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Pizza recipe

Sun, 6 Aug 2006 08:23:40 EDT
Pizza made with a sponge and a long cool rise

Pizza Dough (Makes two 12" pizzas)

Overnight sponge

1 cup water
3/4 tsp dry yeast
1 1/4 dups unbleached all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, mix water and yeast and let stand a minute. Add 
flour to make thick mixture. Put in bread machine and close the 
cover. Allow to develop overnight.


1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 generous tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed is best)
1 tablespoon  stoneground cornmeal
1 cup semolina flour or pasta flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour

The next day, add water, salt, honey, olive oil, cornmeal and flours 
to bread machine and run "dough" or "pizza" setting. (Or mixer with 
dough hook - 8 minutes - Or with food processor, until a soft ball 
forms). Put completed dough in the refrigerator and allow to rise all day.

Tomato sauce

1/3 cup (or more) extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, as needed
2 medium  yellow onions
5 large shallots
6 large cloves garlic
1 28 oz can whole  plum tomatoes
2 medium (15 oz) cans DelMonte chopped tomatoes
1 small can Contadina tomato paste
Two heaping tablespoons Bertolli Pesto (in jar)

Thin slice and mince onions and shallots. Saute slowly in olive oil, 
stirring occasionally. When translucent and just beginning to 
carmelize, add 6 cloves minced garlic. Cook slowly over low heat 
until garlic becomes translucent.

Add can of plum tomatoes and break up tomatoes with spoon as they 
cook down - approx. 10 minutes. Add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes and 
tomato paste. Stir to thoroughly mix. Add pesto and continue to cook.

(Enough sauce will be left for a pasta dish the next day.)

Cheese topping

Grated Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan Reggiano and Grana Padano cheeses
Pinch of Penzey's turkish oregano over top of completed pie
A  little drizzle of olive oil over all


Put two tablespoons of stoneground cornmeal under the pie. I usually 
cook mine on a sheet of parchment paper, and when the weather allows, 
I cook it on the outdoor gas grill, which requires very little 
preheating and a very watchful eye as the pie cooks.

Spread olive oil over dough before putting tomato sauce on it, to 
keep dough from becoming soggy.

The center of the pie should have a  very thin layer of topping, so 
the center cooks completely and  properly.

Preheat oven to 450F and allow to preheat for 45 minutes. 
Cooking  time is approximately 10 minutes, turning pie around midway 
through cooking so crust is evenly browned.

Brush crust with a thin coating of olive oil when the pie comes out 
of the oven, to keep the crust tender and chewy.

Note: I whirl 3/4ths of the sauce (after cooking it down a bit) in 
the blender, until finely pureed - or liquified. I then return it to 
the original pot.

I believe you will find sauce thusly produced far out-distances 99% 
of the available commercial jarred fare.

A shot of vodka can even out a sauce that is missing "something", 
which this one isn't, but it's a nice tip to know.  Also, if you've 
added sausage to the sauce, you may want to consider adding a cup of 
red wine, which cuts the fat and adds a nice rich depth to the sauce.