How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

I'm constantly searching for a homemade pizza dough that tastes good, but isn't too challenging to execute—in other words, a recipe that doesn't require the learned and magical skill of "dough whispering" (something I've yet to attain, but hope to achieve someday).

Making bread or any rising dough is difficult. It's no surprise that many sculptors go into the business of making bread—my experience indicates it requires patience, practice and somewhat of a magic touch.

I've tried Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough recipe, but I'm always looking for other variations. On a recent long airplane flight, I watched an episode of Jamie Oliver's 30-minute meals, a program that presents 3-4 recipes that can be made within the duration of approximately 30 minutes. His "cheat's pizza" presented an interesting alternative to traditional recipes.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Jamie's pizza is indeed a cheat—you substitute the challenge of kneading and the time constraint of rising with a food processor and self-rising flour. It's also quick to assemble and cook: simply fry the dough stove-top for 3-4 minutes, and finish under the broiler for the same. The result? Not bad. Pretty decent, in fact. It won't have the wonderful elasticity that some of the best pizza doughs have, but if you like a light and crispy crust, you should be able to nail a tasty outcome in 2 attempts or less.

The below ingredients should feed 2-3 people. I doubled and made two batches of the dough for 4 people; this yielded one large pizza, and two smaller (this was dictated by my cast iron pan options).

Jamie Oliver's 30-Minute Meals: Cheat's Pizza

Ingredients (SERVES 2):

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 handful basil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • fresh mozarella
  • toppings of choice (I used thinly sliced dried salami, green bell peppers, sliced zucchini and basil)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

Equipment:

  • food processor
  • broiler-safe or cast iron pan
  • blender

Step 1 Gather Your Ingredients

"30-Minute Meals" is a shticky TV concept—the time it takes you to prepare the pizza is entirely dictated by A) how organized you are and B) how comfortable you are with the process. The first time I made it took approximately one hour, the second time I was much more comfortable with the process and managed to do it in a little over 30 minutes.

Before you start: take out all your ingredients, set up your food processor and blender, oil your cast iron pan. Turn on the broiler, and pull out your measuring cup.

Step 2 Prepare Your Sauce

You can use any sauce you like—canned, jar or fresh. Jamie recommends a quick option that combines a canned tomato base with fresh ingredients.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Open and empty a can of crushed or chopped tomatoes into your blender. I used one with roasted garlic, but you can choose any variation you like.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Chop about 1 1/2 handfuls of basil (you will use 1/3 now for the sauce, 2/3 later for the pizza topping). Roughly chop 1-2 cloves of garlic.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Throw the garlic and basil into the blender with the canned tomatoes; add a swig of balsamic for taste, plus a drizzle of olive oil.

NOTE: The can size above is more than enough—I probably only used a third of it for 4 people. You should use a smaller can.

Tips

  • Jamie recommends rolling your basil for easy chopping, a process is called "chiffonade". See below.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Step 3 Make Your Dough

This is the easiest dough I've ever made! Even beats Jim Lahey's no-knead bread (though I'm not sure it tastes as good).

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Measure 1 cup of self-rising flour (MUST BE SELF-RISING, NO SUBSTITUTES) into your food processor. Add 1/2 cup of water, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Pulse.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Your first pulse will result in a soft, wet dough that looks like the above image to the left. The goal is to work toward a firmer, processor-formed ball as pictured to the right. Do this by slowly adding more flour—I added as much as an additional 1/3 to 1/2 cup. In the end you want your dough to be somewhat wet and elastic, but not so wet that it's impossible to work it with a rolling pin.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Once you have a satisfactory ball of dough, cover a dry surface with a layer of flour. Remove the dough from the processor and add remnants to your solid "baseball"; coat lightly with flour and roll into a flat, round piece with a rolling pin.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Tips

  • Jamie recommends that the dough be about 1 cm thick. In my second round with this recipe, I made it a little bit thinner, and liked the results better (a thinner, crispier crust).

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Once you have a good thickness and large enough piece to fill an approximately 14-inch cast iron pan (or two smaller pans), fold your dough in half or quarters to easily transport to the WELL OILED (olive oil) pan. Unfold and spread/smooth slightly with your fingers if necessary.

Step 4 Prepare Your Toppings

Before you start cooking your dough, you should have your sauce, cheese and toppings on hand. Have all your toppings chopped—I prepped bell peppers, zucchini, basil and thinly sliced dried salami.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Use fresh mozzarella! It tastes better than the shredded stuff. Tear it into chunks beforehand.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Step 5 "Fry"/Broil Your Dough

Now for the fun part! Turn the heat on high, and let your dough get crispy. Stand by with a spatula and lift the edges to make sure the bottom isn't burning (this is why coating the pan with olive oil is so important—you don't want the dough to stick to the bottom). 

You want it to get it crispy, but not charred. Let it go for 3 to 4 minutes, and once it's almost finished, spoon sauce in the center and spread. Remove from the heat entirely, and top with cheese and toppings.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Now that your pizza is ready, place it under the broiler for another 4 minutes or so. Leave the oven light on and watch it. Remove when it looks good to you.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

Tips

  • Hold off on the basil until the last second when you're about to remove the pizza from the broiler—that way the leaves will be warm and slightly cooked without being charred.
  • Jamie added fennel seeds and freshly grated Parmesan to the top as well—I'm going to try next time, sounds delicious!

Step 6 Eat!

Enjoy. :) If you know of a good pizza dough recipe, please post below. I'm always looking for new ones.

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less

How to Make Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's" Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less


13 Comments

Beautiful pictures, very inspirational!

It's colorful and looks pretty easy to make. Definitely something to try out once I get a cast iron pan. Are there any other pans that would work without breaking the bank?

i used both a cast iron pan and a regular teflon pan with a metal (not plastic) handle. Though my friend was concerned that the temperature for broiling was too hot for the teflon pan (it came out fine.. i'm not sure how to gauge whether it's ok or not). cast iron pans aren't too pricey if you buy from amazon or target.

You can also try buying used at a flea market. :)

is the top of the dough still soft/raw looking when you put the sauce/toppings on top? or is the dough pretty much fully cooked ?

it's still soft on the top, but should be golden brown/crispy on the bottom.

I love the idea of zucchini & basil on a pizza. Easy to grow them in my back yard for an extra fresh slice.

That reminds me...my mom just gave me a giant zucchini. Time to start using it up!

looks delicious, can't wait to try.

The before and after pics look awesome. I'll have to try this out. I'm always afraid of messing up dough.

Do you think this would work without first frying the base? For instance by putting the dough on a pizza baking oventray (non-stick metal with perforations all over so the hot air gets to the bottom of the pizza)?

can i use pan square griller to cook the pizza since it is a heavy base frying pan? my pizza dough is round. I have a small cast frying pan but it is not heavy base enough and a bit deep frying pan. I am afraid I will be in trouble when comes to lift the ready dough pizza.

Need yr comment Jamie. tx.

I'd been meaning to try a cheat or scone base pizza base for ages. Needed a bit of translation (and thankfully I have an old Tala measure that does cups,oh when will the USA get the metric system...) and I tripled the quantities to then divide into two pizzas to share between three people ( keep up...)as my heavy duty frying pan ( really just need one without a plastic handle and probably not a non stick one) is quite big. Worked a treat, although needed slightly longer 'frying' than suggested. Not an authentic, wood fired oven thin and crispy pizza but certainly very pizza like and better than supermarket alternatives - and yummy pizza from walking in the kitchen to on the plate in less than 30 minutes including making a salad!

Not quite convinced by the sauce recipe as I think that would be too watery ( maybe I buy cheap tinned tomatoes)but I happened to have some in the freezer.

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