About two years ago Kyle and I had the opportunity to spend the morning at a small cooking school here in Ft. Lauderdale. On that particular Saturday the subject at hand was homemade pizza, it covered everything from the dough, to the sauce, and even the toppings! We had a great time together that day making and eating pizza until we were so full we had to roll ourselves out of the school. Did I mention they sent us home with 2 batches of dough and 8 cooked pizzas? Whoa! Yes, I know this recipe requires some prep work and even a food scale but it is WELL worth it! Oh and please excuse the nasty pizza stone….
Basic Pizza Dough
½ oz. fresh yeast OR 1 package active dry yeast
9 oz. water of which ½ is chilled
14 oz. bread flour
King Author is recommended. Also you can use either white or wheat flour depending on preference. If using wheat flour you may need to add a little more flour to get the dough to the proper consistency. We’ve found that the ratio of 10 oz. white/4 oz. wheat is a great.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
If using dry yeast:
Place the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir with a fork until yeast is dissolved. Let yeast mixture sit for approximately 10 minutes or until it doubles in size. After 10 minutes place the chilled water and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
If using fresh yeast:
Place the chilled water and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
After the yeast and water are incorporated stop the mixer and add the flour, sugar, and honey. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Stop the mixer once again and add the salt and olive oil.
Next, allow the gluten to fully develop by mixing the dough on medium speed for 10-12 minutes. In the early stages, watch the dough making sure that it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If it does not you may need to add a little more flour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and cut the dough into four 6oz. pieces.
Brush the pieces lightly with olive oil and refrigerate overnight
Simple Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 medium onion, diced
1 (35oz.) can of CENTO Italian peeled tomatos
1 (10oz.) can of tomato puree
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried or fresh oregano to taste
Over medium heat in a large saucepan, heat the EVOO and when hot add in the onion. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until they are translucent. Add the garlic, when fragrant add the oregano and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes and the puree. With a potato masher, crush the tomatoes to the desired consistency. Cook uncovered for 45 minutes. Cool sauce completely before using it on the pizza dough.
On to the assembly process:
Gather your favorite toppings and approximately 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Preheat oven with pizza stone in it to 500°F.
Take one dough piece out of the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Press the dough out flat with your fingers. Next, lay the dough over the back of your hands and pull you hands away from one another to stretch the dough. Stretch the dough out to about an eight inch circle, leaving the edge a little thicker. Place the stretched dough onto a board (we have found that a clean piece of cardboard works great) that has been generously sprinkled with corn meal.
Apply the sauce first, then any meat or veggies, and finally top with cheese. Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone in the oven.
Cook for 10 minutes, turning it half way through to ensure even cooking.
Source: Chef Jean Pierre’s Cooking School
Filed under: Bread, Main entree, Sauces | 3 Comments