The comfort food that tends to make everyone’s list is that wonderful, Italian-inspired delight… pizza. One of the things that makes pizza so appealing is that it lends itself to so many variations. We think you’ll find our variation to be simple, but still offering that good feeling of a scratch-made delicacy you can be proud of. Our Calabrian Pepper & Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread can be used as the base on many different pizza creations you concoct in your kitchen. Here’s one we recommend starting with.
Making your dough (this will make two 12” crusts and for best results you’ll want to make this a day ahead):
1 cup + 1 tbsp double zero flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
¾ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.
Step 2: In a small mixing bowl, stir together about 1 cup lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Knead rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and allow it to rest and rise for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.)
Step 4: Define for yourself a top and bottom of the crust. Make sure the bottom has some extra flour both on the dough and on the surface you are working on. On top, finger the edges to form the outer crust. Then - beginning in the center - start to flatten the dough outwards until it reaches an even, desired thickness. Now you are ready for the toppings.
¼ cup Bellisari’s Calabrian Pepper & Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread
4oz Low-moisture shredded mozzarella
¼ cup sliced red onion
¼ cup sliced green pepper
¼ cup sliced black olives
Evenly spread sauce across the dough, leaving a desired amount of crust uncovered at the edges. Then simply evenly disperse your cheese and toppings over the sauce. Brush your crust with a light basting of extra virgin olive oil. You can add other seasonings such as garlic or salt to his as well for added flavor.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and put your pizza stone on the bottom rack at the outset so that it heats up with the oven. Once the temperature has been reached, slide your pizza onto the stone. Check back in 5 minutes to see how it is progressing. You can slide the pizza around as needed for even cooking. It is done when your cheese reaches an even, medium browning. Remove, slice, enjoy!