I have a serious thing for pizza. Not just any old pizza though, I’m talkin’ about the stone fired goodness that comes out of the handful of amazing pizza joints (holes in the wall, really) popping up around Vancouver.
My favourite pizza place by far is Pizzeria Farina on Main St. The best pie from Farina is, in my opinion, the Calabrese. Spicy calabrese, fresh arugula and salty black olives – what more could you want? Not to mention that crust. Crisp, blistered, thin and blackened. Delicious.
Now, I don’t have a fancy oven or a pizza stone or any of those fancy shmancy pizza making accessories, but the good news is, you really need next to nothing to make delicious pizza.
Would you believe me if I told you all you need for an amazing crust is flour, salt, water and yeast? It’s true! I mix some olive oil in because I mix olive oil with everything.
Thin Crust Pizza Crust
¾ c. warm water
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 c. all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (or more if you’re feeling adventurous). Stir yeast into warm water in a small bowl. Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. When you add the salt, add how much you think you’ll want, then add more. Salt makes the crust, I promise. Stir in the wet ingredients and combine until the dough looks rough. Move the dough to a smooth, clean surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until well combined and a smooth ball is formed. Set aside in a covered bowl for 30 minutes – 1.5 hours. Because this is thin crust, you don’t need to allow it to rise for long, so if you’re short on time, don’t worry. I just like seeing it rise, really. I think it’s part of the fun.
You’ll see some recipes that do this and some that don’t. I like to “par-bake” my crust a bit so it stands up to the sauce. I push it out into my square baking dish and pop it in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Take it out and use a spatula to take it out of the pan.
Top that pizza. Remember the cardinal rule: less is more.
6 strips calabrese salami
fresh mozzarella cheese
sundried tomatoes in oil
fresh arugula (for topping)
tomato sauce (I insist on homemade. I’ll post that recipe soon. It’s so easy and so worth it)
My boyfriend doesn’t like olives so I often exclude them, but adding little black olives makes it even more delicious.
Spread tomato sauce (remember, less is more) across par-baked crust. Lay out the salami strips and top with sliced fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and crumbled feta. I can’t stress this “less is more” phrase enough. In a land of over indulgence, let me assure you that the less you put on the more lovely the flavours will be. Don’t overdo the cheese, don’t double layer your meat. You’ll believe me when you taste it.
Bake directly on rack of preheated oven until cheese is bubbly and edges are golden brown. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and top with fresh arugula before cutting.
Share + enjoy!