If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Bon Appetit’s Homemade Pizza Grandma-Style

       

Bon Appetit magazine went full on Pizza this month putting their sheet pan pizza on their cover till it filled the page.   Since I consider pizza to be one of nature’s perfect foods – protein, dairy, vegetable and carbs all in a slice you can eat with your hands — I was immediately hooked.   I even went to the trouble of getting some 00 Italian flour which is de rigeur with Italian pizza chefs and which you can find at Eataly (200 Fifth Avenue NYC)  without any problem.  Bon Appetit can save you the trip because they call for using ordinary all-purpose flour in their recipe.   And as to making pizza, this was not my first ride on that particular merry-go-round.  I’ve made it before– if not the pizza dough—certainly the pie.  (See http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2009/11/stracciatella-and-prosciutto-pizza-with.htmland also http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2014/04/trader-joes-shoppers-good-bad-and-so-so.html).

“Come in Pizzeria” Flour

Now I was forewarned by Bon Appetit that this was not going to be our adored thin crust pizza.  In fact, if I have two observations about this particular pie they are that Grandma must have come from Chicago and that she was very miserly with her toppings. My own mother once asked me how to order the kind of pizza she’d seen on TV ads with the cheese pulling away from pizza pan.  I told her to order extra cheese.   Later I asked her if her extra cheese pizza had met with her satisfaction.  She informed me that ‘they’ wanted to charge an extra dollar for the extra cheese, which my mother declined to pay. So Bon Appetit may be onto something about thrifty grandmas and not just our own.  The crust is almost focaccia like and notably better than any deep dish pie I’d ever tasted in Chicago or anywhere else. The sheet pan is a great idea.  It makes the pie so much easier to handle that its pizza stone-cooked cousins.  And the metal of the pan conducts the heat so the pie dough is crisp, crunchy and mercifully light.  The sheet pan makes up for the fact that genuine pizza ovens reach temperatures of 800 degrees which would likely burn the house down in a home kitchen.  

Bon Appetit gives recipes for
4 different pizza topping suggestions.
Double the quantities please!

The other major change I would make was to be profligate with the toppings, splurging on the cheese, the tomato sauce, and whatever else you love on pizza.  We discovered how much better the pizza was when we re-heated the leftovers and mounded them with cheese, soppressata and still more of what Bon Appetit called their ‘zippy’ tomato sauce.  Even then I might have gone for more.  The one thing  I would probably lighten up on is the recommended amount of olive oil – one half cup goes onto the sheet pan which leaves the dough swimming in the stuff.  I blotted the top before adding the toppings.  Bon Appetit offered up four different sets of toppings: Provolone, Red Onion and Black Olives.  Roasted Cauliflower, Ricotta and Breadcrumbs. Marinated Tuscan Kale, Ricotta and Mozzarella. And finally the one Andrew and I

Our Toppings: Soppressatta, Fennel
Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella

chose: Mozzarella, Fennel and Spicy Soppressata.  And of course, Basic Tomato Pizza Sauce.  Will I make this again?  Absolutely!  I keep thinking about my grandson and how much fun we would have making pizza.  There’s the magic of the dough rising in, of all places, the refrigerator.  There’s the lesson in patience because the dough stays there for 24 hours. And there’s the fun of mounding  whatever he chooses on top of a pie that’s big enough for Mason, Mom, Dad and Pop-Pop.  Here is the recipe:

 


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