Pizza is my favorite food. That sentence makes me sound like a twelve year old, but it's true. To clarify, I don't mean pizza from a so-called "pizza shop." I also am not talking about New York or Chicago style pizza. What I like are small, Italian pizzas with hand stretched dough and minimal toppings.
I discovered the Jim Lahey no-knead method for pizza dough at the same time that I discovered his bread. It's the same dough recipe that we use pretty much every time we make pizza. There are two versions. The quick, and the long. The quick version, used here is from the My Bread cookbook. It requires around three hours to rise. It's a great no-fuss recipe and takes only about five minutes to assemble. The long recipe from Jim Lahey's book My Pizza is similar, but rises for about 18 hours. The extra time may seem crazy, but the dough has a much richer, complex flavor than the quicker recipe. The only reason that I make the quick dough at this point is that we don't plan on eating pizza until the day of.
This pizza is classic Italian. Second in popularity only to the Margherita, it's a great recipe to try your hand at making an easy, tasty, authentic pizza.
500 grams Bread Flour
10 grams Yeast
5 grams Table Salt
3 grams Sugar
300 grams Water, room temperature
Use a food scale to measure out the ingredients. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Pour in the water and stir until just combined. Cover the bowl and let it sit in a warm location for 2 hours. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Split the dough into 2 equal pieces and let them sit, covered, for about 30 minutes prior to baking. At this point, you can wrap the dough and refrigerate up to a week, or freeze it up to a month.
Basic Tomato Sauce
1 28 ounce can of whole, peeled roma tomatoes
20 grams (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) fine sea salt
Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl. With your hands, squish the tomatoes until they are in small chunks. Whatever size you want to eat. This part is fun.
1 ball of Pizza Dough, shaped and waiting on a floured peel
70 grams (¼ cup) Basic Tomato Sauce
50 grams (about ¼ cup) Pork Sausage cooked
50 grams (about 1 3/4 ounces) fresh mozzarella, pulled into 5 clumps
40 grams (heaping ½ cup) thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
15 grams (about 1/8 cup) thinly sliced red onion, separated into ribbons
Pinch of chili flakes
Pinch of fine sea salt
Preheat the Oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone on the rack about 8 inches from the top of the oven. Switch to broil for 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza.
With the dough on the peel, spoon the tomato sauce over the surface and spread it evenly, leaving about an inch of the rim untouched. Place the sausage in small mounds around the pizza. Distribute the mozzarella over the pie. Arrange the mushrooms and onion evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the chili flakes and salt.
With quick, jerking motions, slide the pie onto the stone. Broil for about 4 minutes under gas (somewhat longer with an electric oven), until the top is bubbling and the crust is nicely charred but not burnt.
Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a tray or serving platter. Serve immediately. Eat this with a cheap chianti for maximum effect.