Introduction: Microwave Pizza Dough & No-Cook Tomato Sauce
There are so many great pizzas in the world but there is no substitute for real yeast dough - having your dough rise in the microwave while you are preheating the oven and grating the cheese is faster than calling for delivery.
I make this pizza every week because I almost always have a bag of the dry ingredients sitting in the cupboard. I have probably made this pizza over 300 times. I have even taught classes on how to make it. My name on the Instructables site here should have been PizzaQueen instead of Ninzerbean.
The recipe is all mine but the process of letting the dough rise in the microwave is from a wonderful cookbook called Bread in Half the Time.
The no-cook tomato sauce is the tastiest you will ever have eaten and the only clean up you will have is your food processor, cheese grater and pizza pan. It is that easy. Just remember this mantra: cook for 3 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, cook for 3 minutes, rest for 6 minutes.
Step 1: Supplies
- Food processor
- Microwave with adjustable power (almost all have it)
- Plastic wrap
- Pizza pan - I use a half sheet pan but I have used about everything you can imagine - even a grill. A half sheet pan is about 17 x 12 inches.
- Knife for chopping
- Measuring spoons
- 2 cup measuring cup
Step 2: Preheat Your Oven NOW
Your dough will be ready to pop into the oven in about 15 minutes, you need to remember to get your oven going right now. The secret to this fantastic tasting pizza is that I precook the dough before adding the sauce and cheese. No soggy crusts and no burnt cheese.
Step 3: Sauce Ingredients and Cheese
- 16 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese (there is less water than in part skim)
- 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- Olive oil or grapeseed oil (a new kick I am on is grapeseed oil as it is more subtle)
- 1/2 tsp salt (again, use Kosher, if you use regular salt cut it back by a quarter)
- Some chopped fresh basil (3 Tablespoons or so) or dried - about 1 tsp dried. if you like basil use as much as you like, if you like garlic add some of that too.
- 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional of course)
The reason you are going to make the sauce first is because the tomatoes need to drain for a good 20 minutes while you are making the dough. So, to do this step drain the tomatoes from their juice in the can (I usually just drink this right up as it is so tasty), then chop the tomatoes pretty small, about 1/2 inch pieces - you can see the size in the second photo.
I have a weird device that lets me chop in a shallow flat bottomed Tupperware container but you may use a cutting board, it is just a little messier. Remember, you don't want the juice, just the pulp.
Note: Try to buy canned tomatoes that don't contain sugar, I think Hunts are terrible, Publix (a local grocery store) are my favorites, but Flora and any of the Italian ones are good. If your Italian ones come in a slightly larger can don't worry about it. Salt as an ingredient is fine, it's just sugar that is not so fine tasting.
Step 4: Draining Your Tomatoes and Adding the Oil and Spices
Drain for 20 minutes, shake every so often or as often as you like to speed up the draining.
Next put the drained tomato pulp back in the bowl you used for chopping and add 3 T olive oil or grapeseed oil. I have been on a grapeseed oil kick for a few months because I really like how subtle it is. It really doesn't matter which oil you use.
Add your salt, I use a large pinch which means all of my fingers and my thumb and that turns out to be about 1/2 tsp. Try to always use Kosher salt, it is less salty and has a cleaner taste. Use less salt if you are using fine salt. Taste as you go to make sure you don't need more.
I like to use fresh basil when I have it. If I don't I just use about 1 tsp of dried. If you buy fresh basil at the store just use the bottom most leaves and stick the stems with a few leaves left at the top to root. They will root in 3 days and you can keep using the leftover leaves or plant them.
Step 5: Dough Ingredients
- 3 3/4 C bread flour (if all you have is all purpose flour you can use it, the dough will just be flatter and not as chewy)
- 2 1/2 tsp yeast, rapid rise or regular is fine
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil, any oil will be fine really, I just love grapeseed oil lately, it's not as heavy tasting as olive oil. Try it in salads instead of olive oil.
- 2 tsp salt (kosher)
- 2 T fine ground yellow cornmeal (if you don't have this it won't matter, it's really for a little extra body and color)
- 2 1/2 T vital wheat gluten (if you don't have this it won't matter either except the dough will be a little harder to stretch to fit the pan, it will want to spring back, vital wheat gluten as it is called, relaxes the dough. It doesn't work on people though
- 1 1/2 C water - maybe a little less. Use good water.
Step 6: The Dough Ball
Isn't that just beautiful? It's warm too. Take a bite, yummers.
Step 7: Poke a Hole With Your Thumbs
So now it looks like a giant donut. Take out the food processor blade (don't forget this step because you are going to put the bowl into the microwave) and put the big donut of dough back into the bowl of the food processor.
Step 8: Cover With Plastic Wrap
This is so important I have made it a whole step. I forgot once and the dough ended up with a crust when it was finished rising and I couldn't use it.
Step 9: Microwave Directions
- First make sure your bowl is covered with the plastic wrap.
- Put a glass of water in your microwave
- Set your time for cooking to 3 minutes and your power to the lowest power.
- When the bell rings set the timer for 3 minutes and just go shake your tomatoes or something.
- Set your timer for cooking to 3 minutes and your power to the lowest power.
- When the bell rings go do something else for 6 minutes. If you do something else for longer the dough will just get bigger so no worries. But don't go opening the door to check on it, it needs to be alone while it is changing.
- The glass of water you put in the microwave makes for a humid environment.
Step 10: Does This Microwave Make Me Look Fat?
Step 11: The Other Things You Were Doing As the Dough Was Rising
- Grating cheese - large holes on the grater. I always use a 16 oz. block of mozzarella verses buying cheese that is already grated, that cheese has stuff on it to keep it from sticking together and I don't think it can be that fresh if it lasts so long.
- Chopping those jalapenos - I love these guys in a jar, they are soft, not very spicy at all and even though I have tried fresh ones I like the texture of these. Of course these are optional - use anything you want on your pizza - pineapple, olives, garlic. I think for your first go around just follow the recipe though. When you come back to the rodeo do it your way.
- Putting oil on the pizza pan
Step 12: Spread the Dough Out in the Pan
I use both hands, the photo only shows one as I was trying to get as much oil on my camera as I could while taking pictures.
Step 13: Into the Oven for 5 or 6 Minutes
Use the top third of your oven. All ovens are different so you may want to keep a close eye on your dough as it is cooking in case you need to turn the pan around if one side is cooking faster than the other. I love watching big huge bubbles appear in the dough.
Step 14: Adding the Sauce, Cheese and Jalapenos
In that order.
Step 15: Cook for About 7 Minutes
Cook for as long as it takes to look like the cheese is cooked, a little speckled brown and bubbly. If it is taking a long time, move it to a higher rack.
Step 16: Plan Ahead
When ever I make dough and I am measuring out all those dry ingredients, I put a few gallon sized Ziploc bags close by and just measure the ingredients into them as well. Then it is super easy to pull out a bag when you are in a hurry and add 1 1/2 cups of water to it in the food processor and make pizza again and again.
Step 17: It Smells Sooooo Good
I let it cool for a minute or two and the cut into big rectangles with SCISSORS - yes scissors, I don't know why every one finds that so amazing - they are the perfect tool for pizza. Enjoy! My friend Molly sure is.
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