Published May 1, 1995.
Make your dough with bread flour, stretch it instead of rolling, and line your oven with quarry tiles for the best, easiest homemade pizza.
The real problem with takeout and frozen pizzas is that very few of them are very good--or good by the time they get to you. While we all settle for convenience over quality on occasion, the difference here is extreme. But most homemade pizza takes a long time to make.
Homemade pizza really is superb, and the actual cooking time is short. It's the tomato sauce and dough that are so time-consuming. If you could shortcut those steps, homemade pizza could practically be made in the time it takes to heat the oven. We set out to do just that.
The problem that prevents most cooks from making pizza for a weeknight dinner is the time involved in letting the dough rise. We found two ways around it. For one, we discovered that by decreasing the yeast, we could make the dough in the morning and let it rise slowly during the day, so that it was ready to stretch just in time to make dinner. For the other--for those who would rather speed up than slow down the process--rapid-rise yeast, proofed in warm water, cuts the rising time down to a mere 40 minutes. We also found that the same dough could simply be stretched to the desired thickness, whether you want a medium-thick pizza or a thin and crispy one. To get the crispiest, most evenly browned crust, we liked using quarry tiles over a pan, pizza screen, or pizza stone. Finally, of all the pizzas we made, the ones topped with fresh tomatoes were everyone's favorite. But good tomatoes are available only for about three months of the year. We found that a no-cook tomato sauce, enlivened with olive oil, garlic, and herbs and spread on the pizza, tasted almost as good as a cooked tomato sauce.list of recipes