Traditional White Pizza
- 1/2 recipe basic pizza dough, recipe follows
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 6 ounces Taleggio cheese, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
- Cornmeal, as necessary for dusting pizza peel
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and, if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
Place the rolled out pizza dough onto a pizza peel or the back of a cookie sheet, dusted with cornmeal and using flour, as necessary, to help facilitate moving the dough. Sprinkle the pizza with the cheeses, oregano, salt and pepper. Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, use the peel to turn the pizza around and back an additional, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the pizza is golden. Sprinkle the cheese and olive oil over the pizza and serve immediately.
In a large bowl combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour, as necessary, to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
Divide dough into 2 portions for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel (sprinkle with cornmeal to help facilate moving dough) and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually 12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 (12 or 14-inch) pizzas or 4 calzones, serving 4 to 6
Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out into 4 (8-inch) circles. Place filling of choice in the center of 1 side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers, then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated 475 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned. Remove from the oven with a peel or spatula and serve immediately.