A Quick Weeknight Pizza

by A.J. Coltrane

A big disadvantage of preparing a two-hour dough is that it’s not enough time for enzymes to liberate natural sugars from the flour. The flavor suffers as a result, and the color is rarely as nicely carmelized as seen on longer-rise doughs.

Last week’s Batali dough got me thinking about adding sugar, or honey, to a quick mid-week pizza. The formula below is influenced by that last recipe, omitting the wine but increasing the water content:

Ingredient Measure Baker’s %
AP Flour 400g
Water 260g 65
Salt 9g 2.25
Honey 1 TBP
Instant Yeast 1.5 tsp
Olive Oil 1 TBP

That’s a lot of flour — the same amount as goes in the No-Knead breads, or even two medium size pizzas. For a single pizza I’ll more often use 200 or 300 grams of flour, scaling back the other ingredients as needed. This was a thick pizza:

140909 pizza

Chopped fresh tomatoes, mozz, basil. The crust was finished with an herbed olive oil. (A post on that later, it’s a nice local producer. We purchased the oil at the farmer’s market.)

The recipe:

1.  Knead all ingredients at low speed for 10 minutes. Let rise two hours. Preheat oven to 500F.

2.  While the oven is preheating, halve the tomatoes across the equator and squeeze out the worst of the juice. Chop the tomatoes, basil, and mozz.

3.  Very lightly oil a pizza pan, apply the stretched dough. Top the dough with the chopped tomatoes.

4.  Bake for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark sprinkle on the mozz.

5.  Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and strew on the basil. Lightly brush the crust with olive oil.

The pizza would have been improved by using somewhat less flour, and possibly by swapping out the AP flour for Bread flour. Marinating the tomatoes in garlic would have been good too.

I was fairly happy with it overall. I think it’s the “right track” for quick weeknight dinners.


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