Ya gotta love pizza. Or maybe you don’t, who knows, but I love pizza and I’m going to tell you ALL ABOUT IT. There’s a bit of a debate regarding who actually invented pizza, but whoever it was: thank you. Pizza is fantastic in that it carries with it a lot of fond memories. Childhood ice skating parties (eating pizza signified the end of said torturous ice skating parties), “girls nights'” where my friends and I ordered Domino’s and always finished the pie, a dinner date with one of my dearest friends Thomas at John’s in the city where we similarly finished two large pizzas… the list goes on.
Normally, I order pizza if I’m just too tired to do anything else. But once in a while, it’s nice to make it myself. Kneading the dough is mildly therapeutic and I like putting on multiple toppings without being charged extra. Extra cheese? Hello. Mushrooms? Hey there. Olives? Heyheyhey.
This crust recipe is exceptionally simple, and comes out nice and crispy. A big thank you to The Silver Spoon for introducing it to me. I improvised the topping, so feel free to follow my instructions or make your own!
Buy The Silver Spoon here: http://www.phaidon.com/the-silver-spoon/the-silver-spoon-series/the-silver-spoon-9780714862569/
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
Olive oil, for brushing
1 can Hunt’s diced tomatoes, strained
1 package cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic powder, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste
Sift the flour, salt, and yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour the lukewarm water into the well, and mix with dry ingredients using a wooden spoon.If the dough is too sticky, add a pinch of flour as needed.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a large bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. Brush seran wrap with olive oil and wrap tightly on top. Put bowl in a warm area for at least an hour, and let the dough rise until it is doubled in size. If you’re making the dough in advance, remove from the bowl after the hour and punch down. Return to the bowl, and place in the refrigerator until needed.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll out until it is about 16 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. I still haven’t perfected the art of making pizzas round, so don’t worry if yours is a funny shape. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Move the dough to the baking sheet. Reshape to fit the sheet if needed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Sautee garlic until translucent, then add mushrooms. Cook until they are smaller and a deep brown.
Spread tomatoes across dough. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes and garlic powder (if desired) on the tomatoes. Top with mozzarella and parmesan. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and garlic from the pan and place on pizza. Add the olives, and then the parsley.
Place the pizza in the preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.