Low-key Pizza

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Low-key Pizza

Homemade pizza, from scratch, but with a laid-back attitude. A fabulous crisp crust without the stand-mixers, food-processors, hand-kneading, pizza stones, pizza peels, lengthy oven preheating, etc. A bowl, an aluminum pan and some patience is all you need, though a food scale is highly recommended to make measuring easier and more accurate.

If you can, start a day or two before pizza time. At minimum, start in the morning for pizza dinner. See the weight equivalents page if you don't have a food scale.


one 12" pizza245g175g5g3g2g
one 14" pizza*350g250g7g4g3g
two 12" pizzas490g350g10g5g4g
ratios7 parts5 parts~2% flour weight~1% flour weight0.8% flour weight
* OR: one 12" pizza plus one 8-9" pizza OR four 8-9" pizzas; feeds 2 parents and a toddler or two.

Mix. Put flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Pour in the liquid (milk or water, or a combination) and stir until all the flour is damp. Cover with plastic.

Sit. Let sit on counter for 1-2hrs. If you can, drop by approximately every half hour and spend 30 seconds gently folding the edges of the dough lump towards the center. This makes a more bubbly dough.

Refrigerate. Store (covered) in the fridge for anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Sit. A few hours (at least 1, as many as 3) before you want to bake, remove the dough from the fridge.

Shape. Spray your aluminum pans and dust with cornmeal. Divide your dough (if making more than one) and carefully hand-stretch as far as you can. Lay the dough down on the pan and use your fingers to push the dough the rest of the way to the edges.

Pre-bake. Place pans in your (cold) oven and turn the heat on to 450F. Bake for around 12 minutes, until dough is set, but not yet browned. Remove pans from oven, but leave oven on.

Top. Flip pizza dough over and return to pan. Spread with tomato sauce, toppings and cheese.

Bake. Return to oven for ~15 additional minutes of baking.


One of the most convenient ways to time this recipe is to mix the dough as part of dinner preparations one night. Allow the dough to rise through your cooking, meal, and cleanup, and then refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge at lunch or during the mid afternoon the following day, and the dough will be ready for pizza dinner that evening.

For an extra crisp crust, brush the crust with a small amount of olive oil when it comes out of the oven for the first time, just before flipping.

To flip the pizza, first make sure it is adequately set by jerking the pan to see if it slides easily. Then, place a large pot lid on top of the pizza, flip it over so that the pizza is now balanced on the pot lid, then slide the dough off the pot lid back onto the pan so that it is now upside down from the start position. Be sure your pot lid underside doesn't have anything on it that would cause the pizza to snag.

You may want to use more salt (and grease the pans/brush the crust with lots of butter) for a more authentic pizza-parlor style dough. Try the low-salt/fat method first, though, you might be surprised.

You can substitute some whole wheat flour, wheat germ, oatmeal/whole-grain cereal, etc for some of the flour. Start with 5-10% for your first batch and increase gradually until you get a blend you like.

You only need to coat the dough with oil while resting if you suspect the seal on your plastic covering will let moisture evaporate. Using a plastic storage container with a snap-type lid allows you to skip oiling the dough.

Use an aluminum pie-plate for 8-9" personal pizzas. 160-200g of dough fills one nicely. If you don't have a 12" round aluminum pizza pan, a cookie sheet or flat-bottomed, oven-proof frying pan can be used instead.

Canned tomato sauce is the easiest option, but of course you can make your own. You can use a good amount, as the pre-baking/flipping process assures a crisp crust even for a loaded pizza. Sliced deli pepperoni and sliced deli mozzarella are usually the most affordable options, and the deli mozzarella melts more appealingly than the pre-shredded kind.

Bake times are approximate. Your oven may vary. Rising times will vary too.


Newly mixed dough: pizza

An hour and a half later: pizza

Dough spread in pan, ready for baking: pizza

Partially baked and ready for flipping: pizza

Newly flipped: pizza

Topped and ready for the oven: pizza

Baked pizza

Ready to eat, topped with yellow squash, pepperoni fire-roasted tomato, onion & green pepper. pizza


Turn pizza into a balanced meal with this variation on the pizza recipe above.

Prep Dough. Prepare pizza dough as directed above. After you have the dough in the pans, ready to be baked for the first time, prepare summer squash (zucchini yellow squash, calabazita, etc) as follows:

Prep Squash. Use about 1/2 a medium sized squash for each 12" pizza, plus an additional squash per adult. For the pizza topping, slice very thinly (1/16-1/8"). For side-dish, slice into 4" sticks. Set the pizza topping slices aside. Put the sticks into a greased aluminum pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with spices of your choice (garlic salt, paprika, pepper, etc).

Pre-bake. Put the squash and the pizza dough in the cold oven together and set to 450.

Prep Toppings. While the pizza dough sets, prepare additional toppings for the pizza. Slice onions, green peppers, etc. to make about 1/2 a cup per pizza. Measure around 2oz of pepperoni and 4oz of mozzarella per pizza. (Omit pepperoni and reduce cheese for lower-fat version)

Top. When dough is set, remove from oven for flipping and topping, but leave the squash in to continue baking. Top the pizza with sauce, pepperoni squash slices and other chopped veggies, torn cheese pieces and if desired, parmesan and additional spices. Return to oven.

Prep Salad. While pizza bakes, prepare a leafy-green salad with plenty of veggies, beans, etc.

Serve. Pizza and squash should be done around the same time. Slice pizza and serve with roasted squash and salad.

Need help with the recipe ingredient amounts given by weight? See the Weight Equivalents page.

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