- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups warm water (90 to 100 degrees)
- 4 1/4 cups bread flour
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pint mozzarella in water, diced to 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tray fresh basil, picked
- Sea salt
- Olive oil, the best you can find
- Prepare the dough: With a fork, mix together yeast and water.
- Set aside and allow to dissolve for about 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbly.
- While yeast is activating, set up stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
- Add flour and salt to the stand mixer bowl. On slow speed, slowly add water/yeast mixture and set a timer for 10 minutes. The dough should be completely smooth when done.
- Allow dough to rest 1 hour in stand mixer covered with plastic wrap.
- After 1 hour, mix the dough for 1 more minute on low speed
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. With a kitchen knife or bench scraper, cut dough into 4 equal-sized portions.
- With each ball, fold dough into itself, then place back onto work surface. With both hands cupped together roll balls until tight and smooth. Allow balls to rest for 1 hour.
- Place balls on a lightly-oiled baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 20 hours and up to 3 days.
- Assemble and cook: One hour prior to making pizza, remove dough from refrigerator. Thirty minutes prior to cooking, preheat oven to 500 degrees (as hot as it goes) with an upside down cast-iron pan on the middle oven rack.
- Lightly flour a work surface, unwrap plastic from baking sheet and lightly flour tops of dough balls.
- With a (new, unused) paint scraper or metal spatula, gently remove one dough ball from the baking sheet, trying to keep it as round as possible, and place it on the floured work surface.
- Working from the center of the dough, gently push air out to the crust, forming a 3/4-inch (untouched) ring around the outer edge of the dough.
- Pick up dough in your fingertips and allow gravity to do its thing. Resting the 3/4-inch ring in your fingertips, slowly shuffle dough from hand to hand until it reaches about 10 inches, adding flour as needed to avoid sticking.
- Lightly flour either a wooden pizza peel or the bottom side of a baking sheet and place pizza dough on it. Always be sure to keep the top of the dough as it was proofed the top of the dough when it’s baked.
- Prepare the sauce: Combine all ingredients and blitz with an immersion blender. Do not blend too much, just enough to break things up a bit.
- Spoon about 1/3 cup tomato sauce onto the middle of the dough. Using the back of the spoon, swirl the sauce until it comes to about 3/4 inch from the edge.
- Add 8 to 10 pieces of mozzarella.
- Add the basil, tossing 4 to 5 leaves onto the crust.
- Add a good pinch of salt and drizzle with olive oil.
- Turn oven from bake to broil.
- Gradually and gently shake the pizza peel or baking sheet, so the pizza slowly works its way onto the backside of the cast-iron pan.
- Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until crust is slightly charred and blistered. Enjoy!