The first recipe I ever shared in Kitchen Captivated, over two years ago, was a recipe for homemade pizza. The recipe I used for years was adapted from a Cuisinart bread machine cookbook and it’s still a great recipe. But I wanted something a little easier, for sure a recipe I didn’t need a bread machine for and if I was being really fussy about the whole thing, something just a little tastier.
I took a pizza making class in Seattle this summer and got some great ideas, but the recipe for crust they shared in the class required a 12 hour rise time and sometimes I just can’t get my act together that far in advance.
Fridays have loosely become our pizza night. And honestly, I would say a solid 50 percent of the time, we order take out, but the nights we make it at home, this recipe has become the new fan favorite. First and foremost, it’s quick and easy. The dough cooks beautifully, crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. It makes a big batch too, which is important for my big eaters. We can make two 14 inch pizzas which is just the right amount with a slice or two for lunch the next day. I adapted the recipe slightly and noted it in instructions.
Mark Bittman’s Pizza Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- *1 tablespoon honey
- *1 cup tap water
Using an electric mixer with a dough attachment or a food processor, place the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and honey into the bowl. Turn the mixer or food processor on and mix a few times. Slowly add the water to the flour mixture until dough forms. If the mixture is very wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough is stretchy and moist but not gloppy or overly sticky. If the mixture is too dry and very stiff, add a tablespoon of water a time until the mixture is just right.
Using well-floured hands, mold the dough into a round ball and place in a clean dry bowl. Cover with a dish towel and walk away. Let the dough rise for at least 90 minutes or until it’s more than doubled in size.
When you are ready to make pizza, divide the dough in half and using well-floured hands and cutting board, work the dough a few times until it’s in a nice ball. Let rest on the board under a towel for an additional 15 minutes. (use this time to shred cheese, pre-heat the oven, dice veggies, ect.) Preheat the oven to 450 degree.
Roll the dough out using a rolling pin. Lift the crust onto a pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray. Top with desired toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Quick marinara sauce:
- 1 32-ounce can highest-quality crushed tomatoes
- drizzle of olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced or pressed through a garlic press
- liberal salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
You can make this sauce one of two ways, mix it all together in a bowl and sauce your pizza. No heating or cooking. This makes a very bright tomato sauce. If you want something a little richer and more mellow, heat in a sauté pan and cook over medium low heat until it reduces by about a third. Freeze extras for the next time.