Andrew Green is obsessive about pizza: He's kept journals on the different ways he's tried making it until he hit on a crust that's a perfect balance of chewy and crispy. His ideal method involves preparing a batch of dough each day for three days, and blending some of the old dough into the new each time. The recipe here simplifies his fanatical crust-making method so that the pizza can be made in one day; his full three-day process is available here as an alternative. To mimic the superhigh heat of a pizzeria, Green sets a baking stone inside his home oven, which he preheats to its highest temperature; he then finishes the pizza under the broiler.
More Pizza Recipes
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Maldon salt (see Note)
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1 package rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
20 green olives, preferably Castelvetrano, pitted and coarsely chopped
Crushed red pepper, for sprinkling
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8 inch thick
How to Make It
In a small sauce-pan, bring the water to 125°, using an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature. Stir in the Maldon salt and the confectioners' sugar until dissolved. Stir in the yeast and the olive oil and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour with the yeast mixture at low speed for 10 minutes. Let the pizza dough rest for about 10 minutes, then mix again at low speed for 10 minutes longer.
Lightly oil a large, warmed ceramic or glass bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel and let the dough stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, punch down the pizza dough and evenly divide it into 4 pieces.
Roll the pieces into balls. Dust the balls lightly with flour and set them on a large baking sheet about 6 inches apart. Cover the balls with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let stand for 2 hours.
Set a pizza stone in the middle rack of the oven and preheat at 500° for 1 hour.
In a small skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden brown, shaking the skillet a few times, about 4 minutes.
Five minutes before baking the pizzas, preheat the broiler. Lightly flour a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. On a floured work surface, lightly roll out 1 ball of dough into an 8-inch round circle. Using your hands, stretch the dough into a thin, 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to the peel. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil. Scatter one-fourth of the olives and garlic evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with a pinch of crushed red pepper and season with salt and black pepper. Arrange one-fourth of the mozzarella over the dough. Slide onto the pizza stone. Broil for about 5 minutes, until the bottom crust is crisp and the top is bubbling. Transfer to a work surface and cut into wedges. Repeat with the 3 remaining pieces of dough and the toppings. Serve hot.
Maldon salt is flaky and not as salty as table salt. If you don't have Maldon salt, substitute 2 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt in the dough. Castelvetrano olives, a Sicilian variety, are known for their mild, sweet flavor. Both Maldon salt and Castelvetrano olives are available at specialty-food shops and some supermarkets.
Variation Green also likes his pizza topped with cooked cubed pancetta, sautéed onions, halved figs and grated Fontina and parmesan cheese. He then garnishes the pie with arugula and a drizzle of olive oil just before serving.
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