Pizza is a cheap and easy meal, which is, no doubt, why delivery joints make money hand over fist selling them to you. But pizza is something you can make at home, without having to purchase and store those pre-made crusts.
No doubt, cruising the internet, you can find recipes for all kinds of pizza dough. There’s thick pizza dough, wheat pizza dough, gluten-free pizza dough, and even spinach-based pizza dough. You name it, someone makes it. But almost all of these pizza dough recipes require between 2-24 hours of preparation time. And as far as I’m concerned, pizza is no longer a convenience food if you have to plan for it a full day ahead, spend half an hour or more kneading the dough, and then ferment it for the next day.
When I want to make pizza, I want it now. But considering dough needs time to rise, how is that possible? Believe it or not, it’s quick and easy to make a quick pizza dough in your own kitchen, using only five ingredients: salt, yeast, water, flour and olive oil.
The key to making a quick pizza dough is to use rapidly rising yeast – this will reduce your pizza dough preparation time from as much as a day to only half an hour. And during that half hour, you can chop up and assemble all the ingredients you want to put on the pizza, or put your feet up and read a magazine, whatever tickles your fancy.
So here are the steps:
1. Get a cup of hot water (run the tap until it’s hot, there’s no need to boil anything). Pour it into a large mixing bowl and mix in a teaspoon of salt and one packet of rapid rising yeast. Stir with a fork.
2. Gradually stir in two cups of all purpose flour. At first, it’ll mix easily. Eventually, it’ll become too stiff for your fork, and you’ll have to use your hands. This is where it gets tricky. To keep your hands from getting hopelessly gluey with dough, reserve a little extra flour on the side.
3. As you knead the dough with your hands, if it is sticking to your hands, dust your hand with the residual flour, rub your hands together, and go back to kneading. Repeat this process until you can get the dough into a little ball and it no longer sticks to your hands and fingers. Ideally, you want to use as little extra flour as possible to make this happen.
4. Take a tablespoon of olive oil, and coat the outside of the dough so that it’s easier to handle. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and set it aside for thirty minutes.
5. When the timer goes off, get a rolling pin, and roll out your dough ball into a large baking sheet or onto a pizza stone. This crust is made ideally to be on the thin, lightly crunchy side, so when I make it, I roll it out as thin as I possibly can.
And that’s it. Voila! Quick and easy pizza dough that doesn’t stick to your hands.