Now I know that I mostly cook southern food BUT….I was born and raised in New York until I was 12. Therefore, pizza is my boo….my bae….my LOVE. Ok, you get the picture. OH pizza, I love thee and let me count thy ways! Unfortunately, due to high prices of flights, I have not been there since I moved to California 5 years ago and haven’t had a slice in a New York minute (cheesy, but you know you laughed!). Le sad, Le sigh.
Two years ago I decided to take a baking class so I could get better at making dough and was given a recipe for a Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough that was beyond easy to make. I changed one ingredient to make it easier for myself and I have been using it ever since. It freezes well to use for later! I also make my own pizza sauce from scratch and will give you that delicious, easy as pie (ok, no more puns!)
This recipe yields four 10-ounce dough balls
- 5 cups of all purpose flour (you an use unbleached bread flour, but it hasn’t made a difference for me!)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups room temperature water (70*F)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together all the ingredients until combined. Mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a coarse ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix again on medium-low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If the dough is really soft and sticky and doesn’t hold its shape, mix in a little more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is stiff or dry, mix in a little more water by the tablespoonful.
Divide your dough into 4 equal pieces, rounding each piece into a ball. Take a zippered freezer bag and spray it with cooking spray. Place two balls per bag and let them sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes, then put them in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove the balls and put them on the counter to thaw out, come to room temperature to relax the gluten.
If you are making the pizzas on the same day, let the dough balls sit in the bags at room temperature for 1 hour, remove them from the bags, punch them down, reshape them into balls, return them to the bags and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You want to take them out 2 hours before you plan to make them to let reach room temperature! I know this sounds like a lot, but trust me…..it.is.worth.EVERY.MINUTE.
- 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I use fire roasted tomatoes with garlic.
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Well…wasn’t THAT easy! The sugar might sound odd, but it will offset the acidity of the tomatoes and all you heartburn sufferers can appreciate that.
- Chicken Apple Sausage
- Mozzarella Cheese
- The above are my favorites. You can add other toppings such as caramelized onion, bell peppers, whatever you want!
Preheat the oven to 400* degrees and put the pizza stone in to warm up. When you are ready to prepare the pizza, grab yourself a large cutting board and dust it with PLENTY of cornmeal. Now listen….I cannot express how important this is. I have messed up before and had glorious dough just sticking like a fly to honey and had to start ALL over again. Not fun….not at all. Take your dough and stretch it out to form a nice, round circle. Or rectangle if you prefer….whatever shape you fancy, just make sure you don’t over stretch and overwork the dough or the gluten will start fighting against you! Take the pizza sauce and spoon it on the dough, followed by whatever toppings you want. Put the mozzarella on last. Slide the pizza off of the cutting board onto the stone and bake for 10-15 minutes, watching closely so you don’t burn it! Let it cool off for 5 minutes, cut and eat away!
I hope you have a great Sunday, and if you have any questions please leave it below in the commentary! Have a great day everyone!!