Summer is wrapping up, and a new school year is upon us. For most of us, that means trying to squeeze in some last-minute fun with family and friends before the chaos sets in. One of the best ways to bring people together is to cook together — especially when you're creating homemade, brick oven-style pizza like this one. Plus, it's Family Fun Month, and a pizza-making party is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with family. So, grab your aprons, prepare for a little flour-throwing, and have fun! About the recipe: This brick oven-style pizza is just what you'd expect of a traditional, brick oven pie from your local pizzeria. While we're not using a real brick oven, you can achieve that same authentic flavor with the right equipment and a hot, hot oven. Before getting started, make sure you have either a pizza stone, pizza steel, or large cast-iron griddle. And don't be afraid to switch up the toppings to whatever suits your taste buds.
Ingredients Servings: 4
4 cups bread flour
2½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 whole cloves garlic
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced ½-inch thick
2 cups fresh basil
In a large bowl, combine flour, 1½ tablespoons salt, and sugar.
In a medium bowl, combine water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir well and let rest for 2 minutes.
Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and combine using your hands or a stand mixer with a dough hook, at least two minutes. Let dough rest for 20 minutes, uncovered, at room temperature.
On a floured work surface, separate dough into 4 even portions. Work each into a circular ball, then place the balls onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cover with a damp towel and rest, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 550°F/290°C. Place a pizza stone, steel, or large cast-iron griddle on the center rack. Heat for at least 45 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of salt, and garlic. Process until smooth.
On a floured work surface, use your fingertips to create a ring around the outside (your crust) of one of the risen balls of dough. Using the pads of your fingers, gently flatten out the dough inside the ring.
Gently lift up the dough and let it hang off your knuckles, stretching itself out with its own weight. Slowly rotate the circle of dough, continuing to let it stretch off your knuckles. Go all the way around the circle once, taking care not to let it hang too long in one place and stretch too thin.
Using a large spoon, spread a thin layer of sauce across the dough, leaving room for the crust.
Evenly place three slices of mozzarella on top of the sauce, then sprinkle a handful of torn basil leaves evenly over your pizza. Or top with whatever you desire: sausage, peppers, onions, etc.
Carefully slide the pizza onto a floured sheet or pizza peel and place on top of your stone, steel, or griddle in the oven. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the top of the crust is just beginning to blacken.
Remove from oven and let cool for 3-4 minutes before slicing.