Monday, April 12, 2010

Short crust pizza

Two pizzas, both alike in dignity…I'm relatively sure I'm not the first person to come up with the idea for short crust pizza, but it was a flash of genius to me. I came home from work dying for a pizza, but not willing to wait the hour+ it would take to make yeasted dough…so I made a short crust dough instead:

Short crust pizza dough

1 cup flour (any kind; I used chapati)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1/3-1/2 cup water

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the olive oil and stir well into the dry ingredients. Add 1/3 cup water and mix well; if the mixture seems dry, add a little more water. You want a pliable, but stiff, dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a minute or so, until the gluten starts to work and the dough becomes somewhat elastic. Divide in two pieces, and set the pieces aside while you assemble the pizza toppings. Then, of course, roll it out into rounds and add the toppings, bake at 350F for about 25 minutes until done…but I didn't need to tell you that, did I?

The result is a crispy, "thin crust" pizza that has won my heart, especially since the whole meal came together in half an hour plus a little extra baking time.

Recently I had found and purchased some powdered agar agar in a packet like this:

…and wondered from the soft texture of the resulting cashew cheese if it might have increased meltability. Unfortunately, the first batch was so yummy I ate it all before I could try melting any, but I made another this weekend, and you see it here, both under and over the pizza toppings in a sophisticated pattern that is not apparent to the naked eye, but will no doubt influence your unconscious mind.

Meltability: 0, the same as any other cashew cheese. That's okay, though, because I like the texture of the cashew cheese made with agar threads better, anyway.

Meltable or not, dang, this was good! I covered one pizza round with tomato sauce, the other with some leftover (almost) patla palag, and added sliced mushrooms, chopped sweet red pepper, and cashew cheese.

And, finally, we here at The Airy Way tonight celebrated the popular holiday of Thealmostemptyjarofdijonmustard, where you add garlic, salt, pepper, rice vinegar, and olive oil to the jar, and shake it all up to make a heavenly salad dressing, and it was heavenly indeed!


  1. That pizza looks lovely! I need to get on it and try to make some of my own cashew cheese!

  2. What are agar threads? The pizzas look delectable, and the crusts sound excellent. I've made short crusts in the distant past but this is a good reminder to make them again. Tonight. I even have a crust recipe (somewhere) for a batter crust that gets poured onto the pan. The toppings are added to the wet batter and it bakes, heaven knows why, into an amazing pie.

    We have to return our copy of RFD because, strangely but perhaps appropriately, its missing the entire "spring" section.

  3. Thanks, Trinity!

    Andrea, there's an image of agar threads here:

    Your batter crust sounds very interesting. I'd love to see you post about it...

  4. How weird that we got the pizza bug almost simultaneously! Though we just posted ours today, we made it on Saturday. I wish we'd had your pizza crust recipe then. Ours took a lot of doctoring and was a bit frustrating. This one looks great--just what we were after--a quick, no-rise pizza crust. Great minds thinks alike!

  5. Hi, Mark! This is the first time I've made pizza in a while, for sure. I was testing out my cashew cheese, and liked the results (and the crust really was nice and easy to work with), but I think I actually do prefer the cheeseless pizza, of which the one in your recent post is a beautiful example (for other readers, here's the link, well worth checking out:

  6. Oh right. I remember those threads. I currently use the flakes or powder, but I notice the powder (which is much more potent than the other forms) can leave an aftertaste. I think my batter crust recipe is packed away in Wisconsin and may not be findable, but I'll look this summer when we go back to visit.

  7. Hi Zoa, I tried not to be a completely lazy bum before resorting to asking this (I did do a search of your blog), but which exact cashew cheese recipe did you use for these pizzas because it looks to die for and I want! much! Thank you :)

  8. Hi, Lou:

    It's right here, and it's delish (there's also a link on that post to the original recipe I adapted from):

    Enjoy your pizza!

  9. ah! That's the one I saw but I wasn't sure - many thanks :)

  10. Just found this recipe last night and have made it twice since then! Thanks for a pizza that is faster than delivery and so much better than frozen. I'm going to try adding a little cornmeal next time.