Marc has made some crazy-time-intensive pizzas out of the California Pizza Kitchen cookbook. They are delicious, but for a quick weeknight dinner, we stick to his fast and easy crust. (again, I watched him once and forced him to approximate a recipe)
1 cube of fresh active yeast (he learned to make this on his mission -- these are about 1/2 oz., so I think we use about a tablespoon of dry yeast)
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3 T. olive oil
Place yeast in a large bowl and add warm water and sugar. Stir with a fork to dissolve and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add salt and olive oil and stir. Add enough flour to form a thick dough. Knead lightly to mix and form into a ball.
Oil and flour pizza pan (or sprinkle cornmeal). Press ball of dough in center and press out to the edges.
Bake about 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Three favorite easy pizzas:
-- Spread barbecue sauce on your crust. Top with diced or shredded chicken, green pepper, red onion, and monterey jack cheese.
-- Spread sweet chili sauce on your crust. Top with diced or shredded chicken, red onion, and other veggies like sweet peppers and/or bean sprouts, peanuts, and mozzarella. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro after baking.
-- Make a simple sauce with tomato paste, a little bit of milk and crushed red pepper flakes. Top with sliced fresh tomatoes, then add sautéed onion and bell pepper. Top with pineapple and mozzarella.