The first thing I do when I walk in the door of our building is check the mailbox. I always get excited when a food magazine sticks out between the junk and bills, but ever since W. was born, I haven’t been able to keep up with my subscriptions. No surprise that taking care of a baby leaves time for only select reading. I try not to think about all the unread articles and uncooked recipes in issues that have landed in the recycling bin.
The image of a blistered crust pizza baked in a sheet pan was far too irresistible to pass up, and I knew I had to cook the cover of October’s Bon Appetit. Known as grandma pizza, this Long Island classic screams old school pizza parlor complete with red and white checkered tablecloth. The simple sauce was just pureed canned tomatoes and garlic. The chewy crust was so tasty that I didn’t even mind having a center piece.
Adapted from Bon Appetit October 2014
1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
6 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
4 ounces Provolone, grated
In a large bowl, combine the yeast with 1-1/2 cups warm water. Let the mixture sit until the yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil and then the salt and half the flour. Stir in the remaining flour until a shaggy dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10-12 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to rise for 24 hours.
Coat an 18-inch x 13-inch rectangular sheet pan with the remaining olive oil. Gently stretch the dough to fit the entire sheet pan. If the dough springs back, let it rest for 10 minutes before trying again. Tightly cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm spot (about 70 degrees) until the dough has puffed up, about 30-40 minutes.
For the sauce, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Spread the sauce in a thin layer on the dough and sprinkle both cheeses on top. Bake 20-30 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown.