I’m fairly certain I’ve discovered the best possible scenario to end my week.
This week, next week – every week. For the rest of my life. Friday nights won’t ever be the same.
Yes, this is kind of a big deal. You’ve heard me talk about making pizza at home before – it’s one of my favorite things to do. The pizza provides a meal to feed us, but it’s the activity of making it that brings something else to the checkered tablecloth-covered table.
I’ve officially named this pizza dough recipe, chosen by Niki for this week’s episode of The Food Matters Project, our new Friday night meal plan. Now, this is not a thin crust pizza – which is usually my favorite, or should I say, is what used to be my favorite. What I’ve learned is that you need a pizza oven to get that perfectly thin and crispy crust. I’m over trying to perfect that at home now that I’ve discovered this beast of a dough.
To start, it’s (mostly) whole wheat. Meaning we can feel like our pizza is healthy – or at the very least, healthier. But what really makes tis crust is how it tastes, coupled with the fact that it’s completely foolproof. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make it – just dump a few ingredients into a bowl in the morning and mix, and hours later – at least 6 of them – you’re ready to roll.
Or should I say, press? You press the dough right into a rimmed sheet pan, it fits perfectly, and best of all – it actually stays put where you press it, without retracting! The other significant difference with this dough compared to other recipes I’ve made is the heavy hand with the oil. I covered my sheet pan in olive oil before baking, and the dough also gets another drizzle on top before the toppings are added. I think it’s the oil down under that really crisps up this crust in a way I’d never dreamed imaginable.
Yes, it’s that good.
Which is why I’m thinking I need to make this dough just about every week. I can mix the dough in the morning on Friday before work, and then dinner’s practically done when I get home; adding the toppings and baking it takes no time at all.
Just enough time, in fact, to enjoy a glass of Chianti.
Get the recipe for the dough here, and then either top it your way or follow my directions for Grandma’s pizza below. For even more inspiration, click here to see how the rest of group topped their pizzas.
What’s Grandma’s pizza, you ask? It’s only Daniel’s favorite thing ever. I actually have to thank him for the idea, because when I told him I was making pizza for TFMP, this was his suggestion. At first, I was bored with it – but then I gave in. (Truth be told, I believe I was hungover at the time and too lazy to dream up something more creative.)
I think Grandma’s pizza is a Long Island thing, but I’m sure most New Yorkers have heard of it. It’s basically pizza prepared backwards: The cheese goes on first, and then pockets of tomato sauce are placed strategically on top. There’s also a lot of garlic happening on a Grandma’s pizza, that’s for sure.
It seems totally simple, and it is – but there’s something about it that just screams comfort food. It’s pizza made with love. I mean, it’s called “Grandma’s” after all … What’s more comforting that that?
- 1 prepared No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, drained
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Generous pinch sugar and kosher salt to taste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- ½ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
- ¼ – ½ cup grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano
- Prepare pizza dough as directed here. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Heat oil in a skillet or pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until soft, 2 or 3 minutes. Add drained tomatoes, gently breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring to combine with the garlic and oil. Add basil, oregano, red pepper, and sugar and salt to taste (there’s no telling how sweet the tomatoes will be, so it’s a must to taste them here for sugar). Allow to cook for 10 minutes or so while you’re preparing the rest of your pizza.
- On top of your dough that has been pressed to cover your baking pan and lightly oiled, sprinkle shredded cheese evenly – leaving a bit of room around the border for a crust. Scatter sliced mozzarella over the shredded cheese. Spoon tomato mixture in holes where there is no sliced mozzarella.
- Sprinkle Parmigianno-Reggiano evenly over the pizza. Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, until golden-brown.