Hello, everyone. I’m here to talk to you today because I believe in something. I believe in freedom, I believe in choice, I believe in crazy fonts, and I believe in pizza. Homemade pizza, to be exact. I believe that YOU, yes you, can make pizza in your very own home, free from the shackles of overpriced delivery and mounds of store-bought crust. Give me your kitchen ingredients, yearning to be free. Give me your huddled masses of flour, oil, and salt. I know that in this economy, we’ve all got to learn to live with a little less — yeast, that is. Don’t worry. I’m here to tell you today – there’s a yeast-less pizza dough that you can count on.
“Homemade pizza dough,” you may sputter, “Why, I’m not a baker!” Nonsense. If you have flour, water, oil, salt, and a little bit o’ baking powder, you’re all set. It takes 8 minutes tops. Check it:
Yeast-less Pizza Dough (tried n’ true)
Makes one pizza the size of a baking sheet
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 cup water
(Spices: 2 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp fresh diced garlic, if you want to go spicy add a pinch or two of cayenne)
Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (the flour, salt, spices, and baking powder). Add the water and the oil, combining with a wooden spoon. Add more water or flour if needed to achieve a soft consistency – the dough should not be overly sticky, but should also be completely incorporated. If it is sticking to your fingers, add some flour. If it isn’t picking up flour at the bottom of the bowl and feels raggedy, add a little water.
On a floured surface (I just did this in the bowl, however) knead your dough for about 4 minutes. Knead it well, until the dough is smooth and consistent through-out. You can either roll the dough out with a rolling pin (or a well-floured wine bottle if you have no rolling pin) or spread it out with your fingers on an oiled baking sheet. Make sure that the dough is a consistent thickness. It should cover the entire baking sheet.
Sausage and Caramelized Onion Pizza
makes one pizza the size of a baking sheet
1 red onion
1 green pepper
sausage or chicken sausage, fully cooked, amount per your liking (I used one thick link)
1 can pureed tomato sauce (NOT paste, NOT pasta sauce, NOT chunky)
1.5 cups cheese – a mozzarella/cheddar blend works well
1 cup spinach
Preheat oven to 450. In a small saucepan, add 1 tsp oil. Chop up the pepper and onion into strips. Add to saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the onions are caramelized and the peppers soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same small saucepan, add the sausage, which should be cut into small, bite-size pieces. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now to prepare the pizza – the dough should be already rolled out on the baking sheet. Spread 3/4 of a can of tomato sauce over the dough, making sure to spread it evenly. Avoid spreading it over the 1/2 inch-wide rim of the dough as that will be the “crust” of your pizza. Uniformly sprinkle cheese on top of the pizza, and then place the peppers, onions, and sausage evenly. Finally, sprinkle spinach atop everything.
Here’s what to remember with making a homemade pizza – if you pile the toppings on too high, it prevents the pizza from cooking in the middle. You will end up with soggy, raw crust in the middle. Avoid adding too much sauce, cheese, and especially toppings, however tempting it may be. You will be rewarded with a delicious, crispy yet soft pizza.
Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like your crust. The cheese should be fully melted and slightly brown on the edges, crust should be a light, light brown on the edges as well. Remove from heat and cut into slices. Enjoy!
Pizza dough slightly adapted from Cooks.com