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).