If you've traveled to Italy and ordered a pizza, then you know how unique the flat, crispy-crusted creations are. The crust has a distinct crunchiness on the outside but is tender and chewy on the inside. And the sauce and cheese are just so delectable, too. Here's some good news for you: You don't have to travel back to Italy in order to enjoy this style of pizza again. Here's how to make a flat, crunchy pizza at home.
First, you must start with the right ingredients:
1 1/2 cups bread flour; do not use all-purpose flour as you won't get the same consistency.
1 teaspoon active, dry yeast; make sure your yeast is fresh for the best results
3/4 cup warm water; use bottled water that is free of fluoride for the most authentic taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt; the shape of the kosher salt crystals affects the texture of the crust, so do not substitute table salt.
2 tablespoons Italian olive oil; buy a good brand as this makes all the difference.
1 cup pureed San Marzano tomatoes; you can find these in a can in the Italian foods section of the grocery store.
1 ball fresh mozzarella; buy the kind that comes in liquid that you must drain off.
10 - 12 fresh basil leaves; you can buy a whole basil plants and keep it in your window sill for future use.
Once you've gathered your ingredients, follow these instructions:
Combine the yeast and water in a mixing bowl, and let rest for five minutes. Add 1 cup flour, the salt, and the olive oil, and stir to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead in the remaining 1/2 cup flour.
Place your dough ball in a greased bowl, and let it rest for 2 hours. Press it down to remove the air, and then reshape it into a ball. Let it rest for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven, with a pizza stone inside of it, to 450 degrees F.
Once your dough has finished resting, stretch it out into a big circle, and place it on the preheated pizza stone. Spread it with the San Marzano tomatoes, and then slice the fresh mozzarella and place it on top. Finish it off with some fresh basil leaves.
Bake your pizza at 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes, or until crispy around the edges. Let cool slightly, and enjoy.
You can also try different pizzas by looking for an Italian pizzeria in your area.