Heads-up: my kitchen is not very photogenic and the only camera I posses is the one on my iPhone 5.
If there was one thing besides salads that I could eat every day and not get sick of, it would have to be pizza. Admittedly, choosing pizza as my answer to the question “if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” is a cop-out because pizza is so diverse. Wheat-based or veggie-based dough; ricotta cheese, olive oil, marinara, or alfredo sauce for the base; veggies, meats, all cheese, or fruit for the toppings.
I mean, bless the person who said, “Pizza should be a thing.” They are one of my heroes. (Right up there with whoever came up with peanut butter, because I’m convinced God’s hand was in that.)
Of course, order-out or frozen pizzas can be a little rough on a tight budget and a girl who doesn’t want her day’s allotment of calories to go into one meal. (If Eli and I understand calorie counting at all, his entire pizza with turkey sausage, sauce, cheese, spinach, and hot peppers comes out to <200 cal. including the dough) Seeking a solution last year – and a chance for me to learn a new recipe – I decided to try out this two-ingredient pizza dough recipe I stumbled on.
It took a little trial and error, but this recipe is now in my small but growing repertoire. This past Tuesday night I whipped up a pie, being in desperate need of a reprieve from veggie-topped pita for lunch.
Here’s what you’ll need for the dough:
- 1 & 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or you can use regular flour and add salt and baking soda, but I forget the amounts)
- Optional: Italian seasoning, garlic and onion salt or powder, oregano, or other spices to add right into the dough
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Set oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Here’s what I used for toppings:
- Italian salad dressing
- Pizza sauce
- Turkey sausage, ground
- Grape tomatoes
- Red onion
- Red and yellow bell peppers
- Kalamta olives
- Italian mix of cheese
- Feta cheese
Note: when I make food, I tend to throw things together, part out of instinct and part out of whim, until it looks good. This may not be your style, in which case I would recommend looking up a few recipe ideas.
And here’s how you make it:
1) Measure out 1 cup of flour into a bowl and mix in optional spices. (Note: if you would rather use a stand mixer instead of kneading the dough by hand, put in all of the flour now.)
2) Add the yogurt and mix well (until there is very little loose flour and the dough is crumbly).
3) Use the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to sprinkle on the counter when you knead and roll out the dough. (You may not need all of it.)
4) Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. (If using a stand mixer, mix until well-blended. I don’t use one, so I couldn’t say how long this would take or at what setting.) Kneading can be a therapeutic exercise, like dish-washing.
5) Roll out the dough. Be sure it is on the thin side, as it does rise. Transfer it to a greased pizza tray. Be careful not to puncture it if you have long nails (as I did). (My crust never comes out perfectly round, and I’m ok with that. I like to think it adds an “authentic” touch.)
The first time I tried this dough, I missed the “rising” part of “self-rising flour” (and the nature of pizza in general) and didn’t roll out the dough enough. The result was ok, but considerably thick and gooey. I learned quickly. Now I roll out the dough until it is very thin. It still comes out soft rather than crunchy, and it still can support the weight of most toppings I throw at it.
1) Brown up sausage. (The extra will go into a quiche later this week.)
2) Heat up olive oil and a pinch of salt in a skillet, then add sliced and/or chopped veggies and whole spinach leaves. This is not necessary, but adds an element to the pizza. You can throw on raw veggies if you’d prefer.
3) Optional: Brush on base of oil (or salad dressing in my case, as my rosemary and avocado oil is out).
4) Spread on (or paint on) pizza sauce. Mine had gone moldy and the jar I dug out of the cabinet contained very watery sauce. And it wasn’t nearly thick enough.
5) Sprinkle on bottom layer of cheese. Be sure it is even, especially around the edges, or the rest of the toppings could be uneven.
6) Add meat layer. (Turkey sausage for me, turkey pepperoni for Nina because “I like my pizza really plain.”)
7) Add toppings.
8) Add feta. This is where the pizza looses all pretense of being “healthy”.
9) Top layer of cheese. Don’t skimp.
Finally) Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes – until edges of crust are golden-brown.
Things to note:
- Make sure your nails are not too long, otherwise you run the risk of getting dough stuck under them.
- Keep electronics clear of the prep area like I did not. By the end of it, my phone (which was playing music in addition to acting as my camera) had flour and oil and tomato juice on it.
- If you want to avoid having to scrape up crust remnants from your counter, roll out the dough on a cutting board.
- You can dock your pizza (I think that’s what it’s called) if you want. I haven’t noticed a difference in the end result with whether or not I add this step.
- The outer edges of the pizza may look done, but the inside tends to take a little longer to cook. Mine usually comes out just slightly gooey, but I’m ok with that.
- The yogurt can give the pizza a slightly-tangy aftertaste. This is why I add spices into the dough. Some people I know who’ve tried this pizza do not like the crust. Others love it.
- Kalamata olives and red onion look very similar when sliced up and tossed on a pizza.
- This pizza does reheat fairly well, but it is best fresh. Just don’t over-heat it on the reheat, as the crust will get a little chewy.