When it comes to pizza, flatter is simply better. Having been raised on nothing but thin and crispy New York-style crusts, it seems like sacrilege to even consider deviating from that delicious formula. Never has this household seen the likes of deep dish, an abomination of doughy flat bread and vast pools of sauce. Perish the thought! Quite the contrary, the pizzas my dad rolls out for special occasions are so ethereally thin, each slice can sometimes seem like no more than a delicate wafer cracker, brushed with just a whisper of the red stuff.
Lacking the grace of a paper-thin pie, it however makes up for this shortcoming in ease of preparation. Practically instant, there’s no down time waiting for the dough to rise, and you can go from zero to dinner in just about 30 minutes. Pleasantly chewy and sturdy enough to support whatever toppings are piled on.
- 1/4 Cup Oil, Divided
- 1 Cup Warm Water
- 2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast, or 1 1/4-Ounce Package Rapid Rise Yeast
- 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Plain Soy Yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- Tiny Pinch Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Pound Button Mushrooms
- 1/4 Pound Shiitake Mushrooms
- Fresh Parsley or Basil
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and use 1 tablespoon in each of 2 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
2. Place all of the ingredients for the crust into your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or food processor, and start on a low speed or pulse to combine. Once everything is more or less incorporated, allow the machine to run and “knead” the dough for about 5 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce and toppings.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the soy yogurt and spices so that you have a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Slice the mushrooms and chop your herbs, and then set both aside.
4. Pull the dough out of the machine, and cut it into two equal pieces. Roll them briefly between the counter and your hands to round out the lumps, and then place one in each of the oiled cake pans. Use your finger tips to smooth the crusts into the bottom of the pans, so that they’re evenly covering the entire bottom. If the dough resists and pulls back, just leave it alone for 5 or 10 minutes and then try shaping it again. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil cross the top of each round of dough, and slide the pans into the oven.
5. Bake for 10 minutes and pull them back out. Distribute the white sauce equally between the two pizzas, and smooth it evenly across the surface, leaving just a small edge bare so that you can pick up the slices later. Sprinkle your sliced mushrooms on top, and return the two pies to the oven. Bake for 8 more minutes, and then switch to the broiler. Broil for 5 – 8 minutes longer, until the crust is golden brown.
6. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before sprinkling your fresh herbs on top, slicing, and digging in.
Makes 2 9-Inch Round Pan Pizzas