Makes 4 Twelve-Inch Pizzas
1 package rapid-rise yeast
1 cup warm water
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached white flour
8 tablespoons olive oil
Dissolve yeast in water. Let proof a few minutes; then add salt. On smooth clean surface, make mound of flour with well in center. Pour yeast mixture into well.
Using a fork at first and then the hands, slowly and carefully incorporate yeast mixture into flour. When slightly sticky ball of dough is formed (about 1 1/2 cups flour will remain), remove to clean surface. Gently knead at least 5 minutes gradually adding a tablespoon of flour at a time. When dough no longer sticks to surface but still retains its springy quality, it is ready (some flour will be left over). Place in oiled bowl away from drafts, cover with towel, and let rise about 1 hour.
To make each pizza, pour 2 tablespoons oil onto 12-inch pizza pan. Pinch off a fourth of dough, and drop onto center of pan. Turn to coat both sides with oil. Working from center, push dough out to edges without tearing it. Spread very thin, until almost translucent. Add cheese, sauce, and toppings (as called for in individual recipes below), and bake at 550 degrees for 5 minutes on middle rack of preheated oven. Serve immediately.
3 cups grated American mozzarella
1 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 can (No. 2) Pomodoro crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 anchovy filets, cut up
Spread crushed tomatoes thinly and evenly over dough, sprinkle with oregano, and place anchovies on sparsely. Add large handful of cheese, and spread evenly to edge. Bake.
1/2 cup homemade pesto (see recipe below)
6 whole fresh basil leaves
Spread pesto thinly and evenly over dough to edge. Spot crushed tomatoes over pesto. Sprinkle very evenly with large handful of cheese mixture, and arrange basil leaves on top. Bake.
1 garlic clove
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or mixed Parmesan and Romano cheeses
Turn on food processor, and with large blade running, drop garlic in. Turn off. Add basil. Turn on processor, and slowly add 1/2 cup oil. Keep machine running, and add nuts, then cheese. Mixture should have consistency of grainy mustard. If too thick, add more oil slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Cipolla Salsiccia Pizza
3/4 cup pork sausage
1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
Put sausage in shallow pan with small amount of water. Let water boil off, and lightly brown. Spread crushed tomatoes thinly and evenly over dough. Arrange onions, then sausage, on pizza. Sprinkle thinly and evenly with large handful of cheese mixture. Bake.
Spontaneous House Speciality
1/4 cup San Remo olive paste
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, broken into very small sprigs
Black pepper, to taste
Spread olive paste very thinly over dough. Cover evenly with large handful of cheese mixture. Add rosemary sparsely and a few grinds of black pepper. Bake.
Specialty of the House originally featured in Domain, September/October 1989.