Weekend Recipe: Thick-Crust Sicilian-Style Pizza

Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated
Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

We thought the debate was over -- isn't everyone supposed to be eating Neapolitan-style pizza these days? For those of you looking to jump off the bandwagon, Cook's Illustrated shows you the way. And the key to a thick crust? Flatten the dough out with a rolling pin instead of stretching it by hand, since a bubbly crust is not what we're trying to achieve with a Sicilian-style pizza.

Thick-Crust Sicilian-Style Pizza
Serves 6 to 8

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semolina flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 2/3 cups (13 1/3 ounces) ice water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
12 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, shredded (3 cups)

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For the dough: Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix all-purpose flour, semolina flour, sugar, and yeast on low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. With machine running, slowly add water and oil until dough forms and no dry flour remains, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough stand for 10 minutes.

Add salt to dough and mix on medium speed until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of bowl, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly floured counter until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

For the sauce: Process tomatoes, sugar, and salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Heat oil and garlic in medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, anchovies, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce measures 2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to bowl, let cool, and refrigerate until needed.

For the pizza: One hour before baking pizza, place baking stone on upper-middle rack and heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet (including rim) with vegetable oil spray, then coat bottom of pan with oil. Remove dough from refrigerator and transfer to lightly floured counter. Lightly flour top of dough and gently press into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Using rolling pin, roll dough into 18 by 13-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet, fitting dough into corners. Spray top of dough with vegetable oil spray and lay sheet of plastic wrap over dough. Place second baking sheet on dough and let stand for 1 hour.

Remove top baking sheet and plastic wrap. Gently stretch and lift dough to fill pan. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread sauce in even layer over surface of dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over entire surface of dough to edges followed by mozzarella.

Place pizza on stone; reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake until bottom crust is evenly browned and cheese is bubbly and browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through baking. Remove pan from oven and let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen pizza. Transfer pizza to cutting board, cut into squares, and serve.

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