Easy Olive and Cheese Pizza
The hard part of making pizza at home is preparing the dough, but with this recipe, you'll be making pizza all the time. The toppings for this pizza are olives, tomatoes and basil, but you can use whatever you like. That combination is popular at my home because my father is allergic to mushrooms. He can't eat the Mango Mushroom Pizza that I always prepare for our "pizza nights". The little one is obsessed with olives, so this one is her favorite as well.
Yields: 61/2 cup water, warm
2 pack dry active yeast, (14g)
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs raw honey
4 Tbs olive oil, extra for drizzling
1 cup ice cold water
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 dozen black olives
4 Tbs simple tomato sauce
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbs corn meal
1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (or less, depending on how healthy you want to be)
1/3 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded (or less, depending on how healthy you want to be)
2 Tbs fresh sweet basil, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Enough dough for 2 pizzas:
Warm up the 1/2 cup of water. Using a thermometer, the temperature should be between 105°F to 120°F.
In a little bowl, place the yeast, add sugar then pour the warm water. Stir a little so the yeast dissolves and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Then mix all the flours, yeast, salt, garlic powder and cold water to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled big bowl, add the olive oil and knead the dough until it becomes smooth. Cover with a towel, place the bowl in a warm spot then let the yeast do its magic. You'll get a nice airy dough doubled in volume in about 2 hours.
Punch the air bubbles of the dough. Form 2 disks using a rolling pin. I do not dust the dough with additional flour. It'll get heavy. I usally start rolling the dough between two sheets of wax paper then place my almost-shaped pizza on a pan. Dimple the dough with your fingers to shape the dough.
Meanwhile, place the pizza stone in the oven. Let the shaped pizza rest for another 15 minutes. It will increase in volume a little.
Mix the tomato sauce and tomato paste in a little bowl. Spread it evenly on the dough using a silicone brush. Sprinkle the dried herbs. Place the sliced fresh tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheeses. Top with olives. Transfer the pizza using a pizza peel to the hot oven.
Bake for 10-11 minutes.
Sprinkle a little fresh basil and drizzle a little olive oil (you can also used a chili-infused oil)
Using warm water in addition to sugar will help the yeast to develop and get a good result. The warm water reactivates the yeast which consumes the sugar and produces carbon dioxide, leavening the dough. Gluten, formed by kneading the dough, traps the carbon dioxide. You'll get a nice airy dough. Anyhow, that was the science lesson of the day. This reminds me of my years in lab class in high school...
I like to substitute the sugar with raw honey (thicker than the regular one) for the pizza dough, it'll bring a more dense soft texture to the bread pizza. It's also very good when you make a focaccia bread.
I like to brush even the edges of the pizza dough with a thin layer of tomato sauce, it'll give a much more appealing look to the pizza instead of a dull bread color.
I always use bread flour for its higher level in gluten. I use King Arthur bread flour.
I use a combination of tomato sauce and tomato paste to get a less runny consistency so the sauce does not drip on the sides and keep a nice dry crust on the outside.
You'll get a crisp pizza bread on the outside if you place you pizza at the lowest oven rack and use a pizza stone. The stone will distribute a more even heat and will absorb all humidity (if some tomato sauce drips). The crust will be nice and golden and the inside will be soft and chewy. Guaranteed! Do not cook the dough for more than 10-11 minutes. The bread won't be as soft.
You can make mini-pizzas and serve them as appetizers a la Wolfgang Puck as well. That's how they serve it at Spago. It's a great time-saver when you throw a buffet-style party.Published By: on February 25, 2009.