Pizza is one of our favorite food, and we have been making our own pizza for years! It is easy, tasty and healthy (or as healthy as you want it).
Lets start with the dough. Basically this is an multipurpose recipe for bread, pizza dough and even naan bread. All you need is good quality flour, water, yeast, salt, and some waiting time.
Flour 3 cups (We use half-half of whole wheat-white flour)
Warm water 1 1/2 cups (as warm as body temperature and just a touch warmer)
Yeast 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Combine all ingredient in a stand-up mixer and mix for 10 minutes. When this is done, cover the mixer bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place (I put mine in the oven with the light bulb on) for about 1-2 hours. When the first rising is done, lightly flour a dry, clean counter and flip your dough out. The dough will be pretty wet and sticky, and the moisture is the key to the holy, chewy texture and crispy crust. DO NOT PUNCH OUT THE AIR!! Just gently push and fold the dough to the center couple times and cut it into 3-4 portions and shape them so it fits in the containers for 2nd stage rising. We use large kitchen plastic containers with lids (such as Ziplock containers) and return them in the warm oven for 2nd rising.
While you wait for the pizza dough to rise, make a simple tomato pizza sauce. I always make extra and use it in my pasta and it is the only tomato sauce I use.
Pizza/Pasta sauce recipe:
1 can of canned whole Roma tomato (diced is ok but it tend to have too much juice and takes longer to cook down)
Few cloves of garlic
1 fillet of Anchovy
salt, sugar and pepper for seasoning
Heat about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a pot on medium-low heat until hot (NOT smoking), carefully put the garlic cloves and cook garlic until golden brown. Careful not the burn the garlic otherwise it will turn bitter. Remove from heat, carefully add 1 can of tomato (if you do this quickly it won’t splash as much). Return to heat, mash with a potato masher to break up the tomato to speed up cooking time. Add 1 fillet of anchovy and cook the sauce on low heat until liquid reduces and thickens (about 30 minutes). Stir from time to time to prevent sticking and burning. Add salt, pepper and sugar at the end to taste.
Other stuff you might need (to make the process easier):
Wooden cutting board
Peel (aka pizza shovel)
Now, the secret of my Naples style pizza is thin crust and high heat. You could use pizza stone (not recommended as it might crack under high heat, or you might have to reduce the heat and result in a not-so-crispy crust), but we find cast iron pan (aka skillet) works the best. Throw your pan in the oven and turn the heat on full blast (not broil), as high as the oven allows you. After the temperature has reached (oven beeped), heat the pan for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
The last step is to assemble and bake. Have you got all the stuff lined up? Sauce? Cheese? Toppings? Are you ready for the pizza? Get your plates and cutting board set up because it will be ready in just 2 minutes!! With clean and dry hands, dust the wooden cutting board or pizza peel with flour. Put the fully rested pizza dough on the board and press and stretch gently into pizza crust shape. The thinner the crust the crispier it will get. Assemble the pizza as you will, and carefully shove the pizza on the pan (HOT!!!!!) and keep an eye on it. In 2 minutes or so, you’ll have yourself a fresh, most incredible pizza you’ll ever tasted. (Sorry, pizza deliver boy, you are fired!)