At the dining hall where I work, there is a station devoted entirely to making pizza. They have a pizza oven, pizza trays, pizza paddles, and a machine that presses the dough into pizza shape for you. As nifty as all this equipment is, you don't actually need any of it to make good pizza. This pizza recipe will leave you with just one question: is it easy, or is it simple?

You can buy premade pizza dough at some grocery stores, however if you would like to make your own, it's not too difficult. Use this recipe, from, where it is entitled "Peter Renhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough Recipe". It makes enough for four small pizzas, or two large pizzas, so if you want you can freeze the extra dough for several months.

4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast (I actually used a full packet of dry active yeast, which worked fine)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cup warm water

Put the warm water in a small bowl and add the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes to get the yeasty beasties all happy and active.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast and water, as well as the olive oil, and mix well. Use your hands to mix the dough to a uniform consistency. Form dough into a ball, and let sit covered in a warm place for one hour. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees at this point. Divide the dough into two balls for two large pizzas, or four balls for four small pizzas. Put the dough you don't plan to use in a ziplock bag in the freezer. With the rest, gently pull and mold it into the shape of a pizza. The dough should be fairly thin: about half an inch at the widest point, and about a quarter inch in most places. Brush the flattened dough round with olive oil on both sides, then let it sit on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.

Bake the pizza dough for about 5 minutes before you put the toppings on. Then remove from the oven, add the desired toppings, and bake it for about 10 more minutes.

I used storebought pesto sauce, grated mozzarella cheese, kalamata olives, crimini mushrooms, and slices of precooked chicken to top my pizzas. I made one of them without the chicken so that I could share it with my vegetarian friends. However, the choice of toppings is really up to you. That's the beauty of making your own pizza: you can put whatever you want on it.