From the soon to be released cookbook, Decades Of Decadence, by Rebecca Klemke. www.rkktichen.com
Pizza is the ultimate fun food. There is so much room for creativity when indulging in pizza night. I’ve thrown more than a few pizza parties and after people warm up to the idea of getting their hands dirty, the laughs are endless and peoples’ imaginations soar. A friend once put thinly sliced bananas on his pizza, and surprisingly, the flavour was amazing – just goes to show, people come up with all sorts of things when given the chance. This thin cracker-like crust pizza dough can be cooked on the barbeque or in the oven on a solid flat round metal pan or pizza stone.
Dough yields 4 pizzas
In a countertop mixer combine salt, baking powder and flour.
This dough needs some power behind it so be sure to use a machine with a motor and a dough hook. Of course it can be done by hand, on the counter, kneading it until the right consistency is achieved; just be aware it’s a sweaty job.
Add water and begin to combine. Once a ball forms add a little more flour, a sprinkle at a time, until dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the mixing bowl. The dough should be firm, bouncy to the touch, and when it is no longer sticky to the touch enough flour has been added.
Cut dough into four equal size pieces. Cover dough with a damp cloth or dishtowel until needed, otherwise it will dry out.
Dough can be made in advance, wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Flour a clean dry rolling surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out vigorously until paper-thin.
Don’t concern yourself so much about rolling the dough out round; we will address that later. Focus on rolling it out as thin as possible. Ideally the dough should be rolled a little larger than the size of the pan.
Brush the flat pizza-baking sheet with olive oil. We are making pizza here so no need to be stingy with the oil. Place thin crust pizza dough on the oiled pan and trim off edges. This is how to make the pizza round. Brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of olive oil, at least 1 Tbsp.
Top pizza dough as desired starting with a base coat of sauce, pesto or spread.
Heat oil over medium-high until it easily slides across the pan. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Stir in tomatoes and tomato basil pasta sauce. Bring to a simmer and reduce until thick, about 10 –15 minutes. Stir frequently. Use hot.
If substituting with bought pizza sauce, bring sauce to a simmer to thicken a little.
One pizza will require about 5 Tbsp. pizza sauce.
Preheat barbeque or oven to 500°F. If using the oven position the rack in the centre of the oven.
The barbeque is really the best way to cook thin-crust pizza because it gives a smoky flavour that parallels the taste of pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven.
Cook pizza for about 7 –10 minutes, depending on the amount of toppings. When cooking pizza on the barbeque keep the lid close.
Pizza is done when the edges are dark brown and crispy looking, the bottom golden brown and the cheese on top melted and bubbling everywhere.
Cool for a few minutes before cutting.
For best results top pizza in the following order:
Meat Topping Suggestions: Capicolla ham, pepperoni, prosciutto, shredded roasted chicken, baby shrimp, smoked salmon
Cheese Topping Suggestions: Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Asiago, Goat, Gorgonzola, etcetera.
Other Topping Suggestions: Sliced mushrooms, hot banana peppers, sliced cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, spinach, chopped artichokes, julienne roasted peppers, caramelized onions, grilled zucchini reference, pineapple, toasted pine nuts, etcetera.