I have a recipe for pizza dough that I absolutely love. The smooth ball of dough kneads together like silk between my fingers. Then I wrap it lovingly, tightly, place it in the refrigerator, where it sits undisturbed for two days.
But this is not that recipe.
See, the problem with that pizza dough recipe is it requires planning - a long two nights before actually making and consuming the delicious pizza.
So, when Mike phoned me one afternoon last week, wondering if we might be able to enjoy homemade pizza for dinner that very evening, I reached back into my recipes for the first pizza dough I ever made.
Homemade pizza dough in less than one hour.
I love the crust of this pizza - a crunchy exterior, with a not too-bready interior. It reminds me of warm, homemade bread sticks.
And since I saved time on making the crust, I was able to make homemade ricotta to lend an extra special flavor to this quick dinner.
makes 2 pizzas
1/2 cup warm water, 105 degrees to 110 degrees
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces prosciutto di parma
Basil, torn by hand
Prepare the Dough: Whisk the warm water and the yeast in a small bowl. Let stand until yeast fully dissolves, about 5 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour and the salt until fully combined. Rub the olive oil into the flour mixture.
When yeast is fully dissolved, pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue to incorporate ingredients by hand, turning dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth.
Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draft-free area until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 hour. Punch the down dough and divide into 2 equal balls.
Make the Pizza: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Roll pizza dough into a rectangle, approximately 12" x 8". Sprinkle cornmeal on parchment or SilPat lined baking sheets. Place pizza dough on baking sheets.
Spoon a thin layer of marinara sauce, either homemade or your favorite brand, onto the dough. Sprinkle desired amounts of ricotta and prosciutto di parma over pizza. Drizzle a small amount of olive-oil over pizzas and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bake pizzas until crust is golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle torn basil over pizzas immediately after removing from the oven.