I’ve been baking a lot of pizzas recently. They’re inexpensive, easy to prepare, and I can load them up with enough vegetables to offset any guilt induced by meat and mozzarella cheese.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (optional)
- 2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Combine the sugar and yeast in a coffee mug. Add 1 oz. of warm water, stir and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, salt and cornmeal. Drizzle in the olive oil and combine with a fork or a single chopstick.
- When the yeast looks like it’s having a party, top off the mug with 1/2 cup warm water and pour it into the flour mixture while stirring just until all ingredients are incorporated; you may need to add another ounce or two of water. What you want is a firm, sticky ball that has some elasticity.
- Transfer the dough to another bowl coated with olive oil and cover with a dishcloth for 90 minutes.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking stone or cookie sheet.
- When the dough has more or less doubled in size, place it on a floured surface and roll it out to about 1/8-inch. (I use a cutting board that’s more or less the same shape as my baking sheet for an easy transfer.)
- Place the dough on your baking surface, then add sauce, cheese and toppings.
- Place in a 500-degree oven for 7-10 minutes until crust is golden-brown and toppings are cooked/caramelized.
Cornmeal and olive oil make a pizza even more savory and give the crust a very satisfying crunch, even after a night in the refrigerator. Add chopped thyme, basil or even a pinch of Herbes de Provence to the dough for a flavor boost.
Feel free to make a double batch; this keeps for several days in a sealed refrigerated container.
And never buy pizza sauce; once you realize how easy it is to make, you’ll kick yourself.