What you need:
2.5 cups -00- Fine Italian flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2/3 to 1 cups warm water
1 tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
Either a dough hook if using a stand mixer or a lot of your own hand power ;)
For the toppings, I use the following:
Dry Coppa (or any other salame of your choice)
Fresh Mozzarella Ball, 8oz package but you will need only 6oz (packaged in shrink-wrap, not water). It is great because it is fresh and light but will not water down your pizza and make it soggy
pinch of salt
and some red hot pepper flakes
I am using a mixer, so here it is...
Pour a 1/2 cup of warm water (about 100F, but no more, you want to be able to stick your finger in the water without burning yourself) into the mixer bowl and sprinkle the yeast and 1/4 cup of flour. Mix a little and let stand for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to bloom and create bubbles. Add an additional 1/4 cups of flour and salt, and additional 1/4 cups of warm water, and begin mixing on a low setting, adding all of the flour, olive oil, and water in batches. Mix for about 10 minutes. The dough will come together and should be supple (not sticky). If your dough is sticky and doesn't attach itself to the hook, it is too loose and you need to add a bit more flour.
Once the dough is well incorporated (to check, just pinch it between your two fingers and it should bounce back a bit without sticking to your fingers or ripping the dough). It will be elastic and smooth. Oil the sides of the mixing bowl, place the dough back and cover the bowl with a dry, clean towel. Let the dough rise for 2 hours (yes, be patient) in a warm place (in the warmest place in your kitchen around 75F +, but don't place the dough near the heat source or you will end up cooking it).
You may want to thoroughly preheat your oven (500F for about 45+ minutes) before placing your pizza in the oven. I also use the cast iron pizza pan (heavy!! but so good) and I also preheat it in the hot oven. I use a high heat cooking spray on the pan to prevent the pizza from sticking.
Once the dough has had a chance to rise and double in size, punch it down once. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and knead it gently with the palm of your hand.
Stretch the dough (or roll it out from the center) to the diameter of your pizza pan (I have a 15 inch one and the dough can be stretched to form a nice crisp thin crust.
Be careful with your preheated pizza pan (if using), spray it gently with the cooking spray (hold it close to the surface of the pan and don't go crazy with the nozzle or you will end up covered it the spray yourself). Lay out the dough on the hot surface, the pizza will start to cook immediately, but don't worry about that. Quickly lay out the coppa in one row and place the pizza back into the 500F degree oven on a medium rack. Bake for about 6 minutes until the the coppa is nice and crisp around the edges and the dough looks golden.
Take the pizza out, arrange the mozzarella cheese (you don't need to cover the whole pizza, the cheese will spread, less is definitely more!). Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Return the pizza back into the oven for another 3 to 4 minutes. The cheese will be bubbly and the tomatoes will be cooked and start to brown up.
Let the pizza cool a tad (maybe a minute) before you slice it up with your pizza roller. Serve with a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes. Yummy! No sauce required and the toppings to the pizza crust ratio is just perfect. It won't be greasy or sloppy. Just crisp and flavorful. Almost like being in Naples, Italy.
Pizza Blanco, no red sauce but a lovely coppa <br>