Editor's note: Sticky dough, smeary sauce, and cheese piled high --
what little one wouldn't enjoy the tactile pleasures of creating her
own pizza from scratch? Greg Atkinson is the author of five cookbooks,
including the brand-new West Coast Cooking,
and the director of "Culinary Consulting." He has worked on the menus
at Friday Harbor House and Canlis, among others, and won a James Beard
award in 2001. His work appears in the Seattle Times and on KUOW radio.
Chef Greg Atkinson lives with his wife and two sons on Bainbridge Island.
Makes 1 8-inch x 16-inch pizza
A little dried oregano and a drizzle of olive oil on top of the cheese
gives this simple homemade pizza a certain savory snap. Kids might want
to try different toppings, but don't overlook the simple joy of a
well-made plain cheese pizza. -- Chef Atkinson
For the crust:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for the pan
For the topping:
- 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
In a mixing bowl, stir together warm water, yeast and sugar. Add flour,
vinegar and salt. Mix for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow the
dough to rise, covered, for one hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Heat the oven to 400 F. Rub pan with the olive oil. Turn dough out of
the mixing bowl and roll it into a rectangle (or round), about the same
size as the pan. Transfer to pan.
Spread pizza sauce on top of the crust and sprinkle on mozzarella and
Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle dried oregano leaves over the cheese then
drizzle on the olive oil.
- Bake until
the cheese is melted and the dough has puffed up around the sides,
about 18 minutes. (Lift a corner of the pizza and sneak a peak at the
underside of the crust to make sure it has browned.)
- Move the pizza from the pan to a cutting board, cut into 12 pieces and serve it hot.