We’re not really sure where this recipe came from. True, it comes from our parents’ kitchen, but before that is anyone’s guess. We also don’t know where the pizza inspiration came from. Growing up, homemade pizza was not something that we remember having in our home, and then one day, on a day that we don’t really remember, our parents announced that they had made pizza…and there was no looking back.
Now, their pizza features prominently at most large family gatherings. It also seems to accompany any meal deliveries that our parents spoil us with during the work week. And believe us, we do know that we are spoiled. When we get the phone call early in the day to say, “Don’t bother making dinner, we’re going to make you something”, we often feel as if we have won the lottery. And although we don’t expect it, we have come to learn that what is meant to be the delivery of one supper, is usually enough food for several days. And amongst the yemista, roasted chicken and potatoes, pastitsio, or any number of other dishes, there is often this pizza. It is almost as if the pizza is an after-thought; a quick little add-in to complement the roasted lamb or moussaka, and we are always so grateful for it.
If you are feeling inspired, you can easily double the ingredients for the dough and either freeze what you don’t use, or shape it into a loaf to bake a bread. Using 1 1/4 pounds of dough will give you a nice sized loaf. If you do decide to make some bread, shape the loaf and let it rise for 30 minutes. Then bake your bread in the middle rack of your oven, set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 60 minutes.
The dough uses 7-Up which is a brand of lemon-lime flavoured, caffeinated, soda which is clear in colour. If you can’t find 7-Up where you live, substitute any other similar soda, like Sprite.
Our parents don’t make their own pizza sauce. If you do, great! But you can also find some exceptional quality pizza sauces in most grocery stores.
The toppings which are listed in the recipe are typical of what our parents like to put on their pizza. You can of course be creative and use anything that you like. One thing that is important however is to place the cheese on last, covering all other ingredients.
Although many people like to use a pizza stone to cook their pizza, our parents use a plain old pizza pan (which is similar to a round cookie sheet). If you decide to use a pizza stone, then you may have to adjust your cooking time, and the outcome will likely be slightly different.
Mia Kouppa: Pizza
- For the dough:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup 7-Up, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
- 1/4 cup vegetable or corn oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt For the toppings:
- 4 oz pizza sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pepperoni, Roma.. sliced at deli counter, about 18 slices
- 8 oz pack of mushrooms (227 grams), washed, dried and thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, washed, dried, and thinly sliced either by hand, or with a mandaline
- 2 3/4 cups grated mozzarella
- Place the flour in a medium size bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the dry yeast, sugar, and warm water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes. You should see the yeast bubbling up on the surface of the water.
- To the flour add the yeast mixture, 7-up, milk, oil, and salt.
- Knead with your hands until smooth, for approximately 5 – 7 minutes. Alternatively you can use the hook attachment of your stand mixer. Mix for a few minutes until smooth. If you find the dough too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest in a warm, draft-free place for a couple of hours until it has doubled in size.
- (Note: you can actually freeze the dough at this point, prior to it rising. Once you are ready to use it, remove the dough from the freezer, let it thaw, and then allow it to rise prior to rolling it out.)
- Once your dough has risen to double its size, punch it down and knead it again. (If you decide to freeze your dough at this point, you can. Once you need the dough, just remove it from the freezer for a few hours to defrost prior to rolling it out; it doesn’t need to rise again).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Take a rolling pin and rub it with a little bit of oil so the dough doesn’t stick. Flour your surface, and roll out the dough into a circle large enough to be slightly larger than your pizza pan. Here we use a a 16 inch pizza pan.
- Grease your pizza pan with a little bit of olive oil.
- Fit your rolled out dough on top of the pizza pan.
- Add the pizza sauce first, then sprinkle with the oregano.
- Then add the rest of the ingredients in the following order: pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers. Top all of your ingredients with the grated mozzarella.
- Trim the excess dough from around the pan, and let rest for 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake your pizza on the bottom rack of your oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. You will know your pizza is done when the bottom is nicely browned and your cheese has melted. Enjoy.