Food Stuff, Part 1: Legendary Good Times Pizza Dough Recipe

The current quarantine around the Coronavirus has me feeling generous. So if you went to Michigan State in the ’90s, you definitely had a pizza from Good Times Pizza. My friend Rick and I believe one of the greatest foods ever invented were the Good Times breadsticks. I worked there for years. I memorized the dough recipe. Of the three pizza places where I worked from 1988 thru 1996, Good Times had the best dough. No. I don’t want to hear about your gourmet homemade doughs for thin crusts. This is a dough recipe for making and delivering hundreds of pizzas in a night.

Ya know what I hate about most Blogs with recipes? Too much preamble. So I’ll shut up and here you go…

You can mix it with a fork, but I hope you have a mixer and this dough hook thingy.

Dough hook for a mixer.

Put the dry ingredients into the mixer. Then mix the 6 Tablespoons of oil in with the hot water and slowly pour it into the mixer.

99% of the time, after 6-10 minutes in the mixer, it’s a perfect ball of dough. Form it into a ball about the size of a mini-basketball and cover it. If you can put it in the oven at 145 degrees or less, it will rise. Punch it down every 45 minutes for an hour and a half. Note: You don’t really need all that punching and kneeding, but it does make it rise better when baking.

Dough rising in the oven

This much dough will make two medium sized pizzas and an order batch of breadsticks.

I use two 15-inch stainless steel pizza pans from Sur La Table (because I’m fancy) and a ceramic pizza stone thingy (I don’t know where I got it). Put a nickel size worth of veggie oil on each pan and smear it around. Then, with oily hands, split the dough into three nearly equal balls of dough (about 1 lb and 1 ounce each). The biggest ball should be the breadsticks.

Watch a YouTube video and teach yourself how to throw dough. But throwing the dough really isn’t necessary. You can just mash it and spread the dough out with your fingers. Then add toppings. My family, as you can see, is boring.

Oh, and this is important. Spread the breadsticks out and then cut them BEFORE cooking them, like you see in the images below.

Apply the sauce with a spoon and spread it around leaving some crust showing.

Oven at 420. Timer set to 22 minutes.

Put the pizza with the most toppings in first on the top rack. All by itself. At the 20 minute mark, put the more boring pizza in. Middle rack. At the 18 minute mark, put the breadsticks in on the bottom rack.  Now you start watching. Move them about every 6 minutes. Rotate them. Each pizza will want to spend some time on the bottom rack to crisp up the bottom crust.

At 22 minutes (or when they look done and about to burn), take the breadsticks out. Melt 3 TBSPs butter and 1 TSP garlic in a pan and then paint them onto the breadsticks. Then shake a generous amount of parmesan cheese over them.

Then take the other pizzas out and cut ’em up. These pictures make it look like I used yellow cheese. I didn’t and I don’t appreciate you accusing me.

At the time I posted this, we’re in the midst of a nationwide shelter-in-place because of the Coronovirus so try it. Call me if you have questions. If you fail, try again. You’ve got time. If you’ve got wee little kids …first, I’m sorry. Second, let ’em put the toppings on. Experiment. But trust me, when you get it right, you’re gonna thank me. Pizza hasn’t tasted this good since you ordered it at 3:00 a.m. to your dorm in Akers back in 1995.

One Comment on “Food Stuff, Part 1: Legendary Good Times Pizza Dough Recipe

  1. I can vouch! Pretty easy and delicious!

    Thanks for the condolences on having little kids, ha ha! They do like to help but mostly eat it all up

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