Some food people are real sticklers for words and what they mean. For example: pizza. I consider the pizza at Pizzeria Mozza (developed by Nancy Silverton) to be some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, but there are detractors out there who call it focaccia because it’s so puffy. I’m pretty sure it’s pizza for a few reasons: 1. it’s round; 2. it’s cooked in a wood-burning oven; 3. the name of the restaurant is Pizzeria Mozza.
Still, even I had to raise an eyebrow at the pizza I just made from the cover of this month’s Bon Appetit. The dough is a clever riff on Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread. Though this one you knead, for 12 minutes, and then let it rest–and ferment–overnight in the fridge.
Let me show you some pictures:
When it comes out of the refrigerator 24 hours later, it’s all puffed up like this:
Here’s where things go in a suspiciously focaccia-like direction. You grease a baking sheet with lots of olive oil:
You stretch the dough to fit the sheet; something I was nervous about, but it was a cinch because the dough was so puffy:
Then you top it with a zippy raw tomato sauce (with garlic and anchovies and basil) made even zippier using a technique I learned from Brandon Pettit for my cookbook; I added some red wine vinegar.
You also top with shredded fresh mozzarella cheese (I had trouble shredding all of it, so I used the rest in chunks):
Into a 500 degree oven it goes (or even hotter, if your oven can manage it) and 25 minutes later, it comes out looking like this:
I cut it into large squares or rectangles and I was reminded of the Elio’s Toaster Oven Pizza my mom used to make for me as a kid. Let me show you a rectangle on a plate:
That’s kind of like pizza, right? Only, if you’d ordered focaccia at a restaurant and that came out, you wouldn’t send it back and be all like, “Hey why did you bring me pizza when I ordered focaccia?”
Ultimately: who cares? This was a delicious and easy thing to make and wayyyyy filling. One sheet pan of this and a salad could easily feed a family of four (three hungry adult men were eating this and we barely made a dent).
So thank you, Bon Appetit, for your excellent sheet-pan-pizza-possibly-focaccia recipe. I’ll definitely be making it again.
Recipe: Tasty Sheet Pan Pizza That May Actually Be Focaccia
Summary: From this month’s Bon Appetit.
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil PLUS 6 Tablespoons for the sauce and 1/2 cup for the baking sheet
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt PLUS more for the sauce
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 anchovies
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
- Start the day before by combining the yeast with 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees) in a large bowl; when the yeast begins to foam (10 minutes later), mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cups of flour, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add another 2 cups flour, a cup at a time, mixing until incorporated and a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes or so (you’ll need to dust with flour every so often because it gets sticky). Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (or as high as it can go). Take your dough out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
- Coat an 18 X 13 rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 cup olive oil. Gently and gradually stretch the dough until it reaches the edges of the baking sheet. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until it is puffed and full of air bubbles, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Make the sauce by combining the tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, 6 tablespoons olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth but still a little chunky. Taste; if it’s not sharp, add a splash of red wine vinegar until it is.
- Top the risen pizza dough with 1 1/2 cups of the fresh tomato sauce and then sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake until golden brown and crisp on the bottom and sides, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)