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Pizza, Grandma style


From Bon Appetit, Oct. 2014 (Gene's noted adaptation)

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  • Toppings:
  • Pizza Sauce
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 anchovies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • (gene added) 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pizza Dough
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast ( about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 cup water (105-110 degrees)
  • pinch sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 tablespoons more for to spread on the cookie sheet.(the bon-appetit recipe called for 1/4 cup but that was way too much.)
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, plus more depending on taste (some grated and some sliced)
  • pepperoni, basil leaves, your choice.



Step 1

In a food processor:
Plush until smooth the drained tomatoes, anchovies( can use anchovy paste about two teaspoons), garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons olive oil and the 1/4 cup basil leaves. Gene adds two tablespoons of tomato paste for richness.(Can be made up to two days before,stored in an airtight container, refrigerate, but set out to room temperature for about one hour prior to use.

Pizza Dough:
Combine active dry yeast and 1 1/2 cups warm water ( 105-110 degrees) in large mixing bowl. Add the pinch of sugar and let sit for about 10 minutes until yeast starts to foam.

Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil then two cups all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Add another 2 cups of all-purpose flour, a cup at a time, mixing until incorporated and shaggy dough forms.

Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until soft, smooth and elastic, about 10-12 minutes. You may need to add more flour to keep from sticking.

Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the lighted oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and chill for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Putting it all together:

Coat an 18-13 rimmed backing or cookie sheet with about two tablespoons of oil, making sure to spread an even layer around the bottom and up the rims.

Gently and gradually stretch dough until it reaches the edges of backing sheet.The dough will be a bit oily but that is just fine. (if dough springs back or is stiff to work with, let it rest 10- minutes before continuing, making sure that any holes in the dough are covered or pinched shut) Gene's note: I pulled it as far as I could, but it continued to spring back, until I let it sit for ten minutes and then it was almost to all of the sides and corners.

Cover the dough while on the backing sheet with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place ( about 70 degrees) until it is puffed and full of air bubbles, 30-40 minutes. Gene's note: my dough puffed but never bubbled and during the 30 minutes that I let it rise on the top of the stove I pushed it down with my finger tips.

Classic Grandma Pizza:

Place rack on lower third of oven and preheat to 525 degrees.

Once dough has risen on backing sheet, top with fresh mozzarella , grated and dot pie with 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Back pie until golden brown and crisp on bottom and sides about 20-30 minutes.Let cool slightly and serve.

Gene's Pizza:

Once dough has risen spread about 2/3rds of the prepared sauce over the pie and smooth it out covering all of the dough. Top with grated mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Take the sliced mozzarella cheese and dot the pie. Take remaining sauce and dot over the pie. Back in pre-heated 525 degree oven. ( I also put a pizza stone on the top rack during the pre-heating to add more heat to the top of the pie.

Bake for 25 minutes or until brown and crispy on the sides and bottom.


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