Don’t you love to press on bubble wrap and hear that crackle and pop? How about pizza in a snap with that same wonderful joyful feeling? Anyone can make fantastic fragrant pizza from scratch in the privacy of your own home, anytime.
Here is what you do. Make the pizza dough as below on a lazy day. Then freeze it in portions. Thaw it overnight or a couple of days ahead of time. Then roll that dough out thin or thick as you like. Get your jollies hearing the snap crack and pop of the yeast bubbles in the dough. My suggestion is to roll it as thin as possible. This will result in a crispier crust and prolong the fun time rolling, stretching. and popping.
Cover it with your favourite tomato or pesto or cream sauce. Top it off or keep it simple with a little evoo and rosemary as Mark Bittman suggests.
This evening I topped it with: jarred organic basil and garlic tomato sauce, thinly sliced zucchini, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sweet orange peppers on 50% off clearance (bonus!), and skim milk mozzarella.
Bake at a high heat around 500 degrees F. Sprinkle Parmigiano Reggiano and/or hot chilli flakes or nothing.
This is a good basic dough recipe. Tastes like the pros. A side salad, a little glass of vino and you’re good to go!
Basic Pizza Dough (Mark Bittman’s New York Times Recipe) 4 to 6 servings
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, or more as needed, plus more for kneading 1 teaspoon fast-rising yeast (2 teaspoons if you’re in a hurry) 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as necessary
Put the 3 cups flour, yeast, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water through the feed tube. Process until the mixture forms a slightly sticky ball, about 30 seconds.
If the mixture is too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 to 10 seconds after each addition.
If the mixture refuses to come together, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and process until it does.
Rub a little olive oil or sprinkle a little flour onto your hands and shape the dough into a ball; wrap in plastic.
Let rest at room temperature until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. Or, if time is tight, let it rest at least 20 minutes before proceeding.
Or refrigerate for several hours, deflating if necessary if it threatens to burst the plastic. (Or divide in half, wrap each ball in plastic, slip into a plastic bag and freeze.) Let it return to room temperature before proceeding. I put mine in the refrigerator overnight. Then froze it.
Reshape the dough into a ball and cut in half, forming 2 balls.
Put them on a lightly floured surface. sprinkle with flour and cover with plastic wrap; or brush then with a bit of oil and place on a lightly oiled sheet. Let rest for about 20 minutes, while you heat the oven to 500 degrees.
Press a dough ball into a 1/2-inch-thick flat round, adding flour or oil to the work surface as necessary.
Press or roll the dough until it’s as thin as you can make it; let it rest a bit if it becomes too elastic. (Patience is your friend here.) You can do two baking sheets at once, or one after another, as you’ll have to if using a peel. If doing the latter, slide the dough from the peel onto the stone.
Sprinkle the pizzas with olive oil (just a little), salt and rosemary. Bake for at least 10 minutes, perhaps rotating once, until the crust is crisp. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.