Photo by Rachel Dillin
When we started staying in last March due to the coronavirus pandemic, my family and I decided to try our hand at making amazing homemade pizza.
My husband was born in New York, and one thing missing in Stillwater, Oklahoma, is a good New York-style pizza. We have perfected something that is at least a passable facsimile at home through many delicious moments of trial and error, given some of the constraints we have with the oven and supplies.
In addition to making two large pizzas, this recipe also has enough to create 8-12 garlic knots, which ends up making homemade pizza night feel even more decadent.
Pizza Dough Recipe
This recipe is enough for two large pizzas and several garlic knots. If you're making smaller pizzas, it might be enough for three to four pizzas depending on the thickness you desire. NOTE: It's easiest to use a stand mixer for this recipe. Mixing by hand is difficult, and it's too much for most breast machines.
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons of melted butter (optional)
In the stand mixer bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Let the yeast bloom for a few minutes until frothy. Then add the vegetable oil.
While yeast is blooming, combine flour and salt in another bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing between each addition. If the dough is sticky after mixing, add a bit more flour until it's easy to pull away from the bowl's sides with a spatula.
Remove the dough from the stand mixer, and place it into a large greased bowl. Ensure that the entire ball of dough is lightly coated in the oil.
Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. This takes roughly one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a pastry mat or a well-floured surface. Divide it into three roughly equal portions.
Roll out the dough and place in pans. Prepare the pizza using the desired toppings. Brush edges with melted if desired.
To bake, preheat the oven to 475 or 500 degrees and bake until the crust is golden, 10-12 minutes.
I use one of the dough balls to create simple garlic knots. I pinch off an egg-sized piece and form it into a long tube, which I tie into a simple knot and place on a baking sheet. I brush these with melted butter and sprinkle garlic salt on them (other toppings would work too). Then, I bake them for 10 minutes at 475.
For toppings, I always use whole milk mozzarella cheese. I buy it in blocks and grate it myself. No substitute works as well.
Photo by Rachel Dillin
Simple Pizza Sauce
This sauce is super simple. If your family doesn't like the chunks of petite diced tomatoes, it is easy to use a food processor or blender to puree it more. I mix up the sauce and allow it to rest at room temperature while my dough rises.
- 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or refrigerated freeze-dried
- .75 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
In a small bowl, combine the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, olive oil, basil, oregano, sugar, garlic, and salt. Pulse in a food processor or blender to if you want a smoother texture.
Use the sauce immediately or store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If desired, you can freeze this sauce for up to two months.