homemade pizza

Pizza in Denmark is mostly made by Turks whose first culinary talent is kebab.

The pizza here is generally bland, bready, and not worth the calories, or the 50 crowns ($10 US or so). Some places sell "family size" pizzas, but usually, each person orders an individual pizza.

After quite a bit of trial and error, and a lot of cursing, I can consistently make homemade pizza that's far better and less expensive than the fiascos the kebab places are selling.

I use this pizza sauce recipe, except I omit the marjoram and parsley in the garlic bread seasoning, I skip the red pepper flakes, and I cut the onion powder to 1/2 t.

Two of my biggest pizza crust making challenges in Denmark are that I don't have a pizza stone, and that yeast is most readily available in cakes, not the individual packets or jars that we're used to in the US, and that most recipes call for.

I've finally figured out that 17g of a yeast cake is perfect for this recipe. Weighing yeast in grams is kind of a hassle, but I'm not going to complain because a yeast cake is only about 20 cents and I can get 3 pizzas out of a single cake, so it's easily one of the best grocery bargains in Denmark :)

If you're in the US or anyplace else that sells packet or jarred yeast everywhere, give thanks, and use the equivalent of one packet to start.
1 cup warm water
2 T sugar
17 g yeast cake
3/4 t salt
1 T olive oil
3 cups flour

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Cake yeast is fussy, so I always use 105 F degree water, packet yeast is more forgiving.

Add the yeast and set it aside for 10 minutes or until it's sort of foamy looking. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil and mix. The flour here seems a bit lighter than what I was used to in the US, so you may want to start with 2 3/4 cups and work your way up. Humidity can also be a factor, so don't take this as gospel.

Knead the dough in a food processor with a dough blade, or in a KitchenAid with a dough hook for 8 minutes. By then it should be smooth, elastic, and not sticking to the sides of the workbowl.

Pour some olive oil in the bottom of a medium size bowl, transfer the dough and flip it around until it's coated with olive oil. Let it rise for at least 30 minutes.

Stretch it onto a baking sheet that's been covered with cornmeal. If it's properly risen, it should stretch out no problem. This is the first pizza dough that has not required me to roll it out with a rolling pin, it's a very smooth and friendly dough :)

Bake the crust at 500 degrees (I'm still and will probably always be a Fahrenheit girl) for 10 minutes. Top it, and bake it another 8 - 10 minutes or until the crust edges look the way you like!

Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil!

This is a thin crust recipe, so if you prefer thick crust, move along, there's nothing to see here (except maybe that delicious pizza sauce recipe).

True confession: I actually prefer the taste of this pizza to any I had in Italy. Granted, the Italians can knead circles around me in the crust department, oh to be able to make that crust! But pizza margarita, the vegetarian standby, is quite bland and they were sort of stingy with the cheese. But what do I know? I'm American.

ETA: I've since found a better way to bake the crust. I bake it in the bottom of the oven (not on a rack, just set it at the very bottom) at 500 degrees until it looks "done". Then, I top it and broil until the cheese melts.

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