From-scratch pizzas are a tasty meal that doesn’t require many specialized tools or technical skills. No need to worry about tossing the dough! For all levels of cooks, I especially like the simplicity of this pizza recipe. You can even cut each one into thinner slices to serve as an hors d’oeuvre with cocktails or as part of a buffet. The optional melon re-creates, in pizza form, the classic melon-and-prosciutto appetizer.
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, formed into 4 equal balls. Try the Wolfgang Puck All-Natural Pizza Dough Mix 3-pack or use my from-scratch recipe below
- 1/2 cup Light Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (recipe below)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1/2 cup packed baby arugula leaves
- 1/4 cup melon cut into 1/4-inch dice (optional)
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- Place a pizza stone or baker’s tiles on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F.
- To prepare each pizza, dip a ball of dough into flour and shake off excess. Place the ball on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch it out, pressing down on the center and spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle with a slightly thicker rim. (If you find this difficult, use a small rolling pin to help, and then pinch up the rim.)
- Brush each circle with the pesto, staying within the rim. Evenly distribute the fresh mozzarella slices on top.
- Using a floured pizza paddle or rimless baking sheet, transfer the pizzas to the stone or tiles. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drape the prosciutto on top. If you like, dot the prosciutto with the melon cubes. Scatter the arugula leaves on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut into slices. Serve immediately.
Whole Wheat Yeast Dough
Makes one 10-inch round focaccia, two 9-inch loaves, or four 8-inch pizzas
For the Sponge:
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm (80°F.) water,
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
For the Dough:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Prepare the Sponge:In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, stir together the yeast, water, and honey until the yeast has dissolved. Stir in the all-purpose and whole wheat flours just until a soft, loose dough forms. Cover with a clean towel and set aside at warm room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the Dough:Add the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, the salt, and the olive oil to the sponge. Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and attach the bowl with the dough. Mix on the second-lowest speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing on medium speed until the dough looks well developed and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe in which you will use the dough.
- For pizzas:Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. On a floured work surface, work each ball with clean hands by pulling down all around its sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball, repeating this 4 or 5 times to form an even, compact ball. Then, on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under your palm until its top feels firm and smooth, about 1 minute. Cover the balls with a damp towel and leave to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. (At this point, if you like, you can wrap the balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Remove from the refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature before continuing.)
Makes about ½ cup; four 2-tablespoon servings
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Put all the basil (or basil and sun-dried tomatoes), garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon cold water in a mini food processor, mini blender, or in the blending cup of an immersion blender. Process until smooth. Pulse in salt and pepper to taste.
For a lighter Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, substitute 1/4 cup drained sun-dried tomato pieces for half of the basil.
What is your favorite topping to put on a pizza?