Awesome Oven Baked Pizzas
Jamie Oliver's Pizza Dough
7 cups white bread flour
1 tablespoon kisher salt
2 (1 1/4 ounce) packets active dry yeast
1 tablespoon raw sugar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Cornmeal (as needed)
Before starting, preheat your oven to 500 degrees or as hot as it’ll go. You’ll also want to be sure to have a shallow baking pan on hand to throw the pizza in to. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and the warm water, olive oil and yeast into another container. Give this a quick whisk and let sit for a few minutes. This will “bloom” the yeast. You’ll know it’s ready to go when little bubbles start to form.
Using a wooden spoon, incorporate the liquid into the flour. You may even have to pour the dough onto a floured surface to mash, fold, and pound out the dough. This will stretch the dough and give the bread its fluffy texture. Place into a lightly floured bowl, in a warm location, covered with a damp, warm towel, and let rise for an hour.
After an hour, punch out the air, portion into 8 smaller, equal sized pieces. Let this rise for 20 minutes. At this point, working from the inside out (Be careful not to squish the edge - that’s the crust!); stretch the dough into the pizza size you want. Put a little cornmeal and flour down on the surface first to give a little friction so the dough does not stick to the table! Be sure to patch up any holes that might occur as it will burn when cooking in the oven!
You can use a simple marinara from a jar or make your own with sautéed onions and tomatoes for the sauce, just make sure its cold! Top with mozzarella cheese and any topping you like. Get creative with the toppings! Instead of raw mushrooms, sauté them with some garlic, instead of peppers, roast them in the oven first. Maybe add some chilies and top with some chopped cilantro when it comes out of the oven. The sky is the limit!
Place the stretched dough on a baking pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Top with the sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you desire. Put in the oven for 4 minutes, check, rotate, and cook again for another 4. Keep careful watch -- don't let it overcook!
Let it cool slightly (that sauce will be HOT), cut, serve, and enjoy!
Pairs Well With
I remember this day. It was crazy. Thankfully though, Nora and I had the help of an extra Chef and about five or six other Johnson & Wales students. I really believe that if we didn’t have their help, we wouldn’t have been able to really pull this off as well as we did. I think with the recipe presented here, we were able to make 10 or 11 individualized pizzas for almost every student in the class. And they were nice six slice 13-inch pizzas. This was a great day and I’m still amazed we got it done.
The instructions may be a little lengthy, but it is absolutely necessary for creating a delicious, crispy, fluffy, well-defined, crust-like pizza.
If you want to do this at home, cutting the recipe in half will be plenty for a family of 4 to 6.