I really like pizza. A lot.
What I really dislike is paying for pizza. In fact, I have no idea why any (sober) person pays for pizza. It’s much cheaper and healthier to make yourself, and really doesn’t take much time to make.
The most time consuming part is letting the dough rise, which is done all by itself thanks to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as bread yeast. The rise time of a little more than an hour is a great excuse to sit down and have a beer, which is frankly what you’d be doing while you waited for pizza someone else made to be delivered anyways. Bonus: as it bakes, the smell of your pizza’s golden brown, cheesy, delicious goodness will fill your house with mouth-watering aromas.
Make this for a first date. Seriously. Cooking is sexy.
Pizza Dough (Adapted from Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann)
2 cups Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup Whole wheat flour
2 Tsp Traditional dry yeast
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Dried rosemary
pinch Ground black pepper
½ Tsp Dried oregano
1 ½ cups Warm water (divided, NOT hot)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Liquid honey
• In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of water, the honey and the yeast. Stir vigorously to dissolve the yeast with a stiff spatula.
• Add in the fl our, then the salt, spices and olive oil. Do not add the salt directly to the liquid before you add the flour, because the salt may kill the yeast. Add the remaining water.
• Mix by taking the spatula and scraping it along the inside of the bowl, folding the ingredients in on themselves. Don’t mix it all up like a cake – you’ll be breaking the gluten** strands, which are what make the dough stretchy and rollable.
• When everything is incorporated, lightly fl our your hands and knead the dough. Gather it into a ball, cup the dough in both hands, push down on the ball while pressing forward, and reform it into a ball.
Repeat until the dough is smooth and elastic, but not tough, about four minutes. If it seems dry or hard,
add a little more water to loosen to up.
• Oil the bowl, roll the dough in it, and cover the dough with another bowl or wet tea towel. Leave it to rise for an hour, or until nearly doubled in size, at room temperature.*** Go have that beer.
• Once the dough it properly risen, cut it into two equal pieces with a bread knife. Roll into balls, oil and cover again for 15 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 425ºF degrees.
• On a lightly floured surface, roll the two dough balls out with a rolling pin into two round or oblong shapes, as thick or thin as your like. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray or pizza stone.
Lightly brush the surface with olive oil.
• Top with whatever you have on hand; shredded cheese, salami, left over veggies, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, olives, etc. How should I know what you like on your pizza? Put it on there!
• Bake for 15 minutes for thin crust, 20 minutes for thick. Eat hot and crispy fresh out of oven.
*I have had very moderate success making this recipe gluten free. You can sub in gluten free flour and xanthan gum, reduce the yeast and add a teaspoon of baking powder… but honestly it will never be the same. Gluten is what makes the dough so supple, and without that the pizza will be a little on the tough side.
** It is my personal experience that, unless you have allergies, gluten is not, infact, the devil.
*** If it’s cold in your house (for example, if you live in a cabin) it’s going to take longer to rise.