Are you craving a rich and chewy crispy bottom pizza with those crunchy dark spots and flavorful well-developed dough? So was I, as my favorite pizza place here in New York City closed down a couple weeks ago. As I am not a fan of bad food and frozen pizza belongs to this category, I developed my own recipe for a perfect pizza that will turn out perfect every time. And honestly, I have to modestly say that it tastes at least as good as the one in my favorite pizza restaurant.
You only need a couple of minutes to mix the dough. Everything else then leave to yeasts which will work-out the dough overnight in the fridge so you’ll get a very flavorful dough in the morning. Perhaps the biggest secret is how to actually bake your pizza to get the best result possible. As most of us don’t have a proper fire-wood oven in our tiny New York apartments 🙂 we need to get the best from a regular oven. Here, the advantage is to have a fire oven rather than an electric one. Make sure to preheat your oven at least 30 minutes before you bake your pizza. Place the pizza dough on a top of a deep baking tray turned upside down. This way you create a space where hot air is trapped between the bottom of your oven and the pizza. This will result in a paradise – crispy bottom with some dark (and slightly burned) spots and chewy dough.
(for one pizza, baking tray size 25x33cm)
10g Fresh Yeasts
Tablespoon Olive Oil
Topping of your preference
- In a small bowl mix together fresh yeasts, 50g of warm (not hot) water, sugar, and 20g of flour. Make sure to properly dissolve your yeasts to create a homogenous mixture with no flour lumps. Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes
- Into the bowl of your standing mixer (if you don’t have a mixer then into the big bowl) dump rest of the flour, salt, rest of the water, tablespoon of olive oil, and yeast mixture. Slightly mix everything together and then knead for 5 minutes (longer if you’re kneading with your hand) until you get an elastic, homogenous dough. Cover the bowl with a cling foil and put it into the fridge overnight (or up to three days in an airtight container)
- Take the dough out of the fridge some 2 hours before you want to bake the pizza. Let it just sit in the bowl at room temperature. You can push and pull and punch down your dough when you walk around here and there to remove the bubbles inside.
- Once you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to a maximum temperature it allows (mine was 550º Fahrenheit). Turn your deep baking tray upside down and sprinkle some coarse flour on it. Slightly dust a workspace with flour, place your dough in the middle of it and create a disk. Using your fingers, press the middle of the disk and lift the dough and slowly and carefully start turning it around to prolong it this way. Be careful not to tear your dough. If you do, don’t worry, you can patch it with some excessive dough. If it tears a lot, start again more carefully.
- Once your dough is big enough to cover your baking tray place it on and stretch it to all corners. Then spread tomato sauce and topping on the top and bake it for 5-7 minutes at the bottom of the oven. Cut and enjoy beautiful and flavorful homemade pizza
My favorite pizza topping
I love to prepare homemade tomato sauce that is great not only for pizza but pasta or baked vegetables as well. It’s super easy and tastes so much better than pre-made one, not talking about the nutrient content. I like to use small sweet tomatoes, don’t have to be cherry tomatoes, but smaller ones are usually sweeter ones. Cut your tomatoes and a couple of garlic cloves on halves, place them on a baking pan, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with Italian herbs and salt. Bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until slightly dark on the top. Let them cool down a bit and transfer into the blender (remove the skin from the garlic). Blend but not until very smooth, I like my sauce to have small pieces of tomato and garlic in it. Transfer the sauce on the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to evaporate excess water. Add salt, olive oil, and spices as needed. Spread the sauce on the pizza dough and top with fresh mozzarella cheese. My favorite one is a mozzarella made fresh daily at Esposito Meat Market. Bake it for 4 minutes, after that add some prosciutto on top and bake for another 2 minutes. When the pizza is ready, place fresh arugula on at the top and enjoy.