Why would I make a pizza from scratch when I could just call Dominoes and get one delivered? I’m glad you asked. This masterpiece of a pizza will make any pizza you can buy taste like cardboard by comparison. Also, it is cheaper, more customizeable, and more enjoyable than anything you could buy. With all that said, let’s get cooking.
Bread Flour – 500 grams (regular flour works almost as well)
Kosher Salt – 16 grams
Active Yeast – ¼ teaspoon
Ice Water – 350 milliliters
Olive Oil – several teaspoons
Garlic – one clove
Red Pepper Flakes – 1 tablespoon
Oregano – 2 teaspoons
Yellow Onion – ½ onion
Mozzarella – 1 large brick
Basil – 6 leaves
Dough: This no-knead dough takes less than five minutes to make and is better than anything you can buy in a store.
Start by adding 500 grams (about 4 cups) of flour to a large mixing bowl. Bread flour will give you the best texture and flavor in pizza dough, but regular flour will work just fine.
Next, add 16 grams (about 2 ¾ teaspoons) of kosher salt to and ¼ teaspoon of yeast to the flour. Whisk until everything is evenly incorporated
To finish off the dough, add 350 milliliters of water to the bowl. Fold with a rubber spatula until a shaggy, sticky dough forms. DO NOT use your hands, the dough will stick to them and you will lose about an eighth of your dough and get pizza monster hands. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. If you don’t have a rubber spatula, I have found that a wooden spoon coated in flour works almost as well.
Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest and rise at room temperature for AT LEAST 24 hours. You can greatly improve the flavor of this dough by letting it cold ferment in your refrigerator for two to four days, but 24 hours at room temperature is the bare minimum rest the dough needs before it is ready to bake.
Sauce: This 45-minute pizza sauce is fresher and more flavorful than anything you can buy in a jar, but feel free to use a pre-made sauce if you are short on time or spend more time making a more complex sauce if you have a better recipe.
In a saucepan, heat up a little less olive oil than it takes to cover the bottom of the pan and heat until the oil is shimmering.
Once the oil is shimmering, add one clove of roughly chopped garlic and half of a roughly diced small yellow onion and keep over medium heat until fragrant. Once you are really smelling the garlic, let a tablespoon of red pepper flakes sit in the pan for about 20 seconds before adding the 24-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes to the party. Add two teaspoons of oregano and three leaves of basil before letting the sauce sit on low heat for at least 45 minutes. The sauce will develop more flavor the longer it sits like this, so I recommend about 2 hours for the flavors to get to know each other.
Once the sauce is finished sitting, pour it into a blender and pulse blend it for about 2 seconds. This should be enough to break down the tomatoes but not so much that the sauce is unpleasantly liquidy.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, put it in. If you don’t have a pizza stone, coat a cookie sheet with olive oil and put your pizza on that.
Turn out your pizza dough onto a thoroughly floured workspace with thoroughly floured hands. Cut it into two parts for two decent-sized pizzas.
The first step in forming the dough balls into a pizza shape is to push them against your workspace until they make a biscuit shape. If that doesn’t give you the shape you are looking for, thoroughly flour your palms and knuckles before picking the dough up by its edge and slowly rotating it with both of your hands. Let gravity pull the dough down as you pass the dough hand to hand. Don’t worry if you rip or otherwise mess up the dough, just reform it into a ball and start over again. Once you have a satisfactory pizza shape, set the pizza down and grab a ladle.
Before you ladle the sauce onto the pizza, make sure you know what kind of pizza you want. The more space between the sauce and the edge of the pizza, the bigger the crust you will get. A good rule of thumb for crust size is the rule of three, meaning the part of the pizza that you leave uncovered by sauce will expand about 3 times in the oven.
After ladling on the sauce, it’s cheese time. DO NOT buy pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is covered in potato starch and talcum powder to prevent sticking. Pre-shredded cheese will mess up the texture, flavor, and consistency of your pizza. Non-shredded cheese is cheaper anyways. These 30 seconds of extra work will result in an infinitely better pizza
Low-moisture mozzarella is the most important cheese in a pizza. Most pizzas are made with only low-moisture mozzarella because it is cheaper and easier, but adding other cheeses to the mix can greatly improve a pizza’s flavor. Asiago, Reggagio, and Romano are three cheeses that work very well on pizza in larger amounts, while parmesan adds plenty of flavor in smaller quantities. Make sure the cheese covers all but the outer sliver of tomato sauce.
With all that said and done, it is time to put the pizza in the oven. If you have a pizza peel, you have probably been making pizza long enough that you don’t need me to tell you how to use it. If you don’t have a pizza peel, we’re in the same boat. I usually take the pizza stone out of the oven, set it down on the stove, quickly flour the pizza stone and place the pizza on it before putting it right back in the oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone, grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and plop the pizza down on that before you put it in the oven. After about 12 minutes, you should have a beautiful, delicious pizza waiting to be eaten.
If you have any questions about this recipe or requests for future recipes, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org