Some like it Sicilian

I love everything about thin crust pizza EXCEPT the 2+ day wait for the dough to rise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth it but sometimes a craving for homemade pizza just can’t wait that long. It is in those times I turn to Sicilian style pizza which can be made in just a few hours. Specifically, the copycat recipe for Prince St. Pizza’s famous Spicy Spring Square by Serious Eats. I’ve made a few (minor) adjustments so you’ll find my version of the recipe below. I hope you enjoy!

THE DOUGH

Sicilian_dough.jpg
Ingredients
 

17.5 ounces bread flour (500g; about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 ounce salt (14g; about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 ounce instant or rapid-rise yeast (6g; about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
0.35 ounce extra-virgin olive oil (20g; 2 tablespoons),
1/4 cup olive oil (60ml; 40g) for the pan 
11.5 ounces room-temperature water (325g; about 1 cup plus 7 tablespoons)
A 13- by 18-inch rimmed baking sheet

Step 1: Combine the bread flour and salt in a big bowl.

Step 2: In a separate container warm up your water* then add the olive oil .

*110° is the optimum water temp for dissolving yeast but if you don’t have a thermometer just feel it out. It should be just below too hot. Remember, yeast is a living organism so draw it a warm bath, don’t boil it.

Step 3: Add the yeast to the water and olive oil. Immediately use your fingers to mush up the yeast so that it dissolves evenly. I can’t say for sure that this helps but I was taught to do it with fresh yeast so it stood to reason to do the same with instant.

Step 4: Combine the water, olive oil, and yeast with the flour and salt then follow one of the methods below (Serious Eats has instructions for a stand mixer and no-knead):

  1. By Hand: Use your hand or a dough whisk to quickly bring the ingredients together then knead it until it forms a ball of stretchy, smooth dough that sticks to the bottom of bowl, but pulls away from the sides. This should take around 6 minutes.
  2. Food Processor: Throw everything in the processor and spin until a dough that rides around the blade forms, then continue processing for 30 seconds.

Step 5: Coat the entire interior of your pan with the rest of the olive oil. Roll the dough around within the pan to evenly coat it with oil. Then gently spread it out with your hands. It won’t fill the entire pan and that’s fine. Don’t force it.

Step 6: Cover the whole thing in plastic wrap and tuck it away for 2-3 hours at room temperature in order to let it rise.

Step 7: Go watch Netflix.

Step 8: Using oiled hands, and working as gently as possible to maintain air bubbles, push and stretch dough into the corners of the pan by pressing out from the center, lifting each corner, and stretching it beyond the edge of the pan. It should pull back until pan is just filled with dough. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes while you make the sauce.

I like to pre-heat my oven for about 30min before using so now is a good time to turn on the oven to 550° or as high as it’ll go. 

THE SAUCE

Sauce_Ingredients5.jpg

Ingredients
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
9 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon (about 4g) dried oregano
2 teaspoons (about 3g) dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 (28-ounce; 800g) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon (about 4g) sugar
Kosher salt

Step 1: Drain and puree the tomatoes. I always drain my tomatoes because I love a thick, chunky sauce. It’s also why I stop the processor before it liquifies. No processor? Then a potato masher and a can-do attitude work as well.

Step 2: Dice up the garlic. Now, I’ve personally never experienced the phenomenon known as ‘too much garlic’ but if you have I recommend scaling back a bit.

Step 3: 
Heat up the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat until shimmering and if you’re in a small apt like me, open a couple windows and shut your bedroom door because the next step is potent to say the least.

Step 4: Then add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, about 1 minute.

Step 5:
Add the tomatoes and stir in the sugar. Personally, nothing ruins a pizza faster than an overly sweet sauce so I recommend adding a little sugar at a time and taste test as you go to ensure its to your liking. Once that’s sorted simply bring it to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then, if you’re happy with it, set it to the side to cool.

THE BUILD

thebuild

Ingredients:
Your freshly made dough and sauce
1 pound (450g) fresh mozzarella cheese
12 ounces (325g) natural-casing pepperoni, cut into 1/8-inch slices (I’m a fan of Boar’s Head)
4 ounces (115g) ground Pecorino Romano cheese

Step 1: If you haven’t already, adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 550°F (or as hot as your oven will go). Let it preheat thirty minutes before baking.

Step 2: Slice up the mozzarella and spread it evenly across the surface of the dough.

Step 3: Spoon the sauce on top*. I typically use all but a few spoonfuls but use as much or as little as you like. However I recommend you err on the side of less.

*The sauce goes on top of the cheese so that it doesn’t make the crust soggy. #TheMoreYouKnow

Step 4: Cover that sucker in pepperonis. Don’t worry about them being too close to each other as they’ll curl up in the oven. Err on the side of more with this one.

Step 5: Sprinkle on half of the Pecorino Romano cheese.

Step 6: Pop it in the oven and bake until the pepperoni is charred and curled and the bottom of your pizza is golden brown. You can check the crust by lifting a corner with a thin spatula. This should take about 10 minutes but if at any point your pepperonis have a nice char before the crust is finished simply take the pizza out, cover it with aluminum foil, and return it to the oven for a few more minutes.

Step 6: Remove from the oven and sprinkle the rest of the Pecorino Romano cheese on it.

FINAL STEP: Slice it up and serve immediately. Then find a comfy spot because a food coma is soon to follow. The end!

I very much hope your have enjoyed making and eating this pizza. It’s one of my favorites and better yet, if you can get to Prince St. Pizza for the real thing I suggest you do so asap.

 

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