I know yesterday was National Pizza Day, but Monday is always my busiest day with work so I knew I was going to have time to post a new pizza recipe that I had tried out. I have made lots of different pizzas, sometimes with making my own dough and sometimes with store-bought dough and they have all turned out pretty well, though some are always better than others. Not long ago Sean had asked me if I ever thought about trying to make a Sicilian pizza instead of just regular pizza. I hadn’t had Sicilian pizza in quite a long time and had never made it myself before, but I was always willing to try and was waiting for the right recipe to come along to inspire me. Then along came this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for Sicilian-style thick crust pizza and it seemed just right. I did have to pick up a couple of things I don’t normally have around, namely semolina flour and anchovies, but other than that I had everything else ready to go and gave it a try.
For the Dough:
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semolina flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 2/3 cups (13 1/3 ounces) ice water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
For the Sauce:
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the Pizza:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
12 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, shredded (3 cups)
For the pizza dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, sugar, and yeast on low speed until the ingredients are combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the ice water and oil until the dough forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough stand for 10 minutes.
Add the salt to the dough and mix the dough on medium speed until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of bowl, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it briefly on a lightly floured counter until it is smooth, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.
To make the sauce, process the tomatoes, sugar, and salt in a food processor until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, anchovies, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce measures 2 cups, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, let it cool, and refrigerate the sauce until it is needed.
To make the pizza, one hour before baking the pizza, place a baking stone on the upper-middle rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet (including the rim) with vegetable oil spray, then coat the bottom of the pan with oil. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured counter. Lightly flour the top of the dough and gently press it into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 18 by 13-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet, fitting the dough into the corners. Spray the top of the dough with vegetable oil spray and lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough. Place a second baking sheet on the dough and let it stand for 1 hour.
Remove the top baking sheet and the plastic wrap. Gently stretch and lift the dough to fill the pan. Using the back of a spoon or ladle, spread the sauce in an even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the entire surface of the dough to the edges followed by the mozzarella.
Place the pizza on the baking stone; reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake the pizza until the bottom crust is evenly browned and the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pizza halfway through the baking process. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the pizza. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, cut it into squares, and serve.
You do need to plan this one a day or two ahead of time so he dough has a chance to rest properly. The two different flours do make a difference here as you get the thick crust that is more cake-like than chewy like you get with a thin crust. The anchovy adds some great flavor to the pizza sauce and overall the combination of the crust and sauce made this a really perfect pizza and one of the better Sicilian pies I have tried. It is worth the work to put into it if you like this type of pizza and don’t want to spend $20 on one from a pizza place. Unfortunately the pictures I took of the pizza seem to have gotten lost in cyberland somewhere between my phone and computer and I cannot find them anywhere, but if I do find it I will post them here. trust me, it looked really good.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!