by Danielle Del Vicario
If pizza is ever going to be a staple in your diet, it’s probably now. For a hungry student the joys of melted cheese and home delivery are just too great to pass by. But, what about making your own? It’s cheaper than delivery and gives you complete control over choice of toppings; the only issue is time. Who wants to spend fifteen minutes kneading dough and an hour and a half letting it rise? Luckily, homemade pizza is about to get a whole lot simpler…
In search of the perfect, student-friendly recipe and unimpressed by “quick and easy” baking soda crusts, I spent days trying (unsuccessfully) to develop an egg-based dough which didn’t taste like an undercooked pancake. Turning to the classics, I stumbled upon Jay Lahey’s “No-Knead Dough” on Food52. Arguably the modern day god of bread, Lahey cracks the code to the age-old problem of kneading: make the dough the day before and ignore it until the following evening. The resulting crust is thin and crispy with just a bit of chew.
However, we all know that pizza isn’t necessarily something planned a day in advance. For a quick fix, see the below recipe adapted from Robbie Haf’s “Thin Crust Pizza Dough” (also featured on Food52). With just two minutes of kneading and no rising, it will be ready in less time than it takes you to navigate online ordering.
The best part about making your own pizza is complete control over cheese and toppings. Don’t be afraid to branch out from the traditional mozzarella into the realms of feta, goat cheese or another favourite. Lately I’ve been loving the following combinations: feta, cherry tomatoes, spinach and olives, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula and a squeeze of lemon, or black beans, corn, jalapenos and mashed avocado (added after cooking).
No-Knead Pizza Dough
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1½ cups water
- Whisk together flour, yeast and salt. Add water and mix thoroughly with spoon and/or hands.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel and let rise at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours or until dough has doubled.
- Preheat oven to 475 F. Divide dough into four parts. On floured surface, press and roll each ball into eight-inch circle, letting dough rest if too springy.
- After topping, bake 20 minutes.
Quick Fix Pizza Dough
1¾ teaspoons yeast
¼ teaspoon sugar
¾ cup water
1 2/3 cups flour
1½ teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven to 475 F.
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Allow to rest eight to ten minutes.
- In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and combine with spoon/hands.
- Transfer dough to floured surface and knead for two minutes.
- Divide in half and let rest three to four minutes. Press and roll each half into eight-inch circle.
- After topping, bake 25 minutes.
Quick Tomato Sauce
If you have five minutes, skip the added sugar and preservatives found in prepared sauces and make your own. If making the quick crust, do this while your yeast bubbles.
1 onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
splash of olive oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
¼ tsp chili flakes
- In saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in oil until translucent.
- Add all other ingredients and cook 5 minutes more.