I've experimented with several different pizza recipes and here is our family's favorite. It is FABULOUS! The crust is hearty, yet crispy, and the sauce is flavorful and doesn't make the crust soggy. This recipe isn't hard, but it is a little "fussy" compared to some recipes out there. Trust me, every step adds so much to the end result.
|Different types of yeast|
If your recipe calls for 1 t. instant yeast --> substitute with 1-1/2 t. of active dry yeast
If your recipe calls for 1 t. active dry yeast --> substitute with 3/4 t. of instant yeast
People generally say that active dry yeast should be dissolved in warm water before being incorporated into a dough. The warm water does jumpstart your yeast. If you let your yeast/warm water mixture set for 5 minutes and make sure it gets bubbly, you'll insure that you only use lively yeast. Here's a secret: you don't really have to do that. I keep my yeast in the freezer and it stays perfectly fresh. I may have to add a little rising time to my dough if I don't dissolve my active dry yeast first, but it otherwise works fine.
Sheet Pan Pizza, originally published in Cook's Country Magazine
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1-3/4 cups water , heated to 110 degrees
1 tablespoon sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes instant or rapid-rise yeast (4-1/2 teaspoons) OR about 5-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
SAUCE AND TOPPINGS:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves , minced
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or use 2 t. dry or freeze-dried basil)
1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Whatever meat or other toppings you like. How about a jar of home-canned ground beef, seasoned to taste?
1. For the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn off oven. Grease large bowl. Evenly coat rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup oil.
2. Combine water, sugar, and remaining oil in measuring cup. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, yeast, and salt on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-low and slowly add water mixture until dough is uniform in texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. (If you substituted active dry yeast for the instant yeast, it may take another 5-10 minutes to double.)
3. For the sauce and toppings: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Cook garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and season with salt.
4. On lightly floured work surface, use rolling pin to roll dough into a rectangle. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and stretch dough to cover pan, pressing dough into corners. (I am lazy and usually just press the dough into the pan.) Brush dough with remaining oil and cover with plastic wrap. Set in warm spot (not oven) until slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
5. Remove plastic wrap and, using fingers, make indentations all over dough. Sprinkle dough with 1 cup Parmesan and bake until cheese begins to melt, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and spoon sauce over pizza, leaving 1-inch border. Bake until sauce is deep red and steaming, 7 to 10 minutes.
6. Sprinkle mozzarella and remaining Parmesan evenly over sauce your choice of meat/toppings and bake until cheese is golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Serve.