¾ cup lukewarm water
1 t active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 t fine sea salt
Pour ¼ cup of the lukewarm water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. You can also do this in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
Sprinkle in yeast and let proof for 10 minutes, until the yeast is creamy and foaming.
With the mixer running, slowly add the flour alternating with the rest of the water and salt.
Continue to mix until a ball forms, about 10 minutes
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is soft and not sticky.
Divide dough into 3 or 2 equal balls and place on a lightly oiled tray or small baking sheet.
Lightly oil the tops of each ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 36 hours, if possible.
You can also place each ball into a zip-lock plastic bag and refrigerate.
Remove from refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature before shaping.
Form each ball of dough to an 8-inch round (for 3 pizzas) or 12-inch round (2 pizzas).
Place on lightly oiled pizza pans.
Simple Pizza Sauce
1 T extra-light olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 (28-oz) can Italian peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, hand crushed
1 t fresh or freeze-dried oregano
1 t chopped fresh or freeze-dried basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the garlic for one minute.
Pour in the tomatoes and add the oregano and basil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Gently simmer 30 minutes.
Simple Pizza Sauce
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb ball mozzarella, broken into pieces or sliced
12 thin slices spicy Calabrese salami
Fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat oven to 450 F degrees.
Preheat a pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can just bake pizzas on pizza pans.
Spread a ladle of tomato sauce on each pizza dough.
Sprinkle each with a tablespoon or two of Parmigiano cheese.
Add a few chunks of the mozzarella to each.
Add 4 to 6 slices of Calabrese salami to each.
Place one pizza pan on bottom rack and bake for 5 minutes.
Slide the crust directly onto the stone and bake for another 10 minutes.
In the meantime, place another pizza on the middle rack after the first pizza has been cooking on the stone for 5 to 7 minutes.
I do an assembly-line of pizzas this way, definitely using a timer.
Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Makes 2 to 3 pizzas