One of the most memorable things about my childhood had to be growing up with a pizza shop in the family. My dad owned a few shops during my younger years and it was AMAZING! Pizza, grinders and hoagies all the time. What kid wouldn’t love the perfect slice everyday after school.
If I learned anything from my dad it’s that the sauce is one of the most important components to create the perfect pizza. You see, the sauce is the base that everything is built upon, it must be zesty, fresh and filled with enough flavor to hold up to the toppings. So starting your sauce with a product that already has the best and freshest tomatoes is key!
I choose to use Pomi Organic Strained Tomatoes, packaged in Italy where conditions are perfect for tomato growing!!! I love this particular product, especially for pizza sauce because there are no seeds, skin or core. It’s silky smooth and 100% natural, garden ripe Italian tomatoes. The best tomatoes to create the best tasting sauce.
A few additions of spices to create a nice flavorful pizza base and you have the perfect sauce. I like to make my sauce ahead of time and let it simmer slightly to let the flavors really meld together. Some Italian seasoning, toum or garlic powder, a pinch of sugar and salt and you will never turn back!
This simple pizza dough recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal or store in freezer for easy meal prep.
3 cups all purpose flour**
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
1.5 tsp sugar
1 cup (8oz) warm water (110 F)
Italian Seasonings/Garlic Powder/Oregano ***optional mix-ins
In a small bowl or measuring cup, add your yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup (4oz) of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes in a warm place. (I usually stick in my microwave)
Fit your KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook.
Add your flour, salt and olive oil into the bowl of your mixer, gently mix on low until combined.
After 5 minutes, your water/yeast mixture should have bubbled up, with your mixer on low, slowly add in.
Fill another 1/2 cup (4oz) of warm water and slowly continue adding in. Your dough should begin to come together and form a smooth, elastic ball of dough.
Continue to let mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.
Once the dough has formed, remove and add a few drops of olive oil to the bowl and place dough back into bowl and coat with oil.
Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, if your oven has a proof setting even better!!!
Let rise for 1-2 hours until the dough doubles in size.
Pizza Making using pizza stone or Baking Steel
Place your rack in the top 1/3 of your oven
Preheat your oven to 500F and let your stone/steel heat up for about 30 minutes
Once your dough is ready, remove from bowl and divide into 4 even balls. (If you want to freeze any, coat the dough lightly in olive oil and wrap in plastic wrap then place in ziplock bag. The dough will freeze well up to 3 months.)
Work with one dough piece at a time and leave the other covered with a damp towel until ready to use.
Flour your clean surface well and begin to work your dough, first with your hands to smooth out then gently with a floured rolling pin.
Begin to roll and shape to your desired thickness. I tend to roll mine pretty thin and leave a bit of a thicker edge for a nice crust.
Flour your pizza peel and place your dough on top. Top with your Pomi Pizza Sauce then toppings of your choice. Give the peel a little shake and when ready, launch onto your stone/steel.
Let pizza cook for about 4 minutes, turn on broil for a little char on your crust then remove and enjoy!
Using half whole wheat or spelt flour works very well.
If you would like to double the recipe, double everything but the yeast quantity. Proceed the same way.
For pizza making on traditional sheet pans, check out this recipe.