In Italy, simple is better when it comes to pizza; you won’t find the deep dish stuffed crust meat lovers’ extravaganzas that dominate takeout this side of the ocean. This one doesn’t even include tomato sauce. This simple dough can be mixed and kneaded on Thursday for pizza night on Friday. If you don’t have a pizza oven (who does?) turn your oven up high, or cook raw pizza dough directly on the grill for an ultra crisp bottom crust.
1 tsp. (5 ml) active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups (560 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus
extra for drizzling
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) ricotta
1 ball fresh mozzarella, torn, or 1 cup (250 ml) grated mozzarella
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 cups (500 ml) baby arugula
freshly grated Parmesan
In a large bowl, stir the yeast and sugar into 1 cup lukewarm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
Add the flour, olive oil and salt and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let rest for half an hour, then punch it down. Divide into 2–3 balls, cover with a tea towel and let rest for 2–3 more hours, or refrigerate for 24 hours. Refrigeration slows the rise; if it’s been in the fridge, let it come to room temperature again before using it.
To make your pizzas, preheat your oven to 450˚F and roll the dough out about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined or cornmeal dusted baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, spread with ricotta, and top with torn or grated mozzarella and slices of prosciutto. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Top with arugula and thick curls of Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler. Slice and serve.
Makes 2-3 pizzas.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2014.