How to Make Pizza With Toppings on the Crust

The greatest gift home cooking can give is happiness, and few things make people happier than a slice of pizza. So, on this National Pepperoni Pizza Day, I’d like to talk about how easy it is to make pizza at home – even a fully loaded monster toppings with toppings.

Whatever anxiety or skepticism you may have about homemade pizza, I promise it doesn’t have to be that way. To make a truly fantastic pizza, you don’t need a special million dollar oven, or an unusual stainless steel sheet, or a pizza stone, or even a cast iron skillet ; if all you have is an aluminum sheet baking sheet and a regular oven, you still get this. You don’t have to ferment the dough for three days or grind your own garden tomatoes for the sauce (unless you really want to). The no-kneading quick dough and lightly cooked sauce are the perfect base for any crazy fillings your soul desires.

But the real reason for making pizza at home is that it’s the most enjoyable secret way to clean out the sad fridge, combining the pleasure of using forgotten food leftovers and a rush of dopamine when ordering delivery. And for me one style reigns supreme: the modest nonna – or grandmother’s – pie.

Over the years, I have become a nonna pie lover and I am here to convert you. If you’re the type of person who would rather argue about what to eat and what not to eat than a bunch of delicious carbs, cheese, and tomato sauce, this suggestion might upset you. First, my homemade pizza is rectangular, not round. The sauce is thick, heavily garlic, and – I’m not sorry – seasoned with a lot of sugar and then laid on top of the cheese . The crust is closer to the thick end of the spectrum, mostly fried on the bottom and stuffed with a hard rim of sticky elastic mozzarella. In all fairness, this pizza is made to instantly jump back to the days when Pizza Hut’s low-budget parties were the highlight of your social calendar. Some will find it delightful (me!), While others will find it unpleasant or perhaps pedestrian. These people are definitely not going to be invited to my pizza party.

For the rest, I have great news. If you can stir the dough and fry the garlic, you can make a pizza from scratch at home. The dough sets in about five minutes and rises in less than two hours, but you can also refrigerate it for a few days if you like. The sauce lasts no more than 20 minutes and can be prepared while the dough is rising or a few days before. A few small adjustments to the equipment and technique, such as placing the grate on the oven floor and adding the sauce over the cheese and filling, ensure that even the weakest oven always produces perfectly cooked crispy bottom pies. … Once you grasp the basics, this recipe will become a staple in your repertoire. Perhaps soon you too will be storing a slice of cheap mozzarella in the fridge and a bucket of pizza sauce in the freezer just in case of unexpected pizza evenings.

Light stuffed pizza with crust

If you think homemade pizza is a challenge for the day, this recipe should change your mind; You can get the perfect hot pizza ready to eat in just over two hours. Preparing the dough and sauce a few days in advance saves cooking time, but keep in mind that cold dough takes longer to relax and fill the mold.

For the test:

  • 5 cups (650 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 3 teaspoons table salt
  • Granulated sugar 3 teaspoons
  • 2 cups (450 grams) warm water (90-100 ° F or lukewarm to the touch)
  • 1/4 cup (50-55 g) extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup (50-55 g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, plus more to taste
  • (Optional) Dried oregano, marjoram, rosemary, or other herbs to taste.
  • 1 28 oz can of tomatoes, any variety
  • Pinch of baking soda

To stuff the crust and make the pizza:

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 box of 12 ounce cheese sticks
  • 1 / 2-3 / 4 sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated hard cheese such as Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
  • 8-10 ounces mozzarella, fresh or low in moisture, grated or torn into pieces
  • Choice of fillings (I like pepperoni, jalapenos and pineapple)

Prepare the dough first: Whisk all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add water and oil and stir with a flexible spatula until all the flour is absorbed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it becomes noticeably plump and bubbly but doubles in size.

Lightly oil your hands. Pull the handfuls of dough up from the bottom of the bowl by stretching them at the top and pressing them towards the center. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat until you have a rough-looking ball. Turn the entire ball over and replace the plastic wrap. At this point, you can let the dough rise for another 45 minutes or an hour, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

While the dough is rising, make the sauce. Pour the olive oil into a cold Dutch-style heavy-bottomed skillet and add the garlic. Raise the heat to medium-low and cook for three to five minutes, until the garlic sizzles and browns around the edges. Add tomato paste and heat to medium. Cook for another five minutes or so, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add red pepper, salt, sugar, herbs and tomatoes, crushing them with the back of a spoon, if whole. Cover and bring sauce to a simmer over medium to high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for ten minutes. If necessary, smooth out the sauce with a blender, then simmer with the lid closed for another five minutes or so – it should be quite thick. Add baking soda (it will neutralize the sour tinny taste of canned tomatoes), then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Let the sauce cool until you are ready to make the pizza. You can also make your pizza 3 or 4 days earlier and store it in the refrigerator, or make a double batch and freeze half for future pizza incidents.

It’s time to put together the pizza. Place the wire shelf as close to the bottom of the oven as possible. For gas ovens, this means right at the bottom of the oven; for electric ovens, this probably means the lowest rung. Place another wire rack in the top third and preheat oven to 475ºF.

Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a half-size aluminum baking sheet or any aluminum skillet about 18 “by 13”. Scrape the dough directly into the butter puddle in the skillet and turn over several times so that the butter is evenly coated. Press down on the dough with your fingers and stretch it out to form a rough rectangle; it hasn’t gotten to the brim yet and that’s okay.

Let it sit for 20-30 minutes — say, while you run to the store for ranch dressing and ginger ale to complete your pizza party menu — and try again. Repeat as necessary. (If the dough came out of the refrigerator, this part will take up to two hours; you can cover the dough with plastic wrap while it heats up.)

Once the dough fills the mold easily, press 10 strips of cheese into the sides: 3 on the long side, 2 on the short side. Leave small gaps between the chopsticks as needed.

Now, gently pull the edges of the dough up and over the cheese sticks, tucking, rolling and pressing everything together as hard as possible – you really want to seal them there. Fold the base of the dough with a fork over the entire surface.

Spread as thin a layer of sauce as possible; I only used 3 tablespoons. Sprinkle with most of the grated hard cheese, then all the mozzarella, then your filling. Add some (or all!) Of the remaining sauce on top and finish with the rest of the hard cheese.

Brush the crust with olive oil, then place the pizza in the oven on the lower rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until boiling and browning. Transfer to the top wire rack and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the crust and filling. Place the skillet on a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

Slice the pizza into large squares and serve with all the pizza party supplies: any leftover pizza and ranch sauce in the crust dip bottles, hot sauce (I mean Frank’s Red Hot, the only hot pizza sauce) and a 2 liter bottle of soda, or more beer. Ice cream is optional, but if it’s a party why not give it your all? (I didn’t do it this time and I’m sorry about it. I think next time I’ll have to catch up.)


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