2 Amys owner Peter Pastan remembers that the Tabard Inn kitchen, back in the mid-1980s when he worked there, used to make pizza dough with buckwheat. It was an easy way to add flavor to the crust when there wasn't time for the dough to ferment for 24 hours or more.
San Marzano tomatoes and Italian "00" flour can be purchased at Vace Italian Delicatessen in Bethesda and the District, at the Italian Store in Arlington and at Fresh Market stores. You’ll need a pizza stone and pizza peel for this recipe.
Make Ahead: The dough can be prepared up to 48 hours in advance and allowed to ferment in the refrigerator. It needs to rest at room temperature for 2 hours before it’s rolled out. The sauce can be refrigerated a day in advance.
Yield: Makes three 10-inch pizzas
- For the dough
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets of Red Star brand)
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 3 cups Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Cornmeal, for dusting
- For the sauce and toppings
- 28 ounces canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained and seeded
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 12 ounces hot italian sausage (fresh; casings removed)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into thick slices
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 leaves basil, stacked, rolled tightly, then cut into very thin strips (chiffonade)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- Olive oil, for drizzling
For the dough: Stir the yeast into 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water so the yeast dissolves. Lightly flour a work surface.
Combine the flours and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and the remaining cup of lukewarm water.
Once the dough starts to come together in a ball, scrape it, along with any unincorporated flour, onto a work surface. Knead until the dough becomes firm, smooth and slightly tacky yet not sticky, adding flour to the work surface as needed. Transfer the dough to a cutting board, cover with a clean towel and let it rest while you prepare the sauce and topping.
(At this point, the dough can be wrapped -- not too tightly -- in plastic wrap and refrigerated for a day or two.)
For the sauce and topping: Combine the tomatoes and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth, or combine in a non-metal bowl and use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth. Cover until ready to use.
Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through, breaking it up into fairly large clumps. Transfer the sausage to the plate to drain.
When ready to assemble, place a pizza stone in the oven; preheat to 500 degrees. If needed, re-flour the work surface. Lightly dust a pizza peel with the cornmeal.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (about 8 ounces each). Working with one portion at a time on the floured surface, stretch the dough by hand, gently pulling the outer edges with one hand while rotating the round with the other. Form the dough into a 10-inch disk, making sure it's not too thick around the edges. Ladle on about a third of the sauce, spreading it in a thin layer up to about 3/4 inch from the edge. Use about a third of the mozzarella slices, arranging them on the sauce. Layer on as many slices of red onion as you’d like. Scatter about a third of the cooked sausage evenly over the pie, then about a third of the basil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt.
Slide the pie onto the hot stone in the oven. Bake for 10 or 12 minutes; the crust should be browned underneath and around the edges, and the cheese should be melted.
Drizzle lightly with the olive oil; serve hot.
Repeat with the remaining dough, sauce and topping ingredients to make and bake two more pizzas.
From a recipe by Pastan and Food staff writer Tim Carman.
Tested by Tim Carman.
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