- BASIC PIZZA DOUGH:
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves julienned or coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 pound mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 2 1/2 cups flour - (to 3) plus more if necessary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 500 degrees and, if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and process until smooth. Divide sauce between the 2 pizzas and smooth to spread evenly, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the edges of the dough. Sprinkle basil leaves on top of sauce and then top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Finally, divide mozzarella slices between 2 pizzas, and bake for about 8 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the edges are golden brown.
Basic Pizza Dough: In a large bowl, combine yeast with water, olive oil, salt and stir well to proof. After 5 minutes, add half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly incorporate. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2- or 3-quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.
Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a thickness of 1/4-inch.
This recipe yields 2 (12-inch) pizzas for 4 to 6 servings.