I am going to tell you. SUPER SIMPLE! And soooo worth the time!
4 heaping cups of all purpose flour
handful of sugar (I use organic, non bleached, granulated sugar)
1 pkg of Italian yeast (HERE is where I get mine)
fine sea salt
2 cups of really warm water
Okay... First things first. My pizza is my pizza, I believe, because of this wonderful machine... My Kitchen Aid Mixer!
But if you don't have one... you can still do this too!
Start with 4 HEAPING cups of all purpose flour. Mine is a huge mix of flours, whole wheat, organic all purpose, semolina... whatever.... its good!
Put that in your mixing bowl and add a small handful of salt
A handful of sugar (the amount is totally up to your tastebuds)
Package of yeast... seriously, get this yeast, it is the best for pizza!
I think if I could find fresh yeast, the pizza would probably be so good it would make you cry!!!!
I use a whisk to mix it all together. Get the yeast distributed.
Now, put your 2 cups of water in the microwave for about 60 seconds... I know this is hot. Some people may argue it is too hot for the yeast, but for me, it works. So, whatever your heart tells you, you go for it! ;)
(If you don't have the mixer, add you oil and water in a well in the middle of the flour mix, and begin mixing with your hands. Once the dough comes together, move it to your floured countertop and knead it for 10 minutes, pushing and pulling and folding. Keep extra flour near for dusting.)
I add the dough hook on my mixer and start it up! I set mine to the lowest, slowest level. You want to knead the dough... not beat it.
Now, while its turning or kneading... add your oil. Call me crazy, but I count to three. That's how much oil I use, to the count of three.
While that is getting into your flour, I add in the very warm water
Here is what it looks like while its mixing. I mix the dough for about 6 minutes.
Some doughs may be more wet and some more sticky and some more stretchy. I think alot of it has to do with the water you use (I use tap water) and your altitude and the weather. But anyway, its always good!!!
If it is terribly too sticky, you can throw in a handful of flour, no worries!
Once the dough is ready
Flour your work surface. I use a big hunk of wood, but a countertop or a table would work just fine!
Get all the dough out of the mixer and put it on the flour.
I fold and press the dough about 3 or 4 times
Then I make a ball with the dough before I cut it up.
Okay... now you cut it up into smaller workable pieces for whatever pans you are going to use. I use whatever I have. Cookie sheets, pizza pans I got from my mother in law, cake pans... whatever!
Now, I begin rolling out my dough.
Now, I roll out my dough to the shape of the pan I am using. Here I am using my cookie sheet... sort of nostalgic for me, kind of like the pizza my mom would make when I was little.
I like my pizza thin and crispy, so I make each piece smaller. But you can cut that ball in half and use 2 cookie sheets for a nice, thicker, crunchy crust.
Make sure that you grease your pan... but not too much. I spray a little olive oil on mine. (Pam or put a dab of olive oil on it and spread it with a napkin)
Since your surface is dusted, it should be fairly easy to pick up. Just run your hand under it and don't let it fold on itself. Mine is never the exact size of the pan... no worries, just stretch it to fit. Stretch and press.
And here you go!
I cover it up and let it rise for like 2 hours, or more if I have the time. But 2 is PLENTY!
2 hours later... here it is!
Set oven to 500F. The oven HAS to be hot when you put the pizza in. I cook focaccia or white pizza for 8 minutes and pizza with sauce and cheese for 10-12 min. The thinner it is, the less time you need. But you know your oven better than anyone, so just watch what happens after 8 minutes and get your pizza how you want it.
I like mine crunchy on the bottom, so I will sometimes take it out of the pan once its ready and slide it on the lowest rack for 1 minute. Gives the bottom a nice toasty crunch!
If you want to hit it with a 1 minute broil to get the cheese really good and cooked, go for it!
Now.... it is really up to you what you do with the pizza!
You can sprinkle some olive oil, salt and fresh rosemary on it for a FABULOUS focaccia. Or you can go traditional with pizza sauce and cheese.
Super Simple Pizza Sauce!
(if you are actually making a pizza now, pre heat your oven up to 500F now)
San Marzano Tomatoes (okay, you can use Del Monte or whatever, but just use the kind that is JUST tomatoes. No spices. Just canned goodness.)
First I put the tomatoes in the blender and blend it on the chop option.
After you chop it, add salt
And Olive Oil (as much or as little as you want. I count to 2)
Then I use the mix option on the mixer for a quick turn to get the oil and salt all together. I don't cook my sauce. It is such a thin layer and it cooks on the pizza. Plus I like it with that fresh tomato taste.
I put about 7 or 8 TBSP on the prepared dough.
Spread it around with your spoon. You can really do this as thick as you want. But, in Italy, sauce is usually not overwhelming on a pizza and I developed a taste for that. I like my sauce simple, delicious and light.
Put as much mozzarella as you want. Fresh is best for sure. But I am using shredded today.
Put it in a hot oven (500F) for about 15 minutes.
I try to make my pizza earlier in the day and then pop it back in the oven right before we eat, without a pan, just to crisp it up. I just think the second time it is cooked, it is better. But that is just me!
(The round pizza has grilled zucchini and parmesan on top of the tomato sauce and mozzerella. I add the parm after I take the pizza out of the oven. I love that to be fresh.)
It is so good, you'll think you just got pizza from Rome!