Start with a basic pizza dough recipe and a quick pizza sauce recipe to make your own hand-tossed pizza. Top with mozzarella cheese and your choice of meats, veggies and herbs.
Sunset MARCH 2004
1. Let pizza dough stand at room temperature until almost doubled and no longer cold, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Coat two 14-inch pizza screens (see notes) or pizza pans with cooking oil spray.
2. Remove dough from bags; coat with flour. On a lightly floured board, roll each ball into a 10-inch round.
3. Shake excess flour from dough. Following "Tossing Tips,", included in Tony's Pizza Dough recipe, toss each round until it is stretched to 14 inches. Or lay each on a floured board and gently stretch to 14 inches. Lay crusts on prepared pizza screens or pans; don't press dough down.
4. Spread 3/4 cup quick pizza sauce over each crust to within 1 inch of edge. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature up to 3 hours. Shortly before baking, distribute half the cheese, meat, vegetables, and seasonings over each crust.
5. Set screens or pans on the bottom rack or on a heated baking stone (see notes) on bottom rack in a 500° oven (one at a time if you have only one oven). Bake until crust is browned on the bottom (lift one edge to check), 10 to 15 minutes. Slide each pizza onto a board and cut into wedges.
Tony's favorite combos:
Cholula spicy chicken: Top each round with 3/4 cup quick pizza sauce; 1 1/2 cups shredded sautéed chicken breast mixed with 3 to 4 tablespoons Cholula or other hot sauce; 2 cups shredded 100% whole-milk mozzarella cheese; 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion; 2 to 4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh jalapeño chilies; 1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic; 4 ounces uncooked firm chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch chunks; and paprika to taste.
Margherita: Brush each round with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; top with 2 cups shredded 100% whole-milk mozzarella cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil. Bake until top is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Distribute about 18 fresh basil leaves mixed with 1 teaspoon olive oil over pizza; continue baking until crust is browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes longer. Meanwhile, drain 8 thin tomato slices on paper towels; arrange on baked pizza.
Vegetable: Top each round with 1 cup quick pizza sauce; 2 cups shredded 100% whole-milk mozzarella cheese; 1/2 cup each thinly sliced red onion, green bell pepper, zucchini, and drained oil-packed dried tomato halves; and 1 jar (6 1/2 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained.
Note: Nutritional analysis for original Tony's Hand Tossed Pizza recipe and will vary for Tony's favorite combos.
Start the dough at least 1 day ahead. If making one of "Tony's Favorite Combos," below, evenly distribute the toppings in the order listed on stretched crust; bake as directed in step 5 unless otherwise noted.
Baking pizza on a screen--a rimless mesh or perforated-metal round (available from www.smartandfinal.com and at cookware stores)--allows the crust to brown faster and more evenly on the bottom. If using a baking stone, set it on the bottom rack of a 500° oven at least 30 minutes before using.
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