Quick Italian Pizza

August 10, 2016

I will always choose a home cooked meal over eating out, but there are certain culinary chores I abhor. I therefore avoid any recipe that necessitates:

- Beating egg yolks and whites separately
- Baking a pastry pie crust blind
- Kneading for anything more than 2 minutes
- Using a food processor when a bowl can do.

This amazingly easy, flop-proof pizza dough is the one I make most often as it isn't governed by any of these silly rules.

Made using economical, easy-to-find ingredients, and minimally mixed by hand, this dough is ready to use within 20 minutes of rising and is amazingly versatile. I use this for pizza, garlic flatbread, and even add brown sugar and cinnamon to produce perfectly passable cinnamon buns.

Print this recipe out and attach it to the refrigerator as it's sure to be a summer staple....perfect timing for the school vacation and the last of the 9 Days.


 


1 tablespoon instant yeast granules (in foil pack)
3/4 cup hot tap water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra to brush)
Mozzarella cheese
Dried oregano
Toppings (see notes)

1: Fill a small glass or ceramic bowl with hot water and allow to sit for a few minutes to warm the bowl then discard the water.
2: Add 3/4 cup hot tap water, sugar and yeast to the bowl, and stir till the yeast has dissolved, then allow to sit 5 minutes till foamy.
3: While yeast is activating, combine flour and salt in a large bowl, then pour in the activated yeast and olive oil, and mix with a wooden spoon till all the flour has been incorporated.
4: Sprinkle flour onto your work surface, empty dough mixture out, and knead for 1 to 2 minutes till a smooth ball has formed. Dust with flour, cover with a towel, and allow to sit in a warm place for 20 minutes till it has risen.
5: Place dough on a flour-dusted sheet of baking paper and press down and pull into shape - or cheat with a rolling pin - till you have a large circle.
6: Lift baking paper onto a baking sheet and place in a preheated 220 C oven for approximately 12 minutes then remove, flip over dough so the baked surface is now at the bottom, brush with olive oil, cover with grated cheese, vegetable toppings of your choice, and dried oregano *
7: Return pizza to the oven at 220 C for approximately 15 minutes till golden and crispy and vegetables have cooked.

*This pre-baking step is not essential - you could simply add toppings etc to the unbaked dough and bake once - but it ensures you have a crispy, properly cooked base which is usually difficult to attain in a regular oven.

COOK'S NOTES: Thinly sliced tomato and onion rings always work plus you can add fresh mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, olives etc and serve topped with fresh basil. I especially love a smoked salmon pizza made with mozzarella, sliced smoked salmon, sliced red onion, and capers. Top cooked salmon pizza with dollops of sour cream.

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