Besides being easy, fun to make, and inexpensive to construct, pizza is a blank canvas that allows you to create an endless variety of flavors according to your mood or what you have on hand. Get the tips to making the perfect dough.
By Matt Robinson
We are all about quick and easy meals in our home, and pizza is no exception. Along with being easy and fun to make and inexpensive to construct, it’s like a blank canvas that allows me to create an endless variety according to our mood or what we have on hand.
And it is so fun getting the kids in the kitchen to help! While they aren’t totally into making the dough, they do love to make their own personal pizzas—which of course always makes for a fun dinner and one that guarantees it will be consumed by the mouthfuls.
Speaking of dough, nothing beats homemade, right? This is a super easy, straight dough that can mixed and rolled right away. No need for rise time. Of course you can make it ahead of time and keep it refrigerated up to three days ahead. The advantage in doing that is like any bread, the natural gases that build between the gluten creates an even lighter, thinner crust.
If you like a thicker crust, well that’s easily done. Just roll the dough to your desired thickness. Once that’s done, you’re ready to get busy and have some fun. For us, it seems like chicken is king. I would say 6 out of 10 times my pizza is topped with it.
So along with chicken, here are a few favorites:
- Breakfast Pizza (my personal favorite) topped with crumbled bacon, diced red and green peppers, and fried eggs on top.
- Chicken and Broccoli layered with pesto or with an Alfredo sauce instead of the traditional red sauce.
- Veggie Lovers – this one is great, as anything can go on it. I usually end up throwing any odds and ends of veggies we have onto a bakesheet and roast it in the oven, then use Harissa for the base sauce. And to keep it simple, most of the time I use a mix of mozzarella and parmesan for the cheese.
- Taco Pizza works great for us because I love Mexican food and it’s such an economical choice, since the ingredients are always readily stocked in my pantry. For the sauce, it’s usually a puree of black beans or refried beans and then layered with the traditional taco stuffings.
- Almost BLT Pizza, I say almost because it’s a variation on the classic sandwich using bacon, spinach and sundried tomatoes.
- ¾ Cup Lukewarm Water
- 1 Teaspoon Active-dry
- 10 Ounces Unbleached all-purpose Flour F
- 1.5 Teaspoons Kosher salt
- Preparation:Place pizza stone on lower middle rack. Preheat oven to 500° F.
- Combine and stir water and yeast in a mixing bowl until mixture resembles miso soup.
- Add flour and salt to mixture and mix until dough just comes together.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until the flour is incorporated, about 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. The dough should be moist and slightly tacky. (If it’s sticky, add in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth).
- Evenly divide dough in half and refrigerated one half for another time or double the topping recipe to make two 10 inch pizzas.
- Lightly grease a sheet of parchment paper with olive oil. Transfer ball of dough to parchment. Stretch out dough by hand as much as possible, then lightly brush with olive oil, cover with another piece of parchment. Use a rolling pin and work from the middle of the dough outward to flatten dough to ¼ inch thickness. Peel off top parchment paper.
- Dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days.