This pizza, inspired by the pillowy concoction made by Stephen Lanzalotta at Micucci Grocery in Portland, Maine, is a world away from fashionably thin Neopolitan-style pies. This is rich and gooey, with a slightly sweet-tart sauce, simple cheese topping and a flavorful crust that is crunchy and olive-oil-fried on the bottom and puffy inside. It's good party food for a hungry crowd, and very family-friendly.
To make sure you don't measure out too much bread flour, whisk it in the bag to aerate it, then scoop out a cup at a time, using a knife to level each portion.
Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours, then at room temperature for at least 90 minutes and up to 3 hours prior to being baked. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 12 - 16
- For the dough
- 4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting (see headnote)
- 2/3 cup semolina flour
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- For the sauce and topping
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
- 9 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
For the dough: Combine the bread and semolina flours, water, honey, half of the oil, the salt and yeast in a 4-quart or larger bowl. Stir together by hand until smooth. Let the dough stand for 30 minutes, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours to develop flavor.
Two hours before baking the pizza, let the dough sit at room temperature, still covered in plastic wrap, for at least 90 minutes and up to 3 hours.
While the dough is resting, make the sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft but not browned, 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and salt; increase the heat if needed so the mixture is barely bubbling. Cook until it thickens and reduces slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Stir in the sugar; taste, and add a little more if desired. Let cool to room temperature.
After the dough has rested, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of oil into an 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet, tilting the pan to coat it thoroughly. Dust a work surface with bread flour. Scrape the dough -- it will be very loose and amorphous -- out onto the surface, dust it liberally with flour, then use a bench scraper to lift and turn it over, without kneading the dough any further. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Use your hands to gently press and spread the dough so it fills the pan.
When the oven is hot, bake the unsauced, untopped pizza dough until it puffs and starts to become firm on top and is losing its shine, about 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and spoon the sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the sauce, and return the pizza to the oven. Bake until the pizza is dark brown around the edges and the cheese has melted and browned deeply in spots, about 20 minutes.
Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then cut it into rectangles and serve.
From Food Editor Joe Yonan, based on recipes in Lanzalotta's "The Diet Code" (Warner Wellness, 2006).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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