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Grandma Pizza

Grandma-style Pizza

This soft, bouncy, cheesy pizza is deceptively simple, quick to make, and packed with flavor. Perfect for busy Nonnas with hungry mouths to feed, kicking back with friends, or simple weeknight dinners. Its signature sauce uses anchovies to give a salty kick, while the dough is cooked slow n’low for a delightfully fluffy base. 

Equipment
15x12” sheet pan
Food processor/stick blender

Ingredients
Makes 1 15x 12” sheet pizza

500g of pizza flour/strong bread flour
375ml water
2 tsp active dry yeast
2.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra to grease)

For the Sauce
2 tins plum tomatoes
4-5 anchovy fillets
4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
Large pinch of salt
Large pinch of sugar
8 basil leaves
12 oregano leaves

For the topping
100g grated mozzarella cheese
8-10 slices pepperoni
1-2 tomatoes, sliced into discs
Freshly ground black pepper
Chili flakes

Method
In a large bowl, add 200ml cold water and 175ml boiling water and mix. Add two tablespoons of yeast and whisk thoroughly to activate. Leave for 5 minutes until frothy bubbles appear on the surface. 

Add 2.5 tsp of salt and 2 tbsp olive oil to the mix and stir well to ensure the salt is fully dissolved. Add the flour, a bit at a time, mixing continually with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once 3/4 of the flour is added, start kneading the dough with your hands - pulling from the outside and folding into the centre. Add the remaining flour and continue kneading in the bowl until the dough roughly comes together. Tip the dough onto your work surface and finish kneading with your palms to ensure all the flour is incorporated. 

Once a smooth dough forms, shape it into a ball. Add 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil to your mixing bowl and coat the bottom and sides. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm area for an hour, or until doubled in size. For a fuller flavor, leave the dough overnight in the refrigerator.  

Next, prepare the sauce. Pour 2 whole tins of plum tomatoes into a food processor, or, if using a stick blender, a large bowl. Add 4-5 anchovies, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, a large pinch of sugar, a large pinch of salt, 8 basil leaves, and 12 oregano leaves. Pulse the mix 5-10 times until a nice chunky consistency is reached. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. 

When your dough is ready to stretch, line your baking tray with parchment paper or olive oil. If using paper, make sure it’s just small enough to fit under the dough. If anything is exposed, it risks catching the flames. 

Place the dough in the center of the tray and stretch the dough out from the centre, reaching towards the corners of the pan. The dough will be a little stiff if it comes straight from the fridge, but keep working it until it fully reaches the width of the pan. 

Cover the tray with plastic wrap and leave to rest for an hour or so, or until the dough is nicely risen and spotted with air bubbles. 

For the topping, cover the base with an even layer of grated mozzarella. Next, add the sauce in small dollops, followed by more cheese, and pepperoni. Finish with a few sliced tomatoes, chili flakes, and black pepper to garnish.

Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. If using gas, keep the dial at the lowest setting and allow it to preheat for 15-20 minutes. Place the tray in the oven and let cook for a couple of minutes until one side of the pizza is browned, rotate the tray and repeat for the other side. Once both sides are brown, turn off the oven completely and let the pizza finish cooking for 8-10 minutes in the residual heat.

If using wood and charcoal, preheat your oven so that the stone is around 800˚F (450˚C), then let the flames die right down. You can check the temperature inside your Ooni quickly and easily using the Ooni Infrared Thermometer. Place the tray in the oven and let the pizza cook for 8-10 minutes with the door off. Once the crusts are puffed up, spike the flame with wood and let the flames colour the crusts for a few minutes on each side. 

Remove the cooked pizza, slice into squares, and enjoy!

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