Easy pizza dough (and corresponding pizza)
So to continue on the trend of vegetarian foods that aren’t entirely “nice”, I decided one day to try my hand at making pizza dough. I had some leftover sun dried tomatoes and roasted red pepper from making the amazing frittatas and I always have various vegetables on hand, so I thought I’d add them all and have some homemade pizza just because I felt like it. The dough is incredibly easy to make and just requires a bit of rising time, so the whole meal can be made in under an hour. It’s great for a casual meal or you could cut it up and serve it as starter finger food at a dinner party. The pizza dough itself has barely any ingredients and is really quite easy to make. It tastes a whole lot better than pizza out of a box too…
Easy pizza dough (adapted from Sassy Earl Grey)
- 160 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 (generous) teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1.5 teaspoons olive oil
- 80-110 ml lukewarm water
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/220 degrees C. Fill a pot large enough to hold a medium-sized mixing bowl with 1-2 inches of water and heat until simmering. Turn off the heat. In the meantime, mix together the flour, yeast, and olive oil. Now, gradually drizzle in 80 ml of water, stirring to combine with a fork or wooden spoon. Then add a teaspoon of water at a time until no visible dry flour is left; however, the dough should not become sticky after you’ve kneaded it for 1-2 minutes. You may need a bit more or less water than is called for – just knead it until it’s smooth and not sticky. Once it is smooth, grease the bowl with a bit of olive oil and put in the dough before covering with plastic wrap. Place the bowl on top of the pot where you previously simmered some water and rest for 25 minutes.
Prepare your toppings while you wait for it to rise. I used a ridiculous number of veggie toppings, including spinach, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. You can make it a white pizza and just put cheese on top, or also use tomato sauce (I like using my homemade one). When your dough is ready to go, dust a surface with flour (or if you have cornmeal, you could use that). Dump the dough on top of it and shape it into an even disk. Or, you can divide it into two equal parts and shape each one into a mini pizza. Don’t roll the dough out using a rolling pin – just use your knuckles to press down on the dough, starting from the middle and going outwards. Stop just before the edge so that a little crush will form. Continue stretching the dough with your hands until it reaches the size you want. I think thinner crusts are better, but make sure there are no holes.
When it’s ready, transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on it if you’re using, then all your toppings, and then sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top. I also sometimes like using fresh buffalo mozzarella and dotting that on the top as well. Brush a bit of olive oil on the crush of the pizza. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, the toppings are heated through, and the cheese is bubbly and delicious looking. Let it cool for at least 5 minutes before attempting to cut. It’s best the day it’s made but I put some in the freezer and it actually tastes great reheated.
You can cater this totally to your liking by loading it up with meat or vegetables or just tomato sauce and cheese. Serve it with a side salad and you have a complete meal!