There are days when I really, really like my job. Tuesday was one of those days. Today was not one of those days. Today I worked pretty much every minute (minus the minutes I chatted about movies with a coworker). I also missed pilates because traffic from work to my gym was awful. My gym is really about 10 minutes from work. Today I got halfway there in 15 minutes. I blame the Colts game. My route runs very close to Lucas Oil Stadium. So tonight, I say screw you, Colts! Tonight I am not proud to live in a city of Super Bowl winners. But just tonight. I’m OK with today being entirely exhausting though because tomorrow we’re going to Chicago and I can hardly wait.
But back to Tuesday, which did not suck. Every issue of the magazine I pick a recipe that I tell the kids is awesome and tasty and easy to make. For this issue (that’s November/December, and let’s not talk about how working on Christmas stuff in August fucks up my clock) I went with pizza. Jen, the magazine’s art director, and I make these recipes in the kitchen at work and do photo shoots. Tuesday, we made this pizza, which took about two hours total (that’s not how long it’ll take you, I swear. Taking pictures adds minutes.) and made for a very pleasant morning.
The recipe for this pizza should probably be written on bar bathroom stalls everywhere, that’s how easy it is. You should probably make lots of batches of the crust dough at once and put them in your freezer. Then, whenever you get a pizza craving (which is like once a week for me), you can defrost one of them and have pizza in 15 minutes. You can also let the dough rise all day in the refrigerator in place of the one hour rise. I do this sometimes if I make the dough on my lunch break and want it for dinner. So, on to the recipe! I’m going to give you the two topping options that we made, but really the options are endless. Be creative! Recreate your favorite restaurant’s pizza! Make one up with the seasonal veggies available at your farmer’s market!
all photos by the talented Jen (my magazine’s art director)
For the Dough
1½ cups bread flour (but you can use all-purpose if that’s all ya got)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 packet (0.25 ounces) active dry yeast
½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Pineapple Chicken Pizza
½ cup barbecue sauce
1 1/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or 1 one ball fresh mozzarella
1 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
For the Zucchini and Goat Cheese Pizza
1/2 cup marinara or tomato sauce
4 ounces goat cheese
a few sprinkley handfuls of mozzarella
1/2 zucchini, sliced into coins
1/2 red pepper, diced
4-6 mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Make your dough. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Add sugar, yeast, water, and olive oil, and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft, shaggy dough forms.
2. Gather dough into a ball. Put it on a floured counter and start kneading. How to knead: (I just started kneading my dough by hand after my dough hooks broke and it’s incredibly satisfying!) Fold dough in half and push down and away with the heel of your hand. Turn dough a quarter-turn and repeat. Do this for 8-10 minutes, until dough is soft and elastic. You can also use an electric mixer with dough hooks for 8 minutes.
3. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic, and leave in a warm place for one hour, or until it doubles in size.
4. Gently poke dough to deflate it. Set it on a floured counter and knead for 2 minutes.
5. Roll out dough in a circle shape and place on a pizza stone or a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 475°.
7. Spread your sauce (whichever you’re using for your pizza) on the pizza crust, sprinkle with cheese, and toppings, and bake for 15 minutes.