Ok, So last night, I stayed in and made myself a pizza, single size, with Peccorino Romano, Reggiano Parmesan, Fresh Mozzarella, a few slices of shredded Soppresata, and some of that homemade tomato sauce I make every couple of weeks. It was a small pizza, and I went to bed earlier than usual. The pizza dough recipe starts at the Margherita Pizza dough recipe from Cook’s kitchen, but of course, I like to tinker.
3 Cups of AP Flour
1.5 teaspoons of himalayan pink salt
1.5 teaspoons of cane sugar
1 teaspoon of un-sulphured blackstrap molasses.
1.5 teaspoons of quick-rise yeast
1 cup of tap water at 110 degrees fahrenheit
In your stand mixer, put the warm water, the cane sugar, the molasses and the yeast in the bowl and let it sit until the yeast has proofed a bit (10-15 minutes). You’ll see bubbles in the bowl that let you know the yeast is still alive and doing its job and that you don’t have to buy a new jar quite yet.
Combine your salt and your flour in another bowl. Start the mixer with the dough-hook in it on medium low. Slowly, bit by bit, put the flour in the bowl until it all in. You’ll see eventually that the dough will form a solid mass and try to crawl up the dough hook. Do not be afraid. If you look in the bowl and the dough looks crumbly and isn’t all sticking together, add a couple teaspoons more of water. If the dough is too sticky, add a couple teaspoons more flour.
Now turn the mixer up to medium and let the dough get beat up a bit. This will save you that 5 minutes of kneading they keep insisting on in these recipes. Run the mixer for 5 minutes. Then put your dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into a slightly flattened ball. Oil up a bowl with your olive oil, drop in the dough, cover with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let it sit in a warmish place for an hour.
Punch down the dough and divide it into 3 balls. Put two of them in the freezer. If you want some pizza on another day, take the dough out of the freezer and put it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. It will be ready for you to work with when you get home from work.
Put that pizza stone in the oven you got for Christmas a few years ago which is likely now sitting in the place where you keep your sheet pans and cookie sheets. Yes. That cupboard.
On a lightly floured surface dusted with a bit of corn meal, press the dough out with your fingertips, working out from the center to the edge until you form a nice round disk. it should be about a 8-10 inch pie. Get out about a quarter cup of sauce and spread it on the dough, not too thick though. Sprinkle on your choice of cheeses – I like Fresh Mozzarella, Peccorino Romano, and Reggiano Parmesan. and some dried oregano or that “Italian Seasoning” mix from the spice rack. I like soppresata, a nice dried Italian sausage sliced really thin and then shredded with a sharp knife.
Slide your pizza onto a pizza peel. Dust your pizza stone with corn meal to help the dough slide and to give the crust a little depth of crunch. Slide your pizza onto your stone using a slight forward jerky motion, and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes. I tend to like my cheese a bit brown on top but still stretchy underneath, so I range closer to the 12 minute mark.
Take your pizza out and let it cook for about 15 minutes. The temptation is great, but cheese burns on the roof of your mouth are not how you want to start off your weekend, right?