Classic Mozzarella Grandma Pizza Pie

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My true (pizza) love is a thin-crust margherita pie- AMAZING. This pizza is the complete opposite- yet absolutely delicious too! The crust is thick, fluffy, and tender. The top is loaded with fresh mozzarella and a special tomato sauce. I have enjoyed a “Grandma” slice from a pizzeria in the past, but this version was exponentially better. This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Alfia Muzio.

Yield: 1 pie, about 6 servings

This pillowy crust dough proofs for 24-hours prior to baking. I was able to use my fingertips to form it into the 18×13-inch rectangle with ease.

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For the Grandma-Style Pizza Dough:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for surface (I used 1/2 white whole wheat flour.)
  1. Combine yeast and 1½ cups warm water (105–110°) in a large bowl; let stand until yeast starts to foam, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in 2 Tbsp. oil, then salt and 2 cups flour. Add another 2 cups flour, a cup at a time, mixing until incorporated and a shaggy dough forms.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft, smooth, and elastic, 10–12 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 24 hours.
  4. Coat an 18×13” rimmed baking sheet with remaining 1/4 cup oil. Gently and gradually stretch dough until it reaches the edges of baking sheet. (If dough springs back or is stiff to work with, let it rest 10 minutes before continuing. You may need to let it rest more than once.)
  5. Cover dough on baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (but not too warm!—about 70° is ideal for yeast to grow) until it is puffed and full of air bubbles, 30–40 minutes. (I used the proof setting on my warming drawer.)

 The anchovies give the sauce something special. SO good!

For the Fresh Tomato Pizza Sauce:

  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained (I used San Marzano)
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pulse tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, oil, and basil in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth (some texture is okay); season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble the Pizza:

  • Grandma-Style Pizza Dough
  • 12 to 16 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated (about 2½ cups)
  • 1½ cups Fresh Tomato Pizza Sauce
  • coarse or flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) and crushed red pepper flakes, for serving, optional
  1. Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 500° or as high as oven will go.
  2. Once dough has risen on baking sheet, top with mozzarella, and dot pie with tomato sauce; sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes, if desired. Bake pie until golden brown and crisp on bottom and sides, 20–30 minutes.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Margherita Pizza with 24-hour Crust

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This is the PERFECT pizza, a classic, and my favorite. Every version has subtle differences- the key to this Brooklyn pizzeria recipe is the crust for which I included the link below. It is proofed in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours before being used. The result is a more tender dough. Wonderful. It is made with a combination of refined 00 flour and all-purpose flour.

The pizza sauce recipe is from the same pizzeria. It is pure and simple, San Marzano tomatoes pureed with a touch of olive oil and salt. I titled it “Perfect Pizza Sauce #2” in the link below as it is slightly different from my original “Perfect Pizza Sauce!” It is perfect! 🙂

This is my second entry in the Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 at The Novice Gardener: to post a dish made with both herbs and yeast. This recipe was adapted from Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock, of Roberta’s in Brooklyn, NY.

  1. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature possible. (At my house the oven is set to 500 degrees on “Stone”.) Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack if a stone setting is available, otherwise place the stone on the middle rack. Let the oven heat up for 1 hour.
  2. Put the sauce in the center of the dough round and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the pizza, stopping about half an inch from the edge.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the sauce and scatter the basil on top.
  4. Break the mozzarella into several large chunks and distribute it over the pizza, covering the basil so that it is protected from the heat of the oven.
  5. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  6. Turn on the broiler. Broil the pizza for an additional 1-2 minutes- keeping a close watch so that it doesn’t become too brown. Serve.

One Year Ago:

fiesta-friday-challenge-badge4

24-Hour Pizza Dough

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I rarely vary my pizza dough recipe. I make a whole wheat crust, in the bread machine, and it takes 1 hour 40 minutes- completely unattended. After reading the information about making homemade dough in this Brooklyn pizzeria cookbook, I felt like I was shortchanging myself and I had to try a new dough recipe.

I pretty much knew this already, but rolling out the dough using a rolling pin is criminal as well! I always had trouble really stretching the dough to achieve my desired size without rolling it. This recipe has very specific instructions regarding stretching the dough- which worked PERFECTLY! No more rolling pin for me! 🙂

This dough was more labor intensive and had to be planned in advance as the crust is made at least 24 hours in advance, but it was very tender and tasty! This recipe was adapted from Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock, of Roberta’s in Brooklyn, NY.

Yield: Makes 2 rounds of dough, enough for 2 (12-inch) pizzas

  • 153 grams (1 1/4 cups) 00 Flour
  • 153 grams (1 1/4 cups) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
  • 8 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
  • 2 grams (scant 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast OR 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) fresh yeast
  • 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) good olive oil
  • 202 grams (1 cup minus 1 T) lukewarm water

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To Make the Dough:

  1. In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flours and salt; make a well in the center.
  2. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the yeast, olive oil, and lukewarm water.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. This process will be more like mixing than kneading.
  4. After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
  5. Flour your hands and the work surface. Gently but firmly knead the mixture on the work surface for about 3 minutes. Reflour your hands and the surface as necessary. The dough will be nice and sticky, but after a few minutes of kneading it should come together into a smooth mass.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 and up to 48 hours before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure- which results in a chewy, pliable crust with great flavor.

To Make the Pizza:

  1. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature, ideally at least 500 degrees F. (My oven has a “Stone” setting as well.) Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven, if set to “Stone”, otherwise place a pizza stone on the center rack of the oven. Let the oven heat for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  3. Lightly flour your hands and the work surface.
  4. Using your fingertips, push down any bubbles in the dough. Then use your fingertips to push down on the round of dough, from the center out to the perimeter, to encourage it to spread out.   Notes: Don’t push the dough out- any pushing or pulling you do to it will cause it to toughen, which is something to keep in mind throughout this process. Be gentle with the dough. If you push it too hard or over stretch it, you can’t just re-form it into a ball and reshape it. It will become stiff and hard to work with and you’ll have to toss it out and use a new ball of dough. So take your time. spend a minute or two gently flattening the dough ball into a disc shape before you move on to the next step. The goal is a round 12-inches in diameter, no less than 1/8-inch thick in the center. The edges should be slightly thicker than the center. (It will be thicker than pizzeria pizza dough because it will cook at a lower temperature for longer.)
  5. Now the dough is ready to be “Slapped Out” (another term for letting the crust form itself). It lets gravity do the stretching and shaping of the dough. Pick up your disc of dough and hold your hands parallel to the floor. Then squeeze your fingers together and curve them so that your hands are like paddles. Drape the dough over one hand and flip it over to the other hand in a smooth motion. Continue moving the dough slowly back and forth, rotating it 90 degrees every few seconds so that you end up with a circle. It will start to stretch. After 1 to 2 minutes, you should have a round of dough that’s about 12 inches in diameter.
  6. Transfer it to a floured (I use cornmeal) pizza peel- preferably a metal one- and gently push out any edges that need pushing to make a better looking circle.
  7. Top the dough immediately after transferring it to the peel so that it doesn’t start to stick, and pop it in the oven the moment it’s topped; it will get soggy otherwise.
  8. Carefully slide the topped pizza onto the stone and bake it for 5 to 7 minutes (watch closely!), until the crust is bubbling up and beginning to turn golden.
  9. Turn on the broiler and broil the pizza for 1 to 2 minutes, checking to make sure the cheese doesn’t get too brown, until the crust is golden and starts to char in a few places.

Broccoli & Mozzarella Potluck Stromboli

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I had a stromboli factory in my kitchen last night! I made 4 individual strombolis for my family for our dinner AND 2 larger ones (which we sliced) for my husband to bring for a potluck lunch at work the next day. When we lived in Alabama, my husband made a stromboli for work potluck lunches a few times. Somehow- that is what came to mind this time! This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food.

The wonderful thing about a stromboli is that it can basically be filled with ANYTHING- plus cheese and marinara. I used my favorite pizza dough recipe, increased the garlic and spices, grated the cheese in a food processor, and used Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara Sauce. The kids really enjoyed it too! EASY! A great alternative to pizza or calzones.

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  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1 package (1 pound) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed or 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, plus more for dipping, optional
  • 8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Make pizza dough per this bread machine recipe (my favorite!!). (Store bought dough could easily be used as well.)
  2. Thaw frozen broccoli or cook fresh broccoli. To prepare the fresh broccoli, bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. When water comes to a boil, salt generously and add broccoli. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and transfer to ice water bath until cool. Remove and pat dry. Chop into 1/4-inch pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (convection). Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, stretch out each piece, first to a 3-by-4 inch oval, then to a 6-by-8-inch oval (let dough rest briefly if too elastic to work with).
  4. Spread 1/4 cup marinara over each piece of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
  5. Place broccoli in a strainer, and press to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a double layer of paper towels, and pat dry. Coarsely chop.
  6. Dividing evenly, scatter broccoli over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with garlic, and season with oregano, red pepper flakes, coarse salt, and pepper.
  7. Starting at a shorter end, roll up each stromboli, tucking in the filling as you go. There’s no need to crimp the ends. IMG_7438
  8. Using the tip of a paring knife, cut three slits in the top of each. Brush with olive oil. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve stromboli with marinara sauce for dipping, if desired. IMG_7441

One Year Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Movie Night Pizza

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Every Sunday night, we have a movie night with the kids.  We always have pizza before the movie.  My daughter usually orders a corn pizza (fresh when in season!), and we usually eat something that involves a lot of garlic and onions.  My son wants EVERY topping that is offered.  I make the pizza dough earlier in the day, in the bread machine.  It is draft-free, and then the dough is ready whenever I need it.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

I cook the pizzas one at a time, on a pizza stone (on the lowest rack), in a 500 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.

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