Grandma Pizza #2

This recipe for Grandma Pizza is derived from Sip and Feast. I really like his dough recipe, although we use our own toppings. And because we use American cheese (and don’t like the pizza or cheese to get too brown) we bake it for less time.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 406 grams bread flour
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 260 grams (9 ounces) cold water
  • 14 grams olive oil

Topping

  • 16 thin slices American cheese
  • 1 heaping cup (250ml) pizza sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • finely chopped fresh basil leaves about 10 small leaves, optional

Mooses’ Grandma Style Pizza Sauce

  • 1 15 ounce can Furmano’s crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Mariangela Prunotto organic fresh chopped tomatoes or similar plain, chunky crushed tomatoes
  • ½ medium cooking onion small dice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon jarred crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste from tube, optional

Instructions

Making Dough for the Crust

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and place half of them and all the water into the stand mixer bowl.
  2. With the dough hook attached, mix for 1 minute on low (speed level 1) and begin adding in the remaining dry ingredients.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil into the mixing bowl and continue at speed level 1 for 4 more minutes or until the dough is sticking well to the bread hook.
  4. Remove the dough, hand knead for 1 minute and cover for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, ball the dough, place it in an oiled proofing container and get it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Making the Sauce

  1. Heat crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, sugar, black pepper and tomato paste in a medium saucepan until just short of reaching a full boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and let simmer slowly for about 20 minutes.

Assembling and Baking the Pizza

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge 2 hours prior to using. Do not uncover the bowl. Oil the bottom of a 12 by 16 sheet pan (or standard half sheet pan) with 3/8’s cup of olive oil. You need to use a lot of oil!
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it into the pan. With your fingertips begin pressing the dough into the corners of the pan. You will not be able to do this in one attempt. Place plastic over the pan and let the dough warm up.
  3. After 45 minutes remove the plastic and try to stretch it again to the size of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and repeat process one more time until the dough has completely filled the pan. Cover the dough one more time and set aside. Preheat oven to 450f and set one rack to the lowest level of the oven and one to the highest.
  4. Add toppings.
  5. Place the pizza onto the lowest rack and cook for 12 minutes rotating the pan 180 degrees after 6 minutes.
  6. After 12 minutes remove the pizza from oven and check the bottom for browning. If the pizza is well-browned, bake on top rack for 6 more minutes. Otherwise, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for 6 more minutes.After 18 minutes of baking remove the pizza and sprinkle with the oregano and Pecorino Romano cheese. Bake for 2 minutes more on top oven rack.
  7. If the Grandma pizza is not crisp enough on top, you can broil for 30-60 seconds. Watch very carefully though!
Medium-thin, crispy crust topped with sauce, cheese, and more sauce Looking similar to the Library Pizza!

Notes

29 December 2023: We made a grandma pizza today following this process. The dough was about 72 hours old. I took it out of the fridge at 2:35pm, added two scant tablespoons of regular olive oil to the grandma pizza pan, and placed the dough in the pan (flipping it over from the orientation it was stored in the container). I stretched it a bit, but of course it would not stretch much at this point. I covered it with parchment and let it rest until 3:35pm. We turned on the oven at 3:50pm, and the pizza continued to rest until 4:25pm. At 4:25, I stretched the dough to the edges, and we added a layer of 16 thinly sliced pieces of American cheese (4 x 4 pieces) on top of the dough. Then we added about 250ml of sauce, which today was about 50% Silver Palate marinara and 50% tomato with basil, plus two cloves of minced garlic and a pinch of salt. We covered the American cheese with the sauce, and then topped the sauce with 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese. We baked the pizza at 450°F on the bottom rack for 6 minutes, then rotated the pan and baked for another 6 minutes. We gave it another 2 minutes after checking the crust - baked it as long as we could until the cheese was getting as brown as we wanted it. The crust came out very well, quite crispy on the edges and slightly crispy in the middle. We will try one more tablespoon of olive oil next time.

6 January 2024: We used the same dough (made on 3 January) and the same timing as above. Used 3 Tbl olive oil in pan. Used Rich’s homemade pizza sauce. After the pizza came out of the oven, we sprinkled 8-10 small basil leaves, finely chopped, on top.

13 January 2024: Everything was the same as above, although we shifted the timing to about half an hour earlier.

3 February 2024: We followed the same process as we have been doing lately, but this time I made the dough using 203g bread flour and 203g King Arthur Italian-style flour (protein 8.5%). This made the dough noticeably wetter and softer but it baked up pretty well - flatter than when using all bread flour, but quite crispy. We topped it with Cooper and Dietz & Watson American cheese, homemade sauce, and grated Parmesan (no mozzarella), and basil. If I try the Italian-style flour again, I may try reducing the hydration slightly (maybe 250g water).

10 February 2024: I made the dough on Tuesday, this time with 203g King Arthur pizza flour blend and 203g bread flour. Kept all other ingredients the same. This worked out very well, got very crispy underneath. Same timing as we have been doing lately, although we gave it an extra 30 seconds on the bake because the cheese was holding up fine without burning. We used thinly-sliced Cooper cheese, a little less homemade sauce than usual (dolloped on, rather than being spread in a layer) and topped only with Parmesan and a small amount of basil. We figured out that we had used the Ninja food processor to “grate” the Parmesan (we couldn’t remember how we had done it last time). We really liked this cheese combination and the way the pizza came out!

3 May 2024: We have been making this pizza consistently and using the same dough recipe as above (with half bread flour and half King Arthur pizza blend). Rich has been making his onion sauce recipe with San Marzano tomatoes, which seem to work the best. We add thinly-sliced Cooper cheese (spread out more than we used to - do not layer them or allow their edges to touch), about 250ml sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and approximately 2.66 ounces of grated mozzarella (this is one-third of an 8-ounce block). Bake at 450°F for around 13 minutes on rack 1, rotating after the first 6 minutes.