With Coronavirus came the bread making craze of 2020. In March, at the beginning of quarantine, I jumped on that bandwagon when I bought 100 lbs of flour and a pound of yeast. I worked over the next few months to perfect my focaccia recipe. Then over summer I became obsessed with making pizza in my grill top pizza box. What I quickly realized is that the entire process of getting the right gluten formation in the dough, then getting the pie dough nice and thin and then cooking the multiple pies took too much of my time. I love pizza but was tired of making pizza. Then I remembered my husband saying that on his last trip to NYC he had Roman pizza and was blown away. A couple of google searches later I determined Roman pizza was very similar to focaccia but with delicious topping on it. Focaccia is delicious- with it's crispy crust baked in olive oil and salt. The dough is relative easy to make and proof. There is no kneading involved and no pulling the pie crusts to form individual pizzas. It just takes a little work in the morning and then it's all downtime while the dough rises. So my love for pizza and making pizza was reborn.
To make the dough use this recipe . My one tip is that I don't think it is necessary to refrigerate the dough for 2-3 days. A slow proof add flavor, which is great for bread but with all the flavor of the sauce, cheese, and stopping I just don't think it is necessary. Instead make the dough in the morning, allow it to rise all day, and then a couple hours before dinner put it in a half sheet pan for it's final proof.
1 can of tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more if you want it spicier
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
Add these ingredients to a blender and blend until pureed.
A couple hours before dinner grease a non stick baking pan with olive oil and liberally sprinkle kosher salt onto the pan. Then place the dough onto the pan. Pull the dough to fill the pan but don't over stretch and break it. If it isn't pulling or contracting back, then allow the dough to rest and try again in 20-30 minutes. Eventually the dough will fill the pan and start to rise.
I like to use a whole milk mozzarella and cut the cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Then I push the cheese into the dough. Then top with ample sauce. It is imperative to put a lot of sauce onto this pizza because it makes it delicious but this is a think doughy pizza and you need that sauce to balance the dough.
Then pre-heat and oven to 500 degrees and bake on the lower rack for 40 minutes, or until the dough is golden. IF you are adding toppings that need to cook like salami or sausage you can put them on the pizza after its been cooking for 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes I add fresh mozzarella and let it gently melt onto the pizza. I remove the pizza from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove and place onto a baking sheet.
In the photo above, I made two pizzas- one cheese and one salami and roasted red pepper. My go to topping for my cheese pizza slice is arugula and prosciutto! Give it a try, it's fantastic.