45 min on baking day
serves 4-6
Before fancy pizzas, there was the kind Grandma made: simple and delicious. It starts with a simple and unfussy crust, and continues with casual toppings pulled together from the fridge. Even better, the crust can be prepped ahead of time and held until needed. Grandma knew how to make good stuff!
  • FOR THE DOUGH
  • 10 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • TOPPINGS
  • ½ cup Alfredo sauce, either leftover or from a jar
  • 10-12 oven dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

I call this insurance: if I’ve got this crust waiting in my refrigerator, I can turn out a meal no matter how rushed, tired, or cranky I feel. Let’s start with the crust!

 

prepare the crust ahead of time

Combine yeast, flour, salt and water in a bowl, and mix until well combined. I like using a dough whisk for this, it can handle the rough shaggy dough. Don’t be afraid to work the dough a bit!

Drizzle olive oil into a gallon-size zip top plastic bag. Put the dough into the bag, and move it all around so that it’s coated with the oil. Seal the bag and refrigerate the dough overnight, or up to 2 days.

 

to bake the pizza

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and heat the oven to 375˚F. Get out a rimmed quarter-sheet baking pan (if you must, use a 9×13 pan, but it’s easier and crisper baked on the flat pan). Put the dough and all the oil right onto the pan, and use your fingertips to spread the dough evenly over the pan.

 

toppings

At this point, a normal pizza would use tomato sauce, then cheese. I turned that around using Alfredo sauce I happened to have (you can use a jar, it’s okay) and some oven dried tomatoes.

Spread a half-cup or so of Alfredo sauce over the pizza dough, leaving about a half inch uncovered around the edges of the pan. Place oven dried tomatoes on top of the sauce, and then scatter with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.

A note on ‘accuracy’ here: like any Grandma inspired recipe, these amounts are approximate. I made this pizza to use up leftovers I had on hand, and just smeared on some sauce, dotted the top with tomatoes, and scattered shredded cheese on top. I’m sure that you can and will do the same at your house! Feel free, create, make something up. My grandma would approve.

 

bake

Bake the pizza until nicely browned and firm, and the cheese seems bubbly – 35 to 40 minutes.

 

This recipe is inspired by and adapted from Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie – her way with a pizza crust is top-notch. 

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