Intro: Pretty Simple Pizza
This is a thin pizza that tastes great, isn't hard to make, and leaves a relatively small mess behind.
These instructions make two pizzas, which together serve 4-5 people.
It takes about an hour of work altogether, plus another hour of waiting.
Step 1: Preparation
I usually forget this step. Fortunately I can ride my bicycle to the supermarket when the dough is rising.
For the dough you'll need:
1. 3 cups of flour
2. 3 tablespoons of olive oil
3. 2 tablespoons of honey
4. 1 tablespoon of dry yeast (the type you can freeze) - or any other if you know how to use it
5. 1 teaspoon of salt (I always forget this)
For the sauce you'll need:
1. 3-4 tomatos
2. 1/3 cup of olive oil
3. 1/3 cup of freshly chopped oregano or half as much dry oregano
4. 2-3 tablespoons of tomato concentrate
6. 2-3 cloves of garlic
7. 1-2 teaspoons of basil
5. Salt & pepper to taste
For the toppings you'll need:
1. Cheese - I like mixing mozzarella and parmesan
2. Toppings - anything! Unfortunately today I'm making some for my 7 year old sister, who refuses to eat anything "interesting".
1. 2-3 Bowls
2. Rolling pin
4. Spoons and a knife
5. Oven and related quipment
6. Baking paper
Step 2: Knead the Dough
Start by preheating the oven to a low setting.
Mix the flour, olive oil for the dough, honey and yeast together in a big bowl. Stir them up with a spoon.
Slowly add water (since our yeast is the easy kind it doesn't have to be warm), and mix with the spoon. 2/3 of a cup is enough for now.
Once the dough stops being a gooey mess you can shove your hands in it without making your hands all sticky. Don't be tempted to add too much water - the excess flour will slowly dissolve too, while kneading, and you usually only need a little bit more. Most of the flour that get wet will be absorbed, and then you can just wet your hands every once in a while instead of adding more water to get to the right amount.
For me the most effective way to knead is to press down with my weight till the dough is a thick disk, and then fold and repeat, in a sort of rolling motion.
After a few minutes, the dough should be smooth. It should not stick to the hands but it shouldn't feel dry either.
Step 3: Let the Dough Rise
Turn the oven off slightly ahead of time, so that the heat is not too intense.
Then place the dough in a glass bowl. If you are short on time you can cover it in the cling film - this will help it rise a bit faster, but it's also not very ecological.
You can now leave it to rise anywhere from an hour to two. The more it rises the more flexible it'll be later.
Step 4: Make the Sauce
While the dough is rising start with the sauce.
This specific sauce works pretty well for pizza (you can probably interchange with any tomato sauce). It's not what I use for pasta though - it's slightly too sweet.
Cut up the tomatoes and take out the seeds and juice. The juice is acidic and the seeds are bitter, so this doesn't work very well. You don't needs to peel them if you're lazy, it works well without doing that too.
Throw the tomatoes in a magimix/blender on the lowest speed for a pretty long while. If it foams then it won't spread very easily later, so let it rest for a while if it starts to. The riper the tomatoes are the less likely this is to happen.
Once you have a pretty consistent goo throw it in a bowl. Add the garlic, oregano, basil and concentrate, and then stir in the olive oil. Lastly salt and pepper to taste, and you're done.
Step 5: Prepare the Pizza
Start heating the oven up around it's maximum setting, or slightly less - this is something you'll need to learn over time, since most ovens aren't very accurate around that range. This is around 230-240°c on our oven as far as the markings go, but sometimes it seems hotter and sometimes colder.
Split the dough (use a knife - it's easier than tearing it).
On a sheet of baking paper spread the dough till it's as thin as you like. I personally prefer 3-4 millimeters or so, but it works very well when slightly thicker too.
Next, spread the sauce with a spoon. Don't put too much sauce on, or the taste will overcome everything else.
Now you can put on some toppings (but not green vegetables - they come in later).
Step 6: Bake
Now that the oven is hot take out the wire mesh thingy and carefully pull the baking paper with the pizza over it without getting burned.
Put the pizza in the oven pretty low in the oven - it needs to get most of the heat from below to bake properly.
As soon as the pizza can support itself and not stick to the oven rack pull out the paper. The paper interferes with the baking and it's only purpose is to make sure you can remove the pizza from the oven. This shouldn't be more than 4-5 minutes into the baking. You can then start spreading the second pizza on the newly vacant sheet.
After two more minutes or so take out the pizza and put the cheese on. I forgot to take a picture of this, but I do this right after the photo where I first show the bottom crust.
Let it keep baking till the bottom part is pretty dark (but not burnt at all). The cheese should be bubbly and even slightly browned.
If you are putting green toppings (lettuce, salad greens, etc) on this is the time - let them bake for no more than a minute.
The whole baking process shouldn't take more than 12-15 minutes.
P.S. You really ought to use a stone, so I'm told... I don't have one, but I'm trying to get someone to add instructions as a comment ;-)