug something from those results into another free website to get the MTHFR results.

      My knowledge of the “broken” genes is elementary at best. I only know it has caused me to consider more about what I’m putting I to my body to nourish it, rather than freak out about what I can’t have. 😬

      You can read about my decision to explant here:

  2. Your pizza looks delicious I haven’t eaten yet today and my mouth is watering. I had my DNA done through 23 and me so am going to check this mutation out.

  3. Okay so I don’t have strong cooking skills so I may just need to stick to delivery but this looks so delicious.

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