My co-author, Jeff, and I wrote our latest book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, because we love pizza.You can’t bake these recipes without creating a party, whether it’s for an evening spent watching a movie or a big gathering of friends in the backyard. Pick the crust and toppings to suit your mood and within minutes you will have pizza — lots and lots of fresh pizza. It’s fast, easy and costs only $1.50 for the most delicious pie you’ve ever eaten.
Below is a recipe for our classic Margherita Pizza, made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, olive oil and basil — simply delicious. Some of the pizzas and flatbreads in the book are more exotic, like a Moroccan flatbread with preserved lemons, cured olives and homemade harissa. There are playful variations on classics, like the Hawaiian pizza, with pineapple, prosciutto, macadamia nuts and sage. We use a mix of sweet and savory flavors, like fresh figs and cured meats, as well as some traditional combos for those of us with a taste for good old pizzeria pies. All of our pizzas and flatbreads can also be made with our gluten-free crusts, so there is something for everyone.
To celebrate the book’s arrival we are doing an amazing giveaway with some of our favorite pizza-making products. We have teamed up with Red Star Yeast, King Arthur Flour and Emile Henry to create the perfect Pizza Package. A lucky winner, chosen at random, will win everything you need to make great pizza: a signed copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, yeast from Red Star, flour from King Arthur Flour and a pizza stone from Emile Henry.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling us what tops your perfect pizza.
You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate back with you if you’re a winner. (But do not post your email address into the actual body of the comment.) We’re giving two copies away to two very lucky, randomly selected commenters.
You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 6:30 p.m. ET on November 30th and 5:00 p.m. ET on December 2st. Subject to full Official Rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $22.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a/ Cooking Channel, 75 9th Ave., New York, NY 10011.
So, tell us, what tops your perfect pizza pie?
Margherita Pizza With Olive Oil Dough
From Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes: enough dough for eight 12-inch pizzas
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting and baking time
Baking Time: 10 minutes
For the dough:
3 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
7 1/2 cups (scoop and sweep) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup tomato sauce
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Olive oil for drizzling over the top before baking
Pinch of salt
Flour, cornmeal for the pizza peel
To make the dough: Dump the water, olive oil, yeast, salt and sugar into a 5-quart container with lid, and using a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon, stir in the flour. No kneading is necessary. Cover the container, not airtight, and let it rest for about 2 hours on the counter. The dough can be used right away, but it is much easier to handle once it has been thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To make the pizza:
Preheat your oven to the highest setting, which will be 500 to 550 degrees F, with a pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven. Depending on the thickness of your stone it can take between 20 and 45 minutes to preheat.
Cut an 8-ounce piece of dough from your bucket using kitchen shears and quickly form it into a ball, no more than 30 seconds of work. Let it sit on the counter while you gather your toppings.
Roll the ball out into an 1/8-inch-thick round. If the ball is resisting, let it sit for about 5 minutes and it will relax and allow you to roll it more easily.
Sprinkle a pizza peel with flour and place dough on it. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough.
Place the chunks of cheese over the sauce and drizzle with the olive oil. Place in the oven on the preheated pizza stone.
Check for doneness in about 8 to 10 minutes; turn the pizza around if it seems to be browning on one side more than the other. It may take up to 5 more minutes.
Let the pizza cool slightly, so the cheese can set a little before cutting with a pizza cutter. This is best done on a cooling rack if you want to keep a crisp bottom crust.
Zoë François, author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day, studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She now calls Minneapolis her home, where she has worked with some of the top talent in the culinary world — Steven Brown, Andrew Zimmern and many chefs at the D’Amico company. In addition to writing, Zoë teaches baking classes and consults at restaurants, and she maintains her baking blog, zoebakes.com.
Don’t forget to enter to win our Pizza Party Giveaway by leaving a comment below: What’s your favorite pizza topping?