This month has been about easy recipes to feed the family as you head back to school, or back to online learning, or back to still working at home, or maybe even going back to work. Whatever it may be, quick, easy, or make ahead is key as most of us have been stuck at home a lot, cooking way more than usual. And while you may roll your eyes at homemade pizza as easy; using make ahead flatbread dough, a convenient sheet pan shape for everyone to have their own personal portion, and store-bought toppings means that pizza night can indeed be relatively easy.
This recipe was inspired by my favorite local pizza restaurant, Flour House. They do this thing called Meter Monday. Basically, you can order a 1/2 meter or meter long rectangular pizza and they’ll do a variety of toppings in different sections, allowing you to try several different pizzas at once. Everyone is happy, and there is plenty to eat. Since I do not have a lovely wood burning pizza oven to fit a meter long pizza in, flatbread in half sheet pans was an obvious choice for the home baker.
I’m a big fan of make ahead doughs. And I’m an even bigger fan of easy doughs with minimal ingredients for when kids want to help out in the kitchen. Since this dough rises in the fridge for 24 hours, I prefer using active dry yeast instead of instant. But, I did test it out with instant as well. It can work, I would just recommend not using warm water with instant. No need to jumpstart its rising capabilities.
Not everyone has time in the morning, and we’re not all at home during the day, so I planned this recipe out to be made in the evening the day before. Just a quick mix in the Ankarsrum, and then put it in the fridge until pizza night the next evening.
Let the dough sit out at room temperature one hour before beginning to make pizza. It will still be slightly cold, but much easier to handle than straight out of the fridge.
And now comes the fun part: toppings! It can be as easy as you want (hello store-bought sauce and pre-shredded cheese!) Or you can dive into homemade sauces and unique toppings. Check out this Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce or this Grilled Flatbread post from last summer for some unique toppings such as garlicky mushrooms or lemony goat cheese spread instead of red sauce. Or, if you have some garden bounty to use up, check out how to make Zucchini Pepperoni. And see the whole wheat version at the end of this post for a dessert topping idea.
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Whatever this end of summer season brings for you and/or your family, we hope these recipes here make life a little easier and tastier for you. Happy baking!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 24 hours
1 pkg. (7 g. / 1/4 oz. / 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
420 g. (1 3/4 cups) warm water, 100º-105º F.
55 g. (1/4 cup) olive oil
600 g. (5 cups) bread flour
9 g. (1 1/2 tsp.) kosher salt
Additional ingredients: pizza toppings of choice
Set up the Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel mixing bowl and the roller/scraper. Place the yeast and warm water in the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
Add in the olive oil and turn on lowest speed (12 o’clock). Slowly begin to add in the flour, and then the salt. Gradually increase speed to low (2 o’clock) and lock arm in place about 1 inch away from edge of bowl.
Once flour has been mixed in, set timer for 8 minutes and let knead. While the dough is kneading, grease the bottom of a large 3 quart container. Once kneaded, gather dough into a ball, place in container, cover tightly and refrigerate for 20-24 hours.
One hour before beginning to make pizza, pull dough out of refrigerator and let sit at room temperature. Preheat oven to 400º F. Grease a half sheet pan.
Turn dough out onto half sheet pan and use hands and fingers to gently stretch it out to fit the whole bottom of the pan. If dough starts shrinking back, let it rest for 10 minutes to give the gluten a chance to relax.
Place desired toppings on dough. If using delicate fresh herbs such as basil, wait to top until the last 5 minutes of baking. Hardier fresh herbs such as rosemary can be placed on in the beginning.
Bake for 20 minutes. Place on any finishing toppings (fresh basil, extra drizzle of oil, extra sprinkle of cheese) and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes.
Let cool slightly and then cut into portions and serve.
Yield: 12 servings
Whole Wheat Version
-Replace bread flour with 565 g. (5 cups) whole wheat flour. If milling at home, use a hard wheat.
-Follow recipe above.
-For a dessert option: Use a hazelnut chocolate spread as the base, sprinkle with nuts and/or toffee bits and bake. Top with fresh or freeze dried fruit once baked.
-For finicky eaters: drizzle the top with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.