I have a “gourmet” pizza dough recipe that promises the best pizza dough ever. But it takes hours of rising time to develop flavour. And some days when I need a quick meal, pizza springs to mind at the last minute.
RECIPE: Pizza Dough
Fills one cookie sheet or one 14"-16" pizza tray
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 packet quick-rise yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
So, I asked my friend Tania for her recipe — straight from her Italian Aunt Nadia. It’s fast, easy and always delicious. When I say “fast”? I made the pizza in these pictures starting at 5:12 pm and had to leave for Felix’s soccer at 6:15 pm; everything was done, including clean-up.
Put 2½ cups all-purpose flour into a medium bowl.
Add one packet of quick-rise yeast. Mix into the flour and then add ¾ teaspoon salt. Mix again.
To the dry mixture, add 1 cup warm water (stick in your finger, to test — you just want it body temperature) and 2 tablespoons olive oil. I add the oil to the water and then add all the liquid at once. With a spatula, mix the wet and dry till the dough starts coming together. You may have to add a few more drops of water, to use up all the flour — but you don’t want this too wet.
Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 3-5 minutes, until it is soft and smooth. Add flour if it is a bit sticky. (Auntie Nadia’s recipe says 5 full minutes, but I can get it down to 3 min if I just knead hard and fast!)
Rest the dough 10 minutes (cover with tea towel or saran wrap). While dough is resting, preheat oven to 450°F. Grab some simple toppings. I used store-bought pesto, cheddar and prosciutto we had in the fridge.
Using your hands, stretch out the dough into a rectangle (for a baking tray) or a circle. Lightly oil the surface of the tray before putting dough down.
Place the pizza into the oven on the lowest rack and bake for 10-15 minutes. Yes, that is quite a range, but it really depends on your oven and how many toppings are on the pizza. You want the dough browning — golden brown — on the sides and bottom.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Meanwhile, pat yourself on the back. Homemade pizza, you rock!
What are your own fast homemade pizza tips? Can you beat one hour?
Sue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 3-year-old.
by Sue Riedl