Great-Grandma Lepre's 4th-Generation Pizza (Rhode Island Pizza)

READY IN: 3hrs 45mins
YIELD: 2 pizzas




  • Using your hands, combine flour, shortening and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix sugar and 1/2 cup warm water.
  • When completely dissolved, add yeast and allow to foam up.
  • Add wet mixture into the well of dry ingredients.
  • Using hands, slowly bring flour mixture into the center, combining and kneading.
  • Gradually add 2 cups of lukewarm water as you continue to knead. If dough sticks to your hands, add more flour a little at a time. If it feels hard and resistant, add a little water. When this forms a ball, coat with a thin film of olive oil.
  • Cover loosely with a towel and let dough rise in a warm place 2 hours.
  • When risen, with dough still in the bowl, punch it in the center.
  • Separate into halves, and place each half oil side down on two pizza pans or cookie sheets.
  • Spread and stretch dough from the center out, being sure to leave a lip around the edge.
  • Cover loosely with a towel and allow to rise another hour.
  • When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spread a thin layer of one can crushed tomatoes over the dough.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano and basil to taste.
  • Leave as is, or sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese over tomatoes.
  • Bake 15 minutes, then check using a spatula to raise pizza and peek underneath.
  • Bake further until the crust is crispy and golden brown.