I love making homemade pizza. It’s been a “Sunday staple” at our house for quite some time. Over the years, I’ve created a sort of Sicilian and Neapolitan-style hybrid. This happened by accident when trying to copycat a Mellow Mushroom recipe. Personally, I love the chewiness of a Neapolitan, and the flavor of a Sicilian – and this dough brings the two together wonderfully. Yields two 12-14 inch pizzas.
Table of Contents
Day 1: Activate Yeast
- 1 1/2 cup (355 g) of Spring Water
- 1 tsp (4 g) of Sugar
- 2 tsp (6 g) of Active Dry Yeast (Instant works too)
OK, the photos show Instant Yeast. And it works, but you’re not really supposed to hydrate Instant Yeast (that’s why it’s “instant”). I recommend using Active Dry Yeast instead…
A large batch of Pizza Sauce is really easy to make! You can knock it out while the Yeast is activating and throw it in the freezer. Also, don’t simmer the pizza sauce on a stove like Grandma used to, that’s actually wrong!
Canned tomatoes are cooked while being canned AND you’re going to cook the sauce on a pizza, in a 550F oven. So, do your sauce a favor and don’t cook it a third time on the stovetop. (Sorry Granny!)
Making the sauce on Day 1 will ensure all the ingredients have a chance to combine and mingle, resulting in maximum flavor.
- 20oz can of Crushed Tomatoes
- 4oz can of Tomato Paste
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Stir.
Freeze the sauce in small Tupperware containers. For your next pizza night, just take a container of pizza sauce out of the freezer a few hours before dinner, and let it thaw on the countertop.
- 4 cups (560 g) of Bread or 00 flour
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 g) Kosher or Sea Salt
- 1 tsp (5 g) Basil and Oregano (optional)
Make the pizza dough
Let it rise
Day 2: Baking Day
Pizza Dough Prep
This is where it will differ from household to household. I’ve spent entirely too much money on pizza-baking kitchen goodies, like a high-quality pizza stone, pans, peel, a roul’pat, etc. This is my hobby, and worth the extra expense. I will provide basic instructions. Please feel free to make it your own at this point and have fun!
Cook That Pie!
Q) Why spring water?
A) Because tap water contains chlorine, which inhibits yeast. If you don’t have any, it’s OK…this time.
Q) Why bread or 00 flour?
A) Because pizza dough needs to be stretchable. The higher protein content in these flours makes the dough stronger and more playful. I recommend Antimo Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour.
Q) My dough won’t rise!?
A) It’s either because your yeast is dead, there is too much salt, or it has nothing to eat. Yes, you can kill the yeast. Salt inhibits yeast. Sugar is yeast’s favorite food. Give the yeast a treat, man!
Q) Why the rising overnight? I’m hungry now.
A) Yeast eats sugar and poops carbon dioxide/alcohol. Yeast droppings force the dough to rise and give it flavor. The more time we give the yeast to eat and poop, the better your dough will taste. If you can’t wait, have one delivered!
Q) Why is the oven so hot?
A) High heat is how we achieve a crisp crust with a chewy center. Cooking slowly at a low temperature would result in a soggy, limp pizza. Yuck!
Q) What pizza stone do you use?
A) Emile Henry
Q) What about your pizza peel?
Q) And that cool-looking silicone mat?
Over the years I’ve read a lot of books, blog posts, and watched many YouTube videos trying to hone the craft. One of the most influential pizzaiolos, is 13-time World Pizza Champion, Chef Tony Gemignani. His book The Pizza Bible has inspired me more than most.
I would also highly recommend reading Peter Reinhart’s, Artisan Breads Every Day and Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast to really gain a deep understanding of why these simple ingredients are so wonderful together, or as I call it “Bread Porn”.