1 pkg yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups bread or all-purpose flour (or, use part wholewheat flour)
Mix together the yeast, warm water, olive oil, salt and sugar and
let stand a few minutes. Add flour to form a dough and knead until
smooth and elastic 8-12 minutes. OR combine yeast mixture with
flour in food processor, adding flour until dough forms a ball on
blade. Put dough in oiled bowl and turn. Cover with plastic wrap
and let rise about 40 minutes. Punch down and shape dough into
large circle in oiled, cornmeal-dusted 16" pizza pan. (If you prefer
smaller pizzas, divide dough in halves or fourths).
This will make a puffy-crusted pizza. If you prefer a thin crust,
refrigerate the dough for an hour or more after you punch it down.
Then shape it in the pizza pan.
YIELD: Enough for one 16" pizza.
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can Progresso or Contadina crushed tomatoes in puree
1-2 teaspoons mixed Italian seasoning, or your choice(s) of basil, oregano,
rosemary, thyme, marjoram, etc. (If fresh is available, by all means, use it!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup red wine
Heat olive oil in pan, add onions and cook 5 minutes, or until
softened. Add garlic, cooking 30 seconds, while stirring. Add
tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat;
cover partially; and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let sauce cool before using on the pizza. May be made ahead of
Enough sauce for two 16" pizzas. If only making one pizza, save
the rest for pasta, or freeze leftover sauce in a zip-lock baggie
for future use.
While the dough is rising, build a lively fire in a covered BBQ
grill-- such as a Weber Grill, fitted with a vented lid. When the
coals are white-- in about 30-40 minutes-- push them to the sides
for the indirect method. If you're not using a grill, preheat your
oven to 400 degrees. Although commercial pizza ovens are hotter,
for home ovens, this is the best temperature, If you use a higher
heat, they tend to scorch the pizza before it's cooked through.
8 oz. grated mozzarella
1 pkg. sliced pepperoni
black olives (take pits out first)
fresh basil, oregano, rosemary
bits of goat cheese or ricotta
slivers of red onion
diced ham or cooked chicken
Oil pizza pan and dust lightly with cornmeal. Stretch the dough to
fit the pan, forming a lip around the edge. Top with sauce -- not
too much -- it shouldn't be soupy or the pizza will be soggy in the
middle. Top sauce with cheese, pepperoni, and herbs. Sprinkle with
black pepper and small drops of olive oil,
Cooking on the Grill: Using the indirect method, push coals to
sides of grill. Place pizza, in its pan, on the grill. Cover, vents
open, and let cook 5 minutes. Once the crust has firmed up, using
a pizza peel, lift the pizza off the pan onto the grid. Continue
cooking, covered, until the pizza crust is brown and the cheese is
melted-- 10 minutes or so, depending on how hot your fire is. Check
frequently to make sure pizza is cooking-- but not burning. (If
desired, you can use a pizza stone. Place the pizza stone on the
grid, with the pan on top of it. When crust is firm, lift it off
the pan and onto the stone to complete baking.
Cooking in the Oven: Place pizza in center of preheated 400 degree
oven. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the edges are browned and the
cheese is melted. Lift edge of pizza, and if crust is still white
underneath, slide pizza off onto the oven rack. let bake an additional
2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is browned. Be careful not to
burn the pie!
Serve hot, cut in wedges.
YIELD: One 16" pizza serves 3-4 people.