As a child my dad would ask me where do you want to go eat for your birthday. I would say LaBrascas’s pizza and I want a large supreme with no anchovies. My dad would roll his eyes and say don’t you want some lobster or shrimp. I was like no.
As an adult I talked to Mr. Jackson who was the owner of LaBrasca’s (RIP) about a franchise opportunity. Then I went to the bank about a loan, game over.
I’m still chasing my own homemade pizza and have made at least 50 with not much success. On a recent trip to New York City I had a couple of slices of Joe’s Pizza on the way to the airport and was hooked.
If you choose this slippery slope a vast amount of help is available at the pizzamaking forum.
To start make your dough a day in advance:
I now use a food processor but have made this with my hands. If you don’t have a scale to weigh your ingredients just go get a pizza from the store. Sorry you need to weigh each one or it wont be consistent.
- Dough Ingredients for 2, 14″ pizzas
- 398 grams flour (high gluten, all I can find locally is KA bread flour)
- 246 grams water (room temp)
- 1.75 grams Instant Dry Yeast or Rapidrise (toss directly in flour)
- 8 grams salt
- 4 grams sugar
- 6 grams of olive oil
Place the flour, salt, yeast, sugar in a food processor and pulse while adding water. When it’s combined pulse and add olive oil. Turn out an kneed a few times on a floured surface and cut in half. Place each in a oiled bowl cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
This is where I was falling short, but I have found the secret. It’s a 14 X 16 plate of steel 3/8″ thick. Here is my setup, I have recalibrated my oven up by 35 degrees to max heat of 550 degrees (with convection on). Steel plate on the center shelf and preheat for 1 hour.
I got the steel plate from the local Metal Supermart, sanded it and then soaked it in vinegar for a couple of days to clean off the scale ($45 ouch, but online the 1/4″ is selling for twice as much). It weighs about 20 pounds, but worth the effort.
While Waiting Make the Sauce:
Mix in a food processor (or blender).
- 1 can 14.5 oz whole tomatoes (drained)
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoon of chopped basil (or 3 teaspoons of dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- I only used about half this sauce (apply sparingly to dough)
Grate your mozzarella and get ready to rumble (don’t use pre shredded cheese it has a wax coating). Make your pie on a heavily floured counter pressing the dough and turning so it doesn’t stick . When made make sure it will slide off the peel. Launch quickly in oven with a jerking action.
This one cooked in about 4 minutes with the broiler turned on high when the pie was first placed in the oven. My mom came over to check out the operation and all I have left is 4 pieces. She was like this is good let me take a few pieces home for your dad, priceless.
The second one turned out better than the first for some reason. I’m pleased with the results and want to try making it with KASL or All Trumps flour.