A lovely thinnish crust pizza with a spicy kick!
If you have been following us on Instagram you may remember the saga of the lost pizza recipe. Okay, perhaps it was less saga than a panicked hiccup in our posting plans, but in these Instagram stories, the one of us responsible for writing up recipes shared that she had somehow misplaced the recipe for Thea Voula’s pizza. This admission of scatter-brain-ness was in part meant to convey relate-ability (hey…we’re ALL human!) and in part to let the other one of us know that the story had gone public, and that any sisterly retaliation could possibly go public too. Not that this was a real concern…really.
Happily, as recipe-writing sister
prayed predicted, the recipe turned up about a week later, totally not where it should have been. And what a happy discovery that was, because Thea Voula’s pizza recipe is one which is worth having, saving and sharing with all of you.
You may remember Thea Voula from her cheesecake fame. She is one of our mother’s younger sisters, and her only sibling living in Canada. Thankfully they are close, both in distance and in cooking abilities. Just like our parents have their own culinary specialities, so does our Aunt, and her pizza is definitely one of them. Whenever there is a big family gathering two questions seem to permeate most conversations before dinner. The first, of course, is “Did Thea make her cheesecake?” (dessert trumps food always) and the second is “Did Thea make her pizza?” Unlike our parent’s pizza which has a bread-y dough (delicious), our Thea Voula’s pizza has a thinner, crispier crust (delicious). It’s always a treat when both sisters decide to each make pizza for these large family meals, and to watch them watch the rest of us as we line up in the kitchen to serve ourselves from the buffet which is laid out. The smart diners amongst us each take 2 slices of pizza, and love them both equally. The less informed (think, new boyfriends, new friends, oblivious children) may start to say that they prefer one over the other. That’s when the peace-keepers amongst us stuff a piece of pizza into their mouths and usher them into a corner where we can explain that both pizzas are our absolute favourites…ALL of ours.
Our Aunt Voula believes that if you are going to go through the trouble of making pizza dough…then make pizza dough. So, the recipe for the dough which follows actually makes enough for 4 large pizzas. If you are going to make 4 pizzas (we expect we’ll be invited to the party), great. If not, freeze the dough you will not be using for a quick dinner or lunch at another time.
The toppings listed are enough for one large pizza. Double, triple, or quadruple according to your needs and appetite.
One of the other things that makes our Thea Voula’s pizza unique is that she always tops it with spicy marinated peppers. This gives a tangy, hot zing to her pizza that is really quite delicious. You can of course omit this topping, but we strongly suggest you give it a try.
Pizza toppings are really up to you; we have listed the common toppings which Thea Voula puts on her pizzas, but you can omit a few or add a few. What is important however is that the cheese goes on last, just like with our parent’s pizza. This is a great way to keep all the great gems of ingredients hidden, like a surprise!
Thea Voula's pizza
For the dough
- 3 3/4 teaspoons (12 grams) Instant dry yeast
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 3/4 cup (430 mL) water
- 3 eggs large
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) Ginger Ale
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) olive oil
- 8 cups (1200 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup (50-75 grams) all purpose flour if needed
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
For the toppings (for each pizza)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) pizza sauce
- 100 grams sliced pepperoni
- 1/4 cup pickled hot peppers optional
- 1 red or green bell pepper slivered
- 227 grams white mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups (180 grams) grated mozzarella cheese
For the dough:
- In a small bowl combine the instant dry yeast, the 1/4 cup warm water and the sugar. Set aside for approximately 5 minutes until you see bubbles forming on the surface.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the 1 3/4 cup water, the eggs, the ginger ale, the salt, olive oil, and 8 cups of all purpose flour. Mix well by hand and then pour in the yeast mixture. Knead the dough by hand for approximately 7 - 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can always knead the dough in a stand mixer, using the bread hook attachment, but start kneading it by hand first, for a head start. Add more flour as required to create a not too sticky, and not too stiff dough. The dough shouldn't be sticking to the side of your bowl. You might have to add up to 1/2 cup (75 grams) extra flour. See video here. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the dough and mix until combined. Will look and feel greasy. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a draft free place for 60 minutes.
- This is enough dough for 4 large pizzas. Divide the dough into 4, (it should be approximately 550 grams, per dough) and use only the dough you need. You can wrap the rest of the dough in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for another day. If you prefer to divide the dough into 3 pizzas, each dough should weigh approximately 750 grams.
- Roll out the pizza dough until it is about 1/2 an inch thick. Place it onto an olive oil greased pizza pan.
- Top the dough with pizza sauce, and then the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the cheese.
- Bake in a 425 degree Farenheit preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes.