Italian all over Italy, as well as their Italian-American cousins in America, love to make this tasty homemade pan pizza at home. It’s absolutely delicious, and a lot easier to make than you’d think. This is the basic recipe for a Pizza with Tomato & Mozzarella, and you can add other toppings like; Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, and / or Sweet Peppers if you like. You can even make some delicious Rosemary Focaccia by eliminating the tomato and mozzarella, and adding fresh Rosemary instead. Once you know how to make this basic pizza, you can do a lot of things with this recipe. so give it a shot. Make it a few times and you’ll become a pro, and a hit at the Friday Night Pizza Party, or anytime at all. Buon Apettio!
Ingredients for the Dough :
1 packet Dry Yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 cup Warm Water (about 110 degrees)
3 cups Bread Flour
2 tespoons Kosher Salt (or Sea Salt)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for dough & more for pan
You will need a Food Processor to make this dough.
Place the water, Sugar, and Yeast in a small bowl, stir it a little, then let it rest at room temperature until it starts to foam (about 10 minutes).
If your food processor has a plastic dough hook use that. If it doesn’t, then insert the metal cutting blade onto your processor.
Add the Flour and Salt to the food processor and pulse for 2 seconds.
Add the water / yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil to the processor.
Turn the processor on and let it run until the dough starts to form a ball, and is pulling away from the processor bowl. Then turn the processor on again, for exactly 30 seconds and stop.
Get a large glass or ceramic bowl and lightly coat the whole inside with some Olive Oil. Place the dough in the bowl and move it around so it gets coated completely with olive oil. If you need it, add a bit more olive oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the dough to rise for one hour, in a draft-space. Usually somewhere on the kitchen counter is fine.
After one hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes, your dough should have risen to double its original size. The dough is ready ro roll out and make pizza.
PIZZA TOPPING :
A jar of Italian Passata di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce)
½ pound whole milk Mozzarella Cheese (Polly-O)
¼ cup grated Pecorino Cheese
8 Basil Leaves, torn by hand
Note : Passata di Pomodro is puree of Italian Tomatoes, aka Tomato Sauce. I recommend getting a good quality Italian product like, Mutti, or anything labeled San Marzano for best results.
MAKING THE PIZZA
You will need a half sheet pan (16.5” x 11.5” ) to make the Pizza.
Turn your oven on to 400 degrees.
Place 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in the sheet-pan, and spread with your fingers so the whole bottom surface of the pan has a thin coat of oil.
Remove your dough from the bowl and place it in the center of the sheet-pan. Pussh the dough down with your hand, and push and stretch the dough until it forms into the size of the pan, and is completely covering the bottom of the pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest inside the pan for 10 minutes.
Take a spoon and spread enough of the tomato passata (tomato sauce) over most of the pizza dough, leaving a half inch around all sides without tomato, as a border that pizzas always have.
Drizzle a couple tablespoons of Olive Oil over the pizza. Sprinkle a little Salt over the whole pizza.
Sprinkel the grated Pecorino Romano Cheese evenly over the whole pizza.
Evenly spread all the torn Basil over the pizza.
Then evnenly spread shredded mozzarella evenly over the pie. Don’t over do it with the cheese. There should be spots where ther is just tomato and no cheese over it. You don’t want the cheese to completely cover the pied or it will be out of balance.
Place the Pizza in the oven and bake for about 16 to 20 minutes, until the crust looks nicely browned. Serve and enjoy.
Note : Naturally you can add other toppings to this basic tomato pizza, such as Pepperoni, Sausage, or Mushrooms, whatever you like.
You can make tasty basic focaccia by not adding the tomato and cheese as the toppings on the dough. Instead, add a little more olive oil, some extra Kosher or Sea Salt sprinkled on top. Then add some chopped fresh Rosemary on top, throw it in the oven and bake, and you’ll have some tasty Rosemary Foccacia.