Every good chef has a signature dish that they can whip together to impress guests with... even though there's a secret ingredient they'd never admit to. Homemade pizza is mine. I can put it together in under 15 minutes and the toppings run the gamut. When it's just for me, it's a "trash" pizza, using whatever veggies in my fridge are ripe and ready. For guests, It's Deb's Broccoli Rabe and Roasted Onions -- my favorite. What impresses more than fancy toppings is the thin and crispy homemade pizza dough. It always comes out perfectly, and friends always seem surprised to find a homemade dough in place of Pillsbury.
Well... now get really close to the computer.... the dough is my secret. I grew up with homemade pizza dough and took my Mom's secret with me. Even though "real" homemade dough is easy, sometimes you just don't want to think about yeast at the end of a work day. So my secret? A household name from my Midwestern upbringing: Bisquick.
I know, you're thinking, "but Bisquick is for pancakes!" Well, the magic ingredient can be used in a variety of dishes, and not just for breakfast. I have no idea what's in it and I don't even want to know. Betty Crocker lists 567 Bisquick recipes, ranging from sugar cookies, to churros, to meatball pie. Surprised? I guarantee you can find the yellow box in 90% of households from Idaho to Pennsylvania. It might be America's most versatile creation.
And, my pizza dough is really Bisquick in it's most pure form. The rub is it makes the lightest, crispiest dough for any pizza.
Tonight with just Izzy and I in the kitchen, my "trash" pizza dinner was made of a few leftover mushrooms, the second half of a buffalo mozzarella roll, a 2 week old Union Square farmer's market tomato, and pepperoni. The best part? Just like pizza from the corner dive, it tastes even better cold the next day. Yummm.
Beth's Weeknight Pizza Recipe
1/3 cup very hot water
1 1/2 cup Bisquick
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup pizza quick, or your favorite ragu
Buffalo mozzarella, sliced thinly
Pinch of oregano
1 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 F. Flour a cookie sheet with a 1-inch rim.
Mix the hot water and Bisquick with a spoon until it comes together. Discard spoon and knead by hand, 1 minute until it reaches dough consistency. Turn out onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press dough into corners. Spread pizza quick onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border on each side. Top with mushrooms, tomato, pepperoni, and mozzarella. Sprinkle pizza with oregano and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 425 F until cheese bubbles and crust is crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before serving.