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Honey Is The Secret Ingredient For A Beautifully Golden Pizza Crust

pepperoni pizza with honey
pepperoni pizza with honey - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Sweet with a distinctive tang, honey is one of nature's perfect foods. Boasting more than 300 different varieties including the popular manuka and clover honeys, each possessing a unique flavor profile and color largely dependent upon its origin flower, the natural sugar not only possesses numerous health benefits, but it is also a delightful ingredient in many creations. In fact, due to the versatility of its taste and texture, and its status as a natural preservative, honey has made its way into a wide array of dishes in recent decades, including one of the most satisfying comfort foods to ever exist: pizza.

But while many modern pizza restaurants have taken inspiration from iconic New York pizzeria Roberta's to feature a sweet and spicy "bee sting" pizza, in which a few teaspoons of honey are fashionably drizzled atop the crust and pepperoni, adding honey directly to your pizza dough ala Wolfgang Puck is the real magic move — and it will completely elevate both the flavor and presentation of your homemade pizza. Yes folks, swapping in honey for the sugar in your dough will give your pizza a beautifully golden crust that looks just as good as it tastes.

Read more: The 101 Best Pizzas In America

Adding Honey To Your Pizza Dough

hands kneading pizza dough
hands kneading pizza dough - alejandro piorun/Shutterstock

Swapping honey in for a unique, flavor-enhanced pizza dough is relatively easy. Simply dissolve 1 teaspoon of honey with your yeast in warm water, then add your flour (all-purpose for a softer, chewier crust or bread flour for a crispier crust), salt, and oil and mix well to make a workable dough. The honey will activate the yeast in place of sugar and will give your crust a subtle sweetness, for a deliciously unique flavor profile. But it's important to note that while this swap works seamlessly when small amounts of sweetener are called for, the substitution of honey in larger amounts would likely throw off the moisture content -- so make sure you don't get overly excited when adding your honey or you could end up with soggy crust.

Then you'll simply knead your dough for a few minutes, and place it into a lightly oiled bowl to rise until it's doubled in size. Once your dough has risen, you're free to roll it out and top with sauce and toppings for baking. For best results, you'll want to set your oven to around 500 degrees — the higher the heat, the better. The honey addition will result in a seriously delicious crust with a delightfully golden crust.

Do you have extra unused dough? Roll it out, spread it with garlic butter and a few shredded Italian cheeses, then bake and slice it into strips for a batch of delectable garlic honey fingers.

Delicious Pairings For Honey Pizza Crust

someone pouring red wine into a glass
someone pouring red wine into a glass - Instants/Getty Images

Honey pizza dough is the perfect base for some seriously tasty pairings that will elevate your next pizza night. For example, if you're feeling adventurous, you can add some wine — yes, wine. Add 1/4 cup of red or white wine to your yeast and warm water to dissolve before adding your honey, and the wine will neutralize the yeasty flavor and deliver a perfectly balanced crust with a subtle hint of wine. If you're more of a beer-lover, you can add 1/2 cup of beer instead for an extra flavor. But if you're not much of a beer drinker, go with a light beer, as they are more mild in flavor.

When it comes to choosing the right cheese to top your pizza, the sky is the limit. But you'll definitely want to maximize that delicious combination of flavors with some pungent, salty cheeses to bring out the sweetness in the honey, especially if you're going to also drizzle honey on top — which you totally should. Gorgonzola cheese and goat cheese would pair well with the mildness of the mozzarella cheese and honey. Whichever pairings you choose, you're in for a treat.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.