When I was growing up the only pizza I had came from a packaged box mix by Apian Way. Inside the box was a package of crust mix and a small can of pizza sauce. My mom would mix the crust with water a push it into a baking sheet. We didn’t own a round pizza pan only a rectangular baking sheet. The canned sauce was spread over the dough. We generally only had mild cheddar cheese, so that was used and my mom would fry up some ground beef and sprinkle on top.
Pizza was not my favorite food as a child.
Pour 1/3 cup olive oil onto a baking sheet.
This is the crusty bread dough with an additional 1/2 cup flour that I mixed the night before. It has been raising for approximately 14 hours. You don’t have to let your dough raise that long and it can raise as long as 18 hours.
Drop the dough onto the oiled baking sheet.
Carefully press the dough to the edges of the baking sheet.
This won’t happen the first attempt. The dough will need to rest off and on while to get it to reach the sides of the pan without putting holes in it. Be patient it could take up to an hour. Prepare in advance. I have covered the dough with plastic wrap and let it set for up to 2 hours until I was ready to bake the pizza. It’s ok for it to sit for a while.
I like the fact that I can leave the dough ready to go for a couple of hours. This way when everyone is ready to eat, all I have to do is add the toppings and bake. I love anything that can be prepared in advance.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap while preparing the other ingredients.
I personally love a chunky tomato sauce.
Crush the tomatoes with your hands. It’s pretty messy and I squirt seeds everywhere.
To the crushed tomatoes, add 2 cloves garlic, chopped.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil.
Chop 1/4 cup fresh basil.
Stir ingredients together and set aside.
My local grocery store just happened to be pulling fresh mozzarella today. Lucky me!
Fresh mozzarella can be difficult to shred, so I’m going to dice it.
I have about 2 cups. You can use more or less.
Halve the olives, if you desire.
Cut the onion in half leaving the root in tact.
I just barely trimmed off the roots. I want to keep the ends intact.
Cut thin slices.
I’m making one last attempt to pull the dough to the corners of the baking sheet.
Layer is this order. Mozzarella first.
Spoon on 1 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes. You will have left over sauce.
Add sliced onions. I like to fan them out a bit because it looks cool.
Add the sliced olives.
Top with prosciutto.
Place in a preheated 525 degree Fahrenheit oven on the lowest rack.
Bake for about 15 minutes or so. I like the edges to get crisp and brown.
Remove from oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes. At this point the pizza can be carefully lifted out of the baking sheet onto a large cutting board, if desired for easy cutting. You can always just leave it in the pan for serving as well.
There you have it Slab Pizza. Of course you can choose your own toppings. May I suggest thin sliced sandwich pepperoni and jalapenos. Just remember not to overload the pizza, it can make the crust a bit soggy and the goal is a nice crisp crust.
Slab Pizza Pie
I find it much easier to press a pizza crust into a baking sheet rather than trying to shape a circle. It also gives me a great texture with every piece having an "end."
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
Sauce and toppings:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 28 oz plum tomatoes 1 large can
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil in addition to the 1/3 cup above
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded or cubed.
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives sliced in half
- 8 slices prosciutto
For the crust:
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature overnight or at least 8-10 hours.
- When ready to prepare pizza:
- Preheat oven to 525 degrees or as hot as your oven can get. Coat a baking sheet with 1/3 cup olive oil. Scrape the dough from the bowl into the baking sheet and gently press the dough toward the edges and corners of the pan. Let the dough rest until it can be eased into the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Dough can set for at least 2 hours before topping.
For the sauce:
- Crush tomatoes with your hands into a bowl. Add minced garlic, salt, chopped basil and olive oil. Stir.
First, spread mozzarella cheese on the dough. Second, carefully spoon sauce over top of the cheese. Third, add onions, olives and prosciutto. Place in preheated oven on the lowest rack and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Inspiration: Mom and Bon Appetite Magazine