Everybody loves pizza! Do you know anyone who doesn’t love pizza? I don’t! A lot of people prefer to order pizza, which is a pity actually because it is so much fun to make at home. There’s no need to fuss about it as long as you plan things ahead, have your ingredients at hand and do your planning appropriately. Most of our culinary endeavours are actually a matter of time management, getting organized and good planning. So making pizza at home isn’t an exception in this sense.
The recipe I’m sharing here is no big deal. It’s me and my mom’s favorite “quick and fuss free” pizza recipe. Although I have tried and made note of several other pizza recipes, this one is my staple. Probably because I’ve been making it for so long that I could practically get it ready with my eyes closed! It’s good for lunch, dinner, possibly even for brunch, for friends’ gathering, for watching the games or just because you feel like having pizza! It’s a true crowd pleaser. So here comes my recipe…
 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (300 gr)
  • 1½  tsp instant yeast
  • 200 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tps salt
  • Pinch sugar
  • Semolina or cornmeal (to sprinkle on baking tray)

Note This dough will yield a pizza that is about the size of a standard oven tray (about 30×40 cm – 12×16 inch). Or you can make 4 small, or 2 larger round pizzas. To make more, you can just use double the amount of the ingredients listed above.

Step by step method

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  1. Place water, salt, pinch sugar and olive oil in a deep mixing bowl. Add flour and sprinkle yeast on top.
  2. Form dough into a smooth ball. Place in a bowl that is lightly greased with olive oil, cover and let rest for at least 30-40 minutes in a warm spot.
  3. In the meantime you can get your tomato sauce and other ingredients ready. Also grease your baking tray(s) lightly with olive oil and sprinkle generously with some semolina or cornmeal. Heat oven to 200-225 C degrees (about 400-430 F).
  4. When dough has risen to about double its size, take out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Start shaping with the tip of your fingers then transfer to baking tray(s) and continue pushing dough with the tip of your fingers up to the edge of the tray. Poke a few holes in the dough using a fork.
  5. Now spread some tomato sauce on the dough. Scatter about one third of grated cheese (I use about 400-500 gr soft, fresh, reduced salt ‘kashar’ cheese). Then place whatever ingredients you’re using on top and cover with the rest of the grated cheese. Of course the cheese you use is totally up to your preference and in any case you can always choose to sprinkle the base first with some finely grated parmesan.
  6. Place in preheated oven on the lowest rack and bake about 15-20 minutes if you made a single pizza in the oven tray or 10-15 minutes for smaller round pizzas. Oven temperatures and baking time will vary tremendously so it’s best to keep an eye on it while in the oven!

Easy Tomato Sauce
  • 200 ml tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground blackpepper
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (or ½ tsp  garlic powder)
  • 1 bay leaf

Mix all ingredients in a little saucepan and heat and simmer over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Then leave to cool before you spread on pizza dough and don’t forget to take bay leaf out before using. The only purpose of heating the sauce is to better bind the flavors of the spices. You can just as well skip the heating step and mix everything well and use it directly, in which case you can omit the bay leaf from the beginning.

Bon Appétit!