Ralph's Lazy Pizza

Our parents would always say that it does not pay to be lazy.  That’s true.  In cooking, however, it may pay to be lazy (as long as you work smart).  After all, if people weren’t lazy and smart,  we’d all be chopping vegetables manually without the convenience of the food processor; we would be spending more time heating and reheating food without the microwave.  And of course, where would Rachael Ray and her 30-minute meals be?

A lot of recipes would not be around if we all chose not to innovate, take some short cuts, and yes, be lazy from time to time.

Well, just last week, I was hungry but was a bit lazy to cook.  I wanted pizza, but I didn’t want to have the usual ones delivered.  I prepare it myself so that I could really get all the cheese and other ingredients that I want.  A restaurant has a limit, of course with the ingredients it can put.  But for the home cook, it’s sky’s the limit.  You can have as much cheese as you want.

So out of my laziness — I’d rather call it innovation at this point, haha — comes Ralph’s Lazy Pizza.  Lazy because the chopping and grating are less.

The crust is also easier to make.  For starters, there’s minimal waiting time for the dough to rise.  And it’s a no-yeast pizza crust to make my life simpler.  And like pasta, you just put whatever ingredients you want — or whatever ingredients are available in your pantry.

The truth is, I try to avoid using yeast if I could.  For me, it lengthens the pizza making process.  I also don’t get to use it often to begin with, so for me, it’s hard to keep.  Still, I don’t like store-bought crust.  For me, they take away the authentic taste of the pizza.

To make my lazy pizza, I start with the crust.  Here’s my recipe for no-yeast pizza crust:

  • All-Purpose Flour, 2 1/2 cups for an 11-inch crust
  • Baking powder, 2 tsp. (
  • Salt, 1 tsp
  • Pepper, 1 tsp.
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil, 1/3 cup
  • Water, 1/2 cup
In a mixing bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, baking powder, pepper, olive oil,  water, and salt.  If your dough becomes too sticky, add more flour.  If it becomes to dry, add a little more water.   Knead the dough on your kitchen counter.  I would use a large cookie pan sometimes.  If you want extra flavor on your crust, you can add dry basil leaves or a little garlic powder.
Spread the dough on your 11-inch pizza pan.  Instead of using a rolling pin, I used a small glass, which I lightly brushed with flour (so that the dough doesn’t stick to it.  I’ve used this technique for several years as it’s easier to navigate using it.
The funny part that night was I couldn’t find our pizza pan.  So I ended up using an 11-inch round stainless steel serving tray.  It served its purpose well.  Make sure to lightly brush your pan with olive oil so that the crust doesn’t stick to it.
Now, it’s time for the toppings.  My most basic principle in making pizza is to use ingredients that you absolutely love (anchovies, anyone?).  You can always play it safe.  Or you can always be more adventurous.  If you’re just feeding yourself, by all means, adventurous.  Incidentally for me, the ingredients I like are on the traditional side of the pizza-making spectrum.
Here are the ingredients I used for this lazy pizza.
Start by putting your sauce.  You can always use tomato sauce.  I like using pesto.  I used my favorite store-bought pesto to save time. Of course, you can always make your own.  In hindsight, I may have included too much of the oil from the pesto.  Try to lessen the oil as much as possible to prevent the crust from being soggy.
I then put the cheese.  I put the cheese before the other ingredients because the cheese, when it melts, helps the ingredients stick to the crust.  To save time, I used mozzarella slices.  I liked using them because I didn’t have to bring out the cheese grater (and wash them later on).  I manually cut them into pieces and spread them onto the pizza.
So ok, don't let the looks deceive you. They don't look appealing yet at this point. But yes, the cheese will melt when when you bake the pizza.

 

I then add class peperoni.  Are you hungry already?


I then add slices of Hungarian sausage.  It’s my favorite kind of sausage.  For those based in Manila, you can always buy good sauce from Santi’s Deli.  However, you can buy them at a more reasonable price from Earl’s Deli, which has many branches in the Metro.  But if you really want to save — look for King Sue’s Hungarian style sausage at the grocery.  The sausages have the same smokey, tasty flavor.  And yes, it’s the most reasonably-priced alternative.  It’s a winner.  I use this brand for both pizza and pasta.

For the veggie toppings, I used tomatoes and green bell pepper.  One has to consider colors when making pizza or any other dish.  For me, pizza, can’t be all red.  You need a splash of green —  and yellow/white (which comes from the cheese), to really make your dish as Italian as possible.  Or at the very least, reminiscent of Italy’s flag. 🙂


We’re almost ready for baking!  Add grated parmesan cheese for flavor.  Parmesan cheese, for me, has more taste than mozzarella cheese.  So I really make it a point to add it on top of mozzarella.  I also added sliced onion and mushrooms.


Once again, I blanket the pizza with the pre-sliced mozzarella.  The cheese will melt and spread once you bake the pizza.  Then bake in the oven for about 11 to 14 minutes at 175 C (350 F).

And of course, here is the finished product — a fully-loaded, mouth-watering, delicious pizza. It’s a dish that goes well with any pasta recipe.  But of course, you can have it on its own.

So, see!  It pays to be lazy at times.  Just make sure to work smart.  🙂 This pizza serves  4  hungry people.  Buon appetito!

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