1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 anchovies packed in olive oil, drained and mashed
coarse-grain cornmeal for dusting
olive oil for greasing the bowl
Pour warm water into the bottom of a stand mixer. Add sugar and yeast. Stir the mixture until the yeast is dissolved. Stir in the anchovies, olive oil and salt. Add the flour and cheese.
Using the dough hook and mix until the dough becomes a smooth, elastic ball. At this point you can fold the dough onto itself a couple of times if you’d like. Coat the inside of a large bowl with additional olive oil, and place the dough in the bowl, smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Remove plastic wrap, and use your fist to push down on the center of the dough. Fold the dough in half four or five times. Turn dough over, folded-side down, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the warm spot to rise again. Wait until the dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500. Place 16-inch (or larger) pizza stone on lowest shelf position, for 30 minutes.
Punch down the dough and transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough in half, and knead each half four or five times into a ball. Place one of the dough balls back in the oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Lightly flour a clean surface, place the dough ball on top, pat into a flattened circle, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let rest 5 minutes*. Begin to flatten and push the dough evenly out from the center until it measures about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Leave a 1/2 inch border of unflatted dough around the edges of the circle. Lift the dough off the surface, and center it on top of your fists. Rotate and stretch the dough, moving your fists until they are 6 to 8 inches apart and the dough is several inches larger. Then place your fists under the inside of the outer edge, and continue to stretch the dough until it reaches about 12 inches in diameter. The dough will drape down over your forearms. Start over if the dough tears or gets to thin. Do this carefully, preserving the raised edge. Sprinkle cornmeal all over the surface of a pizza peel or parchment paper.
Place the pizza dough into a circle on top of the cornmeal-dusted peel. Distribute pizza sauce on the dough, leaving the 1/2 inch of raised dough bare. Sprinkle with cheese and toppings.
Slightly tilt the peel (or a parchment paper covered upside down baking sheet), and place the front tip of peel on the back side of the stone. Slide the pizza off the peel (or slide the pizza with the parchment paper off of the baking sheet), centering it on the stone as best you can. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Repeat with remaining dough.
I made this dough to go with a fennel-red onion-caper-rapini topped pizza I made for dinner the other day. It was so good, I thought I’d share. It had a wonderful savory flavor that made it stand out from other pizza doughs I’ve made without being overpowering or fishy. It was very elastic and easy to work with as well. My husband liked that it was sturdy and flexible enough to fold a slice in half to eat it. He’s from NY where that is apparently very important.