If you make your own pizza using homemade sauce and dough, the cost per pizza works out to less than $3 per serving.
A pizza stone placed directly on the oven floor is good to use here. Even if you use a premade crust, such as Boboli brand, preheat the oven to 500 degrees (the directions on the package may call for a lower temperature). If you use a premade crust and have no pizza stone, the bottom of your oven must be clean, because that is where the pie will be baked.
Make Ahead: The sauce yields 2 3/4 to 3 cups, which is enough for 3 pizzas. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. The dough can be assembled and allowed to rise in the refrigerator overnight.
Yield: Makes one 12-inch pizza
- For the sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes in puree, squished with your hands
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried greek oregano
- For the dough
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 small packet) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons room-temperature water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- For assembly
- 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 20 to 30 basil leaves, torn
For the sauce: Place a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat; when it is hot, add the oil. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until just golden. Add the tomatoes, water and oregano; increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is more orange than red and has come together. Reserve 3/4 cup of the sauce; cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Refrigerate (for up to 5 days) or freeze the remaining sauce for another use.
For the dough: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dampen a clean dish towel.
Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl and mix well. Add the oil just before combining with the flour mixture.
Combine the 2 flours, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture; knead on slow speed for about 10 minutes, until the dough is firm and smooth. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and top with the damp towel. Let rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
To work the dough, generously flour a work surface and dab your fingers in flour as well. Use your fingertips to press down into the center of the dough; use your hands to spread it outward in all directions. When the dough has doubled in width, roll it out to about 12 inches; don't worry if it isn't perfectly round. Return it to the lined baking sheet.
To assemble: Remove the lowest oven rack. If using a pizza stone, place it on the oven floor (if you have a bottom heating element, use the lowest oven rack); you'll need a pizza peel to place the pizza on the stone and to retrieve it. If using a premade crust, make sure your oven floor is clean. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, for at least 30 minutes.
Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce across the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin at the edges. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauce, then scatter the torn basil evenly on top. Put the baking sheet on the oven floor (or slide the prebaked crust directly onto the oven floor, or use the pizza peel to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone); bake for 7 or 8 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. Cut into large slices; serve immediately.
Adapted from "The Figs Table," by Todd English and Sally Sampson (Simon & Schuster, 1998).
Tested by Amanda Erickson.
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