The dough is
1 1/2 cups
plus 3 tbsp. warm water
( if you have garlic oil, use it now!)
( I use dry coffee creamer)
4 1/2 cups
( supposed to be bread flour but I use AP)
active dry yeast
I add the herbs when the machine beeps to add stuff like nuts
- Make the dough in the bread machine. Put everything in there according to the manufacturers instructions for your machine.
- If I have the time, I shred my own mozzarella cheese (about 2lbs). If not, I use the store bought shred- about 3 cups per pizza. Then, lucky me, I live 3 blocks from the place that makes homemade Italian sausage, I get a pound of the mild, loose sausage and fry it up just until the pink goes and some pieces are starting to brown. I also fry up the onions right in there with the sausage and they are also just starting to brown and are no longer crispy but are kinda wilted and softer. I use half an onion about the size of a baseball, sliced in 3/8 inch rounds. If you’re doing other veggies, do them right in there with these.
- I cut the dough in half and make 2 pizzas rolled out to about 10x12 rectangles. I roll it out to about 1/4 to 3/8 inch- pretty thin, like cookie dough. It makes a thin crust pizza that is crispy on the bottom but doughy on the top like it’s supposed to be.
- Then I put the pizza together with the dough, a layer of cheese, a thick layer of sauce (use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups per pizza), the sausage and onion mixture or whatever toppings you're using, a heavy sprinkling of granulated garlic and then romano cheese, then another semi-thick layer of cheese.
- When I heat the oven up (425*), I put the pan or stone in the oven so when I put the pizza on it, it’s already hot. I roll my dough out with a rolling pin onto heavily floured parchment and use a cookie sheet with no sides to transfer the pizzas back and forth and I just drag them by the edges of the parchment. I take all the extra racks out of the oven and move the one I’m using close to the bottom so there’s room to work in there.
- Bake them 20 minutes. The tops should be very brown and look good enough to be in a magazine. When it comes out, the onions are perfectly carmelized and the sausage is not all burnt up or funky raw like when you throw it on top. It stays juicy and flavorful cause it’s baked it the sauce. Only pepperoni or little cooked meatballs goes on top. All other stuff gets fried lightly and baked in, under the final layer of cheese.
- *The hot pizza stone is a critical piece of the puzzle for achieving a perfect crust. Get one- they are sooo worth the money. If you don’t have one, use a dark cookie tray- not one of those air-bake ones. They don’t work well. Been there, done that. If you use a dark one, you’ll get very close to the perfect crust. Make sure you choose one that stays flat when it gets hot because some of them buckle up and twist when they get hot and then all your cheese and toppings will slide to the middle (oh, no!). I've been doing this a long time so I've made ALL the mistakes at least once!
- This is another one of those recipes I’ve been refining for 15 or 20 years. This is as close to the perfect pizza I’ve come.