Tomato & Basil Pizza

pizza pomodoro

My name is Tracy, and I’ve wasted 31 years of my life being afraid to make my own pizza dough.  I’ve used flatbread as a substitute for pizza and yeah, it’s a GREAT substitute…it’s just that I don’t always have the time to make my own dough…and why should I? It never turns out the way I want it to. Some parts are too thick and doughy & not completely cooked. Some sections have holes in them and the middle is always so soggy that the cheese slides right off.  I’ve never been able to shape the dough into a perfect circle because I have some expectation that I can toss the dough into the air like a scene from Mystic Pizza. I really can’t do that and I’m not Julia Roberts.

Then I found this recipe…this fool-proof EASY pizza dough that abolished my pizza dough fears.

top it

Mix dough together. Let it sit. Cut it in half. Let it sit. Pull it across a lubed baking sheet. Heat your oven like a mofo. Top the pizza, bake and BANG. You have a thin crust pizza that tastes it came from a pizza joint. The bottom is nice & crispy and slightly oily. The sauce is sweet & salty and the cheese is absolutely divine. It may not be round and it may not look perfect, but just one bite will make you forget about perfect triangular pizza slices. Those pizzas look silly anyways. This dough is a game changer and I’m a believer.

Other things to note:

    • This recipe makes two pizzas. You can freeze one round of dough or refrigerate it for a day if need be.
    • Don’t be worried if the dough springs back when you shape it. Let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. Gluten is funny. It’s not you.
    • Don’t be nervous if the dough doesn’t seem super wet and smooth after you initially mix the ingredients together. When you let the dough rise in the moist dish towel, all will be good. There’s no knead to worry. 😉
    • If you are making this on a weekend for lunch, start the dough at 9:30am & you should be eating pizza by lunch time.
    • I completed another item from my 31 comes before 32 list! #6. Make my own pizza (and not fail!) Wahoo!

And we’re dough making!

Get the yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl.

yeast sugar salt

Measure out the lukewarm water & bread flour.

bread flour

Add the flour & water to the bowl of yeast, sugar & salt.


Mix! Really get in there with your hand…or with your wooden spoon if you’re timid.


Dough. Done.

dough lump

Dough is covered and it sits for 2 hours. Go ride your bike. Read a book. Clean the kitchen. Do jumping jacks.


Dough is ready to be split in half. Do it. Done.

in two

Put dough on a moistened towel. Let sit for 30 minutes. Heat up the oven.

If you just want to make one pizza, this is a good time to put it in a ziploc & freeze it.

I made two in one day. I ate two in one day (with a little help).


Make the tomato sauce. Pulse a can of tomatoes with olive oil & salt in a food processor.


Lube up a baking sheet. Spread that oil around.


Take the dough and stretch it out.

spread it

Keep stretching it. There could be holes. Fill them in.

keep going

Add the sauce on top…all the way to the edges.

sauce it

Sprinkle on the red pepper, the basil & tear hunks of fresh mozzarella on top. BAKE.

oven in

After about 15-20 minutes it should be done.


You made pizza. Dig into that bad boy.

thin & crispy

Btw, I made a potato pizza with the second dough. Wait til you see that HOT Carb on Carb action!

No Knead Pizza Dough

(recipe from My Bread, by Jim Lahey)

Makes: enough dough for two pies baked in 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheets

  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • extra virgin olive oil for pan

In a bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water, and using a spoon, your hand, or a baker’s plastic bench scraper, mix together until blended — this should take a couple of minutes.

Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Dump out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Use both pieces, or save one in the refrigerator (use a zip lock bag) for up to 1 day. Oil a 13×18 inch rimmed baking sheet liberally with good extra virgin olive oil. Then gently plop the dough on the pan and stretch and press it out to the edges. If it springs back wait five minutes and then proceed. The dough is very thin. If it tears, piece it back together.

Let’s make a simple yet ahh-mazing cheese pizza!

Ahh-mazing Cheese Pizza

(slightly adapted from My Bread, by Jim Lahey)

Makes enough for ONE 13 x 18 inch pizza

  • 1- 14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 6 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat the oven to 500° F.

Use a blender or food processor to pulse together the tomatoes, juice, olive oil and salt until they are chunky. The mixture will be quite liquidy.

Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, going all the way to the edges. Make sure no sauce piles up in the center of the pie. Sprinkle with a few pinches of red pepper flakes, top with chopped basil and tear pieces of the fresh mozzarella and scatter it over the pie.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are slightly charred. Sprinkle with extra basil and fresh Parmesan cheese and serve hot or at room temperature.

Leave a Comment