- Preheat your oven with pizza stone in place for at least an hour.
- Don't fuss over getting the crust round. Less fiddling is best, and it tastes the same regardless of the shape
- To prevent a soggy crust, instead of a sauce, take whole Italian plum tomatoes and press out most of the liquid between your hands, then lay the strips right on the crust.
My recipe uses a levain, or wild-yeast starter, which I highly recommend, but if you don't yet have one, increase the instant yeast to 1 tsp, and increase the all-purpose flour and water by 80 g each.
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas:
274 g all-purpose flour
48 g whole wheat flour
161 g levain
200 g water
9 g salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoon olive oil (1 teas in dough; 1 teas for brushing the finished crust)
12 ounces fresh mozerella
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
A handful of fresh basil leaves
Oregano for seasoning
- Feed starter at least 2 hours or night before beginning
- Combine all ingredients, and allow to rest (autolyse), covered, for 20-30 min.
- Knead by hand for 6-7 minutes or in a stand mixer on medium speed for 3 min. Dough should be silky and elastic.
- Place in oiled bowl; cover with oil-misted plastic wrap and allow to ferment at room temperature 4-5 hours (can also be refrigerated overnight and brought back to room temp)
- An hour before baking, preheat oven to 500 deg. F
- Divide in half. Press gently into a disk on a well-floured countertop, then get hands underneath and stretch out using your knuckles, moving the dough with little jumps.
- Drop onto a peel that is well dusted with cornmeal.
- Brush crust with the remaining olive oil
- Top with strips of tomatoes that you've squeezed most of the juice out of and that have been seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and oregano
- Add slices of mozzarella and basil leaves, if using. Optionally, sprinkle a little more olive oil over the top.
- Bake till top is bubbly and crust is browned. Don't be afraid of some charring. Most of us have a tendency to undercook pizza.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes before eating, or your skin on the roof of your mouth will come off like the peel of an orange. Trust me on this.