Homemade P I Z Z A
- 2½ cups warm water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until frothy. Add in the vegetable oil.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Add the flour to the yeast mixture, ½ cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Continue adding the flour until the dough can be pulled away from the sides of the bowl with a spatula, but the dough will still be quite sticky. You may need to add in a little bit more or less flour, but the key is to remember that the dough will still be sticky and will stick to your fingers when you try to pull it apart.
- Grease a large bowl, then scrape the dough into the bowl. Turn the dough to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and a let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Pull the dough around to the bottom, stretching it to create a smooth ball. Cut the dough into 3 equal portions. Each ball will be approximately 1 pound of dough.
- Roll out the dough to use in your favorite pizza recipe, or refrigerate until needed. (I have refrigerated it for several hours, up to overnight, but the dough will continue to rise, even in the refrigerator, so I try to use it before 24 hours.
- 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes (or the best quality you can find)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup grated onions (or finely diced for chunkier texture)
- ¾ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ -1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on heat preference)
- 3 cloves garlic (grated or minced)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- If your tomatoes are packed whole, pour them into a large bowl and using your hands break down the tomatoes so that they're chunky but not completely liquidy. This can also be done with an immersion stick blender by just pulsing it a few times. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, grated onions, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Allow the oil to cook the ingredients for 3-4 minutes, stirring as necessary. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes from step #1, along with the sugar and salt. Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings to preference. If you'd like a more concentrated tomato flavor, you can continue to simmer the sauce for an addition 15 minutes.
- Use the sauce for pizzas immediately or allow to come to room temperature before storing in containers. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup pureed San Marzano canned tomatoes
- 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced with a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 large pinches of sea salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (I use my microplane)
- 7 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (*preferably fresh mozzarella not packed in water)
- 5 - 6 large fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
- crushed dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- Assemble the Pizza: Sprinkle the pizza peel (alternatively, you can use the back of a baking sheet - but it will be harder!) with a tablespoon of the cornmeal. Gently stretch one ball of pizza dough into roughly a 10-inch circle (don't worry if its not perfectly uniform). If the dough springs back or is too elastic, allow it to rest for an additional five minutes. The edges of the dough can be slightly thicker, but make sure the center of the dough is thin (you should be able to see some light through it if you held it up). Gently transfer the dough onto the cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or baking sheet.
- Drizzle or brush the dough lightly with olive oil (teaspoon or so). Using a large spoon, add roughly 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch border on all sides. Use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly and thinly. Sprinkle a tablespoon of parmigiano-reggiano cheese onto the pizza sauce. Add half of the cubed mozzarella, distributing it evenly over the entire pizza. Using your hands, tear a few large basil leaves, and sprinkle the basil over the pizza. At this point, I'll occasionally stretch the sides of the dough out a bit to make it even thinner. Gently slide the pizza from the peel onto the heated baking stone. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling and caramelized and the edges of the pizza are golden brown. Remove the pizza carefully from the oven with the pizza peel, transfer to a wooden cutting board or foil, drizzle the top with olive oil, some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and chiffonade of fresh basil. Slice and serve immediately and/or prepare the second pizza.
- If you're serving two pizzas at once, I recommend placing the cooked pizza on a separate baking sheet while you prepare the other pizza. In the last few minutes of cooking, place the prepared pizza into the oven (on a rack below the pizza stone) so that it is extra hot for serving. Otherwise, I recommend serving one pizza fresh out of the oven, keeping the oven hot, and preparing the second pizza after people have gone through the first one! The pizza will taste great either way, but it is at its prime within minutes out of the oven!.