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Once you try this pizza, you’ll never order take-out again.
Okay, you might order take-out on a Friday night when you’re exhausted and running late and just too stressed out to manage making anything edible. But the pizza you pay $15 for won’t be as good as this one.
I found this recipe on Pinterest – the website is here – and followed it almost exactly. (Dummy me didn’t realize there’s a difference between flour and bread flour.) Even still, this pizza rivaled Pepe’s Pizzeria Napolitano, a Connecticut institution.
I’ll admit that I was more than a bit scared to make dough and pizza sauce from scratch, but this recipe is ridiculously easy. I’m already looking forward to making it again. It also makes good use of my food processor – Mr. O got it for me for Christmas a few years ago (at my request) and I doubt if I’ve used it more than once.
The biggest downside of this recipe is that the dough needs to rise for 24 hours (up to 3 days), so you can’t just whip it up on a whim.
In the food processor, pulse 3 cups bread flour, 2 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp yeast just enough to mix them. Pour in 1 1/3 cups of ice water and mix until combined. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes. I didn’t have bread flour so I substituted 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of all purpose flour. It gave the dough a little more weight and didn’t change the flavor.
You can see above that it will look semi-dough-like already. After resting mix in 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Blend again until the dough forms a ball and collects all the bits from the side of the bowl.
Gently knead the dough on a lightly oiled surface a few times until all the edges are rounded out. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours- 3 days.
The sauce is actually too simple to photograph – just dump all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Tip: A lesson I learned the hard way: check your canned tomatoes for added salt before you add the salt. You can also use my Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce!
Move the oven rack to the second highest position. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven and preheat to 500° for an hour. Yes, an hour. At the same time take the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. You can also freeze one or both halves by wrapping them in plastic wrap then putting them in a freezer bag.
Press out the dough into a flat round. You may need to use a rolling pin to get it thin enough. Place the stretched dough on a lightly oiled pizza pan and use your fingers to press it out to the edges. Scoop out 1/2 cup of sauce and swirl onto the crust. Spread it so it covers all but the edges (the bottom of your measuring cup works well for this).
On each pizza sprinkle about 1 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan. Brush the exposed edges of the crust with extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil over the cheese. The oil over the top is what helps the cheese get gooey without drying out, so don’t skip that step!
Bake at 500° for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stare in awe at your masterpiece. Let it cool a couple minutes, then slide it onto a large cutting board to slice.
By the way, the pot in the background is the extra sauce being reduced to make spaghetti sauce. I made a double batch of the sauce and after making the pizza I was left with about 3 cups of pizza sauce and 2 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce (reduced from 4 cups).
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. instant yeast
- 1 1/3 cups ice water
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 (28 oz.) can petite diced or crushed tomatoes, you can drain if you want a thicker sauce
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. oregano
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2-3 tbsp. olive oil, for brushing
- ½ cup (1 oz.) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded whole-milk mozzarella
- Mix flour, sugar, and yeast in a food processor just until blended. Add the ice water and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Let the dough rest 10 minutes, then add the oil and salt. Mix until the dough forms a single ball with no residual dough on the sides of the bowl. Transfer to a lightly oiled surface and knead a few times, then to a lightly oiled bowl. Refrigerate 24 hours - 3 days.
- When ready to use, let the dough warm to room temperature while the oven and baking stone heat to 500° for 1 hour (the stone should be on the second closest rack to the top). If you're going freeze half of the dough for later, wrap it plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Place the half you're using on a lightly floured surface and knead it before stretching it. You can use a rolling pin, too. Press out the sides of the lightly oiled pizza pan.
- Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Swirl about 1/2 cup of sauce onto the pizza crust. Spread it evenly around the crust, leaving 1/2" around the edge without sauce.
- In a medium-sized bowl mix the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses together. Spread about half the cheese evenly on 1 pizza. Do the same on the other pizza (if making one). If you're going to add toppings, this is the time. Brush the crust edges with olive oil. Drizzle an additional 1-2 tablespoons of oil over the top of the cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and slicing.