Quick and Easy Pizza
There is nothing my family loves more than pizza night! Not take out pizza of course, but light and crispy thin crust homemade pizza. My mouth is watering as I'm typing this.
It always amazes me that so few people make their own pizza because as far as I'm concerned it's quick, easy and extremely economical. I can make enough pizzas to generously feed 8 people for less than $10. I don't care what kind of take out you get, you can't beat that price. I bet if I started making my pizza when you pick up the phone to order take out, we'd both be eating at the same time...and I don't have to leave a tip! Plus, I won't have a pizza box to throw out at the end of the night.
Here's my recipe for a single pizza crust, feel free to double or triple it if you're making several pizzas.
First get a large bowl. Then measure out:
3/4c white flour
1/4c semolina flour
Put all the dry ingredients into the bowl and give it a little stir with your hands.
Now slowly add 1/2c of warm tap water and about 1tsp of olive oil. Stir it around with your hands. If it starts to form a ball (like play dough) you have enough water, if it doesn't just keep adding a little water at a time until it does. If you add too much water just sprinkle on a little more flour.
Now sprinkle a little flour on the counter and place the dough ball on it. Knead the dough for a few minutes.
Put the dough back in the same bowl and cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in the oven with the light on. DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON!!!!! Let it rise until it's doubled in size. It usually takes about 45 minutes.
Tip-You can cut the rising time down to less than 30 minutes if you're in a hurry. Simply turn your oven on to 200 degrees, just until it's warm but still cool enough that you can comfortably touch the inside of the door with your hand. Then turn it off and place your dough in the oven rise.
Once doubled in size, take the bowl out of the oven and take off the plastic wrap.
Now for the fun part, punch the ball of dough with your fist!
Next, sprinkle a little flour on the counter and place the dough ball on it. Take a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a circle big enough to fit your pizza pan. You can stretch it a bit with your hands too.
You've done all the hard stuff, time for the creative part...the toppings! Tomato sauce, pesto sauce, garlic and olive oil, what ever you think will taste good. You can add sliced veggies, meat and cheese if you'd like. When you're finished adding your toppings, put the pizza back in the oven with the light on and wait until the crust looks like it has puffed up. This usually only takes a few minutes.
Once it has, take the pizza out of the oven, turn off the light and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook your pizza until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown usually about 10 minutes or so. If you like your crust crispy, be sure to take it out of the oven and slide the pizza off the pan and onto a cooling rack. Your crust will stay super crispy because it allows the steam to escape.
Some of my fave pizza toppings:
Thinly sliced eggplant, slivered onions and asiago
Bacon, ricotta, spinach and mushrooms
Artichoke hearts, garlic, and olive
Caramelized onions, thinly sliced salami, arugula, and tiny grape tomatoes
Spinach, chicken and garlic
Sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella and olive tapenade
Figs, artichoke hearts, fennel, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese and a drizzle of olive oil
Curried chicken, mango, onion and cilantro... with garlic butter instead of sauce and a lime and curry yogurt drizzle.
TIP-If you don't have semolina flour on hand you can use 1c of white flour...the crust will still be delicious but will have a slightly different texture. Semolina flour is readily available at most grocery stores.
This is my new fave gadget!!!! It's called PIZZA QUE, my daughters bought it for my birthday. It works amazingly well and allows me to cook pizzas at 750-800 degrees in as little as three minutes!!!! If you have a webber charcoal grill I highly recommend you get one of these.