strip a pizza of all it's accoutrements and what do you have? that's right kids, flatbread. the monstrosity that we americans call pizza accurately reflects our outlook on life. more, more, and then some more. moderation? forgetaboutit. just give us elastic waistbands and next month's fad diet. luckily, many other countries seem to be heading in the same direction as us, girth-wise. maybe we won't so clearly stand out as americans while traveling abroad, garbed in our matching his and hers sweatsuits, fabric straining valiantly against the bulk of our enormous bellies and bums. but i digress. here is a little something inspired by Little Foods of the Mediterranean, by Clifford Wright, called pizza ericina. it's a basic pizza dough recipe rolled out thinly and topped with dried oregano, fresh rosemary, garlic and olive oil. i made the mistake of putting the fresh garlic on the top, forgetting that it always burns and i had to scrape it off. next time i'll use garlic powder or better yet thinly slice the cloves and push them inside the dough. these would also be good with a thin layer of tomatoes on the top as well. this pizza bakes up nice and thin and crispy, just the way i like my little stripped down, free-luvin', nudist pizzas.
one 1/4 oz. packet dried yeast (2.5 t)
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 T. olive oil
If you are a lazy cuss and use a bread machine to knead your dough like me, put the ingredients in as specified by the manufacturer and hit the dough cycle, removing it just after it finishes kneading, otherwise dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let rest for 5 minutes or until it froths a little. add salt. add flour and olive oil and mix. form into a ball and knead for about 10 minutes. form into a little ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 hr. in a warm place (i put mine in my gas oven - the pilot light keeps the inside at a nice, yeast-friendly temperature). once doubled, visualize g. w. bush's face and punch down. just once now. cover and let rise for another hour. after the second rise, remove from oven and roll out on a lightly floured surface to whichever shape your pan happens to be. you might want to lightly pan spray the bottom. topping: brush a little olive oil over the top and press in 1 Tablespoon fresh minced rosemary and 1 T. dried oregano, plus 4 cloves of fresh garlic (minced sayeth the recipe, but i sayeth leave it out or press slivers deep into the dough otherwise it might burn), plus salt and pepper to your liking, and maybe a little more olive oil, if you like. bake at 450 for about 20 minutes or until done. another variation, which i quite like, it to thinly slice some tomatoes (oh, say about 2 romas) and marinade them in garlic (1 clove) and salt for about 10 minutes. lift the slices out of its juices and lay on top of the pizzas. this might solve the problem of the burning garlic, now that i think of it.....