Prep1 hr 15 mins
They say American pizza is quite different from authentic Italian pizza. But those in the USA know that is nothing to be ashamed about. American pizza is quite tasty and is possibly the #1 item sold in restaurants today. But you don't have to order out- make this pizza at home and watch how fast it goes bye-bye! The directions might look long, but making the pizza is really very simple and the instructions are just detailed for enjoyable and helpful reading.
- 15 -16 ounces tomato sauce
- 7 ounces sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (including oil, or 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed without oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin oli)
- 1⁄4 cup grated asiago cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 3⁄4 cup warm water (100 degrees F)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1⁄2-3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
- your choice pizza toppings (suggestions include mozzarella or provolone cheeses, chevre cheese, pepperoni, cooked Italian sausag)
- Make the sauce:.
- Puree ingredients in a food processor and simmer in a saucepan over low heat for about 20 minutes, adding water if necessary to make it your desired consistency.
- If using dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water to soften them before pureeing the sauce. You may also mix the sauce by hand if you finely chop the softened or oil-packed tomatoes.
- Make the crust:.
- Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm (not hot) water.
- Let sit for 10 minutes. It should start to bubble.
- Stir the salt, and oil into the yeast mixture.
- Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour along with the vital wheat gluten (Not necessary but it makes the crust more chewy. You can find it in the baking aisle of most markets near the flour, in a small, cornstarch-sized box).
- Turn dough out onto a clean, dry surface dusted with flour and knead for about 5 minutes more, adding a little flour as necessary (1/4-1/2 cup) to make the dough come together in a firm, smooth ball. If you accidentally make the dough too dry, try adding small amounts of extra-virgin olive oil or drops of warm water to the dough to reachive a glossy consistency. You may use a food processor or stand mixer to mix and knead your dough if you prefer.
- Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. If you can refrigerate your dough overnight at this point it will be preferred (cover with plastic instead of cloth to keep the dough moist). If you do so, allow time the next day for the dough to warm and double in size with a cloth covering, as mentioned in the next step.
- Let the dough double in size. This could take up to an hour depending on the temperature in your proofing area.
- Make the pizza:.
- Punch down, divide the dough, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. You can start preheating your oven at this point to about 425°F or 220°C If using a baking stone, it needs to be preheated as well. Place your stone or pan as high in the oven as possible, because very hot air is preferred to bake the pizza and hot air will rise to the top of the oven.
- Roll out on a lightly floured or cornmeal dusted surface or parchment paper (I roll mine out on parchment paper), and top the dough with sauce (any extra sauce can be refrigerated or frozen), and whatever toppings you like, being careful not to add too many. If the dough contracts too much when rolling out, walk away from it for 15 minutes to allow the dough to relax. Then come back and roll it out (or hand toss it if you feel confident or feel like having fun).
- Transfer your dough to a pizza peel or oiled pizza pan (I use a peel with the dough on parchment and slide the paper right onto a heated baking stone).
- You can par-bake your dough for 5 minutes or so to get the dough more crunchy, but be careful with thin doughs as they might try to bubble and burn.
- Bake your pizza for 10-20 minutes until it is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned (your time increases with increased toppings).
- Remove from oven, cut into serving slices and enjoy. (Bye-Bye Miss American Pie!).