(Editor’s note: Katie Burns is on assignment in Downtown Europe, where, apparently, there are slow internet connections. So, I’m posting this article at her behest. And I just want to say one thing about it. This recipe below changed my life. It is the best pizza you will ever taste and, because my fiance and I always cook it together, it certainly builds a delicious kind of community. In fact, I’m hungry right now…)
I grew up cooking. I remember making pie early on with my grandfather, who my brothers and I called Grampy Donuts (for his amazing homemade donuts). I would regularly bake with my friend across the street, raiding our mothers’ cupboards and leaving piles of dishes. And with my mum I’d help make cookies and the occasional birthday cake. Making food is something I’ve always done with my community of family and friends.
I started making pizza around 15 years ago using a close variation of the below recipe. Growing up in rural Nova Scotia the closest place to buy pizza was a half hour drive away and we were far outside of delivery range (aka “Grecoville”). If my friends and I wanted pizza our choices were go to a pizza place in town, pop a frozen pizza in the oven, or cook your own from scratch. I more often than not preferred to make it from scratch, using a recipe introduced to me by my mum out of a cookbook that I no longer remember the name of.
Making pizza from scratch has been a great way to build community, whether with friends from high school, roommates in during undergrad, or the potluck pizza party Jim and I threw during the first year of his PhD in Toronto. It is easy, fast, and can be customized for almost any taste.
Ingredients for 2 pizzas:
1 1/3 cups of warm water
1tsp – 1 tbsp of yeast (traditional or instant works, use more for a
thick crust or less for a thinner crust)
1tsp of salt
2tbsp olive oil
4 cups of flours (at least 1 cup white)
Toppings, including your preference of sauce and cheese(s)
1. Put warm water in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast. If you
are using instant yeast you can move to the next step right away, but
if you are using traditional yeast wait about 10 minutes for it to
2. Add the salt and olive oil. This is also the time to add any extra
seasoning (I like crushed red chilies or Italian seasoning).
3. Start adding flour, stirring it in first and then kneading
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kneading) it for around 5 minutes.
4. Set the dough aside and let it rise for at least 20 minutes. This
is when you can preheat the oven (425 degrees-ish) and get the rest of
your ingredients together.
5. Once the dough is ready, divide it in two, flatten half of it on a
cookie tray or a pre-heated pizza stone, add sauce, toppings, and
cheese. Try not to put too much on or it will take longer to cook.
6. Put the pizza in the oven and cook it for around 20 minutes, until
the cheese and the crust start to brown.
- Katie Burns
Masthead photo courtesy of hebdromadaire’s Photostream on Flickr