Yield: 4 personal size pizzas
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7/8 cup (7 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
- A pinch of cornmeal for dusting
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or grated
- 1 ripe tomato thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
**Make the crust at least 24 hrs prior to when you want to serve your pizza, please allow a minimum of 24 hrs in the refrigerator.**
Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the oil and the cold water and stir on low speed until the flour is all absorbed. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.
Transfer the dough to floured work surface. Prepare a baking dish by lining it with lightly oiled parchment paper. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle flour over the dough. Gently round each piece into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, lightly dip your hands in flour. Transfer the dough balls to the prepared dish, mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag or cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight (or up to 3 days). At this point the dough can also be frozen; simply wrap each ball individually in plastic wrap and place inside a zippered freezer bag. Transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan on baking them.
Remove dough from refrigerator and rest at room temperature for 2 hours. On a lightly floured work surface, gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter.
At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, 500 to 550 degrees F. If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce, and continue to stretch/toss until the dough is approximately 7″ across and uniformly thin. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again.
Lay the stretched dough on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly brush with olive oil, and poke it a few times with a fork so it doesn’t bubble.
To prepare the balsamic reduction, pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Lightly brush pizza dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with mozzarella and tomato slices. Drizzle the pizza with balsamic reduction.
Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
Cut into slices and serve.
I served my pizza with a fresh side salad including lettuce, spinach, tomatoes (sliced into small cubes) and slices of peaches. I used a splash of red wine vinaigrette on mine and it was delicious! My step-dad Billy brought over a bottle of Blackstone Merlot for us that went great with the pizza as well! (Thank you again Billy)
Rated on a scale of 1-10 (1 being not so good and 10 being excellent)
Billy: 10- “This pizza tasted great, and is healthy too!”
Mike: 9- “I really enjoyed the deep dish style of pizza and that the crust tasted like fresh sourdough bread. The whole pizza tasted very fresh!”
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Dough recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread