There’s been some talk on the internet about what it takes to make great pizza at home, and all the fussy preparation it entails. I’m here to tell you that great pizza takes about an hour and as much effort as you can spare between reading blogs and posting photos. You just need dough ingredients, toppings you like and have on hand, and about an hour of non-consecutive prep time. Some might consider this cheating, but I think that makes it all the more exciting. After all, it’s food, not taxes, so the important point is that you enjoy the end result. No one’s going to judge you for what you cook and devour late at night, honest.
Cheater’s Pizza – Serves 1
- 1 cup flour (I mixed bread flour and AP)
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 c water
Put everything except water in a medium bowl – I’m pretty good at eyeballing amounts, so the only thing I measured was the yeast. Measure everything if you need to, there’s no shame. Add half the water and stir with a wooden spoon, adding more water as needed. The dough should be soft and stick to the sides of the bowl, but it shouldn’t puddle. If it gets too thin, add a bit more flour. Stir until the dough is stretchy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and walk away. You probably have to organize iTunes or something.
In about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 450 F. Put the bowl on top of the oven to speed proofing. Take a 10 minute break to check your newsfeeds.
When you get back to the kitchen, make sure the oven is up to temperature. Then put a baking sheet in the oven while you prep your toppings. I used olive oil, 2 Tbsp minced onion, and 2 oz goat cheese, so I just got those things out. I also trimmed my basil windowbox (the one in my header – it’s grown so much since then!) and got about 2 Tbsp for the pizza. This would also be great with tomato sauce, bits of pre-cooked meat and vegetable, or whatever you have on hand.
Flour your counter and scrape the dough out of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Dust the dough with flour and using a rolling pin, get it as thin as you can. Take the baking sheet out of the oven, transfer the dough to it. Cover the dough with toppings and return to the oven as quickly as you can. Bake 10-15 minutes, until risen and golden. Update your Facebook status while you’re waiting, so all your friends know you’re making super easy pizza from scratch.
Remove from oven, and immediately place basil leaves on top and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Let cool as long as it takes to load a DVD, eat with your hands.