This isn't the usual throw-together meal I'm looking for when I make pizza, but if I have a little time on my hands, the effort definitely pays off. To add other toppings to this pizza (my favorite is about 2 cups of baby spinach), saute until the excess moisture is removed, cool, and toss with the mozzarella.
Makes two 9-inch pizzas, serving four to six.
- 3¼ cups (16¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (2 ¾ ounces) yellow cornmeal
- 1½ teaspoons table salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 1¼ cups water, room temperature
- 3 T unsalted butter , melted, plus 4 T, softened
- 4 T olive oil
- 2 T unsalted butter
- ¼ cup grated onion , from 1 medium onion (see note)
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- Table salt
- 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed
- 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 2 T coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese , shredded (about 4 cups)
- ½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about ¼ cup)
Grease a large bowl with oil or kitchen spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning once to oil top; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
While dough rises, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2½ cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Turn dough out onto dry work surface and roll into 15- by 12-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over surface of dough, leaving ½" border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten cylinder into 18- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half at a time, fold into thirds like business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425º. Coat two 9" round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into 13" disk about ¼ inch thick. Transfer dough to pan by rolling dough loosely around rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax 5 minutes before trying again.
For each pizza, sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. Spread half of tomato sauce over cheese and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.