Gails Award Winning Pizza

Gail’s Award Winning Pizza

Basic Pizza Dough:

1 pkg. active yeast
1 3/4 cups warm (110-115F) water (microwave for 1:15 minutes)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or flavored oil
approximately 5 cups all purpose flour

Directions: In a food processor add yeast and 1/4 cup water, allow yeast to proof, about 5 minutes. Add salt, oil and 5 cups of flour. Cover and begin processing slowly adding remaining water. Pulse several times until dough balls together.

Place the dough on a floured work surface adding additional flour if too sticky. Knead for about 2 minutes or until the dough is shiny and elastic. Spray large bowl with oil flavored spray. Add dough and turn the dough a few times to coat with the oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (I use the microwave). Allow the dough to rise for about 1-2 hours, punch down and allow to rise again. The longer the dough is left to rise, the tangier the flavor of the crust will be.

Pizza Sauce:

8 oz can tomato sauce
1/3 small can tomato paste
1/3 cup red cooking wine
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. black powder
sprinkle of red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1 inch anchovy paste
2 tablespoons grated cheese
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a small pan and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Bob’s Favorite Topping:
6-7 Fresh Roma Tomatoes, sliced, rinsed out (to remove the seeds) drained and towel dried.
1/2 lb. bacon (precooked in microwave about 10 minutes)
fresh basil

Gail’s Favorite Topping:
2-3 Yellow Onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. parsley
red pepper flakes to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch anchovy paste
Fresh Rosemary for the topping

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add remaining ingredients (except rosemary) and cook until onions have caramelized, about 15-20 minutes on low heat.

The Assembly : Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface. This should be rolled out until you can no longer stretch it without it ripping, very thinly. Place rolled out dough on pizza paddle which has been sprinkled with polenta (keeps the bottom crunchy and does not burn in the oven, unlike corn meal).

Brush olive oil all along the edges of the crust. Add a thin layer of sauce, about 1 soup ladle’s worth. Top with lots of mozzarella, about 2 cups. Add fresh tomato slices. Top with olive oil and bake in a preheated (heat for 1/2 hour once it comes up to temp) for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with bacon. Place pizza in second oven which has been preheated at 500 degrees and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from oven and top with fresh basil.

Assembly #2 : Gail’s favorite topping is to be used on a bianca pie (no sauce). Roll out dough as above, place on pizza peel sprinkled with polenta. Brush olive oil on the entire surface of the pizza crust. Add sauteed onions and top with fresh rosemary. Cook as indicated above.

This pizza recipe won First Place in the Pizza Recipe Contest sponsored by “Pizza News”

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