So, yesterday I needed to get lunch pulled together REALLY fast. I knew my husband was rushing home from work to take me to the doctor, so I had to hustle.
I also knew I hadn’t done any kind of “real” grocery shopping for, oh, let’s just say a l-o-n-g time.
It can be so frustrating to realize that you don’t have many ingredients. Or much time. Or much energy. (As you know, I busted up my knee and I’m not exactly operating at 100%.) These are the times when I believe most of us get really tempted to grab fast food or take-out of some kind. It’s easy, for me at least, to convince myself that I just don’t have the time or resources to make something fresh and homemade.
So I timed myself.
That pizza up there? Completely assembled– though, as yet, unbaked– took me three minutes. And that’s a homemade crust.
Here are a few tips/tricks/secrets you should know before I tell you exactly how I did it:
- My favorite crust recipe has a rise time involved. It’s not long– only about 20-30 minutes– but it’s enough to make it not a “lickety split” recipe. I needed to be willing to be flexible.
- I much prefer to shred my own cheese. I like the texture better and I think I use less, making it more economical. That said, pre-shredded saves time in both prep and dish-washing.
- Mixers are great, but, honestly, I’m just as fast with a big bowl and spoon– arguably faster, since I don’t keep my mixer out all the time.
- I almost always have pre-made pizza sauce, marinara, or spaghetti sauce rolling around in the fridge or freezer. Any of them will work in a pinch.
- This is a smallish pizza (about 12″ diameter.) It was meant for a quick lunch alongside some fruit. This is not going to feed a big crowd or provide a huge supper.
So here goes!
- 1/2 cup very warm water
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (I let a little extra run in.)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup sauce
- a handful or two of shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Add water, yeast, and sugar to large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, thaw sauce, if needed. In my case, it was frozen, so I tossed it in the microwave for a couple minutes.
3. Add salt, oil, and flour to the bowl. Stir with a spoon until sort of crumbly and semi-combined. At this point, abandon the spoon and use your hands to knead it together for a bit– I don’t even think it took me a minute.
4. Press and stretch the dough on a pizza pan or cookie sheet until you have a thin crust. I don’t even grease or cornmeal-dust the pan when I’m in a hurry. The little bit of oil in the dough seems to be enough to keep it from sticking too much.
5. Top with sauce and cheese.
Even if you’re not a speedy pizza-maker, it really shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
When you’re ready, bake it at 400 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.
Is it the most perfect pizza I’ve ever made? Nah. But no one complained. The crust wasn’t as light as it usually is, but the wheat gave it a hearty, chewy texture that satisfied everyone in the fam. The sauce was reliably tasty and the fact that is was “just plain cheese” didn’t slow anyone down.
I need to remember, when I’m tempted to whine “not enough time”, that there is, indeed, almost always time.
After all, I can always make a homemade pizza… lickety split.