New York style pizza is my favorite when I'm hungover. Chicago style deep dish is my favorite on a cold winter night. But San Francisco style pizza (is that a thing?) is my absolute favorite in any situation. It might not have a distinct definition, but the artisanal pizzas coming out of my home city are epic. Like the ones from here, or here, or HERE! Yum. Yum. Yum.
The next best thing to living in San Francisco and having access to all of those fine pizza establishments is living with Aaron who has perfected the art of the homemade pizza crust. There have been countless attempts – all successful in their own ways – but this one from Bon Appetit is the best (and easiest). Similar to the style I favor, this crust yields a final product that is thin and delicious with a slightly crunchy crust.
Aaron found the 24-hour cold-fermented refrigerated technique to be surprising at first. Historically, we depended on our laundry room to serve as the warm incubator for letting the dough rise. I don't really understand any of it myself, but either way, it always amazes me to see the dough multiply in size like that.
The other benefit to this pizza dough is how it is made on a standard baking sheet in the oven. We do have a small, electric pizza oven that works great for individual size pizzas, but when we can both agree on toppings and style, it's a nice alternative to make it in one large batch.
If you're going to make your own dough, you have to make your own sauce as well (recipe below). Aaron can whip up a batch of tomato sauce faster than I can open a can, so for him it's natural. If you're like me and you think the dough making process is hard enough, just remember that making anything from scratch is going to be healthier and tastier in the long run. So don't shy away from it!
As for toppings, you can pretty much put anything your heart (and stomach) desires on it. For this particular pizza, we topped it with mozzarella, pepperoni, onion, and black olives. After removing the pizza from the oven, we added fresh basil and shredded parmesan.
// RECIPE //
servings: makes enough dough for 1 pie (about 6)
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for surface
Combine yeast and 1½ cups warm water (105–110°) in a large bowl; let stand until yeast starts to foam, about 10 minutes.
Mix in 2 Tbsp. oil, then salt and 2 cups flour. Add another 2 cups flour, a cup at a time, mixing until incorporated and a shaggy dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft, smooth, and elastic, 10–12 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 24 hours.
Coat an 18x13” rimmed baking sheet with remaining ½ cup oil. Gently and gradually stretch dough until it reaches the edges of baking sheet. (If dough springs back or is stiff to work with, let it rest 10 minutes before continuing. You may need to let it rest more than once.)
Cover dough on baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (but not too warm!—about 70° is ideal for yeast to grow) until it is puffed and full of air bubbles, 30–40 minutes.
:: Pizza Sauce ::
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 anchovy filets
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup basil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a food processor or blender mix the tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, oil, and basil until smooth. Season taste with salt and pepper. Note: You'll likely have extra sauce leftover. We recommend portioning it out and freezing it for later use.
:: Making the pizza ::
Preheat oven to 525 degrees or as high as the oven will go.
After following the dough making process above and once the dough has risen on the baking sheet, top with sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice. Place sheet in the oven and bake until golden brown and crisp on bottom and sides. Approximately 20-30 minutes.