Pizza has to be one of the most comforting foods on this planet. Every time I’m sad I order pizza immediately and with cheese and dough in my mouth nothing seems so bad LOL. This is why I was aching to share with you guys my pizza recipe. As a matter of fact while I was testing the dough I had a huge fight with my oven and we’re still not in good terms. Even with the fighting and everything I managed to make this AMAZING dough, super crispy underneath and around the border and with my tomato sauce it doesn’t get much better than that.
For the pizza I blended the tomato sauce and that’s the only difference from the recipe I shared. It really adds lots of flavour to the pizza. Of course if you want to make a pizza bianca that doesn’t have any tomato sauce then of course you can do it and add ham, basil, some cheese and that’s it. The result is as good!
Now, if you see the recipe below it says it’s high difficulty. This is true to a certain extent. The thing is that as with every bread you need to follow the instructions to the dot and be really careful with the tips that are also in the procedure. So I think it’s difficult in the way that there are many thing to be aware of but if you follow the instructions then there’s no reason why it would go wrong. The same goes for the amounts: don’t convert the weight measurements to cups and teaspoons because for doughs like this one precision is much needed. Get yourself a digital scale which are super cheap nowadays and are very useful.
For this recipe I used a cast iron skillet to cook the pizza. However you can also use a pizza stone or even an oven tray. The advantage of the cast iron and pizza store is that they’re better conductors of heat so they transfer all their heat to the base of the dough. Howeeeeever this does not mean that you can’t have a perfectly good pizza using a baking tray. Don’t put any baking paper or silicone underneath. With a bit of semolina or polenta is enough.
“Lorena, I have a pizza oven at home, can I cook it there?” OF COURSEEEEEEE!! Pizzas are always better the hotter the oven is. A pizza oven can get up to 800C and so it only takes 2min to cook it 🙂 Imagine the production of pizzas you could have. Same thing happens with your oven at home: put the temperature to the highest available and have the broiler on as well. Then don’t walk away from the oven because if it gets really hot in there then the pizza is going to be cooked pretty fast. Mine is having a rough month and so I couldn’t set it over 210C because it turned off but you go for the maximum you oven has in store 🙂
What I like most about this pizza is how thin and crispy it is. When you bit into it the sound is just impressive and with the cheese and tomato sauce… just stop. LOL. The tomato sauce you can make up to 4 days ahead and so there’s no excuse to not make it because the ones that are sold in the supermarket don’t even make an effort to be compared to this one. You have been warned ;).
As far as the toppings go of course you can choose the ones you prefer. It’s really important that the cheese melts easily. I used buffalo mozzarella which melts like it’s cream waiting for some heat to be a liquid again. It’s really impressive how it takes the pizza to a whole other level. If you don’t have access to this type of mozzarella buy the best that’s available and that is not “light” because it lets go of a lot of water when it melts.
My Favourite Pizza with Crispy Crust
For the dough
- 255 g all purpose flour
- 5 g fine salt
- 4 g instant yeast or 12g fresh yeast or 6g dry yeast*
- 175 g lukewarm water
- 5 g sugar
- semolina or polenta for the base
- 4 tbsp tomato sauce
- 2 balls of mozzarella di buffala
- 8-12 basil leaves
- a drizzle of olive oil
For the dough
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl.
Make a hole in the centre and add the water and olive oil.
Mix with a spoon or spatula from the centre and slowly adding the flour from the sides.
When the spoon isn't helping you mix anymore, switch to your hands. In the end you'll see you will have to take the mix off the bowl and knead it a bit on the table to mix it properly.
If it's sticking to your hands add a bit of flour at a time until it isn't. Don't over-do it though because if it goes too dry then it won't be able to rise as nicely. At this point you could freeze the dough for up to a month.
Knead by hand 30min or on an electric mixer for 15min on full speed with the hook attachment.
Now we need to let it proof. If you're making one medium pizza then make a ball from the dough and put it on a clean surface or tray with semolina so it doesn't stick. On top we put a damp cloth so it doesn't dry out. If you're making 2 20cm pizzas like mine then divide the dough and shape it before proofing. If your dough was frozen it needs to come to room temperature before you start timing the proofing process. In total it needs to proof at least 2 hours and a maximum of 4.
On the last 30min of proofing turn on your oven to its maximum temperature, broiler included. If you're scared it would be to high or don't know what the maximum temperature is, set it at 250C. Inside the oven must be your skillet / pizza stone / oven tray preheating as well. Place it really close to the top of the oven.
Once proofed, stretch the dough using your fingers on a surface with semolina or polenta so it doesn't stick.Press down with your fingers leaving a nice edge around where it won't have any toppings. Then you rotate it and continue.For further reference watch the video above.
Once the dough is nicely stretched and thin we add the tomato sauce, mozzarella and drizzle a bit of olive oil. If you have a pizza peel or even a cake lifter you can add a bit of semolina on top of it and lift the pizza. Then place it on top of your really hot skillet / baking tray / pizza stone. If you don't have one of those you can slide it off the table if someone helps you hold your cooking surface for you. Doit fast though so it doesn't break!
Put the pizza in the oven, again pretty close to the top. If it's a home oven it will probably need at least 4min and maximum 15min so be really careful not to burn it by staying close!
When it comes out of the oven we add the fresh basil leaves and serve immediately because there's nothing like freshly baked pizza.