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Oct 4, 2020

Easy Crust Tomato Pizza

This fresh tomato pizza, with its easy to make crust, will make you swoon. The crust is crispy, airy, and flavorful, and the fresh tomatoes in the topping have a concentrated tomato flavor.  

Fresh tomato pizza

This pizza is similar to the no knead pizza dough that I used for broccoli pizza, onion pizza, and zucchini pizza, but it has a lot more water. In fact, it's 89 percent hydration.

In addition, one recipe for a sheet pan-sized pizza contains a lot more yeast. This is so that the dough can rise rapidly, collapse, and begin to rise again to develop flavor over a four to five our period. 

Easy Crust Tomato Pizza

The crust is super crispy, and the simple toppings of fresh tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, dried oregano, and sea salt really shine. 

This is a simple and flavorful pizza, perfect with just a salad and a glass of wine... not too much cheese or sauce, and mostly crispy airy crust. The flavors speak for themselves. You will feel like a true Italian pizzaiolo. 

Close up of Easy Crust Tomato Pizza

The crust is made with a focaccia-like dough, but it is spread out thinner than focaccia. It is still airy and bubbly, and with the long rising time, totally flavorful. 

How to make this pizza: 

First, you mix the dough ingredients, with the exception of the salt, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook for about five minutes. 

Next, you let the dough rest for 10 minutes to hydrate the flour (autolyse). Then, add the salt and mix again with the dough hook for another five minutes, until the dough is elastic. 

After that, oil a large bowl with olive oil and scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm spot for four to five hours. It will rise, fall, and begin to rise again. 

Step by step of making pizza dough

This long rise will really help develop flavor. 

Next, spray a half sheet pan generously with spray oil, and then add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Pour the dough onto the pan and let it rest for 20 minutes before gently pushing the dough to the edges of the pan. Don't worry if it comes up a little short. 

While the dough is rising, cut fresh Campari tomatoes into quarters and place them in a strainer over a bowl. Salt them with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and gently mash them with a potato masher. 

Let the tomatoes drain their juices into the bowl. By doing this, you will end up with concentrated tomato flavor without the tomatoes getting the crust soggy while the pizza bakes. 

Tomatoes draining

I like to use the juices to make salad dressing with minced red onion or shallots, garlic, dried oregano, Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. 

When the dough is spread out on the sheet pan, top it with the drained tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and dried oregano. Finish it with a little course sea salt. 

fresh tomatoes on pizza dough

When you bite into this pizza, the first thing you will notice is the crispy airy crust. The next thing you will notice is (the best part) the fresh and juicy tomatoes. They are sooooo good! 

Tips for making this pizza:

  • Don't use fresh mozzarella. It's too moist for this pizza dough. Instead, you can actually use the pre-grated mozzarella from the supermarket. 

  • If you can't find Campari tomatoes, large cherry tomatoes will also work. Just slice them in half rather than cutting them into quarters. 

  • Don't forget the spray the pan with spray oil before coating it with olive oil. I've learned the hard way that the dough will absorb a lot of the olive oil (like focaccia), and the spray oil will prevent the crust from sticking to the sheet pan. 

  • I love using Mexican oregano for recipes that call for dried oregano. It's super flavorful. You can usually find it in the same section where they sell the dried chiles. 

Slices of easy crust tomato pizza

If you like, you can add a little pepperoni or prosciutto to the pizza before adding the cheese. 

If you have leftovers, wrap the slices in foil and keep them in the refrigerator to reheat later in the oven or toaster oven. 

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Perfect Pizza Pie!

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Easy crust fresh tomato pizza

Easy Crust Tomato Pizza Recipe

Easy Crust Tomato Pizza Recipe
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen Kerr
This fresh tomato pizza, with its easy to make crust, will make you swoon. The crust is crispy, airy, and flavorful, and the fresh tomatoes in the topping have a concentrated tomato flavor.


  • 400 grams (2 7/8 cups) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 340 grams (1 1/2 cups) water, 100 to 110 degrees F
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound Campari tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 ounces whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • Freshly ground black pepper and course sea salt for topping


  1. Mix the flour, sugar, and yeast on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer for five minutes, stopping half way through to scrape the bowl and make sure all of the flour is incorporated.
  2. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add 4 teaspoons of the kosher salt and mix the dough for an additional five minutes on medium speed. 
  4. Oil a large boil with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the dough, cover, and let rise for 4 to 5 hours in a warm spot. 
  5. In the meantime, place the tomato quarters into a colander or strainer over a bowl and lightly mash them with a potato masher. Sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, stir, and let them sit to drain while the dough is rising. 
  6. Heat the oven to 500 degrees F with a rack in the lowest position. Spray a half sheet pan with spray oil and pour a tablespoon of the olive oil into the pan. 
  7. When the dough is ready, scrape the dough out onto the pan and let it rest for 20 minutes, uncovered. 
  8. Rub your hands with olive oil and gently push the dough toward the edges of the pan, dimpling it as you would a focaccia. 
  9. Toss the tomatoes with the final tablespoon of olive oil and arrange them on top of the dough. Let the dough rest an additional 30 minutes. 
  10. Sprinkle the cheese over the dough, followed by the oregano. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and course sea salt to taste (optional). 
  11. Bake the pizza on the lowest rack for 18 to 20 minutes, until the bottom is crispy and golden. Remove from the pan to a cutting board to slice. 



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pizza, tomatoes
pizza, main course
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Recipe adapted from Milk Street Magazine, September/October, 2020. I love their magazine, their podcast, and their cookbooks. Plus, they have a store with some pretty amazing ingredients. 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Anxious to try that dough recipe on my next pizza. Thanks Karen.

  2. This dough totally reminds me of foccacia. It looks delicious and the tomatoes on top look awesome.

    1. It's definitely a lot like focaccia, only thinner!

  3. I was totally thinking that dough base reminded me of focaccia too - it looks absolutely delicious! That perfectly golden cheese is making my mouth water!

  4. I am shedding a discreet tear here.... not sure I can face this type of crust right now.... it is MAYBE the case that I will be braceless (said braceless, not braless) in January... so at some point I will be trying this beautiful recipe

  5. Love this! I agree that it's very focaccia like which would be wonderful

  6. This looks amazing Karen. I love using campari tomatoes and the tip about draining them is great.


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