(see below for a second simplified version of the recipe)
First prepare the dough for the crust. You might want to prepare the crust one day prior to baking the pizza. To get the best dough, you need to allow it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. This procedure will produce a great commercial-style crust.
Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup, and stir until the yeast and sugar have dissolved. Let the mixture set for approximately five minutes. Foam should begin building up on the surface. If it doesn't, either the water was too hot or the yeast was dead. Throw it out, and start again.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the salt. Make a depression in the center of the flour, and pour in the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil.
Use a fork to stir the liquid in the center of the flour. Slowly draw in more flour, a little at a time, until you have to use your hands to completely combine all the ingredients into a ball.
Dust a clean, flat surface with flour, and with the heel of your hands, knead the dough on this surface until it seems to have a smooth, consistent
texture. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
Rub a light coating of oil on the dough, then put it into a tightly covered container and in a warm place to rise for two hours or until it has doubled
in size. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down, put it back into the covered container and into the refrigerator overnight. If you don't have time for that, you can use the crust at this point. Without the long rest, however, it won't have the same texture as the original.
Preparation for the Sauce:
You can prepare the pizza sauce ahead of time as well, storing it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the pizza. Simply combine the
tomato sauce with the spices and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat the sauce until it starts to bubble, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for 30 to 60 minutes until it reaches the thickness you like. When the sauce has cooled, store it in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.
About an hour or so before you are ready to make your pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator so that it will warm up to room temperature. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is 18 inches across. Place the dough on a pizza pan that has either been greased or has a sprinkling of cornmeal on it. This will prevent your pizza from sticking. Score the pizza dough several times with a fork so that it doesn't bubble when baked.
Place a ring of string-cheese sticks end-to-end around the edge of the dough, an inch in from the edge. Use water on your fingertips or on a brush
to moisten the outer edge of the dough, all the way around so that it will stick when folded over. Fold the dough up and over the cheese and press it down onto itself, sealing it tightly. Form a nice, round crust as you seal the cheese inside. Lightly brush the top of the folded dough with olive oil all around the edge.
Now spread approximately a cup of the pizza sauce on the crust. (You will likely have enough sauce left over another pie later.) As you spread the
sauce onto the crust, be sure to spread it all the way to the folded edge, enough to hide that seam you made when folding the crust over the cheese. Spread the toppings other than pepperoni, sausage, ham and olives on the pizza sauce. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese onto the sauce and any olives, meat or other toppings on top of the cheese.
Bake the pizza for 12 to 16 minutes or until the crust begins to turn dark brown and the cheese develops dark spots. Slice the pizza four times through the center, making eight slices.
here's a simplified version of the recipe:
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tspn salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 ounces mozzarella string cheese
Make the crust one day prior to baking. Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix together. Let bowl sit for 5 minutes. In a large bowl mix flour and salt and make a shallow dip in the center of the mixture. Add oil and yeast-water mixture to the dip and combine using a fork until well mixed. Put the dough on a clean flat surface with flour. Start to knead the dough for three minutes. Continue for two minutes if the dough is not smooth. This should take about 1 minute. Rub a light coating of oil on dough and put into a baking pan.
Cover with a towel and store in warm place for 2 hours, until it doubles in size. Flatten the dough, and put it into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Roll out the dough to 18 inches. Place dough on pan and make a ring around the edge. Line the edge with string cheese. Moisten the edge with water and fold over the dough to cover cheese. Score the center of dough with a fork. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil. Apply toppings and bake at 475 degrees F for 14- 15 minutes.